Estelea's Blog

French Mum, humanitarian, restless explorer and doer on sabbatical in Cebu (Philippines): one Attila in each arm, I am exploring the “toddlers safe” corners of the region, while trying to keep some room for Me.

About

After a decade of humanitarian assignments, I gave my Badge a rest to eventually enjoy my sabbatical with the family in Cebu, Philippines. While Marcel is working, I am supposed to relax with the Attilas (aka Maëlle 5 and Léandre 4 y.o.).

I thought I had a very demanding job before I became a full time expat Mom and do the job of 10 for free ! My Attilas are the reason I Wake up each morning, the reason I breathe and why my hair is turning grey, my house is a mess and I am in dire need of yoga.

Welcome to our ride: reflections on motherhood (please tell me I am normal !), how to keep the kiddos busy and some snapshots of our expat life in South East Asia. The more the merrier, take a seat on our sleigh and share our exotic trip.

Some men see things as they are and ask why I dream things that never were and ask why not” B. Shawn

PS: English is my second language, so please bear with me and excuse my French 😉

SantaFe

https://www.facebook.com/frenchtouchincebu

144 comments on “About

  1. Jane Lurie
    September 10, 2015

    Hi Estelea- Thank you for following my photography blog, Jane’s Lens. I hope you enjoy my work. Your blog is terrific!

  2. mopana
    November 17, 2015

    Your family is adorable 🙂 Enjoy your time with them!

    • estelea
      November 18, 2015

      Thanks so much 🙂 As much as being at Stay at home Mum is playing on my nerves some times and I am craving for a day off so I can go to the office and have a grown up conversation, I love it 😉

      • mopana
        November 18, 2015

        Mums, nerves, I really know how it is 🙂

      • estelea
        November 18, 2015

        Thanks for making me feel normal! 😉

      • mopana
        November 18, 2015

        You’re welcome!

  3. equinoxio21
    November 25, 2015

    Un joli blog Estelea. Et une enfance de rêve pour les “Attila” (C’est tout-à-fait ça).
    Une enfance où la magie se mêle à la réalité. On ferme un livre de contes ou d’aventures et il y a des dauphins dans la mer. 🙂
    Enjoy. (And your french will be pardoned.)
    😉
    Brieuc (Alias Brian) (Alias Bruno.)

    • estelea
      November 26, 2015

      Merci beaucoup B 😉 C’est vrai que c’est une enfance de rêve… pour moi en tous cas! Les Attilas ont parfois tendance a trouver tout ca d’une banalite affligeante (“une plage c est une plage, ca va!” me dit ma fille quand je m’extasie devant les eaux transparentes et le sable de sucre blanc de notre ile..) Mais elle trouve sublime… la Tour Eiffel et rêve de chateaux!
      J’imagine qu’ils realiseront plus tard leur chance, si on passe plus d’un mois en France, en hiver par exemple 😉
      Belle et bonne journee !

      • equinoxio21
        November 28, 2015

        C’est une des choses qui se passent quand on est enfant “au loin”. Une plage qui fait baver des millions de petits français qui ne la verront jamais, est banale pour ta fille. C’est normal. Ah. Y’a un varan qui court sur la plage… Normal. Des dauphins au loin. Normal. Par contre la Tour Eiffel est exotique.
        Je te raconte pas mon premier hiver en france à 16 ans. L’enfer! 🙂
        Allez bon week-end à tous.

      • estelea
        December 1, 2015

        La notion d’exotique est toute relative 😉 Rentrer en soit est deja difficile, on a du mal encore a se projeter. Mais en plus rentrer en hiver.. Ca doit etre quelque chose! Remarque, apres tout doit etre forcemen=t pls facile 😉
        Belle belle semaine !

      • equinoxio21
        December 2, 2015

        On s’habitue à tout. J’ai acheté un gros manteau. 🙂
        Mais comme tu dois le vivre là-bas, être Français est “exotique” sur la plus grande part de la planète. 😉

      • estelea
        December 2, 2015

        Ca c’est pragmatique 😀
        Oh oui, etre francais c’est tellement “classy” qu’on s’attend toujours à que je sois oeunologue, ou au moins experte en vin et capable de faire un cours sur les fromages.. Du coup je vais faire un petit stage la dessus pour etre a la hauteur de notre reputation.. Faut ce qui faut, Cocorico !!!

      • equinoxio21
        December 3, 2015

        Ah ben ouais… C’et toujours fascinant de voir la distance entre la self-image et l’idéal des français: en gros le petit village d’Astérix, pas d’ennuis, pas beaucoup d’ambition, ne pas me marcher sur les pieds, etc. et l’image du reste du monde (c’est pour ça qu’ils sont toujours surpris quand ils viennent) leur image, c’est le luxe et le raffinement de Versailles sous la Régence.
        Moyennant quoi, je n’ai jamais autant “travaillé” sur les vins français que depuis que je suis reparti. 😉

      • estelea
        December 3, 2015

        hehehe, faut que je m’y mette serieusement! La semaine derniere, a la soiree de lancement du Beaujolais nouveau, on m a demande mon avis de “French hence expert”. Heu … Grand moment de solitude 😛

      • equinoxio21
        December 3, 2015

        Haha! On garde la tête haute et fière. On refait les gestes. On prend un gorgée de vin. On la fait tourner sur la langue. On avale d’un air concentré. Et puis on hoche la tête d’un air entendu, en disant: “Très bien” :).
        Et puis après on regarde la bouteille. Le nom, le code postal (sérieux). On note mentalement. Et puis la fois d’après on prend un Bordeaux, plutôt cabernet-sauvignon. Et on compare. L’important: le vin a-t-il bon goût? Le reste importe peu. 😉

      • equinoxio21
        December 3, 2015

        Et sur le “cocorico”, comme dit un de mes plus vieux amis parisiens, qu’on revoit tous les ans: “Le coq gaulois ou français, c’est quand même le seul animal tutélaire qui chante les deux pieds dans la merde (de la cour de ferme)”
        Cocorico donc! 🙂

      • estelea
        December 3, 2015

        Dans la merde certes, mais la tete haute et fiere 😉 Tout est dans l’attitude et j ‘imagine que le cocorico symbolise notre don à se plaindre bien fort ?

      • equinoxio21
        December 3, 2015

        Nos chers compatriotes ne se rendent pas compte à quel point ils ont créé un paradis, où les voitures s’arrêtent au feu rouge, où les flics sont honnêtes, etc… (Et y s’plaignent!)
        Mais oui, dans la merde mais la tête haute et fière! C’est tout-à-fait ça.
        Tu dois déjà être vendredi, 9.30 c’est ça?
        génial de “converser” à une journée de distance.

  4. Saira
    December 17, 2015

    What a wonderful blog…reading it makes me feel normal! I’m sure all mom’s in dealing with their individual lives feel the same. Women in general have an abundance of issues to deal with. Love your blog and it’s a great place for a woman’s club!!! See you soon m’amie…hope I got that right?!?

  5. juhiagarwal1989
    December 21, 2015

    Hi, I just stumbled across ur blog and found it really interesting.. i am a travel blogger myself… hey, my next post is about people residing in different parts of the world and their honeymoon destinations..are u married? if yes, would u like to get featured in my blog?

    • estelea
      December 31, 2015

      Hehehe, truth is I am not even though I always refer to my partner as my husband (makes things easier. At our old age, referring to him as a boyfriend is kinda weird 😉 ). But I ll definitely read this post with great attention, as we are thinking about finally tying the knot but.. no idea in which country!I am sure this post of yours will be inspiring! Happy New YEar dear 🙂

  6. Pingback: My 2015 in Blogging Review

  7. I nominated you for the Infinity Dreams Award jackie http://lifeseasiamagazine.com/2016/01/19/infinity-dreams-award/

  8. justbluedutch
    February 23, 2016

    Hello beautiful Mama! I absolutely adore that photo with your Attilas! I have great respect for you, i know that your decision to stay with your child is a rewarding one, which deserves more than an applause or compliment. Its just the wonderful joy of motherhood. I have known so many women who wished to have a child. You are lucky enough and its just pure blessing to have them around you, and watched every milestones they make. Here in Kw, so many mothers working their ass off and so far away from their children at a very young age, they haven’t even see how their child rolled over for the first time.

    I love your positive approach to motherhood, taking it as a way of self-growth. You have become a trail-blazing wife, instead of a trailing one.

    Someday you will look back at your days in Cebu and will smile. So just hang in there.Enjoy each adventure.X

    • estelea
      February 24, 2016

      “A trail blazing wife”, How I love this expression, thanks !!! 🙂
      And your words are so spot on! Motherhood is indeed a pure blessing, and when I look back at my first months in Cebu, I can tell how far the kids have taken me. From being a frustrated non working Mum to a very content stay at (nowhere but) Home Mum 🙂 Kids force you to live in the present and be grateful, and most of all don’t overthink anything (they don’t give you the time, anyway).

      And exploring the world is great, but with extra pairs of little eyes it is a bliss, isn’t it?
      XXX

      • justbluedutch
        February 24, 2016

        Exactly!!! I thank WP because i found such a warm person like you. What i like about your Blog is that you’re so personal, so interactive, you really took time to respond & get in touch to your readers.Its rare. You always leave a personal touch in your comments so no wonder people are drawn to you. You are doing great.Enjoy it there.XX

      • estelea
        February 26, 2016

        And that’s why I love blogging: for the chance to meet with people like you who are opening my eyes to other realities and make me curious to chat to know more .. Thanks so much for reaching out to me, I am very happy we met and looking forward to reading more and more of your adventures ❤

  9. click
    July 11, 2016

    Vous avez mis le doigt ce article , ce blog a beaucoup à dire sur ces questions. Je reviendrai bientôt votre site à lire beaucoup plus, merci pour cette information.

  10. Pingback: A Reading Writer’s 2-Year Journey – A Reading Writer

  11. Natalie
    November 7, 2016

    Hi Estelea!
    My name is Natalie Sullivan and I’m casting an international travel show about expats moving abroad. We’d love to film in the Philippines and wanted to know if you could help us find expats who have moved there within the last 15 months or have been there for 3-4 years, but recently moved into a new home. The show documents their move to a new country and will place the country in fabulous light. The expats on the show would also receive monetary compensation if they are filmed. They must also speak English fluently and can be buyers or renters for their homes. If you’d like more information, please give me a call at 646.862.2188 or skype me at natalieesullivan. You can also email me at nataliesullivan@leopardusa.com. Looking forward to hearing from you.

    Best Regards,
    Natalie

    • estelea
      November 7, 2016

      Hi Nathalie ! Sounds like a great idea, I ll email you this week when we are back from our European vacations 🙂

  12. connie.n.w.
    January 7, 2017

    Hi Sweet Estelea, I have nominated you for the Blogger Recognition Award 🙂 If you would like to participate, feel free to check out my blog! I hope you’re having a lovely day my friend. Best wishes, Connie

    • estelea
      January 9, 2017

      So lovely of you, thanks so much! I’ll definitely check it out this week, thanks thanks thanks again ❤

  13. Pam / Hey, Miss Adventures!
    January 11, 2017

    Hi, Estelea!

    So glad to have stumbled upon your blog. Are you still in Cebu? Because I am! 🙂

    • estelea
      January 12, 2017

      Yes I am ! for another 5 months 🙂 Thanks for reaching out, happy to discover your inspiring blog full of great places to visit with kids! Salamat X

  14. Greta Lamfel
    February 2, 2017

    Hi there 🙂

    Thanks for the follow! How have you been and how’s your blog doing?
    I created a blogger tips group to connect with all my long last WordPress blogger friends, and to help all of us to learn from each other. I would love for you to share your knowledge in the group and connect with other bloggers. Here’s the link:
    Blogger Tips Group

    Finally, here’s a blog I thought you may find interesting:
    The Ripple Effect of Blogging

    Best regards,
    Greta
    Founder of Healthy Living
    http://www.healthyliving894.com

    • estelea
      February 3, 2017

      That’s a great idea Greta! Will definitely look into it 🙂

  15. Ivana
    March 15, 2017

    Hi Estelea 🙂

    I see that you practice and teach yoga and meditation. For me, the thing that centers me the most is good music, so I would like to share some with you in the hopes it will help you and the ones you teach find inner peace: https://soundcloud.com/xumbalu/sets/sounds-of-gouni-the-journey-pt-1

    This truly isn’t just for the sake of promotion, but being involved in the process of sharing the “zen” we all need in our life. With that said, it would really mean a lot to hear your thoughts about our sound and to help us achieve our mission by sharing this link.
    Also, for any questions, feel free to contact me on ivana@xumbalu.de

    Namaste,
    Ivana
    https://en.xumbalu.de/

    • estelea
      March 16, 2017

      Thanks Ivana! Will definitely read and listen carefully to it all, thanks again for sharing 🙏🏻

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