What you Missed in 3 Tage Marburg!

I have been living in Marburg for about three years, and it’s only now that I have realized that this city is such a hidden gem!

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Situated in Hessen, the city is approximately one hour away from Frankfurt. The place may be associated with the Grimm brothers, who popularized various fairytales such as Hansel and Gretel, Rapunzel, and Snow White. Even before they were famous for these tales, they were just ordinary students who took law in Marburg. The city is also famous because of its linkage to Protestant Reformation.

Besides its rich history and cultural traditions, I think the city has a lot more to offer today. One great way to know more about it is through attending one of its most festive celebrations which is “3 Tage Marburg” (3 Days Marburg).

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This event was held from July 7 to 9. 3 Tage Marburg can be seen as a good opportunity for different people living within and outside the city to take a break out of their own daily work or academic routine and enjoy summer through a diverse range of activities which were spread all throughout the city center.

Shopping

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Normally, shops are closed in Germany every Sunday. Though this time, almost all business establishments in Marburg were opened for that event and most of them offered huge discounts to all their products and services. There were also raffle draws which aimed to give away interesting prizes like vouchers, free tickets, and the grandest is a new car.

After shopping, eating and drinking might be the best option to beat the summer heat.  There were a lot of food/ drink stalls which offered cold cocktails, beer, wine, soda, warm sausages, fries, and other finger food.

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My main favorite was the Hungarian food specialty named Langos, which is made of flatbread and one can choose from different toppings like cheese, salami, and ham which can be paired with any sauce of one’s choice. The price starts at 4 Euros, and 50 cents or 1 Euro will be added based on the topping.

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The best company for me who went out of their way for good advertising and  public relation is dm. I really loved how they used their trucks to strengthen their products and services. I was greeted by friendly, accommodating, and courteous staff from their dm-Foto-Truck. They explained their products/services and gave me complimentary pictures, personalized shower gel, and other stickers. Aside from the freebies and marketing/advertising collaterals, I think the dm staff did a pretty good job in patiently explaining to us customers why the product is important to our personal lifestyle. Their customer service was superb on that event! That effective communication made the brand even stronger for me.

Sports

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I just observed that people tend to do more outdoor activities, especially in summer. In 3 Tage Marburg,  sports competitions like Dragon boat and boxing were also part of the program. Since I am from a country which is definitely in love with boxing, I had a really great time watching the match live. The anticipation, punches, and hits were definitely intense!

Dance

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I am taking Hip Hop classes this semester and  I was lucky to see some of my instructors performed with their other students. I just noticed that dancing is not just about the skill or technique, but it is also definitely how one enjoy his or her performance. I was really happy and surprised to see that even little kids did breakdance really well!

Music

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A festival wouldn’t be complete without music.  Different local and international performers were invited to showcase their singing and musical prowess. The stage located in the Marktplatz really added a whole new vibe/ ambiance as the festival-goers sat, drank or ate.

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However, I really loved the performances in Steinweg because of the intimate ambiance, and the music genre as well. The soul and passion of each musician were really felt.

Karaoke

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When I knew that there will be a Karaoke  Show in the program, I made sure to go there. Little did I know that I will be a part of the show. I was spontaneously asked to go on stage, and  I just tried to have fun and entertain people. I knew that my performance was “super far from perfect,”  but just to see the audience smiling and clapping with me was really priceless. I also learned a lot from all the people who joined the contest.

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I think that 3 Tage Marburg has initiated a certain atmosphere where openness, respect, and creativity exist. Different people from various locations, ethnicities, and even cultural backgrounds can gather together, have fun, and celebrate and I believe that this is the special charm that people will always find in Marburg.

To The First Man That I Loved

Now, I completely understand and respect your decision to leave us.

Even after you left us, I found time to meet you just to make sense of everything- your line of thinking, your reasons, and why happily-ever-after can’t really exist. It was and is still hard until now, but I definitely accept why it happened. I accept that you already chose not to be with us but you left a lot of lessons that I can carry with me wherever I go.

Write Legibly

I can still remember how we spent almost the whole day just on teaching me how to write legibly. You showed me how talented you are because you can draw and do some lettering. I may still not have the best handwriting in the world but I really love arts until now.

yuehes1.jpgDream From the Rooftop

One lazy afternoon when we were just bored, we went to our rooftop and laughed a lot while my grandma and mom looked for us all over the house. There at the top, you would always tell me about your plans for our family.  I can clearly visualize your dream house, store, and car. This taught me to dream big, but this time I am determined to work really hard and make that into a reality.

Experiment when Cooking

I was always excited when I knew that you’d be cooking because you tried every way to make a simple dish different. Even if we have old bread that we can throw, you’d make a way to make it into something delicious. You were always the good cook in the family and I think that I carry this trait until know.

Travel As long As You Can

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I remember when I had my 9th birthday celebration, we surprisingly went on a boat trip. My first plane ride was also with you. You would bring us to long road trips or just a simple weekend city getaway. I know you were pissed at me for TAKING TOO MANY photos because even back then I wanted to have my fair share of photo shooting. I am still hard-headed until now because I love photos and traveling.

Save and Provide

Since I was 13 years old, you would always give me a huge amount of money for my allowance because you would never know when was the next time that you can give me money. That is why  I learn to budget because I know there will be days that I will have money and there are days that I need to spend my savings. I learned the hard way to look for ways to earn when I even didn’t have money at all. I tried to sell puto seko or homemade sandwiches to my classmates back in high school and college just to buy food transportation allowance, or (worst) tuition fee. Life was and is still hard, but I developed the resilience to find ways to survive.

Be my Own Hero

Since you left us, I tried to look for the strength, protection, and stability to all the guys that I have dated.  I was really afraid to live my life. However, I just realized that no matter how imperfect our relationship is, you have given me the necessary advice and lessons even if it is so painful.

I don’t need to look anymore because I found out that I kept on surviving no matter how difficult my life overseas is since these traits that I have been always looking for are just all within me. The fact that  I had the courage and the ability to pick up the pieces that you left, and strive to assume your role to support the family is indeed a blessing. It was and is still never an easy ride for all of us, but I am thankful for everything.

No money can ever buy the lessons that I have learned and I hope time can heal all our wounds.

Happy Father’s Day.

“Love does not have to be perfect for us to value it. The other person loves me as best as they can, with all their limits, but the fact that love is imperfect does not mean that it is untrue or unreal. It is real albeit limited (or) and earthly.”- Pope Francis

What is your Option B?

Setbacks, problem, painful situation, and unexpected life’s twist may be considered as someone else’s “drama” but what if these are your reality?

It is always easy to judge other people and claim that life will get better but adversities really happen as much as we want to avoid them. Considering all various bombings, wars, and attacks that are currently happening right now all over the world, how can one really bounce back? Whether it may be a sudden regional incident or an excruciating personal dilemma, how can we all develop resilience and find happiness once again no matter how impossible it can be?

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Option B by Sheryl Sandberg and Adam Grant pushes the readers to take into account various perspectives as Sandberg narrates her journey on how she copes up with her husband’s unexpected death. The book also provides various examples of problems in work, studies, relationships, health, and life in general.

Words are powerful, especially if they can touch one’s innermost cries. Here are some of my favorite quotations from the book which I hope to empower and lessen one’s load.

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There are no words to describe the pain and consequence when life hits you hard. For me, I always blame myself because I think it is much better than to blame someone else or the situation for our own misfortunes.

This book encourages every reader to practice self-compassion. To accept the negative situations in life without putting one’s self down. It is a matter of being brave to be honest and  conquer one’s own demons without falling into depression or self-destruction.

“Martin Seligman found that three P’s can stunt recovery: (1) personalization- the belief that we are at fault; (2) pervasiveness-the belief that an event will affect all areas of our life; and (3) permanence- the belief that the aftershocks of the event will last forever… Recognizing that negative events aren’t personal, pervasive, or permanent makes people less likely to get depressed and better able to cope” (16).

“I learned that when life pulls you under, you can kick against the bottom, break the surface, and breathe again” (29).

“Self-confidence is critical to happiness and success. When we lack it, we dwell on our flaws. We fail to embrace new challenges and learn new skills. We hesitate to take even a small risk that can lead to a big opportunity. We decide not to apply for a new job, and the promotion we miss becomes the moment our career stalled. We don’t muster the courage to ask for a first date, and the future love of our life becomes the one who got away” (64).

“When we look for joy, we often focus on the big moments. Graduating from school. Having a child. Getting a job. Being reunited with family. But happiness is the frequency of positive experiences, not the intensity” (100).

“[T]he love we need to lead a fulfilling life cannot only come from others but must come from inside us as well” (172).

Others 

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In terms of other people, there are two perspectives. First is how one will react to the misfortunes of others and how one will act or not act at all as a response. In times of trouble, I learn who my real friends are. It is also surprising to know that sometimes one can also find comfort in the company of strangers because they are just there beside you. Eventually, these strangers will begin to be one of your true friends as well. Thus,  it is always not too late to create meaningful relationships with others, if something ended.

“Not everyone feels comfortable talking openly about personal tragedy. We all make our own choices about when and where and if we want to express our feelings. Still, there’s powerful evidence that opening up about traumatic events can improve mental and physical health. Speaking to a friend or family member often helps people understand their own emotions and feel understood” (39).

“When people close to us face adversity, how do we give them a button to press? While it seems obvious that friends want to support friends going through a crisis, there are barriers that block us. There are two different emotional responses to the pain of others: empathy, which motivates us to help, and distress, which motivates us to avoid” (47).

Together

Some adversities do not only affect an individual but they can also have larger implication to personal relationships or in a specific society/country in general.

“Even in the face of atrocity, elevation leads us to look at our similarities instead of our differences. We see the potential for good in others and gain hope that we can survive and rebuild” (136).

We are all currently working on our first options. For me, Option A is our best choice on how to live our life but if something unexpected happens, it is not bad to have an Option B.

I’m glad that sometimes this newly improved option will help us pick up the pieces of our first option. Option B helps us to bounce back higher in life and create more meaningful relationships because of the growth brought by our past experiences.

NEWSIES: Movie Review

MEDDA: When you go somewhere and it turns out not to be the right place, you can always go somewhere else. But when you’re running away, nowhere’s ever the right place.”

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Copyright:Disney

 

Disney’s NEWSIES- The Broadway Musical captures the hearts of its audience as the narrative tackles the life of the newsies during the 1890’s in connection to the complex world of journalism. The relationship of the newspaper publishers and newsies have been very dynamic as the tension increases scene after scene through the song and dance set.

The story also includes the struggles of Katherine, the female protagonist, as she defies the norm as a female journalist. She proves that a woman can also have a career and can write news stories which may be relevant and fearless at that time. No one can actually stop her from pursuing her passion and from helping the newsies to publish their cry for justice.

Besides these two major themes, Jack Kelly really captures the heart and soul of the viewers. His character proves that no matter how difficult life can be, if you believe in something, and you have a good support system, then life will give you back the just compromise that you deserve. Even though Jack confronts the challenges brought about by poverty, he and his friends still inject the power of humor-making hard and low moments, light.

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Copyright: Disney

 

The fusion of theater and cinema makes the story more compelling. The reaction from the live audience adds life to every scene, while the film captures the emotions of the characters especially through the close-up shots.

The idea of capturing a theater musical through film gives an equal chance to all people worldwide to experience Disney’s magic and the quality of a Broadway musical at the comfort of the cinemas near them. This makes the concept of art reachable to the public and the message of this stories alive to everyone no matter where they are in the world.

Speak, Fight, and Win:  Catch Disney’s Newsies– The Broadway Musical is Coming to Cinemas Near You!

 

Have you felt that your voice is not so important that no one actually listens to you?

In this technological-driven world where people are preoccupied with the Internet, work, academic pressure, or daily obligations, making your voice be heard seems so challenging, or even difficult. Can someone listen to any claim of injustice? Can someone be brave enough to stand up and fight for their rights?

Even though the there is an existence of socio-political differences today, fighting for what you deserve is indeed possible!

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Copyright: Disney

 

Take the Newsboys’ Strike of 1899 as a particular example, the Newsies or the children who sold newspapers on the streets, fought for a fair price for newspapers. They challenged two newspaper titans, Joseph Pulitzer of The World and William Randolph Hearst of The Journal to treat them as legitimate members of the newspaper business because these publishers refused to lower the price-per-paper that the newsies had to pay back.

Did they reach a compromise?

Revisit the history and find out how this story unfolds!

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Based on the book Children of the City by David Nasaw, follow the story of Jack Kelly played by Jeremy Jordan (Supergirl, The Last Five Years) as he dreams of a better life far from all the hardships that they experience as Newsies.

Be enthralled in an explosion of song and dance set!

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Original Company, North American Tour of Disney’s NEWSIES. Copyright: Disney Photo by: Deen van Meer

Seize the day! NEWSIES The Broadway Musical is coming to cinemas this Sunday, February 19!

 

Click this link and book your tickets now: http://www.newsiesthemusical.com/

Love: In All Phases

It is  February 14! I know that for some it is just a big ploy for consumerism. But, hey!  why can’t we just use this event to reflect and deal with love? Are you ready to be vulnerable?

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Enjoy Single Life

Yes, being single is very different in various phases. Regardless of your status (No Boyfriend/Girlfriend Since Birth, Third Wheel, or Single due to a bad break-up or divorce), the best choice is to accept, embrace, and be thankful for your freedom.

Honestly, the most common mistake that you might commit is to blame yourself. This is actually suicidal or may cause sadness or even depression. Acknowledging and improving one’s bad personality can be a good move, but focusing on every negative thing that you can think of about yourself is really dangerous. So, please stop the negativity and welcome happy thoughts 🙂

The freedom that comes from being single gives enough space for you to find who you really are, what do you still want to do in your life, and enjoy every possibility that you can achieve without asking for permission or considering someone if he or she will agree with your choice.

Dating or Hanging-Out is More Fun than You Expect

I believe that dating or hanging out is not just about chasing or playing. I think it can also be seen as a learning opportunity about other people’s passion, experiences, culture, hobbies, and interests. It is always a win-win situation especially if you are happy to be open and get to know someone in a much deeper level.

Well, it is up to you to decide on whatever lines you would want to cross. Just take note, never ever change or assume something at this phase. Just enjoy and be yourself! Get to know the person and who you really are— in relation to your date. You’ll be surprised about what you can discover about yourself!

You Can’t Force nor Stop Love

When love comes into your life, you cannot really fight it! You might deny it or even want to postpone it but sometimes love gracefully enters whenever you are ready.

Ready means that you are not just lonely, playing around, or searching for love. Sometimes love just really comes unexpectedly during the time when you fully embrace and love yourself —that energy radiates and attracts the right person.

You can have a list of standards about what you like or don’t like about a partner but when love hits you, you’ll just know it.

THE RELATIONSHIP

People from different cultures have various notions about how should a romantic relationship work.

Being in a relationship can be happy, fulfilling, and really fun! You can both travel, spend major occasions together, and have various dates. You can also have a chance to be a part of each other’s social circle, and most importantly, family.

The fact that there is someone who loves you and has the willingness to be your partner is such a blessing or maybe one of the best stages that can happen to one’s life.

However, love is not just about being in a constant state of euphoria. Relationship is also about hard work, acceptance, and respect. Differences will always be a given factor but it takes hard work to reconcile each of these differences and acceptance to those things that both of you can’t change.

True love is accepting and respecting the worst side of your partner. Love is choosing to stay through the best and especially the tough times.

As a priest in Rome states in his homily, “your ability to love is determined by your capacity to suffer.”

Learn to Let Go

If the relationship reaches its dead end, be thankful and just let go. Never blame anyone, especially yourself. Don’t be bitter as well.

Be happy that you experience that kind of love, and welcome the possibility of a new beginning.

Cheeky Guide To German Culture: “German Men Sit Down To Pee”

When one lives in another country, one will be confronted with a lot of cultural differences or some unique things, which one will be confused whether to accept or shrug off. I also have my fair share of these scenarios as well.

Calling a Medical  Clinic

I needed to call  a medical clinic to book an appointment. Since the lady who received my call cannot speak English and I didn’t have that good German proficiency at that time, she really did not understand me. As a result, she just dropped the call. I was thinking that if this is an emergency situation and they cannot speak English or don’t have any patience in understanding a person who has a bad German proficiency, would they care to save a life?

Fried Rice for Breakfast

We Asians are rice lovers since we eat it with every meal. A warm fried rice with a lot of garlic is our staple breakfast meal paired with fried eggs, tapas or any other fried meat. Some Germans find it awful having rice for breakfast as well as the smell of garlic early in the morning.

At the End of Class Presentations or Sessions

After one finishes a class presentation or after a seminar or lecture,  it seems so weird for me to knock on the desk. I just go with the flow every time most of the Germans do it but I exactly don’t know why they do it.

Asian and German Pairing

When I arrived in Germany, most of the Germans asked me whether  my  ex- boyfriend and I met on the internet. I don’t have something against  people meeting on the internet. Most of them do really have successful relationships. However, I need to admit that the stigma of mail-ordered-brides or an Asian woman marrying a white Guy just for money  is still there.

It is really difficult to comprehend these situations. I always question myself whether I’m wrong or not. How much of my own culture or traditions do I need to change just to adhere to German traditions? What can I do to belong and how can a foreigner delineate Germans’ directness and rudeness?

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This book German Men Sit Down to Pee, which is written by Niklas Frank and James Cave, may not answer every question that I have. However, reading this book is a  good starting point in understanding the German culture.

 “The problem  with stereotypes is that they’re limiting”(10).

They begin the book  by pointing out that there also stereotypes that have been associated with Germans throughout different time periods. One of which is: “Planning is such a big part  of the German psyche that everyone expects everyone else to be organized as well” (106-07). However, I meet a lot of  Germans who just chose  not to be organized.

As foreign readers, the book gives us a lot of perspectives about German life, culture, tradition, celebration, entertainment, food, drinks, etc. There are also some trivia which I never knew before like:”April Fool’s Day… is said to have originated in Germany” (34).

The book has also an in-depth explanation about some interesting German terms such as Preis-Leistungs-Verhältnis, Freikörperkultur, etc. The book has many different short chapters, which makes it easier for readers to understand and remember the content. The information in the book is short, concise, and  direct with some given historical or social context.

As a reader, I highly recommend this book because it is useful if one can read this before they embark their journey to Germany or if one still want to try to make sense of the German culture. There are a lot of interesting information here and you will basically know the truth  and the reason whether German men really sit down and pee 🙂

The Authors are currently working on a printed version of the book. Interested readers can find more information  at www.germansbook.com.