GOING PLACES

travel love

2015 is almost over and a new year is coming our way which is always accompanied with New Year resolutions that are starting to flood my news feed. This time, I want to do something different from the mainstream media. Before the year ends, I would like to share my travel experiences in the past seven years. These are my adventures either with family, friends and colleagues and I will let you have a glimpse of my travel experiences. I love to travel and I really hope that I could visit other places in my home country soon.

Here is the list of the places I have been to:

1. TARAWOODS TANUAN, BATANGAS
– Sometime in 2008 during a Prayer and Fasting event in my church that I set foot on this 18-hectare farm. The event was a part of a recovery program I belonged to. With its serene surroundings, this is just a great place to escape the chaos and pollution of the city, to de-stress, to enjoy nature and to be revitalized and be refreshed.

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2. TAGAYTAY (2009)
– Summer of 2009 that I and my siblings first came here. Our first stop was at Palace in the Sky where we had our lunch and our first glimpse of the marvelous Taal Volcano. Afterward, we headed to Tagaytay Picnic Grove to relax and enjoy its cool and breezy climate. We enjoyed sightseeing and going through all the souvenir shops, tried the famous Bulalo and came home with some of its famous delicacies.

The second time around was February of 2013 together with my colleagues where in we bonded with each other on our first out of town trip.

Tagaytay

3. OCEAN ADVENTURE, SUBIC BAY (FEB 2010)
– Our school environmental education field trip was held here. We relished the different attractions and learned many things from their Eco-Smart Programs. One of a kind experience not only filled with fun and enjoyment but also with new discoveries, knowledge and ideas about our environment.

Ocean Adventure

4. HUNDRED ISLANDS, ALAMINOS, PANGASINAN (SEPT 2010)
– On our way to Baguio City, we dropped by here to see the incredible group of islands, a pride of Pangasinenses. Our tour was highlighted with sunrise watching, island hopping, boating, snorkeling and of course swimming. Awesome scenery delighted our senses and was captured in the film.

hundred islands

5. BAGUIO CITY, BENGUET (SEPT 2010)
– Named as the summer capital of the Philippines, this place is notable as well for its rich cultural and traditional heritage. We had an overnight accommodation and we had ample time to go to its popular destinations. I and my classmates/schoolmates went to Baguio Cathedral and SM Baguio before we retire for the night. In the morning of the next day, after our delicious and nutritious breakfast at the hotel, we headed to Strawberry Farm where we experienced to pick strawberries. It was then followed on a tour at Philippine Military Academy, Camp John Hay, Baguio Botanical Garden, The Mansion, Burnham Park, and Mines View Park. Many tourists from different parts of the country and even from other countries flocked the city all year round.

Baguio

6. BORACAY ISLAND (FEB 2011)
– The white sand invasion! It was still off-season so the place was not too crowded yet compared to peak season when we visited here. Though there was already a handful of tourists even in that time of year, yet we were able to really enjoy the magnificence and grandeur of the island. There is no shortage of activities in this island paradise. You can indulge yourself in aqua sports and activities, luxurious massage, healthy food, sightseeing or simply relax by soaking up some rays and lounge around on the white sand that made it famous and be mesmerized of the view of the sea. I experienced one of the beautiful sunrises here. The island was also teeming with nightlife. If you love the nightlife, this is just the place to be. This is world’s top destination for relaxation. I promised to be back, here again, sometime.

Bora

7. THE ENCHANTED KINGDOM, LAGUNA (FEB 2013)
– We were looking for some adventure and it was just the right time for some adrenaline rush for me and my colleagues. The Enchanted Kingdom is one of the pioneering theme amusement parks in the country. They have exciting and thrilling rides. I have tried Space Shuttle which was nerve-racking for a first-timer like me. Then we all got soaked at the Rio Grande Rapids, one of my most enjoyable rides. We then rode the Jungle Log Jam where I felt like I’m going to die. It took the life out of me, LOL! It was so scary with the steep slope and no safety gear to secure you from flying out of the log. No wonder there was an accident that happened in this ride before. It is not suitable for children. It still gives me a chill every time I remember it. Then lastly, we watched a musical show and the fantastic fireworks display. These are only some of the magical experiences that you will encounter and you can still try various rides and attractions. Come to the Enchanted Kingdom where the magic stays with you.

EK

Moreover, I realized I haven’t been to an out of town trip in the last 2 years. Come 2016, I hope that I can revive the wanderlust in me and explore my country again. There are still so many places I want to go. Adventures are the best way to learn.

CHRISTMAS MEMORIES

memoriesofchristmas

Christmas always bring me pure bliss with all the hustle and bustle of the holiday season. The thrill, excitement, and fun always bring me wonder. I always look forward to all the colorful, glittering  and  wonderful decorations and trimmings everywhere. Christmas carols filling the air also gives me a cheer. Going around the neighborhood to sing Christmas songs awaken the mischievousness in me and my friends. We go to church for the “Simbang Gabi” hoping in completion we can make our wishes come true. I couldn’t help but imagine what kind of presents would I get from my loved ones on Christmas eve and on Christmas day. We usually hang our socks for Santa on Christmas eve hoping to receive a special present from him. Typically every child desire and fancy to get what they wished for. So usually, Santa (which I later found out was my mother and father) do just that. We also gather on a festive family meal. How our eyes drool at all the mouth-watering and  sumptuous dishes and delicacies prepared on our table. I and my siblings could only eat some of the food on special occasions so we always get our fill until we can stand no more.

Almost all of families gather in this holiday season. Spirit of love is shared through giving and sharing among families, relatives, friends, neighbors even with strangers. It was such a magical Christmas experience indeed and I thought it would always be the same.

As I grew older, things dramatically changed. Every time this season comes, it stirs mixed emotions in me. There is this melancholic and bittersweet feeling that engulf me. The happy thoughts of my younger days faded away and what remain is the bedazzlement and disillusionment of the reality. I still enjoy celebrating Christmas but it is not all about the fun anymore. I have come to terms with the fact that not everyone can experience such wonderful things. A lot of people around the world are suffering from inequity, poverty, hunger, war, and so on. It saddened me to think of all the conflicting issues that we are facing in our society. I often ask myself why things have to happen this way. Why the world is such in chaos. But then again, this is the reality. We are out of control of all the things that are happening around us. We are here to witness these things firsthand and be a part of all these pandemonium. We are in this great maze of events that keep our lives topsy-turvy.

What is then is the relevance of Christmas in this generation? Why are we celebrating Christmas? Christmas is given different meaning and interpretation in accordance with different culture and traditions around the world. I always hear/read comments from different people that we have to really put our hearts and minds in the true meaning of Christmas. And so with this statement, we will all come to the basic question: What is the true meaning of Christmas?

Christmas is the commemoration of the birth of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ who died on the cross to redeemed us from our sins. This a time to reflect how great the love of God is for His people. We should always remember the relevance of this event not only during the Christmas season but all through the days of our lives.

How I wish I can turn back time to my younger days where I can be carefree and not be wary about the things happening around me. My childhood was filled with amazing Christmas experience and I am grateful of it.  It would always be something that I can reminisce and share with my children. And how I wish that they will enjoy every Christmas season while they are still young and innocent. Once realization dawned on them of what the world is really like, I want them to have something to recall. The wonderful memories would be something that they can treasure and can be passed on to the next generation. No matter what happens, some memories cannot be replaced.

WELCOMING RAM TO THE CHRISTIAN WORLD!

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“First came love, then came marriage

Then came Ram, in a baby carriage

Now’s the time to make it all complete

And to hold the Christening”

We gathered at the Mary of Queen Parish last December 22nd to witness the christening ceremony of my niece, our little angel “Ram”. We are joined by family and friends as well as her “Godparents” as we welcome her to the Christian world. Everyone blessed her and prayed that she may grow up to be a kind hearted and God fearing child. We, as her family will always be here to guide and support her in her growing up years. Her cousins couldn’t wait to play with her. She is a new addition to our growing family. In no time at all, she will be running around in zest. And soon enough, she will no longer be a baby. So as of this moment, we want to cherish her days of being a baby. 

After the ceremony, we then headed to the reception at Rigel’s Cafe. This is where my sister and brother-in-law got married just last year of the same month. Who could have imagined that we will be at the same place to celebrate yet another milestone of their lives? It was almost their wedding anniversary. They are even supposed to have the christening on their anniversary but the date was already blocked out. Geez, Ram may have wanted to have a moment on her own. (LOL) The celebration was indeed a blast.

I pray that she may always find favor in God’s eyes. God bless her!

CREATING A MASTERPIECE

bedroom idea

My girls love colors. They want to have their own room filled with different hues. And I would love to grant their dream to have one. As I was browsing pictures for bedroom ideas, I came across with this one and I just love it. It was love at first sight and I knew that my girls would be thrilled with this. I am planning to redecorate their bedroom like this by next year and I am already looking forward to it. I just have to save more so I can afford to buy some other stuff. The idea thrilled me because I haven’t experienced to have my own room.

With six siblings, we just share a common room for all our stuff. I used to sleep in the living room with my other siblings. We crammed into the small space that we have. My parents and younger siblings are the ones who slept in the room. Basically, we just use the only room in our house to change clothes and other things that need some privacy. We only rented our house so we couldn’t really choose a big one because my father had only a meager income as a laborer in a rice mill in those times. But even if that was the case, it was not a big deal for us. The most important for us was that we are happy and all together. We had a bigger house when my father finally stopped working in the city and we moved to my mother’s hometown. It was an outback. My Uncle (he is my Mother’s older brother), built it as a rest house so every time their siblings who live in another part of the country come to visit us, they will have a place to stay in. When my father quit his job, my Uncle then offered us to stay in the rest house so it was really a relief and a blessing for us to have a place to live in. When they moved there, I was already living with my parents-in-law. We are not really used to be separated from our parents so I usually visit them often. Sometimes I and my husband will stay there for a couple of days. I always missed their company so I really couldn’t help to be with them most of the time.

It has changed nowadays, though. Since my father died, we lived separately. My mother and two siblings are still in my hometown then I and my other three sisters are here in Manila. Even though the four of us are here, yet we seldom see each other. We live in different cities and we have our own families and work. We have different priorities and struggles, however, we still try to meet one another on special occasions or holiday. We also have constant communication through SMS, email or other social networking sites. We may be separated physically but we are still connected and united in hearts and in spirit.

I hope that my children will also have a close relationship with each other just like what I have with my brother and sisters. 

MY JACK OF ALL TRADES

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My hubby in action 🙂

I got a little mischievous when I saw him fixing our electric fan yesterday when it suddenly had this whistling sound. It was annoyingly loud so he acted to put a stop to it. He is basically not a skilled repairman nor good at other odd things or small tasks but he always try to see and check what he can do to fix whatever it is that needed some repairs. I was teasing him and I even place a bet that he couldn’t do it and he was a good sport at it. I was having fun taking pictures of him while he was trying to weave magic on our electric fan. And it was great to see that he was serious in his task that it actually paid off. He did fix our electric fan and now it is working as good as new. Unluckily, I lost in our bet but I am happy of the outcome. We were able to sleep soundly last night, thanks to my not so jack of all trades husband.