Jomalig with Friends

20180601_180840.jpgMy friends and I went for a trip to the beach before summer 2018 officially ended. We went to Jomalig island in Quezon. A place with pristine beaches, clear waters and friendly locals which made this trip one for the books.

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We traveled for 3 hours from Manila to Real, Quezon. From Real, it took another five hours by boat. The boat ride was something else. I rode in ferries before but not that kind. We stayed on the top part where we were able to lie down and catch enough sleep.

At the pier, we were picked up by a smaller boat which brought us to Ate Tala’s place. We stayed in a bahay kubo, a very simple yet comfortable accommodation. The bathrooms are clean with enough water. There was no air conditioning but the air from the sea and the two electric fans were enough. Electricity only runs from 1 p.m. to 5 a.m. so we charged our phones and power banks overnight.

Every corner of the place is picturesque. With friends like mine, every shot felt like a photo shoot. I can’t help but feel like a supermodel with each shot. LOL

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The two days we spent on the island had enough memories to last for a lifetime. But of course we would still make a lot more memories. I hope one day I can visit this island once again.

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May They Find Peace

Many people were shocked and saddened by the news of Anthony Bourdain’s death. Merely three days after another celebrity, designer Kate Spade. Both took their own lives.

I posted on Facebook to express my sadness over the tragedy when a friend commented that this is what happens when people take God away from their lives and depend on money and fame. While I am not diminishing the role of faith in one’s mental health, I found the comment insensitive. One of my most loved friends died from suicide and I think it’s unfair to say that he doesn’t believe in God. He did but he was not strong enough.

Mental health issues are like any other health issues, the afflicted did not want it but it hit them.  Who knows what they were going through? Who knows what’s going on in their heads, how they are feeling or how the chemicals in their bodies are working? Who are we to judge? Quoting from the Bible:

God alone, who gave the law, is the judge. He alone has the power to save or destroy. So what right do you have to judge your neighbor?

James 4:12

Again I am not reducing the value of faith in one’s well-being. I am a Catholic and I can’t say that my faith is stronger than others. I somehow get what she wants to say. Perhaps if the comment was stated in another manner I wouldn’t have found it offensive. It sounded condescending, much like how most self-righteous people and hypocrites say it. Perhaps she could just have stayed quiet and prayed; after all the Bible tells us:

Therefore, confess your sins to one another and pray for one another, that you may be healed. The prayer of a righteous person has great power as it is working.

James 5:16

May those who departed find peace in the afterlife. May they find the happiness they have longed for.

Day Two Teacher’s Outing 2018: Coron Ultimate Tour

A trip to Coron will not be complete without island hopping. Unlike Boracay or Bohol where you can lie around the beach if you are feeling a bit lazy, in Coron, you won’t see much if you’re lazy. Its beauty lies around its waters and the small islands scattered around it.

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excited faces =)

Different island hopping packages are offered by different agencies, prices range from P1,300 to P1,500 for the ultimate tour. Now the packages are mostly made up of the same cluster of islands. We took some time comparing the different options we were given and we settled for the one recommended by R2R’s manager.

The following are the places we visited:

  • Twin Lagoon – I was excited to get off the boat even if I don’t know how to swim. We were provided with life jackets and I took the risk BUT it was a long way. My fear took hold of me so I was not able to see the other twin. =( I went back to the boat with a few non swimmers like myself and just took in all the sights around us.

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  • Skeleton Wreck – I knew I wouldn’t be able to risk going to see the wreck so I just enjoyed the sight of some striped fishes swimming near our boat.

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wawa…huhubels ang mga di marunong mag sweyming sweyming

  • CYC beach – Coron Youth Club, the only remaining public beach in Coron. This is where we ate our lunch and got to know our travel buddies. I was finally able to dip in the water (hooray!)

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Finally got wet! woo hoo

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the gorgeous rocks

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LTWA team

  • Kayangan Lake – we had to walk on a wooden trail to get to the entrance. Then we  climbed another series of steps, a hundred at least. There is a view deck where we lined up to have our pictures taken, probably the most photographed view in Coron. Then we went down another series of steps and it was worth the sweat! The black water of the lake which they say is 70% freshwater and 30% saltwater is so picturesque I have to remind myself to close my mouth. Swimming without vests is not allowed which does not affect me since I can’t even control my body when I’m in the water with my vest. Good thing there’s a rock near the side and I was able to dip even just for a few minutes.

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beautiful, breathtaking – parang ako. char!

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so much beauty… ng nagse-selfie choz!

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Kayangan Lake

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  • Siete Picados -seven sins. No idea why they named those beautiful islands as such. Perhaps because you’ll be close to committing the seven deadly sins here – first, you’ll take PRIDE for being a Filipino. We have a very beautiful country. Second, because you can’t even swim, you’ll get green with ENVY at those who can dive and see the magnificent corals and creatures underneath. Third, you’ll feel WRATH – why didn’t I learn to swim when I was younger?! Fourth, you can’t do anything so you’ll be guilty of GLUTTONY because you have no choice but to gobble up all the snacks you packed for the trip. Fifth, you look at those hot, foreign young men, and fight off your LUST. Sixth, the hot sun, the warm breeze, and the lulling waves will make you guilty of SLOTH. Seventh, GREED because you will want to earn tons of money so you can go back and buy off all these islands for yourself. 

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This is probably the highlight of our trip. Rain, our tour guide was very accommodating and funny. We met new, interesting people whose names I forgot. I am quite shy and I was busy feasting my eyes. Everything was so beautiful and breathtaking. Malwawey reef and Las Islas de Coral is included in the package but I don’t have pictures and I don’t remember being there LOL. We went back to our hotel recalling every single moment and laughing at silly events that took place. Our eyes were full, our hearts satiated with another day of fond memories.

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Day One Teacher’s Outing 2018: Coron Town Tour

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LTWA teachers and staff @ NAIA terminal 4

At the end of each school year, LTWA teachers and staff go on an out of town trip as a reward for a successful school year. This year, we visited the beautiful Coron, Palawan. Our relationship as colleagues may have ended but our friendship continues so we are all hoping that we can still find the time to go on trips together after this.

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the black van of R@R Bayview Inn – our airport pick-up and service for the town tour

We booked our tickets around October last year and were lucky to avail of Cebu Pac’s promo. We reserved a nice accommodation in the middle of Coron Town, R2R Bayview Inn. They also provided our airport transfer as well as our town and island hopping tours.

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LTWA teachers and staff at the reception area of R2R

Our plane took off at around 6 in the morning and landed at about 8 am in Busuanga. R2R’s black van was waiting for us. The airport was about thirty minutes away from Coron town. After freshening up and settling in our rooms, we went on our town trip. They charged us P500 per head which is really cheap because a tricycle ride would cost around P800.

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at 300+ steps – syempre confirmed pa rin ang kilay LOL

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The cross at the top… WE DID IT!!!

We stopped briefly at Lualhati Park before we headed to Mt. Tapyas. It was named as such because a part of it was chipped off when the Japanese forces bombed it in WWII. There are 721 steps leading to Mt. Tapyas view deck. I told myself before the climb that I would take it slowly and enjoy the view as I go up. However, I am not as young as I would like to believe to. It was really grueling! Good thing some kids were selling ice candies along the way I was able to gain a little of my energy back.

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Tired but still wanting to explore

After climbing those steps, we went directly to Maquinit hot springs, one of the few saltwater hot springs in the world. We were at Ace water spa last December and I remember not being able to withstand the heat of certain tea pools. I dipped my foot and it was around 39 – 40 degrees. I felt like we were being boiled to serve as dinner for whatever mythical creature was lurking under the water nearby.

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Eerily beautiful

Not far from the spring is a body of saltwater, a part of the sea and I can’t remember my geography classes. Anyway, the water is not moving, there was a little fog. It was eerily beautiful that I can’t help but take selfies. I couldn’t care less if some giant crocodile, shark or even Nessie herself suddenly gobbles me whole.

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selfie muna bago maging dinner ng undin char!

Well, going in the hot spring is not as difficult as it was in the spa. I dipped my feet, then my lower leg, then my knee and before I even know it I was standing in the pool that reached to my chest. It was some sort of a therapy for all my aching muscles from that grueling Mt. Tapyas climb.

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Kiber kung ano nasa dako pa roon

Since it was late and we wanted to start out early the next day, we did not stay long. I bought Salonpas patches and some Mefenamic Acid on the way back. The town tour was not a part of our original plan; we just wanted the island hopping trips. Good thing we availed of this because it surely is fun. =)

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Tired but happy =)

My BFF’s Wedding

The night before she told me that she never dreamed that this would happen.

She’s all jittery and her stomach started acting up a few minutes before. She was crying as she went down the car. She cried even more when she entered the hall. All throughout, I cried with her. The overwhelming joy she felt, I felt some of it too. I have shallow tears but I can stop myself most of the time. On that day, I let it go. I was too happy for her.

We’ve been friends since college. I witnessed her heartaches, her search for the right one. She almost gave up but he came. She’s turning forty this year, he is in his fifties. This is the first and hopefully, the last marriage for both of them.

It was a good day, everyone was happy. It was a day of love, a day of joy.

It is just the beginning. ♥

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Rambling Muttering #1: Arf! Arf!

2018 hit me with a lot of surprises. Even now on its 46th day I am still dizzy with all the changes I have to adjust to. It is scary yet exciting, sad yet liberating. Tomorrow will be the Chinese New Year and I would like to at least write one post to welcome the year of the dog. Some things I did on the first few days of this year are:

  • I cut my hair off, it’s almost reaching my butt and it’s getting harder to comb and shampoo it. Now I feel lighter than ever.
  • I met up with old friends. High school friends and we had a blast.
  • One of my good friends had a mild stroke. She just celebrated her 40th birthday a few days prior. It was a warning to us, a sort of wake up call to be more conscious with our lifestyle and eating habits.
  • My best friend is finally getting married and I am going to their province. It’s my first time to travel alone.
  • I am about to face a crossroad in my life. I can see it from afar and I am mentally and emotionally preparing myself for the day I will make my final choice. It’s stressful. Right now it’s a battle between my heart and my head.

I am listening to those yearly forecasts and I heard somewhere that this is a good year to meet my soulmate. I’ve been hearing that for years now but I still want to believe it. LOL.

Anyway, Gong Xi Fa Cai!

May we all have a prosperous and joyous doggie year ahead. =)

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Brownies!

I’ve been wanting  to try my hand at baking. Unfortunately, I don’t have an oven. I have tried making brownies in the toaster oven using the instant mix from the store but I really would love to make something out of scratch.

I came across this recipe at : https://www.chieffamilyofficer.com/2012/05/toaster-oven-brownies/

Since I have all the ingredients, I gave it a try.

It was another success. (Clap! Clap! Clap!)

brownies

Well not really that good to look at but they taste great. =)