“I'd rather regret the things that I have done than the things that I have not.”
― Lucille Ball

Sunday, September 30, 2012


Most people know Ikea.

If not, it is a well-known company, originally from Sweden, producing modern furniture. Since this year  headquarters in the Netherlands. It has outlets, large furniture malls, in all regions of the world, but not in the Philippines.

However, I found last week some Ikea products in the largest mall in Dagupan, CSI Lucao. See the two pictures.

I have always wondered why. My first thought was that it had to do with the tropical environment and wood fiendish insects, but that cannot be the reason, as there are Ikea's in Singapore and Thailand as well.

Wednesday, September 26, 2012

Dog Birth

Last night our dog Yara gave birth to seven nice puppies. The father is my German Sheppard.

As you can see on the picture below there are 3 white puppies and four brown ones. I guess these latter will resemble the German Sheppard.

It seems quite easy to get rid of them when they are a bit grown up. We have several people already interested. Maybe we will keep one or two of them.

Sunday, September 23, 2012


In front of the church all coffins are parked, 
and then moved into the church for the mass
My neighbor passed away a week ago. She was old, but could speak English quite well and liked to talk to me. She was the first neighbor who talked to me when we started to build our house, now almost two years ago. Now and then we met and had a brief social talk.

She left a husband and grand (grand) children, as her only child and son died already years ago.

As is usual in the Philippines, the dead body gets a kind of balsam, as they are exposed in a coffin for a week or so without any cooling. Temperature here is on average 30 degrees Celsius at daytime.

The coffin is installed in the house of the deceased, the body exposed in the coffin and  candles, lights and flowers are surrounding the coffin. Also an ad from the funeral company (funeraria) is displayed and there is a small reading desk with a condolences register and a box to drop money for the funeral.

Thursday, September 20, 2012

Re-acquisition Philippine Citizenship

Asawa in front of BI
Early this week I decided to call BI (Bureau of Immigration) to ask them if the "Certificate of Re-acquisition / Retention of Philippine Citizenship", as it is called officially, was processed already for pick-up.

I called them because after almost 3 weeks waiting, since we applied, see my previous blog post, we still had no letter received from BI that we could come to pick-up the certificate, as was promised.

We were pleased that the call had a positive result, so decided to go on Wednesday and if the pick-up procedure would not take a lot of time, then we could even go to the Department of Foreign Affairs to proceed with the passport renewal process. They said that a new appointment was not required.

We left as usually 3.00 AM and arrived at BI around 9.30 AM. The Manila north-south traffic was killing this day, it took 1 and a half hours in the morning and more than 2 hours when we left Manila around 3.30 PM.
Waiting in BI ground floor

The procedure was quite simple this day. After showing the payment slip xerox, we could proceed to counter 404 (4th floor) and we got the original application form and a form that gave the details of the approval. From both we had to make a xerox (ground floor) and return to the same counter.

It took a minute of 10 and then the lady gave us all the papers, being the certificate, her old invalid Filipino passport, made unusable, and the payment slip.

That's it and that's all. No fine for not having a visa since her last entry in March this year. It means that she is again the authorized owner of our property and has all the other rights of a Filipino.

By 10.30 AM we left BI and decided to go to DFA to try to continue the passport renewal procedure.

Thursday, September 6, 2012

They demolished my former Office in Eindhoven

Last week my former office in Eindhoven, The Netherlands, was blown up, but something went wrong, see the video below.

I worked in this office from 1998 until 2000, as the global Millennium director of my company (Atos Origin, now ATOS), being responsible for a worldwide program to identify and repair "year 2000" problems of all IT systems, services and contracts at the turn of the century.

The office tower was a former Philips building, on the top floor was still an office of the retired Philips president Ir. (Engineer) Frits Philips, who died in 2005. I met him several times in the elevator. Now this elevator was the problem last week, see the video.

The remainder is called the Pisa Tower of Eindhoven and will be demolished manually.

Saturday, September 1, 2012

Dual Citizenship for Filipino's

Taking the Oath of Allegiance in front of an attorney in BI Intramuros
A few weeks ago we went to the consular service of DFA (Department of Foreign Affairs) in Manila, after we made an appointment via their call center, for the renewal of my asawa's Filipino passport.

It turned out that the call center lady had not asked for all the details and hence did not inform us correctly on the required documents in our case.

So it turned out that we missed one document, that should be issued by the BI (Bureau of Immigration), being the Certificate of Dual Citizenship.

I was not aware that according to Republic Act No 9225 of 2003, if a Filipino gets (or got in the past) a foreign citizenship, he/she will lose the Filipino citizenship, but is since 2003 eligible to retain it again after having taken the oath of allegiance.

So far so good, we could do this easily according to RA 9225, but BI has for the implementation of this law invented that you have to present a:
"Photocopy of Certificate of Naturalization or an original affidavit stating how foreign citizenship was acquired".
Of course we have such a document, but it is in Dutch and they can't read it here, so my conclusion was I need a legalized translation. I asked already our embassy in Manila whether they could help us, but they could not and referred me to the standard procedure you have to follow in the Netherlands and next in the Philippines. It is quite complicated, costly and it takes weeks or maybe even months. So I was not very happy and optimistic.


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