Life in Utrecht

“Forget about The Hague, forget Rotterdam, it’s Utrecht you are heading for after visiting Amsterdam.
At first sight, you may not see the charm of Utrecht. Arriving by train or car, you’ll probably think it is just one of those cities taken over by big companies. Can you be more wrong?
Utrecht, the Netherlands’ most centrally located city, has so many faces that it will leave you flabbergasted.
The city canals cleave the centre and contribute to the specific character of the inner town.
Along the canals, you’ll find packed terraces in the summertime. The shopping heart beats throughout the city and nearby is the Museum Quarter, a collective of six impressive museums.
When you don’t know where to start, just go to the ‘Domplein’ (Domsquare), take a deep breath and climb the 465 steps of the Netherlands’ highest church tower and observe Utrecht’s hustle and bustle.
Be sure to visit the Maliesingel as this is the most beautiful place ever seen. Many, many old houses there with great views, people who live there are blessed.” —


We are now in Utrecht.
From Schiphol, we drove over to Jeroen’s hometown and settled into a rented apartment, which we’ll have for two weeks. I actually found it online after days of Googling.
At first Jeroen wanted to stay at the Hotel Karel V, but some of the rooms look like they have mumu. Besides, we needed a kitchen to cook rice and Marky’s sinigang.
This is our neighborhood


and the living room where I’m sitting right now. It is 10 AM and everyone has left to go to the zoo.

Havaa Apartments, Utrecht

This was Opa on the first night. He lives in Eindhoven and just slept over for one night.


Jeroen bought me 40 red roses on our first day. That’s Php 280 pesos for 40 roses—can you imagine? And they are still so fresh. I want to have fresh flowers everyday while I’m here.

40 red roses for me

This is the kitchen

Havaa Apartments, Utrecht

Our little chiller

Our chiller

And Marky’s sinigang, prepared by Yaya Bhing on the first night

Yaya made sinigang

This is Dutch bacon, or spek


I like the floor

Floor peg

The banyo I am not crazy about. The toilet is separate from the shower area and both rooms are tiny.
Luckily Yaya Bhing tidies up a lot. Plus it’s Holy Week, so I consider this a sacrifice.

Havaa Apartments, Utrecht

The bedrooms I find creepy. I have to take Sleepasil to forget I’m in this room with a rough blanket. But this is just me. Everyone else is OK and cozy. Thank God I am the only high maintenance person in the group.
I do wish we have time to tour the Karel V Hotel for next time.
Meanwhile I have to hit the shower to get ready, as the boys come back at noon to pick me up for another adventure in Utrecht.

June Keithley talks about her journey with cancer

angelo castro jr.

Veteran broadcast journalist and news anchor Angelo Castro Jr. has died after a fight against lung cancer.
He was 67.
And while my Twitter feed is filled with messages of mourning and gratitude, my heart goes out to his children, especially his wife June Keithley, who continues her own brave battle with breast cancer, which has now metastasized to her brain.
Watch and be inspired as June tells her story, which was broadcast only three days ago on ABS-CBN.


Repetto opens at Greenbelt 3

Repetto, known for creating the most coveted French ballet shoes and flats, opened yesterday at the ground level of Greenbelt 3, Makati.
The beautiful 95-square-meter store looks very much dance- or ballet-inspired, with the chandeliers, full-length mirrors, red velvet accents, and oak wood floor.

Repetto at Greenbelt 3

Known worldwide for its beautiful window displays, Repetto’s current window features two tutus.

Repetto at Greenbelt 3

Repetto fans will find the complete range of street shoes (like BB, Bolchoi, Zizi, Beauty, Lio, Camille, Giselle, Baya) sandals and booties, leather bags, dance bags, the Ballet Line (pointe shoes, leotards), and the Dance Line (contemporary dance wear) at the Greenbelt store.
Men’s shoes will be available after Holy Week in Zizi style, while lighter Spring shades of ballerina shoes will be aarriving in succeeding weeks.

Repetto at Greenbelt 3

Repetto at Greenbelt 3

From now until April 15, 2012, view Repetto’s special exhibit of customized tutus (by Jean Paul Gaultier and Rei Kawakubo) and ballerina shoes by various artists and celebrities such as Aurelie Dupont, Mathieu Ganio, Tobias Wong and more, just outside the store at Greenbelt 3, Makati.

Repetto exhibit

Repetto exhibit

Repetto exhibit

To see who wears Repetto, click HERE.

Award! Catholic priest accidentally shows gay porn at primary school

By ROB COOPER, Daily Mail

A Catholic priest accidentally showed a slideshow of gay porn images during a presentation at a primary school.
Father Martin McVeigh reacted in horror as the slideshow of X-rated pictures popped up on screen automatically when he inserted his USB stick into the computer.
The priest was talking to parents about going to Confession in Pomeroy, Northern Ireland, when the images autoplayed.

Gay porn: Father Martin McVeigh was delivering a presentation about going to Confession when the X-rated images popped up on screen
Gay porn: Father Martin McVeigh was delivering a presentation about going to Confession when the X-rated images popped up on screen

He claimed he did not know the images were on the memory stick.
Parents who attended the gathering on March 26 said ‘approximately 16 indecent images of men’ were shown before the priest removed the USB stick. One eight-year-old was also present at the meeting.
Police were called following the incident at St Mary’s School but officers said no crime had been committed. In a statement the parents said: ‘He was visibly shaken and flustered. He gave no explanation or apology to the group and bolted out of the room. Twenty minutes later he returned, continued with the meeting and wrapped up by saying children get lots of money for their Holy Communion and should consider giving some to the Church.’
Cardinal Seán Brady confirmed that offensive imagery was ‘inadvertently’ shown to parents.

Father Martin McVeigh was speaking at the primary school next to St Mary's Church (pictured) in Pomeroy, <em>Northern Ireland, when the images autoplayed
Father Martin McVeigh was speaking at the primary school next to St Mary’s Church (pictured) in Pomeroy, Northern Ireland, when the images autoplayed

The Roman Catholic Church in Ireland are still investigating the incident.
Brady said the priest, the Reverend Martin McVeigh, ‘has stated that he had no knowledge of the offending imagery’ and is helping an internal church investigation.
The priest said other church officials used the memory stick and he wanted an investigation to be carried out ‘so that what happened can be legitimately explained.’
‘I don’t know how it happened but I know what happened,’ McVeigh said.
Parents are demanding that the priest be suspended from parish duties until an investigation has been completed.
They withdrew their children, mostly aged 9, from a planned Sunday service focused on the children’s upcoming first Confessions and Communions.
The church has arranged for another priest to oversee the children’s Confessions this month. It is unclear whether the priest will oversee their First Communions in May.

Read more.

Welcome to Schiphol

Let’s make this like a YES! magazine entry.
Schiphol (pronounced Skip-pol) is the name of the airport in Amsterdam (end of YES! mag reference).
We arrived here at 6 AM, Dutch time. Felt the cold air immediately upon stepping out to the boarding bridge.
The boys were thrilled.


I really love these small trolleys that make lugging carry-ons easier. Wish we had these in NAIA.
That’s my stuff.


Immigration was a breeze. No immigration forms, can you imagine? The boys all have Dutch passports, while Yaya Bhing and I queued together. I was scared of interrogation, but the good-looking officer simply said, “Good morning” and “What is your purpose of travel?” Two stamps later, and we’re off.



Schiphol is really lovely. I prefer it to Singapore, Hong Kong, Bangkok and Narita airports.
There’s an air of instant chic I don’t see in Asian airports.


I really love Dutch design. Check out the Starbucks


The dining hall


Went nuts over a souvenir shop, but didn’t buy anything—yet.


Cheese everywhere. The good kind.


Hermés down below


Because we were knocked out during the 12-hour flight, the boys wanted McDonald’s, which is a sight for rumbling tummies in any airport. NAIA needs this.


Fries, chicken nuggets, and sosy water for the boys. Coffee for Yaya.


Jeroen loves the special Dutch mayo with his fries


and excited to have McKroket (a special Dutch treat—box says “world famous in Holland”)


Oh, and I love these breaded prawns—only in Holland!! I love!!!


Headless, tail-less prawns with ketchup!


After a quick meal, a happy reunion with Opa and Aunt Helene.


Love Opa


Looking for the supermarket inside Schiphol (how convenient)


Yes, Yaya, we are in Holland


I want them Miffy chocolate


Vincent van Gogh chocolate


Wooden shoe chocolate!! I will hoard them all when we leave


Schiphol also has some great displays of airplane parts, such as the engine


Just like the Mind Museum


The wheels (oh, and an H&M in the back)


Heading to the parking lot


with my love


Art in the airport—we like!


Yaya Bhing likes the giant lamp


and loves the cold weather. The weather is really lovely by the way. Nothing like the weather reports have it.


Loading our bags

And we’re off.


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