Category: Travel

2015 Trips

In a few days, 2015 would end, and to welcome the New Year, I would like to look back on my trips that are truly memorable for me:

El Nido Trip

My college room mate, Nicole, got hitched in El Nido, and my daughter was one of the flower girls, so we flew to Palawan! While we lacked the proper preparations, such as booking of hotel and knowing the land travel duration, we enjoyed our stay there nonetheless. Why wouldn’t we? The place was pristine! The beaches’ sand were like baby powder! (for realzzz) The water was clear! (You know the photos in the net where the boat’s shadow is seen from below the water? It’s true!!) And the food was yummazing! (It was my first time to eat a yellow watermelon hihi) We will definitely go back there, but with proper prep works! Haha!

Zambales Trip

We went to Zambales with my mother-in-law with the purpose of visiting his ill brother. Sadly, he died the moment we arrived. It appeared as though he just waited for us. Of course the moment was very unfortunate, but it was memorable to me because I got to see the other side of my husband’s family. I met his cousins and uncles, and I get to live the life they live: simple, relaxed, yet happy. And above all, I got reminded of how short life is, and that we should maximise it aaaalll the time.

Manila Trip in October

Probably the highlight of my year (in terms of traveling), I traveled last October to attend my high school reunion. As mentioned in my prior entry, “it was a mix of fun, nostalgia, hope, openness, and new memories.” O get to see my previous teachers and classmates whom I have not seen in almost a decade! I’m really looking forward to our next reunion and the new adventures we would all embark together (or not :))!

Manila Trip in December

For the record, this is the most tiring trip of all. Good thing, it did not end there. Lol. I flew to Manila along with my husband’s family to attend their three-day family reunion (o di ba, andun ako, pero wala si edison hihi). After that, we visited the Ocean Park and chilled in Tagaytay. I would like to believe that the best part of this trip was bringing my entire in-law family to my Nanay’s house. Doing so added a different level to the idea of acceptance and knowing me and my family. Albeit my in-laws were not used to small houses, it was mirthful seeing how they adjusted.

So, there you go! The four memorable trips of my year 2015. 🙂

Sem Break Vacay with Cinnamon

It’s been only hours since my daughter and I landed in Zamboanga City from our two-week vacation in Luzon, and I’m itching to write about it! By far, this has been one of the most productive vacations we’ve had because we were able to visit maaannnyy places and events! And these carry lessons, which I would like to share in this post.

Otis 10th Year Reunion: This is actually the primary reason why we flew to Manila– to attend a decade-promise to get together with my high school classmates. Unfortunately, I can’t find the exact words to describe it fully; it was a mix of fun, nostalgia, hope, openness, and new memories. My high classmates and I ate lunch along with our high school teachers at Max’s, and then we went to Pansol for an overnight retreat. While the event itself was memorable, the preparations done were even more indelible. The core team, which consists of Joe Mari, Oscar, JC, Donna, Ame, Cza, Leimer, Cassy, Rudolph, Ara, Ace, and yours truly, created a group chat where we did the everything– from planning, to fund raising, to booking, to confirming, to aligning! Whew! It was one hell-of-a-planning, I must say! My take away from this, both from the event and the planning stage, is that being with high school friends could never go wrong. Sure it would open some cans of worms, but at the end of the day, there is a realization that despite all the years, the time, and the changes, there are still people who would be there for you; there are still people who would know you beyond your college diploma (or the lack of it), your job, and what you have achieved or not achieved in life; there are still people that see you as you are no matter what. Luckily, for me, these “people” are my Otis friends!

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Manila Ocean Park: Thank goodness for Metrodeal, my family and I were finally able to grace this themed-establishment. I bought several vouchers from Metrodeal for P650, which allowed entry to Oceanarium, Dry Encounter with Sharks and Sting Ray, and Fish Spa. This also included lunch at Liquid Buffet. Apart from this, I also bought from Metrodeal vouchers for Yexel’s toy museum for P99/each. I was worried that we might not be able to tour all of the attractions booked, but we did, so yay! 🙂 We arrived at around 11 AM, so my eldest sister decided that we eat lunch first. After that, we moved to the Dry Encounter with Sharks and Sting Ray. It was actually my first time to see a sting ray! I even touched it! Lol We took pictures (a looooottt of them!! haha). After an hour or so, we started out walk to the Ocenarium where we were greeted with big fishes! Inside it are more fishes! (Eh ano pa nga ba? :P) They were pretty, and because I was too busy looking after my daughter, no photos here! Haha Our third stop was Yexel’s toy museum, which I did not quite enjoy because there were students na super kukulit at gugulo. Peace! Tired from all of these, we headed to the Fish Spa. I did not know that there was a time limit, so I was shocked when my name was called. Nonetheless, we did not adhere! Haha But I do not encourage others to do the same. Lol Since it was early and we were already done, we headed to MOA. Our service was not around, so we just rented a van for P350. Not bad. 🙂 In MOA, we strolled for a while, visited Edison, and ate dinner. My take from this is simple: family matters. Kahit saan ka pa makarating, lagi’t lagi dapat isipin ang pamilya, at paminsan-minsan, maglaan ng panahon para sakanila.

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Dinner with Nicole and Yan: The initial plan was to meet with Ina and Nowee then head to Nicole and Yan’s place for chika and dinner, but my Ina and Nowee were flakers, so it was only me who visited Nicole and Yan. I was supposed to bring my daughter, but she chose her Ate Jocelyn (kalaro) over me! huhu Charot Anyway, the visit was, what can I say, full of daldalan. Hahahahaha Nicole (Dev Comm) plus me (Comm Arts) Alam na! Char We talked about our current life, our life groups, our marriage, some snippets of the past, and future plans. Ang saya ‘ko lang kasi yung roommate ko dati na kasabay ko lumandi, kasal na din like me. And she married the man na nilalandi nya dati– just like me! Apir! My take from this is it is always nice to share your life with people that you love, and it pays to allot time with them. Sometimes, distance and changes separate people, but with dinners, chikahan, and visits like this, the separation could be mended and bridged.

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Trick or Treat with Ate Chloe: I knew about the trick or treat event, but I did not plan on joining it because I thought I would be busy that day lol but I did join (well si Cinnamon technically) anyway. We did not have any costume on-hand, so we just bought one along the way. hihihi Super catchy yung costume ni Cinnamon. Darna! She enjoyed it. I knew it the way she ran along with her Ate Chloe, who wore a bee costume, and the way she laughed– yung parang wala nang bukas!  After that, I brought the kids to SM North. We inteded to visit Edison, but we got bored, so we played at Tom’s World. But then we got bored again, so we ate at Jollibee, which also felt boring, so we decided to head home. Haha My take away from this focuses on the kids– they need other kids, too!

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I have a lot of other things to share, but errands!! Haha BRB 🙂

El Nido Wedding

Our good friends JC and Nicole tied the knot in El Nido, and we were fortunate to be invited. Cinnamon was the flower girl, and Edison was a proxy. The invitation was given to us during Cinnamon’s second birthday, but we did not prepare for it until late November  (the wedding was in January!! yay!!)

Despite the cost, which we could have managed had we plan the trip well, it was one of the most beautiful weddings we have attended. It was simple yet touching. The ceremony was held in Papaya Island— one of the private islands in El Nido. All of the invited people met at Stunning Vistas, where the reception was held. We were brought to Papaya Island via 20-minute boat ride. When we arrived, JC, the groom, was there waiting, sitting on the beach together with Sven, their NFF (new-found-friend), wearing only his Khaki shorts, which he also used in the ceremony, while having his long hair flow to his left shoulder (the best waiting groom I’ve ever seen!). We were laughing at the boat, and one of us even said, “Alam ba ni JC na kasal nya?” Lol

Upon docking, we proceeded to the ceremony area where benches were already erected along with the ark-ish where the couple would stay. We just added some flowers and twigs, which we got from the trees there, to clearly set the aisle where Nicole would walk. After a few minutes, the bride arrived! She was beautiful in her plain but super backless white dress, braided blonde hair decorated with floral head dress, and gold necklace. Most weddings use cars to bring the bride, but my friend did not— she used a boat (shempre) haha.

Nicole

(The beautiful bride)

Then the ceremony began. It was lovely and very intimate. Since we were just almost 20 (or 30?), the pastor did not use any mic. It was like when someone is sharing in small groups. 🙂 The preaching was good, and the vows were really sweet. I almost shouted amen when Nicole said, “Wala naman talagang forever. Pero merong lifetime.” Di ba? Huehue

Nicole2

(The couple saying their vows.)

The ceremony was made even funner by the merienda that the coordinators brought. San ka nakakita ng wedding na super relaxed ang mga bisita? I mean, we were eating boiled bananas and drinking soft drinks and the super sarap buko juice while listening, holding our tears, and taking photos? It was really far from the usual weddings (no offence meant!) 🙂

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(Ang saya lang namin diba?)

At the end of it all, I just realised that weddings need not to be super big to be beautiful. Of course big weddings have their edges, but small and intimate weddings, like JC and Nicole’s, also have something to offer—  these offer the realisation that more than the preparations and the intricate details, like venue, food, entourage, and number of guests, it is truly the love and the commitment of the couple that really matters, along with the support of the family members and friends. And for that, thanks Yan and Cole! We hope to attend your 25th wedding anniv! 🙂

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PS Photos used are not mine. Credits given to Photos by Hefty Designs (Alexis Flores & Gio Marasigan).