This is how it all came about and where we are today.
(Please come back to this page as we will add more as we go
One day in May 2002 I bumped into a nice
little lady in a big City somewhere in Asia. After having a drink in order to
apologise I went on to my next station in Asia.
On the way out I promised to stay in touch by text message or phone calls.
On my return to Switzerland I kept my promise and called
her once a week and sometimes we exchanged text messages. I started to become
interested and she seemed too. As I had planned another trip to Asia I expected
to see her again. But as life
doesn't always go as one would like, I had to change plans and postponed my trip
out there. Soon after I was given the possibility to re-plan but this time to
Manila. I was happy.
So this is how it came to my
first trip to the Philippines. Cristy picked me up from the airport and helped
me to find the hotel. The driver which she organised
for me was very friendly and we used him during all my visits to the
Philippines. His name is Armando and if you ever need a good driver (new car and
very clean) please call him, this is his number
+63 (0) 917 7518378.
We had a beautiful time in early October 2002. I guess I fell in
love at that time. As love is not always easy we also had some difficult times
but these days are over now and we are happy together.
Having returned to Switzerland I could not forget her
anymore. My phone bill went up and up and up. Soon after this it became clear to
me that I must see her again.
I made arrangements to visit her again in January 2003. This time I planned to stay two
weeks in order to get known to each other even more. Again the time was not
always just sunshine but in the end the clouds disappeared. Some clouds
came back when I was back in Switzerland and we had to go through difficult
times again. In the end it was all cleared and we are happy together again.
During my first visit in Manila we met Maxi, a
guy running a Hotel in Boracay. He, at that time invited me to
come and visit him on the island if I would ever come back to the Philippines.
As I still remembered him, we organised to stay there
a couple of days. During which we met Ellen and Maik.
Boracay is a paradise.
I guess it all had to do with Cristy not being sure about
what she wanted. But I let her explain it herself.
Again back in Switzerland we started to make plans to meet
again. This time it would be even more serious as we planned that Cristy is
coming back with me to Switzerland. I booked a flight in February for April
29th. At the same time we started the activities which would allow Cristy to get
a Visa for Switzerland. First she needed a new passport. Not easy in that short
amount of time we had available but she managed to get this done within a couple
of weeks. So in late March, actually on March 29 she got her passport. We were
very happy. Now the race could start with the paperwork for the visa
application. We had literally 6 weeks to get this organised and pushed through.
As the interview at the Swiss Embassy went well it was now
just a matter of time until they would release the visa. Actually on the day
when I arrived in Manila my Love had to go to the embassy and to pick up the
visa. Cristy came with the visa in her
passport to meet me at the airport. Needless to say that Armando was our driver
The following day (May 1st) we again travelled to
Boracay for another quick holiday
down there. This time we needed the time for ourselves and did not meet up with
a lot of people. We had a good time with Maxi and Angie again. After 5 days we
returned to Manila as Cristy's birthday was coming up and we promised the family
that we would go out and have a party. So on May 7th we all met at the Hardrock Cafe in Makati. During this stay I,
for the first time, met all her
sisters and brothers
who live with her in the same house in Pasay City. Before that I only met Lanie
and Mary-Ann during a shopping tour. But this time I was officially introduced
and I believe also accepted by them. Of course I had to answer lots of questions
in regard to our future and the upcoming visit of Cristy to Switzerland. They
were all very concerned about Cristy being so far away from home for that long
time (90 days visa). Especially Kuya Al checked
me out and asked questions about me and how I would deal with Cristy's daughter
It was a great evening out. Thursday & Friday May 8th/9th
were the last days in the Philippines for a long time. So we prepared our trip
back to Switzerland. On Friday afternoon it was time to leave for the airport.
As usual Armando would pick us up and drive us to the airport. I was wondering
how Cristy would adopt to the changed environment and whether she would like
Switzerland. The flight with Swiss was OK and we slept a couple of hours.
The first days were very boring for Cristy as I had to go
to work every day and she had to wait for my return in the evening. But soon she
was no more homesick and adopted well to the situation. Especially when we
started to pack up our goods she was doing very well. I don't know how I would
have managed the move without her. Mid June we finally moved to our new home in
the same village. Again Cristy was very busy with setting up the new household. Every day when I returned form work
she made real big progress and after a week we were back to normal.
Now we started to relax and enjoy our new home. We invited
a couple of friends and my two daughters to our
On another occasion I had an invitation to the Swiss Open
in Gstaad a very popular Tennis event. This
time it was even more spectacular as Roger Federer just returned from his
greatest success so far, the Wimbledon tournament which for the first time ever
was won by a Swiss guy. Unfortunately Roger did not play that day as his rival
was insured and quite before the game. He therefore only came onto the centre
cord and played a couple of balls and then went again.
Sad for the audience but such is life.
On the next day we visited "Lenk im Simmental" a very
famous place for holidays. I will write more about this later on.
Lately we have been invited to a garden party in Weinfelden. Not much to say so
look at the pictures instead.
Its now mid August 2003 and
Cristy has returned to the Philippines as her visa has expired. The period since
she was here in Switzerland was nearly as hot as in her home country. It is
actually the summer of a lifetime. I cannot remember that we had a summer like
this. Average temperature was over 30 degrees and at times reached 40. Highest
so far ever measured was 39 about 50 years ago. Actually it was 1952, the year I
was born. So for Cristy it was like being at home at least as far as the weather
Now she is back with her family and I talk to her daily
either by phone or by Web cam. We have already started the process to apply for
another visa to bring her back to me in October. I will go the the Philippines
in late September to visit her and her family. I guess its getting very serious
Now in early September we are making good progress with
the visa. Actually we expect that her visa will be ready in about two weeks (its
1st of September 2003 today) from now. Her interview went well and I have
already returned the guarantee form.
September 17th, today Cristy took delivery of her visa. I
have made all arrangements to fly to the Philippines in a couple of days to
visit her and her family. Of course she will come back with me and stay for
another 3 month before we can finalise our wedding arrangements. Our current
plan is to get married in
October 26th and we are already
back from our holidays in the Philippines. The two weeks were great. Hot as
usual and little rain. Most of the time was spend to visit Cristy's in various
places. Our longest trip took us to Bicol (Bikol in Bicol language). We rented
a van and together with her sisters and brother Nelson we drove to Bicol. It is
a long long journey. All in all we have been 12 hours on the road stopping here
and there for either a drink or some food. The country side of the Philippines
is amazing at times you imaging yourself in a jungle.
On Monday we went to meet up with Maik and Maxi. You
remember Maxi runs the Hotel in Boracay and he planned his visit to Manila while
I was there. Maik, in the meantime had opened a Bar in Visayas Street Quezon
City named "Wild Horses". Apart from being a little off the main area it is a
nice Restaurant. I guess Maik had the right idea but is in the wrong place. Too
many local guys and not enough tourists which would guarantee his income. We
wish him well that the business will be successful very soon.
No funny stories about Maxi this time, other than that
someone liked his mobile that much, that he (she) stole it from him.
On Saturday we went to a waterfall (where most of the
pictures have been taken) and had a typical Philippine pick nick. Rice on Banana
leaves and grilled fish which we purchased in the local market the same morning.
You can imagine that being on the country side far away from all tourist places
I was sort of the attraction of the village. Everybody and his brother visited
us during our stay and wanted to speak to the "Americano" which seems to be the
word for any white foreigner. Fighting for my Swiss roots made little impression
on them and some continued to call me Americano.
Everybody was very kind and friendly and I was invited to
the "hard drinking" session on Saturday evening. After some Ginebra San Miguel I
gave up and continued with beer, while everybody else kept on drinking Gin.
Amazing how much they can drink without giving the impression to be drunk. At
worse they instantly fall asleep. Obviously Cristy's father was very pleased with
me that I was drinking with him and his friends.
On Sunday it was time to go home again as the kids had to
go to school again on Monday, they already missed Friday I guess they just had
been reported off sick. Another 12 hours later we arrived back in Manila. On the
way home we visited Harry, Mary-Ann's boyfriend.
The rest of the week was spend with visiting more of
Cristy's friends, but I did not bring my camera along. Cristy can tell you all
about drinking Tequila with her friends. I don't go into details but she rather
wanted to die than to live that night. At this point I really regretted that I
did not bring the camera.
And soon it was time to get ready to come home again. The
drop in temperature was dramatic from 33 Celsius down to 0 at arrival in Zürich.
Cristy wanted to go home immediately.
Now one week has past and she is used to the cold, doesn't
mean to say that she likes it, but she is OK with it.
I guess it's
about time to
write some more. It's nearly 3 month since I last updated this section. So here
we go again. Its now the end of January 2004 and Cristy, since 2 weeks, is
again back home in the Philippines. But not for long I promise. But lets go back
where we stopped last time.
That brings us back to mid October 2003 (quite a bit).
Cristy kept on moaning about the cold and the miserable weather. But as the
first snow was falling down her opinion changed immediately. She obviously likes
snow. Each time when there was a little bit (1 inch or so) of snow she was very
Actually on the day of our arrival back in Switzerland we
had to go to a concert of Freddie Aguilar, a
very famous Philippine song writer and singer. He happen to be in
Switzerland just that weekend and I had arranged two tickets before I left for
the Philippines. You are actually listening to one of his songs right now. Its
called Anak which is the Tagalog word for child. Its a sad song but very very
nice. We both love it. Apart from the bad service, the concert included Dinner,
the concert was excellent. So a pretty good start for us.
A couple of weeks later it was
my birthday. Markus, a good friend of us, invited Cristy & me and some other
friends to his place. We had a very nice evening
together. Even a birthday cake was prepared by Irene.
In order not to upset me they only put one candle on it otherwise the cake would
have been too big anyway. Unfortunately Irene was not careful enough when she
put the cake aside. This
picture explains it all. As you can see in the picture gallery Markus is a very talented
artist. The paintings shown have all been done by him, some are actually xxx
rated. Many thanks to Irene & Markus who made this a
rememberable night. Carol and Mahbub,
we wish you all the best for your future.
As due to Cristy's visa your ability to travel is
currently limited to Switzerland. So we decided to spend a relaxing weekend in
the south part of Switzerland (called Ticino). As I was given the opportunity by
my sister's son to use his flat down there I took the chance. I can only
say thank you to Massimo (living in Hawaii) for this generous gesture. On a
Friday afternoon we left the northern part of Switzerland when heavy snowfall
was with us all the time. Cristy was exited, she never experienced that before.
While I was fighting to keep the car on the road she was fascinated by the
landscape covered in snow. Arriving at the other end in Morcote it was like an early spring day. I
regret that I did not bring my bike as it was really nice and warm (10 degrees).
Enjoy the pictures.
The hype around Christmas starts early in the Philippines
we decided to put up a Christmas tree long before the 24th of December, that's when we normally put
up the tree. For the first time we had a Christmas tree prepared around middle
of December. Amazing feeling. At my birthday party we agreed with Jörg to come
to Tschamut in
Graubünden. A place just below the "Oberalp" summit. During wintertime this is
the end of the world on this side of the mountain as road is closed because of
the snow. Most of the Swiss Alps are closed during wintertime. No chance to
cross them at all unless there is a tunnel, a train or you can fly. On December
24th we went up to the place and met with
Jörg. I have passed this place many times on my
bike when I did practice cycling in the Alps but I never thought I would
spend Christmas up here together with my Love. You forget the world up there and
don't want to come back. People must be happy up there. At least we were.
On December 25th we took the train up to the Oberalp
summit and then walked over towards Andermatt. The view was exiting. Jörg and I
have been up to our knees in the snow and Cristy, like and Angel, walked across
it no wonder she only weights 90 pounds. Good fun and a beautiful day. That
evening we have been joined by some more friends of Jörg and had a nice green
curry. If you are interested to learn more about that regular event in Tschamut,
Roman Kretschi's page and see all about it.
The next day we went to Andermatt on our own as the other
guys went skiing, something Cristy cant do yet but is keen to learn. At least
until she is on ski's for the first time.
Sad enough after 4 days we had to leave and go home as I
had to return to work again. Bye bye
see you again.
New Year, again Markus invited us to his party on top of
Zurich. His office is actually situated on the lake of Zurich. An excellent
place to enjoy the firework at midnight. We have been accompanied by Carol and
Mahbub for this evening. Already at 5pm we called Cristy's family to wish them
"happy new year" . The Philippines are 7 hours ahead of Switzerland during
wintertime (no daylight saving in that period).
During all this time we have been preparing our papers in
order to get ready for our wedding. Unfortunately Swiss bureaucracy is a little
bit slow and so Cristy had to return on January 11th without all papers
completed. Two days after her return I got all my papers and DHL'd them to
Manila just to learn that it would have been easier to get married in
Switzerland. The lady at the Swiss Embassy is very helpful and helped to
organise another visa, this time for the "preparation of marriage", for Cristy.
While the paperwork has now started, Cristy is waiting for her visa once more.
If everything works out the way we have been told, then
Cristy will come back to Switzerland around mid to end March. Just in time when
the papers for the wedding should be completed.
Let's hope that things are moving fast now. I hate to be
separated from her. That's it for now. Watch this space for updates on our
story. Last updated on
January 24th, 2004.
I carry on now. Today is Sunday May 30th. A lot
happened since I last updated our page. By now we are married since 2 days, but
lets start from were we left it.
All through February we have been busy with getting our papers ready. I must
say that the Swiss Embassy in the Philippines was very helpful and fast in the
entire process. Once that Cristy's papers had been validated by the local
authorities they where send to Switzerland for further processing.
No need to say that during all that time I was talking to her on a daily
But in the end I received the final paper from the Swiss Civil registration
which meant that Cristy could go and get her visa to enter Switzerland once
more. This was at the end of March. By then we already made plans that we will
go on holidays at the end of April. As her visa was only good for one entry into
Switzerland I had to organize the "L" permit for her. This allowed her the leave
and re-enter Switzerland even before our wedding. On April 5 Cristy
arrived in Switzerland, just before Easter. We were happy together again.
Now our early honey moon plans could go ahead.
All in between that we had to organize our wedding which was set to take
place on May 28th. Markus and Carol agreed to be our witness for the wedding and
Jrene took on the job to organize everything around it. But more of this later
On April 23 Cristy & I left Switzerland for another trip to the Philippines.
We already organized another trip to Boracay for one week. What can we say about
Boracay? A great place and this time it was really for a early honey moon. No
comparison to our earlier visits, just a great time. I am sure you agree when
you see the pictures. Maxi & Angie where great hosts once more. Thank you for
that. We met a lot of could guys. Only to mention one - Pascal Conrad, a funny
guy and always busy at times we thought that he was running the place. He was
always helpful and knew everything what was going one anywhere on the island.
Time was really running and the week was over again.
Back to Manila, we had little time left to complete our long list of things
to do. Soon after touch down we went shopping because we had a very difficult
task to complete. Surprisingly this proved to be very speedy and not complicated
at all. Its all about getting a wedding dress for my future wife. Land Mark was
our first choice and within 30 minutes we found what we wanted. Just look at the
wedding picture and you will agree that this was a perfect fit for Cristy.
Albeit I must say the search for a suitable pair of shoes took much longer but
finally even that was done on the same day. I must mention that I still wasn't
sure what to wear on that day. How I resolved that one you will read later on.
In the evening we went to visit
Cristie-Lyn & Bong, who, in the meantime,
opened up their own place in Quezon City. A very traditional Video-Oke
restaurant. San Miguel was a low as 23 Peso!! We had a great evening
together with some more friends of Cristy. Baby-Lynn, Rocelle, Bong and Cristie-Lyn.
I resisted to sing any songs that evening, therefore not upsetting any of the
guest. Some others appeared to be worse than I would have been, but nothing I
could do. By far the best was
Bong. Sorry no sample of his voice.
Not a lot to mention about Sunday.
On Monday May 3rd our first task was to visit the Swiss Embassy to submit
some papers for Cristy's daughter Sherill-Anne and most important to hand over
some flowers and Champagne to the lady in the wedding department. She was exited
but had to get approval from her boss to accept the little gift. In general I
cannot complain that people have not been supportive at all- I just like to
mention the Swiss Embassy and the Migration Office in Zürich. Without their
support we would probably still wait for all documents. Thank you, you have
proven that the bureaucracy does not always exist.
Wedding rings were the next things on our list. Again a quick decision,
In the evening we, Cristy, Lanie, Sherill-Anne, Regie and I, left for Bicol.
For those who are familiar with traveling in the Philippines will know that
traveling with Phil-Tranco is a nightmare. Not because the coaches are bad, no,
its the roads which are in such a bad shape that you cannot sleep at all. The
main roads are full of holes and some really deep ones. I was wondering why the
axles did not break on this trip.
The reason for this trip was that we promised Cristy's parents to visit them
before we leave. On Tuesday morning we arrived in Tigaon. Nanay & Tatay where
happy to see us again.
In the afternoon Tatay convinced me to join him in his favorite sport. Cock
fighting! An experience of its own. Just to mention I won 3300 Peso by betting
on his Cock. The entire village was there and Tatay was happy to show his son in
law together with his daughter. As during our previous visit lots of people came
to visit us, mainly to check upon me. Interesting enough I was also invited to
the local rally leading up to the election day later on that week. Even by now
on May 30th it is not yet confirmed that Gloria Macapagal Arroyo is the old and
new president of the Philippines. Regards from Florida in the US.
As it was only a short visit we went back to Manila on Wednesday evening. I
save you the suffering story about the long journey home. You remember the bad
Friday May 7th. You remember! That's Cristy's birthday. For the second time
we spend that day in the Philippines. Coincident I call it. No, I really wanted
it that way. That's why I rushed the migration office to issue a 6 month permit
You guess it, we went to the Hardrock again. I can only say, great party.
Funny enough we met two couples who we first met in Boracay the week before.
Michael & Geraldine, two nice guys. It's a small world.
On Sunday we left for Singapore. This time I was able to combine holidays and
a business trip that's why we went to Singapore. So for me the holidays were
over. Lucky for Cristy, my boss and his wife joined us in Singapore so she had
some accompany while I was at work. Mid week we went on to Hong Kong, my second
stop on my business trip in Asia. All memories were back immediately. Back to
where it all began! Exactly two years ago! Lots of places to visit. Dask till
Dawn, Joe Bananas, Cinta-J and the Peak.
On Friday I paid my tailor a visit. I selected a nice fabric for my wedding
suite. He promised to deliver everything on time. And its true a week later the
That was only one week prior to our wedding. Read all about it further down.
The Wedding Day
May 28th. I don't want to write a lot about it just watch the picture. They
will tell you all you need to know. All I want to say is a big THANK YOU
to Markus, Jrené & Carol. A great day which we will never forget.
That's where we are now. Of course I will continue to update our page with
more news and pictures.
I know I know I know! I did notupdate our story for quite
some time now, but you see life keeps me busy with other things as well.
Now its time to keep you up to date with what is happening
in our life.
Lets start after our Wedding which was a great day which
we still remember very well.