Thursday, July 21, 2016

Lagalag sa Leyte

As promised (long, long ago), here's our Leyte trip.

We left Cebu around 11 pm, if my recollection is correct (ang tagal na nga kasi...), and sailed for about 3 hours, reaching Baybay, Leyte, a little past 2 am. Antok na antok pa kami when we got there. Thank goodness the hotel (if I can call it that) was nearby and we were able to sleep again.


We visited the school TheHusband attended in high school. The school ground was huge! Syempre nag-reminisce sya and pinakwento ko ang mga kalokohan nila nung high school. Kung saan sila dumaraan pag tatakas sila. Kung sino madalas mapatawag ang parents. I wasn't able to take any good pictures of the school because it was sweltering -- sakit sa balat ng init.



After that, we strolled near the bay and stopped for coffee at Ciudad Coffee and Bar. They offer a lot of drinks (alcoholic and otherwise) and merienda to choose from, and their muffins are delicious. The price is a bit steep for me, but, well, not quite as expensive as Starbucks.


Ciudad Coffee and Bar
A RoRo campaign sortie was about to start while we were there, and that was when I realized that RoRo, or at least the half Ro, as it turned out, was doomed. The crowd was rather bleak. Around dusk, the program started with the usual dance number. Cringe. Bakit kaya kelangan ng song and dance number sa campaigns? Is it unique to our country?

We went around the plaza, taking pictures along the way, which I couldn't find in my folder. I must have used another camera for those pics. I will try to update once I find them.

Crabbing
The next day, Saturday, was the eve of the fiesta in Hindang. We were invited by a high school friend of TheHusband. Food was overflowing, natch. Everyone was busog na busog, natch. Daming kwento nung magkakabarkada. Laglagan na! Una tahimik pa ako...kasi they were conversing in Binisaya, which I only know gamay-gamay. Pero nung kinausap na ako ng Tagalog, naka-arangkada ng todo si TPS. Hahahaha! The wife of one of TheHusband's friends was as chatty as I am, if not more and todo kwentuhan inabot ko. Sharkteeth and I left for the hotel mid-afternoon and left TheHusband with his friends.

The next morning, we left for Cebu via Ormoc, but you already know that.

Bakit lagi na lang ako ang photographer?




Sunday, June 26, 2016

Bye, My Dear Bacon


Lady Ham Sandwich "Bacon" Kensington
June 2014 to June 2016


Last Monday, we said our last goodbye to our dear hamster, Bacon. Less than 4 months ago, she got hurt in a scuffle with a rat and broke her forelimb. We brought her to the vet, who was not very optimistic. I didn't think she'd survive. But she did. With vitamins and TLC, she did. She regained her strength and the use of her forelimb. Even with a broken forelimb, she never missed running in her wheel. We had to remove it for a time to let her heal. But a month ago, I noticed a general decline in her health. She wasn't as active as before. She wasn't trying to stage a prison break. She developed holes on her earlobes. Her breathing was labored. She didn't stuff her cheeks as much. Her neck became pronounced. She still loved chocolates and sunflower seeds. And her multivitamins. How she loved her multivitamins...she would stuff the vitamin's syringe in her pouch if I would let her. After a couple of weeks, she seemed to have regained a bit of her strength and I held on to hope that she'd last a bit longer. But last Sunday, I knew she was slowly fading away. I gave her all her favorite food and said goodbye. Come Monday morning, she wasn't breathing anymore when I checked on her. Sharkteeth and I wrapped her in a fabric and buried her in a box with applewood shavings, chocolate, sunflower seeds, and a piece of wood -- all her favorite things, well, except for her running wheel.



Rest in peace, Lady Ham Sandwich "Bacon" Kensington. Love you to bits.

Thursday, June 02, 2016

Gisingin Ang Donya!

Bakit kaya ganun, ang malas ko talaga sa helper?

Since part time lang ang work ng helper ko, I give her an hour of lunch break to rest and short breaks for merienda. Pagbaba ko ng 1:30 pm, nanood pa ng TV. Okay, fine. Around 2:15, aba, tulog ang hitad! Alas tres na tulog pa rin! Ginising ko na, "Ginalyn, Ginalyn..." Aba, parang tuod lang, di man lang naalimpungatan.

Pagdating ng alas-tres medya, hayun, bumangon na ang donya. Meanwhile, tambak pa rin ang labahin at di pa rin natitiklop ang mga fresh clothes.

Gusto kong pagalitan, but I didn't kasi ang init ng ulo ko and I get shrill pag iritado. Bukas na lang pag kalmado na ako.


Tuesday, May 31, 2016

May Day Peeve

Hello! May natirang readers pa ba ako? Anyone? Someone?

Sorry, palagi akong MIA this year. So, so, so busy.

So ganito lang, I'll recap my May na lang.

Birth month of TheHusband. We went snorkeling in Dauin. Sayang, no pictures. I think it's high time I buy an action camera na. I've always wanted to buy one, but I am always held back by the fact that I'm not exactly mahilig sa action. Lazy ass with a capital L. Parang di ko ma-justify na bumili ng action cam. BUT the marine life in Dauin is begging for pictures. Imagine, it's teeming with colorful fishies and corals at 3 ft. Hindi ako nai-stress mag-snorkel kasi mababaw lang. So I'm seriously considering one. Any suggestions aside from GoPro? Yung mura lang.

A week later, we went to Leyte via Cebu. We left midnight and arrived in Cebu early in the morning. We went to SM Travellers' Lounge for a quick shower (the shower was quick; the line wasn't) and to leave our things. Sayang, meron pala sa newly opened Robinson's, konti lang tao, free pa. I picked up my PRC license, where I also met with a buyer. I love that buyer so much, as in. She's very kind and easy-going. She's been buying from me since last year, and unang transaction pa lang namin, she showed consideration and kindness na. *Sana lahat ng buyers katulad nya.* Oooopppsss...nawala na naman ako. Anyhoo, we mostly spent our time in Ayala (hello Daiso!), then before midnight, we sailed to Leyte.

Hmmmm...Leyte deserves a post of its own. Will kwento about it next time.

We left Baybay, Leyte, very early on Sunday. We were in a rush to get to Ormoc and we didn't eat breakfast anymore. Result: HANGRY. Before we left Ormoc, I went to the restroom. As I was zipping up, someone tried to open the door by twisting the doorknob, which was broken. Eh naka-bolt lock. It seems the person on the other side didn't hear me say "wait" and pushed the door forcibly, ruining the bolt lock. I asked, "Bakit mo tinulak? Nasira tuloy ang lock." Ang sagot ng bruha, "Kasalanan mo kasi!" Nag-init agad ulo ko, "Anong kasalanan ko, ha?! Nakasarado pinto, tinulak mo ng malakas. Panong naging kasalanan ko?!" Eh ihi-ihi na yata sya, di na sumagot at pumasok na ng CR. Lessons: Huwag magpakagutom. Saka huwag manisi ng iba.

We arrived Monday morning in Dumaguete. Nagmadali kaming umuwi because of the election. Like yung isang boto ko eh mag-ma-matter, ano? Hehehehe. Infer, nakadagdag ang isa kong boto for Leni Robredo. *Ma'am, congratulations!*

Again, yung usapang election kailangan ng sariling post.

May flew so fast. Napansin ko na lang patapos na ang month.  Pero huwag ka, may humabol pang trahedya. Ninakawan ako ng helper ko ng moolah. :( So sad. Sad for the money gone, sad having to do household chores again.

Bwisit na bwisit talaga ako. I left my bag downstairs when she came in. Pagbaba namin ni TheHusband, bawas na ng 3K. Akala yata dahil burara ako sa pera hindi ko bilang. Twice nang nangyari yun eh. But in the first instance, hindi ko masigurado kung kinuha ba nya or kulang ang sukli kay Sharkteeth sa 7/11. But this time, alam na alam ko ang pera kasi kaka-withdraw ko lang. She was acting oddly pa. When I told TheHusband (within her earshot) that I was missing 3K, biglang pasok sya ng bahay at kung ano-ano tinatanong kay TheHusband. Parang hysterical at manic. Tapos kanta ng kanta ng malakas ng spiritual songs. Baliw lang. Bwiset na yun. May linya pang "swear to God." Swear nya her face. Di na nahiya sa Diyos. I guess she lost more than I did. She was supposed to attend school again this coming school year and I was planning to shoulder her books and uniform. *May karma ka ring bruha ha.* Haaaayyyy...

O sya, I hope to update more often. Laters!





Saturday, April 23, 2016

Siquijor

Warning: Picture heavy.

We went to Siquijor for the very first time last March. Ang tagal na namin sa Dumaguete pero nun lang kami napunta. Daming reasons. Oh well, finally, nakarating na rin.

We traveled by ship, which I would recommend if you have lots of time. If you're going for a day trip, ride a fastcraft. Tickets are sold on the day itself -- no need to get tickets in advance. Well, more like, they WON'T sell you tickets in advance.

So we rode the ship. Took us a looooooonnnnngggg time. Parang more than an hour. I didn't mind it though. The weather was sunshiny and water was so bright and blue. Plus may kadaldalan ako -- a girl from Mandaluyong traveling with her boyfriend. I miss makipagdaldalan ng Tagalog and I really enjoyed our kwentuhan. Kids are so lucky nowadays kasi ang mura na ng air travel. Unlike dati, it was prohibitive talaga. I diss Cebu Pacific every so often, but I can't deny that they did change the landscape (airscape?) of Philippine aviation with their cheap flights. Oh, mabalik tayo sa sea travel. Try not to get the air-conditioned cabins and instead opt for open air seats. Sarap ng hanging-dagat.



It was a little before lunch when we got to Siquijor pier and the closest food place was Portside Café. I bought roasted chicken from the neighboring Señor Pedro, but it didn't taste good, quite unlike those being sold here in Dumaguete. TheHusband and Sharkteeth bought a platter of fried chicken, chicken fingers, fries, and other finger food, which all of us liked.



My new friend -- he reminds me of Toby in the West Wing. Must be the sad, solemn eyes.


After lunch, we walked a bit around the poblacion of Siquijor. We also went inside Siquijor Church.





Church of Siquijor
The parish was established by secular priests under the patronage  [not sure about the translation] of St. Francis of Assissi in February 1, 1783. P. Setten, a secular, started the building of the stone church under the management of P. Alonso de los Delores from 1795 to 1831. The structure of the convent was similar to a fortress to combat frequent pirate attacks.




We booked at Buco Beach Resort in Sawang, Maria, which is on the opposite side of the town of Siquijor and is midway between the towns of Enrique Villanueva and Lazi. While we were in the church, a guy chatted us up, and he said we should pass through Lazi and visit the church. So we did. It was another looooonggg trip, but, again, it was beautiful. We passed through San Juan, and the blue water was sparkling and all sorts of beautiful.


Quite a place to spend eternity in

This public cemetery near the beach appears to be abandoned and neglected. Ewan ko ba...si Voldemort ang naisip ko nung makita ko yung broken tomb.


Finally, we reached Lazi. We're so glad we passed through this route. It's a beautiful town.


Lazi Church




I wasn't able to capture the enormity of this tree. It is huge. Not sequoia-huge, but huge nonetheless.

Convent






The floor of the church is made of two-tone wood. When we were there, somebody was buffing and shining the floor using the traditional bunot. [Bunot is a dried, halved coconut husk used to polish the floor. I hated being tasked as taga-bunot pag cleaner ako nung nag-aaral pa ako 'cause it was so tiring.] The floor isn't perfect, but it appears sturdy and strong, and so shiny (the bunot, see). The church itself is beautiful, especially with its gold and turquoise color theme.








Vintage po-on



We had a bit of trouble looking for a connecting ride to Maria, and eventually, we just rented a tricycle to bring us there.



It was mid-afternoon when we reached Buco Beach Resort. It's a nice little quiet place, and we were able to get a beachfront room. The accommodation was basic, but the room was huge and with two double beds. Both beds have canopies, which apparently weren't mere decorations, as on the side of the resort runs an estuary. But I didn't see any mosquitoes. That is not to say that there weren't any insects 'cause I was bitten by unknown insects, which left me so itchy. Up to now eh hindi pa galing yung mga insect bites. It is awful. My dad sagely remarked, "nabarang ka" when he saw the bites.



The place was really quiet. Sharkteeth was so disappointed because of the isolation and the lack of beach-goers. We had the whole beach (and resort, seems like) to ourselves. I was expecting some island and reggae beats, but only the sound of the water could be heard. The sand was white and powdery near the beach but a bit rocky underwater. I thought the place would be teeming with marine life, but I only saw a few fishies. So that was a bit of a letdown. Nagdala pa naman kami ng snorkeling gear.


We woke up early the following morning and watched the sun rise.



There were so many tiny crabs going to the sea, and it was like something out of a horror film seeing such number of crabs. I imagined myself being chased by the crabs and eventually stumbling down (thank you, pes planus) and being smothered/eaten by them, with only bones left after they're done. Horror story talaga.




When we first got there, Sharkteeth tried the hammock and it flipped over, throwing S out. She was so furious. She felt like it was a personal attack on her being. A total affront! The next morning, she tried it again and vanquished it. Triumph for Sharkteeth! LOL!


The food in the resort was okay, nothing spectacular, but it was something I would prepare at home and was comforting. The staff and the owner were all very polite and attentive. I wouldn't mind staying there again.

We were initially planning to go back to Siquijor via Enrique and Larena, but our schedule was tight, and as we didn't have return tickets yet, we didn't want to risk any delay. We had a difficult time getting a ride back to Siquijor, and we waited for more than an hour before we got a ride to Lazi.



From Lazi, we were able to get a ride going back to Siquijor. We got there fairly early, and we were able to walk around again. Ehem, nakapag-ukay pa ako and found a nice little Longchamp LePliage tote. Forty-five pesos. Say what?! Hahahaha! Di ko na tinawaran. Nakakahiya naman. We got the last trip going to Dumaguete, and it was already dark when we got back home.


Negros Oriental, dusk
Siquijor is one of the places in the Philippines that is usually associated with mystic traditions, with whispers of witchcraft always breathed whenever somebody mentions going there. But insect bites aside, all I've encountered were courteous and welcoming people and I would love to go there again. It reminds me of a simpler time when the world seemed quieter and less complicated and time passed by slowly.

Monday, April 18, 2016

Mga Istoryang Sinauna:Sleeping Beauty

Nabanggit ko nang antukin ako diba? Basta makaupo ako sa bus, LRT, MRT, jeep...BOOM! TULOG! Sa eroplano lang yata ako hindi nakakatulog masyado.


May favorite outfit ako dati: a pair of off-white/cream Guess jeans na pasalubong sa akin ng tita ko (si Auntie Bebeng) and my black turtleneck na talaga namang ang ganda ng fit sa akin. Siguro kasi dahil payat pa ako nun. Yeah, must be it. *Bewang, I miss you!*

Minsan suot ko yun pagpasok ako sa office. Grabe, GGSS talaga ako pag suot ko ang outfit ko na 'yun.  Ang byahe ko Bulacan to Parañaque, grabe sa layo, diba? Bukod sa aking pagiging antukin, talaga namang antok na antok ako dahil napaka-aga pa. Usually, pagkasakay ko ng bus, konting pwesto lang nakakatulog na ako. And that time wasn't any exception. Nakatulog ako agad.

Bigla na lang narinig ko may napasigaw ng konti.

Nagising ako.

Pagdilat ko, nakita ko nakatingin sila lahat sa akin.

Downward.

Kasi nahulog na pala ako sa aisle ng bus!!!

Dumumi ang likod ng pants ko. Huhuhu! Bawas na ang GGSS.

Bumalik na lang ako sa upuan ko at nagtulug-tulogan hanggang makarating ako sa MRT North EDSA. Kunwari walang nangyari. Pero masakit ang puwet ko na tumama. Pero mas masakit ang pride ko.


♥♥♥

This is my spirit animal.


Friday, April 08, 2016

Moving Higher


Sorry, puro abbreviated posts ako ngayon. Super busy. Parentals visiting. Things crazy right now. BUT...BUT...BUT...I just have to say this today, CONGRATULATIONS, DEAR BEBEH! Two down, two more to go!

Tuesday, March 29, 2016

Yooohoooo! Still Here

Minsang nag-blackout sa Dumaguete...



Dahil nag-comment si Aggie, I felt compelled to update. Buhay pa ako! Busy-busy-han lang sa pagkita ng salapi. Will update soon. Marami akong kwento -- my other life as a dressmaker, Siquijor, my oh-so-cheap "ducking" Instagram fight (still debating if I should post this, ang cheap kasi), blackout sa Dumaguete. Time, I need time.

Oh well. Baboosh muna.

I'll be back being vengeful!

Ooopps, mali, I mean, I'll be back with a vengeance pala.

Tuesday, February 23, 2016

Musings

Remember the raffle I had last during my blog's 10th anniversary? May nakalimutan akong kwento. Well, when I queued to pay for the coloring book and the red bowls for the raffle, I was next to a little old lady. Then I saw her paying for chipped cups with broken handles. The store sells their damaged cups and ceramics by weight, and that's where she got them. It saddened me, because there I was, poised to pay for some cute bowls that weren't even particularly expensive, and here's someone buying damaged cups because she [possibly] can't afford to buy good ones. I felt sad and uncomfortable. I wanted to buy the lady some nice ones or give her some of my Cath Kidstons, but she had this unmistakable look of pride, and I would hate if she feels insulted by my offer.

Which brings me to my next point. I don't know if I'm ungrateful, but I really cringe when I see people using the hashtag #blessed, or gasp(!!!), #beyondblessed in the most inane pictures. As some of you know, I have an IG shop, and I always see these women posting pictures of their most recent teacup acquisition captioned with "Truly, madly, deeply in love with you. #Grateful #Thankful #Blessed #Beyondblessed". Matanong ko lang, are there metrics for blessedness? Some sort of a Likert scale, perhaps? Like if it's a rare teacup in mint condition, #beyondblessed, but if it has a scratch, #blessed lang? Although possibly ako lang talaga ang may problema...that I am not grateful enough. After all, little things that we take for granted might be valuable treasures to others.


On a serious note, and I think I'm not being OA about this, I am very thankful for the relative success of my Instagram store. I started it out without any clear or specific item in mind -- I just posted things that I myself would buy. I thought about selling antique teacups and saucers, but I didn't have a supplier. Luckily, my annual supply of Cath Kidston mugs came a bit early last year, and through another stroke of luck, I was able to find an inventory of Butler Mrs. Winterbottom's cottage-style ceramics. And those two brands became my bestsellers. I was able to find my own niche in the overwhelmingly huge world of online selling. And like the proverbial cherry on top, I got some new friends along the way. There's this lady, who I'm quite sure is as lovely as her words, from Cebu who places orders almost every month, and it's such a joy to transact with her -- always polite and pleasant. As they say it nowadays, nakaka-good vibes. Meron pa rin naman na baliw-baliwan customers, pero I don't wanna dwell on them na, and besides, the good customers outnumber the bad. I'm not exactly getting rich with this IG gig, but I love shopping, whether for myself or for others, and I'm happy to have some sort of platform where I can buy and share my finds and earn a bit extra as well.

Saturday, February 20, 2016

Halo-Halo


Eksena from pasukan last January

TPS: So, how was school today?
Sharkteeth: It was okay at first. Teacher M was being so nice. Then, in the afternoon, BAM! UNLEASH THE KRAKEN! Teacher M has gone crazy again. I knew it's too good to last.

♥♥♥

In despair, part 1

Sharkteeth: I really love this R2D2 Lego figure I borrowed from J. I'm going to be sad when I return this tomorrow.
TPS: Bakit di ka na lang magpabili kay J?
Sharkteeth: That seems DESPERATE of me...
TPS: But you are...
Sharkteeth: Yes, I am, but you should NEVER show you're desperate.

♥♥♥

In despair, part 2

Sharkteeth: Sr. X gave away puppies earlier.
TPS: Why didn't you ask for one? Or at least tell her to reserve one for you next time her dog is preggers.
Sharkteeth: That seems DESPERATE of me...
TPS: But you are...
Sharkteeth: Yes, I am, but AGAIN you should NEVER show you're desperate.

♥♥♥

Sharkteeth: Nuns do not get married, right?
TPS: Well, they're married to God.
Sharkteeth: If they are married to God, then God has soooooo many wives.
TPS: Weeeelllll...I guess so.
Sharkteeth: CHICKBOY...

♥♥♥

Magpa-Pasko noon

TPS: 13th month -- the thing I miss the most [nung mag-freelance ako] saka aircon all day...
AttyR: Pero not wearing bra all day, so WORTH it.

Oh. Em. Gee!!! So true. I don't even know why bra was invented. It, along with corsets, is simply ridiculous, and OPPRESSIVE. I feel that brassieres are a tool of the patriarchal society to "put women in place." Hmmmm...this needs to be expounded upon. Maybe in another entry.

♥♥♥

Yung isang onion ko sa ref sprouted some leaves, so I planted it in a mug and placed it near the door. Just a couple of mornings later, eto ang eksena:




Tapos ang dakilang aso, pasukab na naman tumingin. Mukhang guilty. Obviously, hindi simpleng nabagsak lang. Talagang ang layo ng narating ng mug/planter. Nagselos na naman yun sa tanim. Every time na lang, nagseselos sya sa mga plants na tinatanim ko. While on the subject of TheDog, diba nagkasakit sya last year and akala ko matutuluyan na? Well, as I said in the same entry, he survived. Well, not only did he survive, but it seems he got a second lease in life. He looks much fitter now, with fuller, glossier fur. Dati kasi, nawawalan sya ng patches of fur and he was shedding so much. Yun nga lang, all gums na halos. 

Nakup...TheHamster naman. Sus, napakarami nyang trials and tribulations na pinagdaraanan. I let her roam the house last week, not knowing that a rat was inside the house, and it attacked Bacon. Hayun, pilay ngayon si Bebeh Bacon. Kawawa naman. Hirap na hirap tuloy sa pagtakbo nya sa hamster wheel. Hiyang-hiya naman ako sa kanya. Sya, pipilay-pilay na, todo exercise pa, eh ako? Well...huwag na nating pag-usapan.

♥♥♥

Minsan, I picked up a parcel from JRS, which is located near the mall I frequent. When I attempted to leave my boxed parcel sa baggage counter:
Baggage counter crew (BCC): Ma'am, bawal ang box.
TPS: 'Di ba pag sealed lang ang box? Heto, oh, isang plato lang ang laman.
BCC: Ma'am, bawal talaga ang box.
Punta ako sa security guard. 
TPS: Pa'no ito, I need to buy something, eh bawal daw iwanan ang box?
Guard: Ma'am, bawal talaga ang box.
TPS: Tanungin mo naman yung supervisor.
Supervisor: Ma'am, ano ba laman ng box?
TPS: Isang plato lang.
Supervisor: Ma'am, ilagay mo na lang ang plato sa bag mo and iwan mo na lang ang box sa tabi ng baggage counter.

Kaya ko gustong iwan yung plato sa baggage counter ay dahil pupunta ako sa houseware section and I didn't want to look suspicious having a plate in my bag. And papaiwanan di naman nila yung box. Hay, if this isn't an example of stupidity, I don't know what is. *eye roll*

♥♥♥

Pahulaan Portion: There's this important [to me] Instagram account who followed my seller IG account. Itago na lang natin sa pangalang Baby Pink. As pointed out by Diane, I am one of the few accounts that Baby Pink follows. Halong flattered and bewildered ako why they're following my account. Feeling ko eh Baby Pink just wants to keep tabs on my selling activity. Anyhoo, that's not the point. (But I had to say it 'cause feelingera ako!) Napansin ko na isa sa pina-follow ni Baby Pink na account was someone I directly messaged ONCE(!) in IG, offering her Cath Kidston mugs (at my very discounted rates, of course, not free -- or baka dahil hindi free? hahahahaha!). Itago natin sa pangalang Pistachio Green. Aba, aba, aba! Beast mode ang hitad, ni-BLOCK ako!!! I just messaged her that one time, block agad? Di ba pwedeng ignore lang muna? Obviously, bitter ako. Not because of the blocking chuva per se, but more on the realization that so many bloggers out there have this charming-I-spread-love-hope-and-rainbow-to-the-world-benevolent-goddess public persona, but I am not quite sure what to make of their private persona. 

I wasn't able to screengrab everybody, but she's there in the list...nuninuninuninu...

Thursday, February 18, 2016

Reunions 2016

January has been a reunion month of sorts for me. We flew back to Manila on the 23rd for a family reunion, and I was able to visit D as well as meet up with the Cath Kidston Sisterhood. Yes, there is such a thing. *Cough* We're still waiting for our Cath Kidston endorsement deal and blog sponsorship. Get on with it! *Cough* Actually, kinulit ko talaga sila. Hehehehe. Chismisan galore na naman, natch. But we were careful when gossiping about other, uhmmm, notable bloggers, lest we get the Tina T. treatment. Hahahahahahaha! Seriously, thank you, Leah and Diane. I had a great time chatting with you two! Thank you sa gifts. 


At our favorite rendezvous

The next day,  the whole family trooped to Baguio for the family reunion. Ewan ko ba kung bakit doon pa. I'm not complaining. If you've been reading my blog, you'd know by now that I love that place. I was just wondering 'cause it was still cold in Baguio, and the reunion was held in the [dubious] honor of my two titas who went home from Canada and New Jersey, USA, i.e., both cold, cold places. I mean, why not just go here in Dumaguete, where it is sunshiny all day, everyday? Oh well, like I said, I'm not complaining. It has been so long since I saw my tita from Canada. I was pregnant with Sharkteeth pa when she left for Canada, and ngayon lang sya bumalik. I remember her calling when it was near my due date, comforting me, advising me not to get nervous about giving birth. Well, I wasn't really nervous about it. I figured the human race wouldn't reach this number of population if it's as dangerous as she was purporting it to be. Mas ninenerbyos pa ako nun sa gagastusin ko sa ospital eh. :) My other aunt, Bebeng, visited sometime ago, but I don't remember when exactly. Needless to say, I missed them both and was quite excited to see them again.

The trip to Baguio was uneventful and was fairly quick -- ~4 hours via NLEX and SCTEX. We were all cramped in a van: 1 driver, 6 thandercats, 4 middle-agers/forever young, 3 kiddielets. Given the chance, the kiddielets would have brought their pet Siamese and Maltese. Buti na lang hindi dinala. I cannot share my space again with a dog, no matter how much I love animals. In fairness, comfortable naman. I managed to get dibs sa last row ng van and was able to get some sleep.


We got to St Patrick's Village (SPV) around 10 am and it wasn't check-in time yet.  We proceeded to Mile Hi Camp John Hay, a string of  duty free shops. I was able to buy a couple of stuff, but the store wasn't impressive at all. Their dollar-to-peso conversion rate was close to 50 pesos, 49 if I remember it right, which was significantly higher than the prevailing bank rate that day (January 24). There are lots of clothes, shoes, bags, and food, but many of the clothes are surplus supplies, which you can get cheaply at SM Surplus Shop. What is so galling is that they're selling blatant fakes. Fake bags, fake clothes, fake shoes. Fake! Fake! Fake! I do not have much objection against fake fashion products, but I would want to know if I am buying one, and with Camp John Hay's veneer of kasosyalan, them selling fakes leaves a bad taste in the mouth. Or perhaps that's all there is to it, a veneer.

Anyhoo, after eating brunch, we got a call from SPV that our unit was already available. SPV is beautiful. As in. The villa we got has a driver's quarter, 5 bedrooms (each with either en suite or adjacent bathroom), an attic, a living room, a dining room, and a kitchen. It's so peaceful and relaxing there, as it's quite far from the noise and hub of the city.





There are electric fireplaces, which are quite helpful when night-time coldness creeps in.


Each unit has its own kitchen and appliances, although I'd suggest that you bring your own plates and utensils. For a group of 14, the plates and utensils provided by the villa weren't enough. We brought a lot of food and chichirya, but for the main meals, we just bought from the city. The villa provides water for each unit. My aunt wasn't so impressed with the kitchen tops, as they were made of wood, which, while sealed, seems to absorb moisture. We had a very hard time figuring out the gas regulator of the stove. There wasn't any crew around to help us, as it was very early in the morning.

Hey, pogggiiiii...


Oh, it has a spacious veranda as well. It was so cold there during the night that I barely stayed for more than a few minutes.





The beds and sheets are plush and comfortable. Pero syempre, may baon akong unan. I can't sleep with just one pillow kasi. The crew will provide you with more linens and pillows for a fee. Mura lang naman. Parang 100 per set. Oh, walang aircon ang rooms. Of course, malamig naman, but I kinda miss the white noise an aircon provides. Windows are screened, and you can open them without having to worry about mosquitoes.


Tulog agad pag aralan; pag TV, puyatan!
There's a pullout bed and a divan in the attic, where the kids stayed. Oh, merong hidden room sa attic. Too bad, the kids figured it out a bit late. We could have pranked them or something. Alas.

Bago mag-umaga, Sharkteeth came knocking and planted herself on the bed. Ako tuloy ang nawalan ng lugar. *Aping-api na naman si mymy.*


On our first day there, most of us went out to tour the city. Three of the thandercat sisters stayed, Madear, Aunt L, and Aunt Bebeng. The effect of jet lag hit Aunt Bebeng, and she promptly fell asleep, kaya di na nakasama. I think Madear wanted to chat with her sisters, hence she stayed. Meanwhile, we went to Mines View, St. Joseph the Worker Church, the Mansion, Botanical Garden, and Burnham Park. Sharteeth and her cousins and the other thundercatz went to Burnham Park, while my cousin, aunt, and I went the ukayan. I was under strict instructions from Sharkteeth to  look for Precious Moments figurines. Alas, I didn't find any. I was able to buy a lot of stuff though. It's a bit frustrating 'cause my cousin and aunt really wanted to go to the ukay yet they weren't able to buy any. Sa totoo lang, sobrang mahal kasi ng high-end designer items sa Baguio. For me, it's not worth buying a 10K+ bag from the ukay. Well, unless it's a Vuitton trunk or an authentic Hermes or Chanel. We proceeded to Burnham Park to meet with the kids and buy dinner.






Click for panoramic view


Dito daw kinasal sina Aga and Charlene

The following day, after checking out, which was soooooo sad because I really loved our stay in SPV, we went to SM for our lunch. Syempre, papalagpasin ba ni Sharkteeth ang chance to go to National Bookstore? Off-topic: Last December, we went to National Bookstore as well and I found a seemingly stray pack of the Fifty Shades trilogy among packs of children's books. I mean, seriously, Fifty Shades in the children's section?! Aba, this January, andun pa rin talaga. Sinasadya ba ito ng National?



After SM, we went to the palengke, then off to Our Lady of Lourdes. The chapel in Lourdes seems to be a new addition to the place. Even the flowers look newly planted.










Uwian na after ng Lourdes. The kids were so exhausted and slept through most of the trip home. If there is one thing that makes this family reunion distinct from other Pinoy reunions, it's that no one is asked to sing, dance, or perform anything. The whole of the Philippines should be thankful. Hahahaha. We stayed in Bulacan briefly, like for a few hours. Our trip back to Dumaguete was on the first flight the next day and we opted to sleep in the airport. Hay, I'm too old na to be doing this sort of thing, sleeping in airports. But either that or possibly miss our flight again. No contest, really.

While I enjoyed every moment of the brief vacation, it felt so bitin. It seems I wasn't able to spend much time with my aunts, and it would be years before they visit again. Oh well, at least, it's something to look forward to. :)

Credits: Most of the pictures were taken by my beautiful cousin M.