Sunday, January 20, 2013

Liebster Award

Well, I'm finally back to blogging again after about a 4-month absence... no good excuse,  just plain old keeping busy with family and work, but I will definitely try to make more time to blog regularly in the future (always a struggle!).

First, though, I am humbled and I'd like to offer my sincere thanks to Sarah from "Not On My Own Anymore" to be the first to nominate me for the Liebster Award.   I feel badly (guilty) that I haven't posted this till now despite the several months that have passed.  I also want to thank my blog friends for subsequent nominations essentially in the same time frame, particularly Cecille at FliPinay Wee Blether, Pinay Ramblings , and Pettit Mom . 

The Liebster Award recognizes new and upcoming bloggers who have less than 200 followers (or friends) on their contribution to the blogging world.

In order to accept this award, one must abide the following rules. And they are as follows :

The Rules:

1)  Each person must list 11 things about themselves.
2)  Answer the 11 questions that the tagger has set for you PLUS you MUST create 11 questions of your own for the 11 people you will nominate with this award.
3)  Choose up to 11 bloggers linking them to your post.
4)  Go to their page and inform them of the nomination.
5)  Absolutely NO tags back. Remember to ONLY tag bloggers with less than 200 followers.

So, here are eleven things about me:

1.  I'm very proud of my family... if you read my blog, you'll see photos of them and find out quite a bit about them, that I've been married to a Filipina for almost 19 years now, and that we have a 9 year old daughter.  

2.  I love traveling in the Philippines, the warmth and friendliness of people, the natural beauty of the rural provinces, the excitement of the cities, the gorgeous beaches, seaside and mountain scenes, the history, the cuisine... I can go on and on!  I'd love to live there someday; hopefully early retirement there.

3.  I enjoy history, archaeology, and finding old stuff.  My daughter and I recently found a site near our house where we have discovered some flint arrowheads (used for hunting with bow and arrow or spears) from Native American Indian tribes, maybe 1,000 to 2,000 years ago.  These 
can be found right on top of the ground if we're lucky, as rain and weather erodes away the dirt over time.  This site was probably either a frequented hunting camp or possibly a village site. 

4.  I love anything related to manned space flight and its history, the Apollo missions to the moon, fast military jets, latest developments and technologies in these fronts, etc. 
3. I enjoy challenges and working hard.  I often tend to do outdoor labor the hard way (by hand) rather than with power equipment. I like gardening and landscaping and I'm not afraid to get sweaty and dirty doing the hard manual labor it takes to get it done... a good source of exercise.  

4. I love the great outdoors and nature, and I like the change of seasons we experience in the northern part of the US.  My favorite is getting outdoors and doing lots of fun things in the hot and humid summer, when we have daylight hours until after 9:30 PM, making for a very long day.  But I equally like to get out to take long walks in the snow in January with my daughter along wooded trails near our house, watching deer run across our path, then jump across an icy creek.  

5. I enjoy people with a good sense of humor, and I like to laugh.  I especially like to see a TV show or movie that makes me laugh so hard that my stomach muscles hurt and tears come to my eyes. 

6. I love Christmas, Christmas music, and all things related to the holiday.  I have not yet been able to experience Pasko in the Philippines, so I really want to do that. 

7. I like to do a little bit of cooking, but more so of baking. I like to experiment with foods from different countries.  For instance, over Christmas holidays, I made for the first time a traditional British Christmas pudding, which I had never had before and I didn't even really know what it was (as I am not British). It turned out really well, and had a pretty high alcohol content with lots of cappucino-flavored Tanduay rum in which the raisins and dried fruits are marinated. 

8.  Following up on point #2, I like traveling in general.

9. I love to read, and have been doing so since I was a very young child. 

10. I enjoy  listening to music.  I'm pretty eclectic in my tastes; favorites are classic rock and early 80's New Wave.  I also like some jazz and classical, a little bit of modern pop.  

11.  I unfortunately don't have any musical talent and don't know how to play any instrument, but would love to learn someday, especially with the guitar. 

And now here are the answers to Sarah's eleven questions (would love to answer all of the questions from the various Liebster nominations I got, but would be too much to answer!).

1. What do you love most about blogging ?

I enjoy communicating with others, especially hearing from others by way of the comments they leave on my blog. Meeting (although virtually) people with similar interests across the miles and around the globe has been very rewarding for me.  It's really neat to know that someone is actually reading (or at least looking) at some of the things I've written and some of the photos I've posted (in large part taken by my wife).

2. What  was the first song or tune that you sang ?

Not quite sure about that, but when I was little I think the songs I sang the most and which made the biggest impression on me were Christmas songs.  To this day, I love Christmas music and Christmas spirit,  everything about Christmas and the holiday season.

3. What was the first gift  that you had ever received ?

That's a really tough one, because I'm sure it had to be from when I was an infant, most likely at baptism.  I have some memories of certain toys from Santa Claus from many years ago.

4. What is one historical story in your family that you are most proud of?

My great-great-great grandfather on my mother's side came to America from Germany in 1834, and traveled from the east coast to what was then the deep, dark, dense, and dangerous woods of northern Ohio (an area that is now productive farm land interspersed with small cities). A person who sold some land to him misrepresented it to him as cleared land  ready for farming, but it was densely wooded, so he paid too much money.  He and his family had to build a cabin out of logs, and while building it, they had to build huge bonfires at night to keep away the roving packs of wolves, which were vicious.  They had to clear the land, cut the trees, and pull out the stumps with very hard labor and only oxen or horses and plows, without the use of machines like steam engines.   Despite their struggles, they ultimately had a very successful farm.

5. When did you first learn to go home on your own?

When I was pretty young, I would walk home from school on my own.  I can't remember which grade I was in, but back then, it was commonplace for kids to walk to and from school and things were seemingly safer.

6. When did you first learn to live on your own ?

Mainly in college and immediately before.  I traveled in the Western part of the U.S. right after I graduated high school, and did a fair amount of tent camping.  Sometimes the altitude of the mountains, such as in Wyoming and Montana, was high enough that it snows in summer, making for some cold camping.  When I was 20 I attended U.S. Air Force (wilderness) survival training somewhere in northern Kansas when I was at McConnell Air Force Base.  

7. Who is your favorite author and why?

I don't really have a favorite author per se, but I enjoy reading.  Lately it's been almost all non-fiction, especially history and books about human space flight.   I recently read a book called "America, 1900" by Judy Crichton, which focuses on the year 1900 and what happened in American history.  The book also discusses the Philippines' struggle for independence/insurrection, Aguinaldo, etc., so I found it very informative.  

8. What is (are) your favorite  movie(s) that touched on  history or based on real life events ?

Well, this is right up my alley -- so much so that there are probably so many I find it hard to even think of all of them in order to list them. 'Gladiator', 'Apollo 13', 'Thirteen Days', 'The Patriot', 'Saving Private Ryan', 'Braveheart', 'Amistad', 'Master and Commander' and many, many more. 

9. What do you do when you experience writer's block?

In terms of writer's block for my blog, I often just go to our camera and check out the photos on the SD card, then make a narrative around them... that's a pretty easy way to get around writer's block.   In terms of writing something else, I think it's good to get up, get outside, get some fresh air and exercise, etc.  Sometimes talking to people really generates great ideas, especially if you have someone who is elderly with lots of stories to tell and history to remember.  Another idea would be to go to a public library and just wander and look at books.

10. What book or story that you will never get tired of reading?

That's a really hard question. I don't think I could choose one.    

11. What difficult decision had you done in your life that was worth it?

In general, persevering during times when it would have been much easier to quit.  Working a hard, dirty, physically exhausting and thankless job for a very difficult boss when I was young, in order to save money for college.   Pulling all-nighters or getting only 2 or 3 hours of sleep several nights in a row to study in college or to meet deadlines for important projects.

NOMINATIONS:  So many wonderful blogs out there!  I now give the list of bloggers to whom I chose to hand this prestigious award... 



Here are the eleven questions for the lucky bloggers I have chosen for this award.

1. How do you find time for blogging ?  

2. If you could travel back in time in a time machine (guaranteed no danger to you), what would be the top   three times/places you'd visit whether in history or pre-historic?

3. What is the coolest thing you have ever built or constructed?

4.  What is one historical story in your family that you are most proud of? (This is a question of Sarah's that I liked a lot.)

5. Do you like to cook or bake, and if so, what is your favorite recipe to make?

6.  Have you ever found any interesting old artifact or something antique ? 

7. Do you have any pets?  If so, tell us about them briefly.

8. Do you ever have a commonly recurring dream?  What is it?

9. Who would be your top 5 picks of people from the past you would like to meet?

10. You won a huge amount of money in a lottery -- billions -- and you now have riches like Bill Gates or Warren Buffett etc.  You can easily take care of the material wants and needs of yourself and all of your family with half of the money.    The other half you have to give away.   What would be your top 3 specific agenda items or causes for donating the money?   It can be donations to charitable/humanitarian causes, or using the money to set up an incentive prize for some amazing achievement in science, invention, engineering, the arts, etc.

11. What is your favorite movie(s), and what is the scariest movie you ever saw?

I will be looking forward to read all of  your posts. And by the way, let me end this by saying, "Congratulations to all of you! "


  1. Hi! Thanks for the nomination. It was very humbling. I like the way you see my country. I'll try to post my answers this week. Thanks again!

    1. Hi littleyana,

      You are very welcome! I definitely really love and enjoy your country and can't wait to get back again. I look forward to dropping by your blog and checking out your answers; no hurry at all!

      Take care!

  2. Hi! Thanks for the nomination. I received this award before and have written about, but your questions interest me, so I probaly answer your questions in my blog.
    Anyway, nice getting to know you more and regards to your wife and daughter:)

    1. Hi Joy!

      You're very welcome, and I'm sorry I didn't catch that you'd received it before. Thanks so much for answering the questions, I will drop by and take a look at them. Thanks for your regards to my family, and all the best to you and yours! :-)

  3. Halu! Thank you so much for the encouraging comment you have in my blog. That was the best i have ever received. haha. And welcome back!

    Thank you also for the award! But like the first comment, i have already received this award but your questions are so sooo interesting! I would love to answer them. I'll buzz you when it's posted :)

    P.S. I forgot to tell you that i have already posted the answers to the versatile blogger award you gave me. Check it out:

  4. Hallo Buzz Lightyear,
    It's my first time to be nominated. I am happy. Thanks!
    I enjoyed reading all your answers to the trivial questions, the nominator has asked you.
    Now it's my turn. I'll inform when it's done.
    Groetjes, :-)

    1. Hello Kulengkleng,

      You're very welcome, and I am glad you're happy! I hope it will be as fun for you as it was for me. Please feel free to take your time, and thanks in advance for informing when you're done.

      Groetjes and Ingat!

  5. Wow ! Reading your post make me feel like a kid again especially about that historical story about your family. The movies that you like, your fascination for adventure, your dedication and professionalism so you can earn and get yourself to college, they all sound familiar. Your stories really hit home.

    I am glad I gave you that award. And if given the chance , I will do it again.

    To all the wonderful stories and beyond .

    1. Hi Sarah,

      I'm glad you enjoyed this post! You had great questions, and it was very fun (and in some cases very challenging) to answer them and collect my thoughts to give it a good try. It's neat to see how much we have in common with others, and the common themes that intrigue us and propel us as human beings, such as a quest for knowledge and exploration.

      Thanks so much once again for giving me the award, and I am glad too that you gave it to me. We all, each and every one of us, have many remarkable stories to tell, especially if we delve into our family's history or the history of where we live. And reading the stories and histories of others (in blogs) is really interesting.

      To all the wonderful stories and beyond!

  6. Hi there! Thank you for nominating me. Sorry for the late reply, I've been busy. I'm working on those "RULES" and will inform you once it's done. Again, thank you. More Power to you and your blog. :)

    1. Hi there, Charlotte!

      You're very welcome, and no need to be sorry. I know how life gets very busy and it's hard to keep up with blogging etc. I've been really bad about that. So please feel free to take your time, and thanks in advance for letting me know when you're done. More power to you and your blog too!

  7. you're walking from school to your house? i did it when I was a kid too. as young as 5 year old kid, i can alreaady walk home ;-)

    hope you post more on this blog.

    1. Hi Phioxee,

      Yes, I did walk regularly and a pretty long distance. It was fun, most of the time! You have a very nice blog and I look forward to more of your posts too.

  8. Hi! I amsweref your questions last post " Christina is the name:)
    Good luck to others:)

    1. Hi Joy,

      Thanks for doing that! I will definitely come by and check out the "Christina" post. Take care!

  9. Oooh why did I miss this? :) Just seen it today---

    I love Christmas too--I can't believe that you haven't experience Xmas in the Philippines....It's more of a family bonding...I love it so much...My wish this year is to spend Christmas in the Philippines...

    1. Hey there Cecille,

      I knew you'd find it LOL! Yes, I truly love Christmas and everything associated with it. I really really want to go experience Pasko in the Philippines. It becomes a bit difficult to do that though now, because our daughter only gets I think 2 weeks' vacation time from elementary school. Maybe some year we'll pull her out of school for an additional week - a better educational experience for her than being in school one extra week in December, eh? I am sure we'd really enjoy visiting Philippines for Christmas and for me to see first-hand all the traditions that I've heard about. I hope you will get your wish for this year to spend Christmas in the Philippines.


I'd love to hear your comments!


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