The Pros and Cons of living in Portugal

Have you ever thought of migrating to a foreign land? Portugal is one of the most heavily visited countries in Europe by tourists all year round. Portugal is a small country, and regions like the Alentejo and the Algarve have different climates. Even the capital, Lisbon, can be relatively mild in the winter.

road through mountains

Migrating in a foreign country can be very exciting and overwhelming simultaneously, especially if you don’t speak the language. You’ve got to learn and adapt to the culture and lifestyle. I call Portugal as my second home. It was terrific, but some things need to understand, and before you plunge, you need to know the pros and cons.

Pros of living in Portugal

People

Portuguese people are warm to welcome every visitor, enthusiast, friendly, helpful, and kind-hearted. They love to enjoy spending time with family and their close neighbors, most often in the afternoon having lunch or coffee together, and enjoying their company for hours. Also, they have a healthy family and relatives bonds.

Family Allowance Benefits

Every household receives an allowance depending on their annual income. Family allowances income-tested, the allocation generally based on the reference family income and the child’s benefits age. The citation family income is determined by dividing all working family members’ total revenue by the number of eligible children plus one—reference income group categorize in three dimensions entitled to the benefit rate.

The social benefit amounted to €419.22 monthly.

In case the reference family income is lower than half of the social benefit of €140.76 monthly payment for each child up to 12 months old and €35.19 monthly for each child more aged than 36 months.

Eligible children aged six to sixteen receive an additional payment each September for education fees.

Regarding the family income of fifty-one percent to hundred percent of the social benefit rate, €116.74 monthly payment for every child a year old €29.19 a month for each child more aged than 36 months; from hundred and one percent to hundred and fifty percent of the social benefits rate, an amount of €92.29 monthly paid for each child up to 12 months of age and €26.54 a month for each child older than 36 months.

For a disabled child special additive: €59.48 monthly payment for a child younger than age fourteen €86.62 ages 14 to 18; €115.96 in the ages 18 to 24 supplement increases by twenty percent beneficiaries living in single-parent families.

Constant-attendance supplement: €88.37 a month paid to the child who has a disability and requires others’ constant attendance to perform daily functions. Note: The figures can change annually.  

Freedom

Freedom is widely most practiced in the country, and treat everyone with strict respect. They exercise taking care of others in case of any involvement in such protests that sometimes lead to a complaint. Before any riots occur, they know how to come up with an easy solution without any harm. They keep anybody to make sure that nobody out of control.

Infrastructure

Portugal’s infrastructure is better since the entry of the European Union has changed dramatically. With the help of EU funds, Portugal has managed to invest in its rail and road network, including the busiest international airports in the four most prominent cities: Lisbon, Faro, Porto, and Madeira.

Public Transportation

There is no such problem with public transport in Portugal. Trams, buses, trains, metros, and taxis are a means of transportation. They are considering that metros are operating only to two major cities, Lisbon and Porto. The country has an extensive network of trains and in various types.

Four types of trains function

  • The high-speed trains
  • Urban commuter trains
  • Intercity trains
  • Regional and inter-regional trains

Cons of living in Portugal

Housing

Before buying a property in Portugal, you need to stay or live for at least six months to ensure that everything is worth doing if you live in the EU. However, if you come from a foreign country or outside the EU, you must apply first for residency. It is easy to purchase a house or lot, but you must be aware of it. Let say you are buying a lot, and a ruined structure stands on; you can’t demolish it; all you have and need to do is rebuild again on how it used to be. Same through with the house, especially when bricks build or put an extension on it; you need permission if you are allowed to do in short.

Employment 

Portugal is one of the developing countries in Europe, and the standard of living is quite affordable. Employment has a low rate of jobs compared to some EU countries. Portuguese minimum salary for a civil servant is 580 euros to 600 monthly. Many companies will find out inflation rates to negotiate with your wages.
It is not very easy to look for a job when you are foreign outside of Europe. However, the choice is vast, and it all depends on your skills.

Religion

Christianity is widely practiced in Portugal, and there are no other religions that exercise different beliefs. The Catholic Church has the highest rates in the country, eighty-one percent of the population following the said religion. Islamic theology and Judaism are not recognized, although they are some families who migrated and carried to their religious practice.

Thank you for reading.

© 2020 Leonie M.

The Art of Having Friends

Having a good friend is one of the best gifts you receive from all walks of life. A friend is someone you can trust and lean on to share your thoughts and dreams in life—a friend who stands on your side no matter whether the situations may look dark. Someone is significant to be with and not parallel towards anybody else when things are bright and comfortable to chase.

However, a real friend is quite difficult to find when you have a principle to follow. The things that you wanted to be kind like a friend, something with your standard. On the other hand, if you are not a social type of person, it would make you not vulnerable to have one.

To win a friend, you got to present the real you and accept who people the way they are. And being self-centered is not good either because you might end up isolated without anybody to talk to when you needed. When you don’t accept friendship in social media, there are many ways of making friends. I can’t think of anybody, at least that no one around it as a friend. Besides, living your life without a friend is like living in a dark world with no shadow.

Whatever the scenario, a true friend does exist, and it all depends on you on how to develop friendship towards others. If you know how to adapt yourself to any aspect of engaging with another character, it is not difficult. Considering that nobody can stand alone or, as the saying goes, no man is an island. Building the connection you have with your friends other is something only the two of you understand, appreciate, and your friend as someone who cares and respects. A friendship develops love and understanding differences and flaws with one another. Also, both of you are in tune with one another that you think the same thoughts.

© 2020 Leonie M.

The Power of Faith

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Have you ever experienced life with great anxiety and all your hope in life it seems to fade away? Sometimes you dream big ahead of you figuring out that you want to attain for living in this world. Then suddenly the world has thrown at you a big messed an incurable diseases that only faith can cure the agony inside you.

This story is from a young man named Jeff. He asks me to write about his life because he knew that many people are suffering the same challenges in life concerning health issues and hoping that can edify anybody especially so when FAITH is the only solution to cure the situation.

Jeff is the eldest of three siblings, and as a young and healthy kid, he enjoys playing soccer and also his dream one day to become professional to that field. Henceforth, at age fifteen things began changing rapidly, particularly with his health, got diagnosed with the inoperable blood disease, heart and paralysed afflictions. These led him to a bedridden person. His mother became devastated with the position of his suffering because all the four medical Doctors who have diagnosed him had given up on him, telling her that nothing more they could do for Jeff.

Two years long of suffering.

The mother of Jeff did everything that she can to help by asking elders preachers to come to their house to comfort in giving him advice. But Jeff didn’t find it that good idea because none of the guests lifted his desire to get well; instead, he heard them saying that he will soon be dead. From then on, he told his mother to stop welcoming people that will only frustrate him even more except his best friend, Adrian.

One Saturday afternoon, Adrian visited Jeff after the soccer match; he was in distress seeing the situation of his great friend. It breaks his heart, and he couldn’t think of anything to give except the Bible. They both love attending any Christian church, and their goal of listening is to be with God. However, the first visit of Adrian lasted for three hours of conversation and leaving Jeff with the words, “you will live and not die”, just read the Bible and remember the promises of Jesus Christ, keep your faith, look upon Jesus; in which he did.

Meanwhile, the distance relatives waited for an opportunity to go for a visit for Jeff. However, their family visit causes him to lament, and he couldn’t believe in his ears – hearing near to death; is not the kind of words he wanted to hear from relatives; hence, he didn’t harbour iniquity in his heart. Moreso, he agreed with the mother if possible that nobody can come inside his room without permission.

A year has have passed Jeff condition still unstable, and he became pale and skinny until such time he could no longer move his body. His mother bath and fed him like a newly born baby. The mother was strong as him in faith believing that one day he will be healed.

On the other hand, Jeff continued to read the Bible and develop strong spiritual faith and relationship unto God. And he keeps on talking, meditating and confessing the word of God, saying; I believe I receive healing for my incurable blood disease, my paralytic, and heart problem, from the top of my head down to the sole of my feet. And kept saying and praising praying every night; prayed all whole night long spending praising God. And several nights nearly all night long. The scriptures that he mediates and confesses every time.

Mark 11:23-24 NKJV – 23 For assuredly, I say to you, whoever says to this mountain, ‘Be removed and be cast into the sea,’ and does not doubt in his heart, but believes that those things he says will be done, he will have whatever he says. 24 Therefore I tell you, whatever things you ask when you pray, believe that you receive them, and you will have them.

Ten days before his seventeen birthday, Jeff continues praising and praying to God, suddenly felt the heat inside his body and feeling no pain, and then he made an effort to stand up. He stood on his bed jumping and walking around his room shouting the word few times, ” I’m healed “! Then knelt with his face on the ground hands on his head weeping and thanking the Lord for his healing. The following morning he asks his mother to bring his clothes to take a bath and said that he would join them to have breakfast. The mother was puzzled because he still laying on the bed, he said; God healed my afflictions, mom. The mother overjoyed and could not talk back, except for thanking God. On the third day, his mother brought him to the hospital to let him a check-up. She has brought with her the previous Doctors report. Doctors confirmed that Jeff is indeed free from his diseases.

Lastly, to this day, Jeff is nineteen years old helping young children, to believe the power of prayer and put their faith to God alone.

Thank you for reading.

© 2020 Leonie M.

A Childhood Experience

A Childhood Memory, reminiscing a group of a friend of mine while tending flocks, and as we all know, we all have storytelling to share and so forth.
When I was young at eight years old, there was a young couple, aged nineteen years, and twenty-one years old who lost their way and had entangled in the mountain where we used to tend our Buffalos. It could have been worse situations they have faced through their journey if they didn’t found us. I used to call them, people who lost their way in the jungle!

A Chapel inside the cave

Jenna and Frank are both from Vienna, Austria, who traveled to the Philippines for three weeks vacation in the region of Cagayan Valley, the northern part of the country. They booked ten days to stay in a hotel called hotel Delfino in the capital city of Cagayan Valley. Their purpose of vacationing to the province is to visit the Callao Cave in Peñablanca Cagayan, my town. On their second day of the stay, they decided to go to Callao Cave a thirty-five minutes ride to the hotel where they stayed and left the place at six-thirty in the morning, to start the trek without a guide or flyers to lead them to the site. They avoided asking people for help to direct them on the location, thinking that they wouldn’t drive the right way because most of the people are staring at them and are not used to it; they thought of a negative thing. The early morning boat trip should only be for two minutes to take them to cross the river to reach Callao Cave, somehow, ride a wrong boat that led them elsewhere, joining passengers who are returning to their respective houses. As all passengers get off in the wooden boat, so they did the same as well.

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Callao Pinacanauan River view

Farther away, took the wrong path in search of the Cave until to the extent they arrive at the area where kids are tending the herds.

Upon arriving at our place where we are tending flocks, we are all in tremendous shock and afraid because we are just kids, all girls, and the oldest is eleven years old. On the other hand, Jenna and Frank are gazing at us with a composed utterance. There was a quiet moment of silence until I broke the silence. I ask where they come from and where they are going. I got no answer, but instead, they ask if we can show the right way to the Callao Cave. Suddenly, Frank interrupted everyone and replied with my question; he said that we came from Tuguegarao city, but we are tourists., originally from Austria. However, instead of showing the direction in which way to go, we decided to guide them for four kilometers walking—fun, many talks with different types of topics., as a kid, I like questioning.

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Peñablanca Pinacanauan river

Jenna is tall, a timid type of person who loves traveling and enjoys anything, especially adapting cultures of any country she has visited. At the same time, Frank is an athletic body and ambitious not much in moving far, but he loves diving.

We accompanied Jenna and Frank back to the riverbank, where the wooden boat stationed and instructed the boat chauffeur to bring them to Callao Cave. However, Jenna insisted that if all five of us can join them, that would be fun, said she and they would shoulder all the expenses, we accepted the offer because it takes only twenty minutes of the journey to get to the Cave. At that time, I don’t know any better, telling Jenna and Frank about the Cave, which is interesting to see inside. A stone that grows in different shapes, and it is a cold place to spend the entire day.
As we approached the site, Jenna gave me a piece of paper written her address on it, keeping it for yourself she said, one day we will see each other again.

Lastly, over two decades later, we met in the Algarve, Portugal, she was shopping in my grocery shop or shall I say convenience store.

These days they are my family friend residing in Lisbon, Portugal, formerly from Vienna, Austria.

Thank you for reading.

© 2020 Leonie M.

Learning is a Continuous Process

Whatever you believe, it develops you as a human being, whether you listen to other people’s teachings or adapt what you have learned from them, but it all depends on how you perceive it.

Learning is a continuous process, and sometimes we learn from our mistakes and other people. Then we begin to develop and motivate ourselves to become a better person from all walks of life.

Allowing the teaching of others and applying it into our lives improves our ways of life; it gives us a flow of acceptance to associate in society.

But above all else, when we allow Christ Jesus to operate into our lives, the more it becomes better. Because with God, there is nothing impossible. Suppose you are a Christian believer.

I remember once a fellow who questioned me about God, regarding the situation she is in at that time. She said if there is God, why I am struggling and why he doesn’t help me out of my troubles, and those rich people continue to become wealthy! And she kept on saying that others they make easy money! I answered her; it depends on how you approach a situation and the choice you make for life. God does communicate with us into our inner being. I told her to take off in her mind negative thoughts about people, especially when you don’t know how the struggle they have been through to be able to reach the level they are of what they have accomplished. If it is easier for them, then it should have been more comfortable for you as well. It is better to admire people who are prosperous to learn their secret how they acquire—realized that we have a different stream. Remember in your mind that whatever you do, you create them.

Furthermore, be available and stop complaining about any troubles that hook you. Teach yourself how to navigate in the realm of life. Be positive, stay focus, and pamper yourself too with the power within you to get a good result.

© 2020 Leonie M.

Strolling in the Wilderness

Sometimes we stumble into a place unknown to us, and then a discovery has taken place. Strolling in the wilderness is something worth doing when you notice a site that looks like a haven in many ways. And wandering into a remote location that you’re not familiar with can make you wonder where you are heading and then suddenly, reach a beautiful place or somewhat, my team calls it a breathtaking view.

We went for a walk with my team and I in a remote area; we were four in total; at first, it is quite complicated for us because we do not have any idea where we are going, but the thought we all have agreed is to discover something different and new. While we are in our hike, I jokingly say, we are not lost, we are in Limburg in the eastern province of Belgium in the middle of nowhere. It is fun much talk with different subjects that the four of us shared.

To make the story short, the focal point of our stretch is the beautiful scenery that could hardly find it, especially when you are not a resident nearby the place—a ‘Lake’ that rich in aquatic. The site’s surroundings are tranquil except the noise of the hummingbirds and ducks that swan dive in the lake. The water is clear and clean, that you can see any reflection around it. The freshness of the air, you feel the coolness and, at the same time, calmness of the surrounding.

Here is a short clip from the area.

© 2020 Leonie M.

The Importance of Forests and Trees.

The world is full of splendid beauty if we consider it and take a closer look at it; we discover and know the importance of forests and trees.

Forest and trees considered as a livelihood for humans and play a decisive contribution to society.

They are commonly known for their crucial roles in food security, drinking water, inexhaustible energy, rural and urban economies. They produce income for rural households in all countries in the world – noticeably more in large areas – and used as fuel for cooking and heating for one in every three people worldwide.
Forests are demanding to livelihoods, and are indispensable to sustaining agriculture. And it is also used as a shelter. Some other ways to figure it out; wood and paper from trees, fruits, etc. not forgetting, such as by-products, cosmetics, detergents, and medicines.

Lastly, trees fight erosion, keep and protect the ground below their branches fresh, and provide homes for an estimated eighty-five percent of the world’s natural plant and animal species. From medicine to food supply to climate regulation, forests are a fundamental, irreplaceable resource.

© 2020 Leonie M.

Flowers are Eye-Catching

This garden is one of the most two hundred beautiful landscapes in Europe. It is located in Geistingen, the Eastern part of Belgium, and is an open garden with a variety of plants, but the majority are roses.

Thanks to rearing breakthroughs, practically anyone can grow roses. Typical roses that stipulate weekly sprays and ceaseless pampering have been replaced by new, tough-as-nails beauties that blend flower power, winter hardiness, and inflammation defiance. These roses new selections are called the landscape roses.

These groups of roses include many different types, but floribunda, climber, miniature, and shrub roses often fit the category. These types of roses truly deliver, blending vigorous flowering with the best bug resistance. Once mural roses start flourishing, flowers keep coming the intact the entire growing season. Blossoms typically are gathered in an assemblage.
Whether you’re composing your first jaunt into rose growing or have a courtyard full of roses, you won’t go wrong trying one of your favorite scenery roses.

© 2020 Leonie M.

The Silence of the Noise

One of the most visited areas in the rural place of the Limburg region is in Kinrooi, the eastern part of Belgium. The site is always tourists packed with locals alike, but due to the current situation, the world pandemic, the area has become the rural tranquility.

The site Geistingen is one of the five districts a part of the municipality of Kinrooi, situated in the region of Limburg, Belgium. The Tranquil Geistingen sat to the next “River Maas” only five kilometers to the Netherlands or Holland border.

Kessenich is the oldest village. Opposite the neo-Gothic St. Martin’s Church in Kessenich is the ruin of a robust octagonal moth tower from the 12th-century.

The rural Kinrooi consists of five church villages: Geistingen, Kessenich, Kinrooi, Molenbeersel, and Ophoven. The municipality is rich in remarkable monuments such as castle Borgitter, the Slichtenhof, and three grinding mills: the Keijersmolen, Zorgvlietmolen, and Lemmensmolen. Kessenich shows off the ruin of the 12th-century moth tower and the Sint-Martinuskerk, ‘(Saint Martin Church ) pearl of the Maasland.’

Since the outcrops in the floodplains of the Meuse, Kinrooi has become a real water sports municipality. The Marec marinas “De Spaanjerd” in Ophoven and “Heerenlaak” in Aldeneik can accommodate one thousand four hundred boats.

Kinrooi and its surroundings offer a range of cycling and walking options for those who like action and variety. Drive your bicycle’s freedom and follow the blue numbered signs off the cross-border bicycle route network “Kempen en Maasland” or cycle along one of the theme routes: the Molenroute Kinrooi or the Maasvaartroute. Or wear on your good shoes and walk along signposted paths in the nature and forest areas of the Kempen-Broek and the Drie Eigen.

Sunbathers can visit a beautiful sandy beach in the area of ​​”de Steenberg.” Sailing and surfing enthusiasts can indulge themselves in the Maasplassen.

If you prefer to relinquish the helm, you can take a cruise on the Maas with the tour boat “De Paep van Meinecom III.”

The boroughs of Ophoven, Geistingen, and Kessenich still breathe the atmosphere of centuries ago. It is no coincidence that the Roman track wound through these three villages. Suppose you want to experience how it used to be here. Considering the possible in the heme chamber of the Historical and Historical Society Kinrooi, beautifully situated in the renovated Slichtenhof in Molenbeersel.

The environment is also stunning. In the beautiful Dutch towns of Thorn and Stevensweert, you can read the history of the walls! Aldeneik, Maaseik, Bree, and Weert (Netherlands), with their historical, cultural, and shopping assets, are just a stone’s throw away.

Kinrooi is rich in folklore. No fewer than eight militia groups are still active here, including the Sint-Servatius Raam militia from Ophoven. They were the winner of the Oud Limburgs Schuttersfeest (OLS) in 2017. Colorful traditions such as putting sweep, burning ‘Malbroek,’ the Sint-Maartensvuren, and the Molenfeesten attract many curious people every year.

Map of 3640 Kinrooi
Map of Kinrooi

An exciting opportunity is the least that can be said about the application to register the GrensPark Kempen ~ Broek as a UNESCO Human and Biosphere Area. In times when sustainability is high on the global agenda, UNESCO wants to use this label to recognize areas in which sustainable development is tangible. Since Belgium does not yet have such a space, GrensPark Kempen ~ Broek will be the first Belgian region to try to qualify for this label.

Discover the area municipality on foot, by bike or by boat, through exciting routes, and afterward, let yourself be pampered in a few of the restaurants nearby.

© 2020 Leonie M.

Anger Can Lead to Distraction

Angry pigeon portrait

A multitude of people gets angry and offended when people attack them or speak against them. They are so quick to fray insults and accusations that were thrown at them.
However, let’s take a look at a great man from the Bible named David. He never got angry in all the numerous times’ Goliath attacked the Israelites.
Goliath would insult and even ridicule the Israelites, but David never responded. But when Goliath begins to speak evil about the God of Israel, and that David, ready to reprisal, questioned, “Who is this uncircumcised Philistine to defile the God of the armies of Israel?”
The moment Goliath communicate against the God of Israel, David entered into defense posture.
Why is it then, that you, as a child of God, can hear many insults against your God yet keep quiet? Why do you get disturbed the way you do when they talk about you and, however, remain indifferent when they insult your God?
We, as soldiers of Christ, rise and learn how to fight and defend this God whom we serve. We are here to be an exemplary trooper who will secure the cause of the gospel no matter what may seem to happen.

Thank you for reading.

© 2020 Leonie M.

Attitude Can Motivate or Break Anyone

Attitude can motivate or break anyone. Sometimes our views can snare us with the way we approach the situation we engaged in life.

I remember years back; I have a neighbor who lives a luxurious life. She owns many properties in some countries in the world. I call her a billionaire. She is a kind-heart person who loves to share anything she has to anyone she pleases, and considers me one of her friends.

She lives in an electronic house with twelve bedrooms with a toilet in it, five bathrooms, and a vast swimming pool in which she is the key to entering. And if strangers come closer before going inside the house a meter away, you can hear the alarm outside instead of inside, and it is like the loud sound of a car alarm.

Her passion in life is playing the piano, aside from playing different kinds of instruments. Her life circulates alone with a keyboard because when she was three years old, she started playing the device, and to this day, she calls it her husband.

The problem arises when one of her favorite pianos has broken down, and according to her, the device is so precious that she can’t replace it because it is a gift from her grandmother. She told me that whenever she plays to it, it reminds her of the good memories she had from her grandma. Then she has begun to look for somebody who can repair the instrument, but out of ten people who she knew that they’re capable enough to fix, contrary to what she expected. However, she never gives up with her device to let it go, but her attitude towards her household turns sour.

In the second half of the year, to be precise September, she came to my place asking me if I know anyone who could repair her piano. I answered her that I do not know anybody, but I suggested she advertised through Newspaper and accepted it.

Three months later, a man who was in his over seventies came to her place to go and fix her piano. The man looks skinny and filthy knocks to her door and opens it, at first she thought that the man comes for food, so she went to her fridge to grab anything to give to the guy; but the man said, I don’t come for food, I come to restore your piano. However, she is reluctant to let the man enter her house and tell him he doesn’t need him. She sends him away, but the man is persistent and said to her that he is the only one who can fix the piano and have traveled far to come to her place.

Furthermore, she let him in, after saying mocking words, telling the man that she hired many technicians who are well educated, but they could not do anything, and you think you can do it,” said in a loud voice,” with no respect! The man said, in a calm voice, he replied I would fix it for you.

Meanwhile, the man restoring the instrument is crying according to the maidservant, when done fixing it. Afterward, he plays the piano, and to the owners’ surprise, it settles, and the sound was better than it used to be. The owner apologizes and asks who he is, but instead of answering the man wipe the dusty upper right corner of the device, his name written on it. He said I built this piano, and I am part of it. I gave this to your grandmother as a gift, because she had been an excellent friend of mine.

Most people judge the physical appearance of a person without knowing what they are capable of doing.

Grand Piano, Music, Instrument, Piano, Keyboard

Thank you for reading.

© 2020 Leonie M.

The Beauty of the Sun

The Alluring beauty of the sun sometimes caught our attention to gaze on it. And when we look at it, it gives the feeling and meaning of our lives day by day, whether bad or good.

Most of us Christians consider that God created the sun with a unique or specific function to govern the day of our universe, and without it, our world is useless. The same through it applies to life; we can not live without the sun because everything it’s connected in it, like happiness, love, friendship and family, and whatever the case the sun plays the significant role in the human race.

To some people, it is their spiritual guidance to direct them in the natural realm of life. And concerning the choice, they wish to follow that the sun leads to their destiny.

And in science, the sun is considered as the primary source of energy on the earth. It is also the source and formation of the clouds, rain and winds. The clouds when formed the water vapor it rises the sky, then it cools and condenses that forming the clouds.

The sun also used for heating water and warming houses by the use of solar energy.

© 2020 Leonie M.