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Deidre in the Philippines's Travel Page

After Mongolia ... I decided to explore another part of SE Asia .. the lovely city of Cebu in the Philippines. Enjoy!

Diary Entries

Monday, 29 November 2010

29th November 2010
Dear friends
It has been some time since the last post. Since then it has been home for the summer holidays (June/July) and with lots of celebrating with family and friends for my golden birthday, then the start of my third year in Cebu in mid to late July.
My birthday celebrations seemed to last for the entire summer holiday starting with a special lunch in a beach house I rented overnight .. so we could start with a lunch which went into dinner and then to a late night, and then overnight for a morning breakfast before we all headed off in our respective ways. It was a girls lunch and special people from different parts of my life and from all over the place – some dear friends were not able to make it, due to their work commitments or not being able to travel to Adelaide, but they were there in spirit and we had some good photos to create some longer term memories of the celebration.
While I may have been on my own for my birthday itself, that was because everyone else decided to head up to the Gold Coast early and enjoy some extra days. We had 4 houses rented that were next to each other and so it was a lot of fun. We went to the Theme Parks most days, but interspersed with a visit to Lamington National Park for a hike and some golf and some shopping. There was something for everyone during the family holiday, but for me, the best part was going on the theme park rides with my nieces and nephews. I think that this was a better way to celebrate my 50th than having a party where we probably would have eaten or drank too much! So, the hike, while the whinging was something to be heard (particularly from the kids!), it was a great day and full of different little adventures that we all enjoyed and the kids, would reluctantly admit, that they had a good time as well. Lamington truly is a stunning National park.
The first semester has flown by. We are about to head off for Xmas holidays and there has been an action packed year full of events. I was looking at the events calendar and there has been at least one major (sometimes 2) events per month and this makes for a very busy time.
I ended up having a visit to Australia to Melbourne in October and it was freezing and very wet. Oh, and very cold. I have attached also some photos of the cultural dancing in Kota Kinabalu at our annual EARCOS Leadership conference, as well as a photo of one of our teachers who was part of a panel in presenting some perspectives on UbD curriculum design. He has been our teacher leader in the school for this particular curriculum documentation process. The actual process is the same as how we were taught at Teacher’s College, it has just been packaged, has new terminology and now been branded However in some countries it is relatively new and it is the current ‘flavour’. It is good for international schools to have a common type of curriculum writing process and for me, it is comfortable as it is familiar to how I was taught, and how most Kiwis and Aussies know how to write curriculum. It was such an honour for Joel to be selected as he was the only teacher on the panel as the others held leadership positions. So, the conference was over 900 participants and from more than a 100 different international schools .. so it was a positive affirmation for all of Joel’s hard work, and it was a great way for other schools to see what we have been doing in our school with respect to curriculum and assessment.
I have had a very ‘boring’ semester with respect to travels, however we are in the process of consolidating our work .. and it requires a lot of time.
My ‘down time’ has consisted mainly of going to the gym and I have not managed one dive in this semester, however I hope to head out this coming weekend for a day on the boat. I did start some golfing lessons, but that has gone by the wayside as well .. as school has taken over.
Please have a look at our website and see the wonderful things we are doing in our school. I am in the midst now of trying to set up a school cultural exchange with a school in Adelaide for next June .. I hope that it can be pulled off. It will not be for want of trying.
Until next time … meanwhile, have a wonderful Christmas and a Happy New Year.
Best
Deidre

Monday, 29 November 2010

Location: Cebu city, Philippines

29th November 2010
Dear friends
It has been some time since the last post. Since then it has been home for the summer holidays (June/July) and with lots of celebrating with family and friends for my golden birthday, then the start of my third year in Cebu in mid to late July.
My birthday celebrations seemed to last for the entire summer holiday starting with a special lunch in a beach house I rented overnight .. so we could start with a lunch which went into dinner and then to a late night, and then overnight for a morning breakfast before we all headed off in our respective ways. It was a girls lunch and special people from different parts of my life and from all over the place – some dear friends were not able to make it, due to their work commitments or not being able to travel to Adelaide, but they were there in spirit and we had some good photos to create some longer term memories of the celebration.
While I may have been on my own for my birthday itself, that was because everyone else decided to head up to the Gold Coast early and enjoy some extra days. We had 4 houses rented that were next to each other and so it was a lot of fun. We went to the Theme Parks most days, but interspersed with a visit to Lamington National Park for a hike and some golf and some shopping. There was something for everyone during the family holiday, but for me, the best part was going on the theme park rides with my nieces and nephews. I think that this was a better way to celebrate my 50th than having a party where we probably would have eaten or drank too much! So, the hike, while the whinging was something to be heard (particularly from the kids!), it was a great day and full of different little adventures that we all enjoyed and the kids, would reluctantly admit, that they had a good time as well. Lamington truly is a stunning National park.
The first semester has flown by. We are about to head off for Xmas holidays and there has been an action packed year full of events. I was looking at the events calendar and there has been at least one major (sometimes 2) events per month and this makes for a very busy time.
I ended up having a visit to Australia to Melbourne in October and it was freezing and very wet. Oh, and very cold. I have attached also some photos of the cultural dancing in Kota Kinabalu at our annual EARCOS Leadership conference, as well as a photo of one of our teachers who was part of a panel in presenting some perspectives on UbD curriculum design. He has been our teacher leader in the school for this particular curriculum documentation process. The actual process is the same as how we were taught at Teacher’s College, it has just been packaged, has new terminology and now been branded However in some countries it is relatively new and it is the current ‘flavour’. It is good for international schools to have a common type of curriculum writing process and for me, it is comfortable as it is familiar to how I was taught, and how most Kiwis and Aussies know how to write curriculum. It was such an honour for Joel to be selected as he was the only teacher on the panel as the others held leadership positions. So, the conference was over 900 participants and from more than a 100 different international schools .. so it was a positive affirmation for all of Joel’s hard work, and it was a great way for other schools to see what we have been doing in our school with respect to curriculum and assessment.
I have had a very ‘boring’ semester with respect to travels, however we are in the process of consolidating our work .. and it requires a lot of time.
My ‘down time’ has consisted mainly of going to the gym and I have not managed one dive in this semester, however I hope to head out this coming weekend for a day on the boat. I did start some golfing lessons, but that has gone by the wayside as well .. as school has taken over.
Please have a look at our website and see the wonderful things we are doing in our school. I am in the midst now of trying to set up a school cultural exchange with a school in Adelaide for next June .. I hope that it can be pulled off. It will not be for want of trying.
Until next time … meanwhile, have a wonderful Christmas and a Happy New Year.
Best
Deidre

Sunday, 23 May 2010


22 May 2010
The last 3 months have flown by … with some very dear friends visiting Cebu in March.
Gen and I met when I went to Annesley and we have been friends since. This is her first visit to where I have lived overseas ..she brought Brockie (her husband) and we had a short weekend together before they went out to the Shangri La to have a week of R&R. We had a busy weekend .. driving down south of Cebu to Kawasan Falls which is becoming increasingly touristy with every visit. But it is a lovely drive down and on the way, I found a great coffee shop/beer stop (I was driving so I had the water and not the beer!), and it was right on a headland, just after we cut across the island and went over the mountain. It was a lovely stop and will be a regular one … and it had a clean toilet! Absolute bonus.
On the Sunday morning, a group of us went diving/snorkeling out to Naluusaan Marine Sanctuary. It was absolutely stunning, although when we were under water someone was obviously dynamite fishing in a neighbouring island because we heard it under water. It was quite scary actually – just hearing the sound was enough. The guys told us that this island is renowned for their dynamite fishing … very, very sad.
The end of March was also Easter time, and so I headed off to Koh Samui for some total relaxation and I went on a cleansing and fasting course. It was challenging but extremely rewarding – I had a bungalow right on the beach, very basic, but just what I needed. It was a good week to do nothing but focus on myself and catch up on sleep, while at the same time learn some new things.
April brought a trip to Siem Reap for a EARCOS Board meeting – we had a 1.5 day meeting, and then we went into a Heads workshop on special needs in schools. It was great catching up with my fellow heads and I really learned a great deal about how different schools manage to take students with learning needs.
The Philippine elections came and went – there was the usual fun and games, family feuds that were public, bought votes and lots of cynicism. Personalities won votes, people changed parties and allegiances depending on the situation at the time and very sadly, the violence and the murders. Family dynasties continue their hold on power and good people wonder how their beloved country is going to survive. The machines, which everyone thought would fail, were actually very good – it meant that results were out quicker and people had less time to speculate and intrigue and create unrest. It has been interesting to observe the election campaign and it just reinforces my belief that I could never be a politician.
It is nearly time to head home for the summer holidays and I am very much looking forward to it. The weather is very hot here at the moment, and it is also extremely dry. It is a drought here and the watershed is suffering. We had a little sprinkle last night, but the gardens are crying out for water. Our oval is starting to look very patchy and dry, but it is still the best ground in Cebu.
Time to head off … enjoy life … until next time.
Deidre

Sunday, 23 May 2010


22 May 2010
The last 3 months have flown by … with some very dear friends visiting Cebu in March.
Gen and I met when I went to Annesley and we have been friends since. This is her first visit to where I have lived overseas ..she brought Brockie (her husband) and we had a short weekend together before they went out to the Shangri La to have a week of R&R. We had a busy weekend .. driving down south of Cebu to Kawasan Falls which is becoming increasingly touristy with every visit. But it is a lovely drive down and on the way, I found a great coffee shop/beer stop (I was driving so I had the water and not the beer!), and it was right on a headland, just after we cut across the island and went over the mountain. It was a lovely stop and will be a regular one … and it had a clean toilet! Absolute bonus.
On the Sunday morning, a group of us went diving/snorkeling out to Naluusaan Marine Sanctuary. It was absolutely stunning, although when we were under water someone was obviously dynamite fishing in a neighbouring island because we heard it under water. It was quite scary actually – just hearing the sound was enough. The guys told us that this island is renowned for their dynamite fishing … very, very sad.
The end of March was also Easter time, and so I headed off to Koh Samui for some total relaxation and I went on a cleansing and fasting course. It was challenging but extremely rewarding – I had a bungalow right on the beach, very basic, but just what I needed. It was a good week to do nothing but focus on myself and catch up on sleep, while at the same time learn some new things.
April brought a trip to Siem Reap for a EARCOS Board meeting – we had a 1.5 day meeting, and then we went into a Heads workshop on special needs in schools. It was great catching up with my fellow heads and I really learned a great deal about how different schools manage to take students with learning needs.
The Philippine elections came and went – there was the usual fun and games, family feuds that were public, bought votes and lots of cynicism. Personalities won votes, people changed parties and allegiances depending on the situation at the time and very sadly, the violence and the murders. Family dynasties continue their hold on power and good people wonder how their beloved country is going to survive. The machines, which everyone thought would fail, were actually very good – it meant that results were out quicker and people had less time to speculate and intrigue and create unrest. It has been interesting to observe the election campaign and it just reinforces my belief that I could never be a politician.
It is nearly time to head home for the summer holidays and I am very much looking forward to it. The weather is very hot here at the moment, and it is also extremely dry. It is a drought here and the watershed is suffering. We had a little sprinkle last night, but the gardens are crying out for water. Our oval is starting to look very patchy and dry, but it is still the best ground in Cebu.
Time to head off … enjoy life … until next time.
Deidre


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Recent Messages

From Heather Kurtz
Deidre so good to read your blog and check out the photos. I especially liked the ones of the 50th wedding anniversary with all the family gathered.
You're obviously still having loads of adventures. Good on you! So much of the world to see and explore and experience.
Briahne is in London nannying at present. She leaves tomorrow to holiday in Croatia and returns home in December. Matt is in Greece holidaying with his girlfriend. He arrives home on Sept 9 after living overseas for two years.
Michael and I went to a retirement seminar today. Can you believe we're that old? All's well with us. Sending lots of love your way. xx


Response: Just got this - thanks so much. I have sent you an email ... I hope you get it. Love Deidre
From Tracy (from Annesley
Hey there Deidre...my name was Tracy Clark in school...it's Bartelle now...but I live in Los Angeles and was happy to read all about your school in Mongolia...I unexpectedly was able to go back to Aust for 7 weeks at the start of the year to visit on the Sunshine Coast in Queensland where my family lives now...
I have been involved with a charity my sister Sue is setting up...they don't have a Hospice on the Sunshine Coast so this is to raise funds for it...as I produce music now,I've been putting a cd together to raise funds...apart from a couple of tracks I produced, we've got Julie Anthony, Don Burrows and Leigh Kerrigan putting in tracks...seeing he's Aust of the year now.that's really going to help the profile!...if you'd like to check out the progress of this venture, you can google "Sunshine Coast Hospice Qld"...my sister is Sue Story who is putting it all together.
So great to hear all your news...guess I'll have to wait another 10 yrs for a reunion!
Bye for now and take care
from Tracy
ps my web site about my music is
www.circeinvidiosamusic.com
Response: Great to hear from you Tracy and I will check out your website.
From Amber, Tayla, Karyn
Hi Deids! The girls and I loved looking at your website - fantastic! Will be sure to watch this space!
The girls wanted to know if the Mongolian kids had seen meat pies before?!!
Keep well, Kazz, Amber, Tayla
Response: Not Aussie meat pies! :)xx
From Tarn & Russ Crane
Hi Deidre,
Glad Sue passed on your email with your website address. You're a great writer! I could just see in my head what you were explaining. Excellent photos too. We are well here, bit cold though! Jorja is now 15 months old and into everything!!! Hope you are well and having a great time. Love Tarn, Russ & Kids xo
Response: Glad you enjoyed it guys - love to all.
From Susanne
Fantastic.
Thanks for the letter & photo's. Had a great laugh of your parents arriving in Mongoloia.
Will write soon.

Thanks agian Susanne
Response: Thanks for the note - glad you enjoyed it. Love and hugs to all.
From Glen Stevens
I look forward to Graham's video but I am so sorry to hear about your trip of troubles. I've shared your website with friends at Fulham and have had great feedback. A terrific website. Thankyou!
Response: Great to hear from you, we 3 will fly to Beijing on Tues then Deidre flies to Washington for meetings on the 5th and we leave for home on the 6th. It has been an adventure but most of all great to see Deidre and meet some of her friends. Love from J & G
From timson
Hi Dee, Joan and Graham,
Sorry, we couldn't stop laughing ... sounds so much like the Philippines!!! Remember my 12 hour trip from Bagiuo with the boys after All Souls? We are glad you are checking out all the places for our visit next year!!! Perhaps your next school had better be more 1st world!!! However, we love the sense of adventure that your destinations give us! We can't wait for next year. We're booking our Santorini accommodation to night. Shall contact after you return to UB from States re our dates with you. Continue to enjoy your time with your Mum and Dad. Give them our love and take good care, with love the Stimson's
Response: Thanks for the message
From Jill Nickolls
Gidday Deirdre
How wonderful to read you jottings and to see all the pics. We saw Trevor & Kathy & Sam over the weekend in Pinnaroo. Reunion for the 97 footy grandfinal. Hope this finds you well. love Jill
Response: Great to hear from you, heard the reunion went well. We have enjoyed visiting Deidre and meeting some of her friends. Also seeing the new school which isn't finished yet! The countryside is great, city rather drab although there is a lot of building going on. We have had some adventures so been interesting and 2 Mongolian families have taken us out for the day which was lovely. love Joan
From john angel
Trevor gave me this link on the w/e Hope you are feeling a bit better graham you will have tales to tell when you get back All the best to you all Ann@John
Response: Dear Ann & John, great to hear from you, there were a few messages this morning when D checked, quite a surprise, I think the webpage details have been circulated. We have had a very interesting time and met some of Deidre's friends and colleagues. 2 Mongolian families took us to the country on 2 separate visits which was very nice of them. We have seen a bit of the countryside, very dry here, however still a tinge of green even though it is summer. The new school is quite something compared to where they have been for 15 yrs so hopefully things will continue without too many hassles so they can move in on 1st Sept. We can see why D couldn't come home for these holidays as she seems so busy trying to sort issues with a Japanese builder who doesn't speak english and the interpreter isn't that good either. Thanks love from J & G
From Lyal Lock
Hello Deidre.
What a thrill it has been for Heather and I to open your wonderful websight which was made available at Fulham church this morning. Best regards to Mum and Dad if they are still there. Locks
Response: Dear Heather & Lyall, what a lovely surprise to hear from you, we have had some adventures here but best of all it has been great to visit Deidre and meet some of her friends. We have had 4 visits to the coutryside which is very dry however still has a tinge of green even though it is summer. We 3 leave here on Tuesday for Beijing and Deidre flies to Washington for meetings on the 5th and we fly home on the 6/7th. Thank you and see you soon, J & G
From Elle Cook
Hi,
Great to hear you and your parents are having a good time. Interesting reading, bye for now xx
Response: Dear Elle, thanks for your note, great to hear from everyone today, including Mum. Meroe's news is good too. We have had a very interesting time here, best of all to see Deidre, meet some of her friends and colleagues. 2 Mongolian families have taken us off to the countryside on 2 separate trips which was really lovely of them to take time out to do that. They showed us some customs and we especially appreciated their efforts. The new school is coming along, we visited the old one and they will just be so pleased to go into the new one with the extra space inside and out and the lovely ambience of it all. Well Elle must off and get organised we are visiting some shops - leather and cashmere I think. Even though D finished school the week we arrived she has been going in every day and had meetings etc so has been busy. Love to all J & G
From Glen & Rosemary
Great to see the photos and in particular, to see Graham & Joan. I'm not sure when they are to leave for home but if I'm not too late, please wish them a safe return. Cheers, Glen.
Response: Dear Rosemary & Glen, Well what a surprise to find all the messages this morning. Not sure what you know about our trip. We have had a very interesting time here especially enjoyed our visits to the coutryside. It is very dry however still a tinge of green even though it is summer. Mostly what we have seen there are very few trees around, some along the rivers edge and of course when we went north/west nearer the Russian border there were a lot of pines, mountains and a beautiful lake up there. D has been on holidays since the first week here but one wouldn't know as she goes in each day to work for some of the time. The new school which is to open on 1st Sept is taking up a lot of time with various issues to be resolved. It will be so nice compared to what they have been in so will all be worth it we hope. We get home on 7th, so see you soon, thanks for the message. Love J & G
From Judy Curran
Hi Deidre, Rhita sends me the e.mails from Mongolia from you, cause I guess you forgot!!? Anyway, thoroughly enjoy reading them. I just sent you such a giggle, so hope you enjoy it. Take care and wish you could make it to Brent centenary in 2009.
Response: Dear Judy, glad to hear that Rheta sends the emails on. I only had your baguio address listed and did not have anything else ... will make sure that I record your yahoo address! :)
From maureen woolford
Just caught up with your latest installation in your planetranger journal. Never a dull moment in your part of the world. The weather this week has been quite lovely after a long hot dry summer. Will try and send a longer letter later .
Response: Glad you like it - more updates on the website now, particularly with some news from mum and dad's trip.
From Baozi
Hi Dee,
Great to see and read the "new" site and pics from UB to SF!..
There's a lot of China - Oz traffic this year: eg. the second "Saints basketball tour to China" leaves in April, this time it's another "first"in that it's the first truly dedicated B'ball tour to China , indeed anywhere OS, and FYI, WAB will also be on the menu, this time, and of course Shixi, our sister School (plus others) in Shanghai, tho' I don't believe they were able to organise anything in Xi'an...
Meanwhile, Shixi wants to send a music group to us in July and i'm busy organizing a (return to the) dedicated Language studets' tour to China in Sept / October 07, though (for the 1st time ever) I won't take part myself. Why? well here's some news for you: I go on LSL in April and thereafter I will commence a PhD at Adel Uni (i got a sch'ship for 3 years). I will naturally maintain my r'ship with Saints, though whether I return to F/T teaching there is unclear. The boss has given me right of return til start of 2009. But....guess who will take my place.. a fmr student of both Xiuxiang Dunn and yours truly, Sally Ziniak! Sally will take my place on the China tour. :-)
better go now; It's well after midnight! Ciao for Now & stay in touch. Baozi XX
Response: Great to hear from you David - fabulous news - congratulations. I am keen to find out more about your PhD studies.
From Tony Basham
Thanks for taking the time to meet in Adel. Its always good to catch up even for short times. Ive been looking at the sites you gave me, a very interesting place. Ill check here for your next story. Best wishes.
Response: Sorry this is so late - only found the message as it has been crazy busy the past semester. Hope you are well.
From Jan Clark
WOW!

How clever are you! Love the photos and all the catch up news. I'm trying to put my Christmas letter in place and your information has blown me out of the water. It's just normal life here. 2 Cherubs learning the ropes and a house getting renovated to sell and then move into a new one that will fit us and visitors.
Love Jan
Response: Thanks Jan - great to hear from you. Keep checking the website as I have some more updates for you.