Name: Ben Gilsing
Country: The Netherlands
Currently employed by the biggest regional hospital in the Netherlands as a systems administrator in charge of over 3500 workstations, servers and network equipment. Been married to my wife (Marilyn Ouano) for 28 years and have 2 children Loraine and Raecene.
For your general information I am Raecene and am 19 years old. My strange name is due to my equally strange heritage, being a half-Dutch, half-Filipina New Zealander. Who says I'm not exotic? ;).
I am an International Business student at the University of Tilburg. Tilburg has one of the most prestigious economics faculties of all the business schools in Europe. At school I have been busy with a lot of projects, but my favorites include the study of Consumer Behavior, Management and Marketing. I am at the end of my year and with a bit of luck next year I can finish off my Bachelor thesis and master in either Strategic Management or Marketing Management. I am working at A-Open as a marketing/sales representative in charge of Eastern and Southern Europe. Currently got a promotion as an Account Manager. It involves business trips around Europe. Responsible for accounts in the Benelux (Belgium, Netherlands and Luxembourg) and UK. Also responsible for business deals in Greece. Everyday at the office is a new challenge. During company meetings, my professional accomplishment having to come up with fresh ideas of marketing plans, strategic techniques for potential competitors towards financial gain and success of the company. My ideas being implemented is a rewarding achievement.
I spend my weeknights with my secret love affair: Aikido. I'm a complete aikido addict and have been so for over 6 years already. I'm a 2nd degree blackbelt. I also got my teacher's degree two years ago and I now teach an adults class on Friday nights in the Essbra (18:30-19:30)and kids classes on Saturday mornings (10:00-11:30) and Friday nights (17:30-18:30) and Private lessons on Sundays. We're also currently working on deals for me to give workshops at a high school and to teach a group of chinese kids. Besides teaching I train 2 or 3 nights a week as well.
Whatever time I have left I spend hanging out with friends and in a wide variety of other ways. So if you're ever bored, you know where to reach me. Hope to talk to you all soon...
My personal and sincere thanks to my husband Ben, for his expertise setting-up this website and making it possible. I commend him sacrificing his free time, considering running a website is an ongoing maintainance commitment. He did this website without any financial backing and no expense from anyone but himself. To make it fully operational, functionable and user friendly is a huge job and he did it remarkably. Last but not least a huge ''thank you'' for the ''team effort'' of all members of the www.naga-cebu.com website. It is our way to serve the community.
Before anything else I would like to thank our town mayor Mr. Val Chiong. When we first approached him with the idea of starting a website about Naga he gave us his full backing, without hesitation. He told us that he would provide us, any way possible by supplying facts and figures, photos and other materials needed to get this off to a proper website.
Honestly Mr. Val Chiong is still the same guy I used to know in highschool as my classmate and friend. His modesty and humble personality are still the same as they used to be .
As for my own person, I am Maria Marilyn Ouano Gilsing, happily married to a wonderful man for 28 years. He is a man with heaps of confidence and expectations. Confidence with a fresh upbeat attitude, a can-do-it mentality. He seems to look for the best in every situation, in every positive way.
We have 2 daughters who will themselves tell their own experiences and thoughts in life. Growing up in a western culture (European) turned out A-Ok. You will find more about myself in our Blog, as I keep writing in it.
By the way in this website venture I am the link to the Philippines, with the feedback from all you folks in Naga, and we will be putting day to day life in the Philippines in perspective, taking into account the emotions or sensitive side of our culture.
And after a while, it is time for my introduction here. I am Loraine and I am the eldest of the Gilsing sisters at 21 years old. At the moment I spend my weekdays in Leiden, where I am busy with my bachelor in Japanese studies at Universiteit Leiden, focussing mostly on modern history and politics.
Leiden University is the oldest university in the Netherlands and has the name for being one of the best centres to study Japanese in the entire world outside of Japan. The minor I have taken this year is World Art Studies. At the moment, I have my heart set on taking Political Sciences as a second major next year. Outside of my studies I have two big passions. The first being Aikido, in which I have a 1st degree black belt, which I have been doing for nearly seven years now. The second is my study association "LVSJK Tanuki", of which I am currently the secretary in the board of directors!
After the studies, the Aikido and Tanuki I usually do not have that much free time left. But the free time I do have is usually spent chilling out with my friends in Leiden, talking on the phone, reading or sitting behind the internet. I am currently working as a ground stewardees for Japan Airlines at Schiphol International Airport in Amsterdam, The Netherlands. I really like my job, I get to speak multiple languages as Japan Airlines partners with Iberia Airlines (a Spanish airline) So that way I get to combine Dutch, English, Japanese and Spanish languages. A challenging carrier, I get to meet a lot of people from all walks of life. A rewarding experience.
Tiny Alferez is a foreign correspondent. The "foreign" part of his title stems from the fact that he lives overseas, in a big city called Auckland, in a tiny country called New Zealand. Auckland is about 7,448 kilometers (4,628 miles) from Cebu. That's about the length of 67,877 football fields, or 105,630 Boeing 747's, or 39,759,776 pencils, laid end-to-end!
If you can realize how far Auckland is away from Naga, then you can realize how easy it is to miss your home. Despite the distance, Tiny has embraced life overseas. He lives with his wife, Mheng, and only child, Krystal, in a peaceful suburban area. Sometimes, though, he and Mheng can't help but miss the bustling communities that call Naga their home.
Tiny loves technology. A trip to a mall or shopping center is never, ever complete without a visit to an electronics store. Tiny especially loves his home theatre system, and cares for it like it's a family pet. If anything needs fixing, Tiny never fails to volunteer his DIY (Do-It-Yourself) handyman skills. His "anything can be fixed" attitude is a 100% Kiwi trait that Tiny possesses. This mentality fits perfectly with his job at a prestigious Precision Engineering company based in Auckland.
However many Kiwi traits Tiny has, though, he will always be a proud Naganian. That is one thing you can put your money on.
By Krystal Alferez
Fsr over two decades now living in Atiamuri, New Zealand seems to me a long time to be in one place. If this had been suggested at the outset I would have considered it a most unexciting prospect, yet, the strange thing is that time has passed in a flash with no regrets and it is one of the best places to be and to raise my two boys away from the hustles and bustles of a big city.
Atiamuri lies alongside State Highway One in the North Island of New Zealand about 46 km north of Taupo, and 47 km to Rotorua and its bordered by the Waikato River and surrounded by pine tree plantations, community lifestyles blocks and dairy farms. Lake Atiamuri, Lake Taupo and Lake Rotorua offer some great trout fishing. Atiamuri power station is a hydro electric power station and the third of eight hydroelectric power stations on the Waikato River.
I was born in Naga from caring, loving and hardworking parents (Repunte-Ouano) and went to Naga Central Elementary School and spent two years in Naga Provincial High school. I went to Manila with my sister and graduated high school in Feati University in Sta. Cruz Manila. And soon after the high school graduation my lovely sister advised me to enroll in Marian College of Nursing and Midwifery; instead I went to enroll myself in a private Catholic University. Adamson University in Manila for two years. Being away from home sweet home for a number of years I made a big decision and decided to go back home (Naga) and continued my studies at the University of the Visayas (BSC-Management) and I also went to study for Cosmetology for a year.
There was always something I thought I’d get around when the right time was right. I wasn’t destined to be a career woman nor I would become a business entrepreneur, but I found myself making the same journey as my parents which gives me a profound happiness, great spirits and care for the family and others and reasons for hope. Motherhood came along and continues to offer challenges and heart melting moments in equal measures after I took the path of being married to a great man of many talents and having kids. I can’t imagine how intimidating and scary it was to contemplate to settle down and start a family, but with good faith I believed I had learned a lot about life and its challenges being away from my family at a very young age.
I do love working out ways of doing things as my pastimes with a little bit of knowledge of sewing skills, gardening and a few other things. But I also had a flair of sharing my passions – my little skills and knowledge of cooking, making easier quicker recipes and mostly have a fairly inexpensive ingredients, clear step – by – step with easy to follow instructions that only requires basic useful utensils.
I took the path that I’ve chosen and it is the most rewarding, wonderful thing that I’ve ever done, life-changing in the possible way. I live my life in a way that aligns my values and my own legacy and I’m convinced and was always determined to be brilliant in one way or another, to be better that the best.