Travels

Summer Heat, Summer Fresh!

May 6th, 2011

Nature junkies’ number one destination would probably and would always perhaps be the BEACH. What with the enchantingly beautiful – sparkling sunrays it paints on the seashore, and the magical picture it creates with the blue skies. Nothing else could be more perfect.



Last week, I trooped down together with my family to an island called Aguirangan. Its a teeny-tiny piece of land in the middle of the sea, with white sand, serene ambiance, and lush trees/vegetation around. It has a stunning coastline as well, welcoming every visitor with its spectacular scenery. Aguirangan is situated in the Bicol Region and is now becoming popular to both Bicolanos and tourists alike. I did not pass-up the chance to see its beauty after I saw all the cool pics my college batch mate posted in her Facebook account.

But to get there, we need to be at the Sabang port as early as 5am. We actually planned to convene at my uncle’s house at 3 am. See? It’s not much obvious how excited we were. We used two vehicles to get us to Sabang, passing by the towns of Pili, Ocampo, Tigaon, Goa, then San Jose. The moment we stepped down the vehicle, a couple of boatmen gave us brief orientation about the boatride. However, we didn’t anticipate that as first-timers (on riding a boat), it would seem so perilous and nerve-wracking an experience. My aunts were screaming and I saw a cousin of mine cry all the way from Sabang port to Aguirangan. Talkative as I am, I shut my mouth for fear of creating more fear. Yaikkks. There was a point we were all silent the whole time we’re inside the boat. It felt surreal. Imagine 45 minutes of boatride and the waves almost crashing in front of us, lulling the boat as if it wants us to sleep to eternity? I will never forget that one scary ride of my life!

And yet, when we get to the island — it was really pretty.  It was just awesome. and splendid. and everything nice.

The kids played to their hearts delight. I took snapshots because I know moments like these are priceless & deserve to be immortalized. Too bad, I only have a point and shoot camera. The oldies stripped and enjoyed the cool blue water.

The boat trip back to Sabang though was another story! 😛

Accidentally Scrumptious!

June 14th, 2010

Sundays have become the customary grocery day for most Filipino households. And this holds true for middle class families who have work and children to attend to during weekdays. For nearly eleven years, on this day of the week – the ever reliable wife, meaning yours truly (yeah right!) marches out the house with her equally-dependable grocery list. Needless to say, lists have earned an ubiquitous reputation for the scatterbrained denizens of the world.

A shopping trolley doesn’t really serve a purpose in my case, not all the time. What good is it that God gave me these tough, sturdy muscles for nothing? In fact between the two of us (husband and wife), I seem to possess more of the manly traits when it comes to performing chores. Well surprise! I do not wait for the guy to carry the sack of rice next to the fridge. I can lift our bed any time I want to, or whenever I got bored with its position. I definitely can deliver a few punches to anybody who will have the mistake of attacking me.  Maybe I am not that feminine or girlish after all.

All these cutesy pa-tootsie thing, all the narci-show is simply to cover my male, tyrannizing side. Hahaha! Cartoon vegetable collection 1

I asked the husband to run through my list should he need to add any vegetable or fruit of his liking. I usually divide my list into three – 1) fruits and vegetables, 2) fish and meat, and 3) dairy products. All the other supplies not available in the wet market can be bought anyway at the nearby super mart. After scanning, he wrote lettuce and broccoli. He developed a particular liking for broccoli after watching a cooking show over at Fox, I guess. Okay, so I bought those although I was a bit frustrated with the overpriced lettuce. It’s not even Christmas yet but these vegetables are pegged at sky-rocketing price. Sometimes, vendors bring to mind politicians!

What’s even funnier, it isn’t lettuce he actually wanted but c-a-u-l-i-f-l-o-w-e-r! Welcome to Alzheimer’s world, hunnybunny. 🙂

Knowing how lettuce’s life span can be short-lived, we decided to be a little creative. Prepare the lettuce I did. Next, I scoured the cupboard for other possible ingredients for my green salad. A dash of salt and pepper, slices of ripe mango, a drop of vinaigrette, few slices of tomato, plus the Manhattan dressing. And presto! I enjoyed a yummy lettuce salad!

Farewell, Tatay Gene

April 15th, 2010

g25432William Shakespeare captured life’s essence when he wrote: “All the world’s a stage, and all the men and women merely players: they have their exits and their entrances; and one man in his time plays many parts, his acts being seven ages.

We all say hello and goodbye one time or another. Like a storyline, there’s always a beginning and an end.

While patiently waiting for my bus in Naga to take me to Manila, I see faces that poignantly speaks of hidden stories — mother half-smiling, half crying as she peeks through the bus’ window and wishes her daughter well; lovers locking eyes and arms with the hope of instantly blurring an impending farewell; families smiling from ear to ear as they expectantly awaits a member’s arrival. My habit to “people watch” whenever I travel undeniably allows me to ponder what’s behind those faces. I think it is significant because in the process, it also permits us to revisit our own selves. And I wish to emphasize that part of our selves which we are too scared to confront. Gray areas and personal taboos we don’t want to acknowledge. Those that we can laugh off but never really erase simply because they’re indelible — just like the idea of death.

Hello moments are often happy moments. The birth of a child for instance, or one’s acceptance to a great job, can uplift the soul to a higher level. On the other hand, goodbye moments are often associated with sadness or mourning. What could be more devastating than when one loses a favorite possession, a friend or a loved one?

My father-in-law, Tatay Gene, who had been very good to me and my children, just said goodbye. However, I was in Bicol when he died so I had to be home immediately to pay my last respect. It was sad knowing I didn’t see him breathing if only for the last time.

People come and go. We have been joined by so many yaya’s and relatives but all of them became best friends with him. Maybe some of them left with ill feelings towards me or my husband but never with Tatay Gene. He’s such a good man that he never remarried after his wife (my husband’s mother) died some 28 years ago. Instead, he devoted his entire life to his six children. Proof of it was the fact that all his children finished school. I also met his nephew, Kuya Alex, and I wasn’t surprised he only have kind words to tell.

Tatay Gene, you may not be able to read this, but I thank you with all my heart and I am sorry if I have offended or made you sad somehow. I know I hadn’t been a perfect daughter-in-law. Whereever you are, please know how proud we are to have witnessed a life well-spent! Yours.

Travel well ‘Tay and please guide us as we face our own hellos and goodbyes. We will miss you and your fatherly grin; your kind gestures; your rationing us fresh vegetables; the sweet potato, ginger, bell pepper, string beans you always loved planting at the rooftop, the sacks of rice you give us for free every time you harvest your palays; the coconuts from the trees you planted; every little thing you did to make your grandchildren Elmo and Faith’s childhood memorable; the cigarette butts you left unintentionally at the sofa; the coffee and coffee mate you buy when our cupboard runs empty; the cabinets you made for free; the wall paints you applied (again, for free); your listening to “haranas” and news updates from your old and battered transistor radio; your watching boxing fights especially those of Pacquiao’s; the visits you made at our house/dorm in Cabanatuan, PRRM, and CLSU; the hot pandesals, the wooden kubo upstairs, the pails of waters you fetched when I gave birth to my eldest. My list is long. I have more to write and the space is not enough. Fare well, Tay! You will be missed.

(Note: This was written in March 28, two days before my father in law’s burial but was only published today since my husband asked that he be allowed to break the news to friends. Yet, up until today he didn’t blog about it.)

Here’s Your Chance to Visit Bora For Free!

April 2nd, 2010

I am not really fond of joining contests but when I saw from my friend’s blog Miss Guimba that WOW Philippines Travel Agency, Inc. has a promo, I decided to join right away. Here’s how you can also enjoy a free Boracay trip:

Win a Free Boracay Vacation Package by WOW Philippines Travel Agency

WOW Philippines Travel Agency, Inc. is celebrating it’s 5th year in business during July of 2010, and we would like you to have a chance to celebrate with us, so we have decided to give-away a FREE Boracay Package complete with 5 Star accommodations at the luxurious Le Soleil de Boracay Hotel on Boracay Island. The lucky winner will win the following Boracay vacation package.

Vacation Package Inclusions:
– 5 Days / 4 Nights Luxury 5 Star Accommodations at the Le Soleil de Boracay  Hotel
– Flights to Boracay from Manila to Caticlan Airport on Philippine Airlines
– Island Transfers – Door-to-Door from Manila to the resort and back to Manila
– Three (3) Meals each day, Breakfast, Lunch & Dinner
– Boracay Activities – Horseback Riding, Island Hopping, Glass Bottom Boat
– PLUS – 5,000 peso Spending Cash

Read More Information: http://www.boracay-packages.com

Six Change Habits For 2010: New Start on Old Habits

December 29th, 2009

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A Facebook friend’s status reads: “He who breaks a resolution is a weakling; He who makes one is a fool. (FM Knowles)”. Somehow it made me a bit hesitant to do a blog entry on this.

A resolution, most of the time is like a wick in an oil lamp, burning passionately at the beginning, then fading off quickly afterwards. Nevertheless, it doesn’t make one less of a person to (still) practice writing a resolution, if only to build some sense of perspective.

A New Year’s resolution represents a “commitment”. Wikipedia points to it as something that most of us make to a project which may be long term or short term. It can also mean the reforming of a habit, often a lifestyle change that is generally interpreted as advantageous.

As the calendar marks the unfolding of a new year, we often come up with numerous lists as a way to start the year right. However, the very act of enumerating too much makes it harder to accomplish, thus rendering itself irrelevant. It takes a lot of hard work to stick and make things happen as planned. In my experience, it’s another story. I don’t know why. Maybe because of my rebellious nature. I seem to defy even my own rules. Does that make my resolutions irrelevant then? Obviously.

But I really would want to revive a few things about myself. These made me appreciate my existence better. Maybe if I go back to doing them in the coming years, I’d find more essence in this world. Zenhabits provided practical tips and guide on how to stick to a new year’s resolution. Accordingly, you must limit your resolution to six (6 changes method), meaning you have to pick ONLY six habits that you deem doable.

This year, I would love to:

1. Revive my knowledge on Pranic Healing. Some time ago, hubby and I attended a workshop on pranic healing, an ancient method of energy healing introduced by Master Choa Kuk Sui. A holistic form of healing, pranic does not rely on drugs but on raw energies around us. Through the years, my husband continuously applied this to our children and it has done wonders. They instantly felt relieved after swipes of negative energies are released. I, on the other hand, halted after I had a job in Manila. My hectic work schedule and shaky moods prevented me from doing so. One has to be emotionally stable to be able to do pranic healing. I hope this year I can do it again.

2. Go places. I used to travel as part of my job, but it was spent mostly on the ‘work’ aspect. I wish I had documented them and squeezed a little time to go to the nearest tourist spots. Well it isn’t too late yet. 😀

3. Work with the youth. I find their vigor and energy monumentally refreshing and contagious. When I am with young people (as with my students) its as if I’m living each day like it was my FIRST. As opposed to the adage that goes ‘live each day as if it were your last’, the former makes you see each day free from all the pain, heartache and disappointments that can weigh you down.

4. Brush up on my language skills. Hmmm, this one is self-explanatory.

5. Save. Impulsive buyer that I am, saving is non-existent in my vocabulary. I practically am mad at money! You see, they don’t stay long in my wallet. I wonder why. Haha. Oh well, that maybe because of my husband who’s exactly my opposite. I better learn from him this time.

6. Improve sleep habits. These days I hardly sleep at all. My eyebags have started to become maletas (travelling bags!), good enough to house a week-worth of travel clothes. To do that means fixing my erratic schedule first. Battle cry should be sleep early, wake up early!

Have a Prosperous 2010 folks!

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