Sunday, February 19, 2012


My stint as a chicken farmer is about to end.  On the 26th of this month, I will leave my workplace- that's been my home for more than four years now.  I have decided to pursue a path that I have set aside for more than half a decade. 

Since my upcoming set up is entirely different from what it is now, I'd like to start a new journal that would fit my condition.  But before introducing my new blog to you- my beloved readers and followers, I would like to thank you for being with me amidst all the ups and downs when I started my journey as a temporary worker Down Under until the day I became an Australian citizen up to the present.  I am very grateful for all the advices that you've given, they're all valued.

For those of you who still wanted to follow my journey and a bit of my adventures in this world, I am inviting you to check my new blog, see you there!  


Monday, January 16, 2012

"No Worries!"

"'No worries' is a popular Australian response akin to 'no problems', 'that's OK' or 'sure thing'." 

An Australian pensioner fishing at Wallaroo jetty, South Australia.

Australian males' life expectancy is 78.7 years (source: here), while Filipino males' average life span is only 68.72 years (source: here).  Aussies may possibly have lesser economic worries as compared to Pinoys (I believe worrying is not good for our health), and health care is much better Down Under than in The Archipelago.

I believe that life span is also closely related to diet, but I, honestly, am not sure if there's really a big difference between eating mashed or fried potatoes and steamed or fried rice; or even the difference between drinking grape wines and coconut wines.

Oh, I have another worry...  How about the life span of those who were born as Filipinos and eventually have become Australian citizens?    


Sunday, January 8, 2012

Spreading the Words

The Chook-minder's Quill supports the Philippines' Department of Tourism campaign- "It's more fun in the Philippines!"

Ox-cart selling artisanal products...  Las Pinas City, Philippines.  April 7, 2009.

The security guard was monitoring every outbound taxi; Davao International Airport, Philippines. 

The flavourful durian!  Davao City, Philippines. 

FLAVOURS OF THE ROAD.  Traditional ice cream vending;  Sta. Rosa, Laguna, Philippines.

So what are you waiting for?  Book your next holiday in the Philippines.  Have fun!  


Friday, December 23, 2011

Violino Piccolo

The young busker in Rundle Mall.  22 December 2011.

Amidst the energy and excitement of holiday shopping at Rundle Mall yesterday, I came across this young boy busking in the middle of this unique street.  Exhausted from the shopping rush, I walked towards him to listen to what he was playing and perhaps, to sit on the wooden bench nearby to relax.  As I got closer to him, I heard the melody of the carol entitled Mary's Boy Child...

James playing a Christmas carol.  Rundle St., Adelaide City, South Australia

Despite the jubilant theme of the song, I could see the sadness in his eyes.

Shoppers went past him; while most of them didn't, some of them tossed coins into his violin case lying open down the brick-covered lane.  There was a note saying, "Hope you like my playing. -James."

Whether it's for passion or just purely for financial gain, nobody knows it except James.

After taking this photograph, I grabbed a note from my wallet and handed it to him, he stopped fiddling and took it.

He said, "Thank you..." and he smiled.

"Merry Christmas, James!"  Then I left. 


Friday, December 16, 2011

Sofia's Basket

A basket of fruits for Sofia's birthday

Last September, a young Filipino family arrived and occupied the house (approximately) 70 meters south of my accommodation.  Yes, I finally have a neighbour in the chook farm compound.

Edwin- the head of the family, has been helping me with the poultry farm operation since then.  His wife Zuzette, coincidentally, was born and grew up in a town 36 kilometers southwest of my hometown.  The couple has two daughters named Sofia and Ezra.

Ezra is 4 years old, and Sophia turned 8 yesterday.  The family invited some friends to dine with them, and because it's a local tradition to bring a plate, I decided to make a cake for Sophia.  I heard from Edwin that Zuzette loves chocolate cake so I baked one... but frosting and designing it for an eight-year old girl was simply a mountain to climb.

I love to personalize my creations but this time I couldn't think of a cake that would fit the birthday girl.  Sofia loves telling a lot of detailed stories, she has a torrent of words!  Though she speaks and understands Filipino, she expresses her thoughts and feelings in English.  Her name reminds me of my Philosophy subject back in the uni- exactly the time when our professor said, "...Philos means love, and sophia means wisdom."

To make the story short, I ended up with a basketweave design.

The chocolate basket cake, left lateral view.

I am glad Sofia loved it, she and her parents were very happy and grateful!  The guests had literally dropped their jaw upon seeing it, and I am thankful they all said, "Hmmm... beautiful!"- the Australian way of saying delicious

Sofia realized she forgot to make a wish before blowing the candle.

After cutting the cake... (Photo taken using my mobile phone.)

I was happy with the outcome of this masterpiece, my plans were executed well and the cake turned out as what I had actually imagined.  To prove that the basket was really a cake, I made sure to take a photo after it was cut (Since I arrived in Australia, I have learned to use the word 'cut' in place of the preferred Filipino term- slice). 

A slice of the basket cake.

Unlike the photo above, weaving the creamy chocolate frosting was NOT a piece of cake; but it was fun!  I didn't post it last October, but I also made a chocolate doll cake for Ezra's birthday!  Somebody up there tells us to love our neighbour, I hope my gestures count.


Sunday, December 11, 2011

Rudolph and Rundle...

I took this photo at the fountain in front of the Adelaide Arcade in Rundle Mall, Adelaide City.

One of the many buskers in Rundle Mall.  This live statue was wearing a raincoat to protect himself from the splashes of the Victorian era fountain beside him.   

"Uniquely Rundle Mall" as what its slogan says... by closing the Rundle St. to traffic between King William and Pulteney streets, this mall was opened in September 1976 as the first pedestrian mall in Australia.  In short, it's a street turned into a mall!

Just like other malls, Rundle Mall isn't only for shopping but for dining and entertainment, as well.  This commercial complex is also a venue for photography, street protests, sports team's celebrations and parades, fraternal organizational initiations (eg. men and women giving free hugs) and busking.

The choir singing Christmas carols...

A Chinese backpacker busking beside one of the mall's landmarks- the Mall's Balls. 
Now, can you blame me if Rundle Mall is my favourite hang out in town?


Wednesday, November 23, 2011


Featuring the Union Jack, the Commonwealth Star, and the Southern Cross constellation. 

Last September 15, 2011, I posted this on my Twitter timeline: 
In Adelaide City... drove a friend- Marie to the Immigration; she'll take the citizenship test today. Good luck to her.  

Well, she passed.  This afternoon, Marie took her Australian citizenship pledge at Port Wakefield Council Office in Balaklava.  A dinner party immediately followed at our friend's place at Salter's Spring Road.  There were plenty of food, and the drinks were overflowing!  Everybody was happy.  

I baked a cake for the new Australian.  She was surprised and very happy when she saw it.  Marie loved it; she was very grateful!
Aussie, Aussie, Aussie!  Oi, oi, oi! 

This was my first attempt to draw or paint (or whatever we call it) an Australian flag, and I'd say it was successful.  No doubt, this cake was the centrepiece of the celebration.