About Me

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I am a Filipina expat married to a Dutchman and a first timer mom to our three years old son, living in Vlaardingen, the Netherlands. I love flower photogaphy, I love to cook, and I love writing. Writing for me is a form of release and relief.  TO VIEW AND TO ORDER ANY OF MY CALENDARS please click this link: http://www.calvendo.co.uk/galerie/autor/maggy-baas-san-jose/

27 April 2017

Today Is Dutch King's Day

The crowded Oud Haven today.
Today, the entire Netherlands celebrates the Koning's Dag or in English, King's Day. Up until 2013, when Queen Beatrix abdicated and was succeeded by her son Willem-Alexander, this holiday was known as Koninginnedag or Queen's Day. When I first witnessed this celebration (2013), it was still the Queen's Day. It is my fourth time to see this big annual Dutch event, and I can say, there are some changes. The celebration includes partying (both in private homes or on the street), wearing orange costumes, flea markets, concerts, and traditional local gatherings. Today, our family went to the city, a usual thing to do with King's Day. The flea market consists of free space all over the city for anyone who like to sell second hand items. I noticed that this year, the sellers are not as many as the precious years. I also noticed that the shops and eating places in the city are open, unlike the previous years that they are closed to give way to the public who want to take the place to display their for sale second hand items. As what I promised, I have some photos to share. From the Netherlands, happy King's Day to all of you, anywhere you are in the world!
Most people are wearing color orange, the Dutch national color.

On King's Day you can spread any second hand items that you want to sell. Free market. Flea market.

Shops and homes hang the Dutch flag.

Little fire brigade in action.

They are crowned too.

will take you around the city.

Last year, this area was full of both people and goods, now it is empty as this.

26 April 2017

Exploring Rotterdam

at Rotterdam Central
It was Monday. It was a great time with my son. Just walking around the city with all its diverse culture and nationalities. Just walking, not thinking of anything, not busy in making photos, yet I am glad that I have made this one for my blog. Me and my son just walk and I feel too the enjoyment just letting my son mesmerize with everything he see. We always go in Rotterdam with my husband in our car. It was my first time to took my son alone to this big city. We went by the bus, we went back home by the tram, and my son was so happy for the experience. We were already sitting at Poh Vietnamese Restaurant to eat but then I changed my mind. I do not like to eat there just like that... Without my beloved husband. We took the tram just infront of the restaurant, and we headed home. My son was questioning me why we left the restaurant without eating, I just told him: mama loves the coffee at home. 

21 April 2017

Not by Erin Hanson

You are not your age,
Nor the size of clothes you wear,
You are not a weight,
Or the colour of your hair.
You are not your name,
Or the dimples in your cheeks,
You are all the books you read,
And all the words you speak,
You are your croaky morning voice,
And the smiles you try to hide,
You’re the sweetness in your laughter,
And every tear you’ve cried,
You’re the songs you sing so loudly,
When you know you’re all alone,
You’re the places that you’ve been to,
And the one that you call home,
You’re the things that you believe in,
And the people that you love,
You’re the photos in your bedroom,
And the future you dream of,
You’re made of so much beauty,
But it seems that you forgot,
When you decided that you were defined,
By all the things you’re not.

*this poem is powerful, evokes deep emotion. In this world where most people find it hard to find self-acceptance, this poem is like a soft whisper for us to just believe with ourselves and not try so hard to reach beyond our capabilities and abilities. Yes, it says: Dream big! But beware, it is frustrating when our expectation did not meet.
Which part of the poem you love the most?
Me? I truly love this poem as a whole.

15 April 2017

More Macro Photos

These photos are made with macro lens. Actually, they are my last minute macro photos. I made after our family eat dinner and my son finally settled in bed after a busy day for us all. These flowers are just in our garden. They look ordinary, but not for me. With macro, I present them all beautifully. 

14 April 2017

My Struggles Being A "Half Deaf" Person

"The art of conversation is the art of hearing as well as of being heard" -William Hazlitt
Can you believe me if I would say that I am a half deaf? Not a totally deaf person because it is only my left ear that is now totally deaf. After the most recent hearing test that was conducted with me, my EENT Doctor said that my right ear is working only 50%. Since February 2013, I started to use a hearing aid to help even a little bit.
I never know that  have a hearing problem. I have a normal life. But I already noticed it while I was still in the Philippines that when I am talking with someone on the phone, I always use my right ear, because I can't hear the voice when the phone is in my left ear. I set aside this, I took it for granted, I have an enjoyable life back then.
It was only until the day that I made the preparations to move in the Netherlands. My husband was the one who noticed it that I had a hearing problem because he said, I don't answer him when he is talking with me.
Since moving to the Netherlands requires me to pass first the MVV Test at the Dutch Embassy in Manila, the embassy requests for a doctor to test my hearing capacity. You can feel how frustrating it was for me to realize how weak my hearing.
The hospital in our city (the Netherlands) conducts a hearing test with me yearly. I even have my whole head and skull checked with MRI Scan because the doctors want to see what is the cause of my deafness, because in our family, there is no such history. But they did not find anything, they did not find anything or something that they can fix. The only help that I can get is to use a hearing aid. Since my left ear is totally zero, I use a hearing aid only with my right ear.
As days go by, I feel the struggles and difficulties being a half deaf. I cannot even hear  now the sound on the tv when I don't have my hearing aid on my ear. There are times that I just want to be alone and to isolate myself, for the fear that I can't answer well to any question or not able to go along with the flow of the conversation. I feel embarrassed when I can't hear fast when someone is talking with me. I do not like to become a loner, but most of the times now, I find myself that way. I am just happy to be with those people who has more patience with me... And understand my limitations.
My follow up blog for this topic is about how people in the hearing world can show compassion with the deaf and with those who has a hearing problem. Please hang on with me.

13 April 2017

The Best Things In Life Are Free

I always appreciate a treat, be it kind or deed.

The best things in life are free! Have you ever heard about that? Do you also believe it so? Can you list or name at least ten things in your life that you conceive the best but are truly free? As I am writing this, my heart is in a deep gratitude for those people who are sticking with me. Those people who never giving up on me. Particularly those people here, where I am living now, the place where sometimes, I feel not just new (yes, still new, a newcomer) but somehow... lost.
Yesterday, my in-laws invited me and Burt (my son) to have lunch with them. I am truly thankful to them for the time and for paying my lunch. You might agree with me, that in this life, although we can also afford to dine out, pay our own meal, but the loving gesture that someone out there thinking of us and want to spend their most precious time with us... Is priceless. I appreciate that, I appreciate them.

I want to share with you my 15 best things in life that are free.
1. Family and parenthood
2. Love and faith. I love them together.
3. Our freewill. God gave us free will, if we let other people decide for us, especially on big and important things in life, we are losing this special gift.
4. People who never give up on me.
5. Watching sun set.
6. Hope. I feel secured because of hope.
7. Flowers, nature, good people.
8. The delicious aroma of a homemade food.
9. Quiet time.
10. Good sleep at night.
11. Second chances.
12. Smiles and laughs.
13. Touching lives without realizing it.
14. Hugs.
15. Last but not the least: mornings.

07 April 2017

Do You Eat Tofu?

cooking tofu 

Do you eat tofu? Do you like it? The tofu had a thousand years ago of origin. Wikipedia said that the first tofu-making was first recorded during the Chinese Han dynasty some 2,000 years ago. So Tufo originated in China, and I think most Asian love tofu. In the Philippines, we called it tokwa. It is not just a common ingredient in Filipino dishes, but also a common street food. In the busy streets in Manila, there are food carts and food stalls that sell tokwa't baboy. It is a crispy fried tokwa and pork belly. It is delicious with the dip of a bit spicy vinegar with crushed garlic. In the Netherlands, I also cook tofu. It is a healthy part of my cooking. A pack of tofu in the supermarket is 1.75 euros. I cook tofu with garlic, onion, and tomatoes. Sometimes, I mix tofu with mushrooms, sometimes, with taugé. For my seasoning, I use fish sauce. Why not try tofu on your next cooking? Tofu has a low calorie count and relatively large amounts of protein. The alternative name of tofu is bean curd. Indeed, a healthy food.