Monday, December 3, 2007

Our 2007 Newsletter



It is that time of year again when people send out their annual news letters. Demcy and I have now been married for 3 years, but living together for 2 ½ years. The first 6 months of our marriage she still lived in the Philippines. We have managed to conquer all of our trials that were put before us with God’s help of course. In the beginning it was pretty difficult for Demcy to adjust to the United States, but she is managing much better.
Okay, let me share with you some of the interesting things that have happened over the past year. I guess the biggest event that we did was travel to the Philippines with Akesha to visit Demcy’s family. Traveling there was kind of rough because we had to take 4 flights to get there and 4 flights back. We first flew from Sacramento to L.A., then from L.A. to Hong Kong, then from Hong Kong to Manila, and then from Manila to Cagayan de Oro where her family lives. Her family was very excited to see us and even her brother flew in to Mindanao from Manila with his family. I have never met him before because he wasn’t able to make it to our wedding. Demcy was very excited to see all of her family and friends. She spent a lot of time with her family, met with her officemates, high school group, and also met with her college group of friends. I guess the most interesting thing for me was the family reunion we had with Demcy’s family at the beach. Here is the story…
There was a lot of food and Demcy enjoyed spending a lot of quality time with her family. We took a boat around the beach to visit some Catholic Shrine that people come all over to visit. After we arrived back at the beach, Demcy’s family was getting ready to start this relay race. They wanted me to participate. Everybody lined up in teams and one person would run down the beach and hand off a stick to another teammate who would run the stick back. I don’t think I ran a relay race since I was in high school. I had trouble running in this race at first because it was hard to run in the sand so I didn’t beat the person I was racing against. After this race, about 10 minutes later, they wanted to race again and wanted me to participate. I was ready this time. I ran so hard and beat the person I was racing against (who was Demcy’s brother). I felt pretty good. Well, about 15 minutes later I started to get sick to my stomach and I started feeling light headed. I felt like I was going to pass out. Demcy looked over at me and kept asking me if I was okay and I couldn’t answer her. Everybody noticed that I didn’t look good and rushed over to me. The Mayor Tuan just arrived, and he is a Doctor. He looked at me and told me that I should go to the Hospital. I ended up going to the Hospital and I was checked in right away (Most likely because I was an American). I was surprised how quickly I had people checking over me when in America it takes 3 hours before someone even calls your name. I enjoyed the quick service, but realized quickly that they were over doing it. Because I said that I have a history of high blood pressure, the Doctor wanted me to be checked into the hospital so they can observe me. I thought that was kind of weird since people in America don’t get checked into a hospital unless they are in ICU, or going to have an operation. I have never heard of anybody being checked into a hospital because they have a history of high blood pressure. So they checked me into this hospital in a foreign country, and I was wondering how much this was going to cost me. I didn’t know what my insurance would cover, and I know that being in a hospital room in America would cost a lot of money. After a couple of hours, I started feeling better. After about 4 or 5 hours I started to wonder why I was there. I didn’t feel like I was being observed, and I felt more like being in a prison. They had only one window in the room and it was the size of a basket ball. I was debating if I should break the window, tie my bed sheets together and try to escapeJ. Maybe that is why the window is so small, to prevent escapes. Well, Demcy started to get more irritated then I was that the second day we were in the Philippines, we were sitting in some hospital. She kept complaining to the hospital staff, and finally talked with the Mayor to see if he can get us out of this hospital. Finally the hospital let us go after they got tired of us complaining.
Mayor Tuan died after we were able to visit him in the Philippines. He is the person who married us and was a close friend to Demcy’s family. We are going to miss him and we thank God that we were able to visit him before he passed on. He was a good man who would give medical assistance and help the people who are in need.
So a few days later of being in the Philippines after my hospital experience, we took a side trip to the Island of Bohol. That island is a big tourist place and had some interesting things to visit. The best tourist attraction there was a place called Chocolate Hills. All of you chocolate lovers can put your tongue back into your mouth now; the hills aren’t really covered with chocolate. They are just a whole lot of round shape hills that were created by some natural event, maybe a Volcano.
I have learned a few interesting things about the culture in the Philippines on this trip. The first interesting thing was when we were at the bus station. I had to go to the bathroom which is a common thing that a person might have to do at the bus station, right? Well, the uncommon thing is what happened on the way out. At least it is uncommon in America. There was this person there that was telling me that it cost 1 peso to use the bathroom at the bus station. I was confused. There are places in America that only let people use the bathroom if they are a customer. I was a customer since I was planning on taking a bus. I told him that my wife had my money (which she did), and I never paid him. 1 peso is less than a penny, but I was in a hurry
The other interesting thing that happened to us the past year is that we realized we don’t live in the safest neighborhood when two people tried to break into our house at 3:30 in the morning. It seemed quite dumb of them since they knew the people would be home. I guess what happened is these two people drove by our neighborhood (we live on a main street), stopped, and tried to kick someone’s door in. They first tried to kick our door in, and then they went to neighbors and tried to kick their door in, and then they broke someone else’s window, and then took off. The cops came, but of course they were too late. I got in my car to try and follow them but they were gone by the time I got there with my car.
Akesha is doing pretty good. She is walking now and getting into things. She is developing her personality which is quite interesting. She is going to be loud just like the rest of my family. We enrolled her into an infant gymnastics program. We figured it would be a good way for her to be around other kids since she isn’t in day care.

- Greg


Wow, I guess we did follow the Dias tradition! I think this is a great idea that we do every year to let everybody know what has happened to us during the entire year. To begin with, Akesha just turned one last April and we had family and friends came to the party. Time goes by so quickly and she is now 20 months old.

Greg and I loved to do things that involve outdoor activities. This year we had a lot of escapades and side tours. Who said that a having kid is a hindrance for going places? Well, not in my family. Before Easter, we drove down to San Francisco to just hung out. We brought our bikes with us and end up crossing the Golden Gate Bridge to Sausalito. You may wonder where Akesha was during those times. Well, it may sound crazy, but she’s on Greg’s bike wearing her helmet. I am glad she was not cranky at that time.

After my final exam last summer, we flew to Philippines to visit my family, relatives, and friends. It was one of our exciting summer vacations ever, to be back to my homeland. It was nice seeing the people who have been part of my life and see the excitement on their faces. 

When we were there, Akesha got all the attentions and all of my little cousins were all over her, and they wanted to hold and play with her. 

We spent a few days in Bohol and had a great time there. It’s good to spend time with my family even in just a short time, and I am looking forward to seeing them again soon. Overall, we had a blast from our trip even though it was a long ride for Akesha, but she did pretty well.

Every year, Greg’s company always hosts an annual picnic in Half Moon Bay. We spent our weekend there and had a wonderful time escaping the heat of Sacramento. We also had another picnic at the Air Force Base and it was fun too.

This fall I took two classes, Political Science and Taekwondo. Taking Political Science is interesting. I have gotten a chance to know a little bit of American government and its history. I don’t need to compare it to the Philippines government because in every system of government there’s always issues and corruption involved (that’s a fact and it's my personal opinion). Taekwondo is pretty challenging. I thought that it’s an easy type of martial arts but I was wrong. My teacher is a 7th degree black belt master, and a Senior VP of United World Taekwondo Association. He let us ran 8 laps (2 miles) around the field, do push – ups, crunches, you name it! I felt like I was in boot camp. The funny thing was twice in a row I forgot to bring my sneakers, and I ended up running barefooted, how easy was that. I thought I would not survive but I guess I did. I learned some formations and basic sparring and to be able to understand the tenets of taekwondo. It was a great experience and time well spent.

Halloween was quite interesting for Akesha. She was able to join her cousins to go trick or treating. She had her little bumble bee costume. I was not able to go with them because I don’t want to miss my class. I thought she had fun but she got cranky when they got home because she wanted to eat the candy.

We went to a Military Ball at Greg’s Air Force Base and we had a wonderful evening while Akesha was at her aunt’s house. We had Thanksgiving at Clara & Jorge’s house and we had a big feast of turkey. After the Thanksgiving holiday, we spent three days at Reno, Nevada. We didn’t go there for gambling, but we just hung out, roamed around the city, and watched a magic show. I think that was the last pit stop of our escapades for this year and for Christmas we will be at Mark & Jeanine’s house.

Marriage life is great! We may have ups and downs but we learn to deal with it and move on. We might have some cultural issues and differences, but Greg is trying to understand me and my difficulties in this foreign country. Being a mom and staying with Akesha at home all day is ecstatic. I treasure all the improvements that she has shown while she is growing up. She gets a long very well with our dog, and Buddy has been gentle to her. I am thankful to God for all the blessings that he provides to our family, for having a wonderful and loving husband, a precious daughter, and life is wonderful!

To all my friends online especially my friendster and FAFH friends around the world, thank you guys for all the time that you shared with me. 
Demcy
I hope you have a wonderful Christmas and a prosperous New Year!
From our family to yours!!!
With Love,
The Dias Family

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