Swimming in the Rain!

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It is our rainy season already. Yet, we spent an overnight stay in a resort in Taytay, Rizal for a swimming and another family bonding. :)

Ney had their family car, overhauled and for a break-in, he used it when he visited me and Nonet about two weeks ago. Honey is not familiar with the different places around the Metro, so he had her uncle drive for him. Our house is small and there is no place for kuya Jojo to sleep, that’s why we decided to stay in a resort.

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We stayed a Villa Valera in Taytay Rizal. We occupied one of the rooms. We will be staying for a day. My youngest sister Pauline came with us. While my mother, followed in the afternoon.

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Pau, Nonet and mama enjoyed the pool so much. It was drizzling when we arrived and the cool wind blows but the water in the pool in warm. That’s why they enjoyed swimming. I didn’t get to enjoy the pool so much because I took care of honey. When he is in Quezon, he tends to drink wine and beer all the time. Of course, I hated it.

Even though, I was not able to enjoy the warm pool, I just took advantage of our stay there to relax. I took advantage of the time I spent with honey. :)

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Ciao! :)

Sierre Madre Resort: A Reason To Come Back

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I was asked to join CERT back in September 2011. During my almost 7 months stay in this team, I have build friendship with my colleagues and teammates. Since CERT team will be clipping its wings this week and whether we like it or not, it is inevitable. To savor the few days of our team, we held our team building last weekend @ Sierra Madre’s Spring Valley Resort. That was my second time in the said resort. The first one was with my old team; Team Oneil. Quoting my own words in my fb account; “had an amazing weekend..took a long trip to Sierra Madre resort in a jeepney..heavy rains poured while on the steep road, and on a night we wanted a night swimming..no videoke machine..stayed in a small room and most of all… spent precious bonding moments with friends and CERT colleagues..I really had a good time..I hope that it wouldn’t be the last.. it’s one of the teambuildings that I will treasure for life.. :)

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We had troubles finding a private resort because of the immediate reservation we have to make. We had a hard time setting up the team building schedule because our weekend schedules do not meet. Until our managers, broke the news that CERT will be abolished. We had agreed that our team building will be set last March 31. Due to this, we ended up staying in Sierra Madre Resort and we hired a jeepney to take us there. :)

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I have loved Sierra Madre (though there is no cellphone signal in the place we stayed) because of the calm and serene feeling the it gives. No wonder the place gives us that. If I am not mistaken, Sierra Madre mountain ranges is the longest mountain ranges we have in the Philippines. With that, you already have an idea that the place we stayed in is surrounded with mountains, trees and a wonderful scenery. :)

It was raining when we arrived in the room we have rented. It is small room with 10 double-deck beds. There were 11 of us in the jeep while Tito Loui followed late in the afternoon. Ruth was our cook. She is a good cook. She’s like our mother in the outing. Hehehe! I took charge of keeping the place clean and tidy as much as possible. We had a lot of food. We also got some bottles of beer and rum. Though none of us really got drunk because we enjoyed chitchat, eating and just spending time with each other. :)

I never thought that a team building will be fun without a videoke. The resort refunded the fee we paid for the videoke because they couldn’t find any available videoke anymore. But it was fine. The room we stayed in was an advantage because all of us stayed in the same room. We didn’t have any inhibitions towards each other. We’re like brothers and sisters as we chat with each other. :)

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The following morning, Babylyn took us to the mountain following the jungle trek available. It was slippery because it rained hard the previous night. Only six of us took that challenge, the others preferred to stay in the room and just enjoyed the view. When we reached the top of the mountain, I can’t help but say, “We did it”. We rested for a while and enjoyed the wonders of nature. Then, we prepared ourselves for rappelling down the mountain. It wasn’t easy though but it was fun. :)

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I don’t remember how many times I slipped. Good thing I was wearing black shorts. I already had an insight of what’s going to happen as we go through the trek. Well, I am not as slim as I was. :P

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When we’re back in our room, we changed clothes and took a last dip in the cool pool. :) Then, we had an early lunch and prepared ourselves in going home.

Our team may be dissipated but I hope that the friendship we have built will last a long time. See you on the floor guys! :)

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Ciao! :)

Swimming @ Villa Valera

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After Nonet’s graduation, my new “tropa” went on a family and friends swimming at Villa Valera. The original plan was to spend an overnight swimming in one of the private resorts in Pansol, Calamba Laguna. However, due to budget constraint, we ended up in Villa Valera in Taytay, Rizal. Since, it is near Pasig, the adults decided to take a jeep ride going to the place. One of friends got a car and we loaded it with our baggages and food. My mother and Ate Mhiles mother joined Judith’s family in the said car with our children, including Nonet.

It was raining very hard when we left the school where Nonet graduated. Ate Mhiles, Teacher Ehlay, Aris, Herwin and I took a jeep ride going to the villa. We were already soaking when we arrived in the resort. After organizing our food and finding our own bed, we let the children eat dinner so they would be able to enjoy swimming. Though it was raining, the water in the pool is warm. :) I love it!

I volunteered to look after the 6 children as they enjoyed swimming. Nonet enjoyed swimming! :) She wore the bathing suit I bought for her a day before. My sister Patty also bought her a 2-piece bathing suit, however, my mother and I decided to let her wear the one-piece suit I got her. :)

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When it is time for the adults to eat, I get my food and still stayed near the pool area. I enjoy the grilled liempo, the barbecue and the lumpiang gulay which ate Mhiles mom cooked. :) I also enjoyed the “dessert” that we had. Those were desserts that dad will love! I just hoped that honey is here. He might have spent time with the other dads who joined the swimming. :)

When it is late at night, I asked the children that it is time to get out of the pool and get dress. I also let mama swim a bit and enjoy the the warm water of the pool. :) When the kids are settled in our room, its time for the adults to enjoy. I have requested the katiwala of the resort to turn on the videoke so we can sing. :) I sang four songs in a row before I handed the microphone to the other guests of the resort. Oh yeah, I don’t want to sing. Hehehe!

I enjoyed bonding with my new found friends. We shared stories of our lives and how we discipline our children. We chat and drink a little. When it’s around 4 in the morning, I laid beside my daughter and my mother to do a power nap. When I woke up, they were already up and eating breakfast. I ate a little breakfast, too and packed our things.

We left the resort at around 8 in the morning. The kids wanted to go swimming but we have no more budget anymore. Hehehe! We just told our children that we will come back again. :)

It was really an outing to remember. I know in my heart that the friendship I found with them is for keeps. God bless us all!

Ciao! :)

From South to North

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I will be on leave this evening from work to fetch my Tita Edna from the airport. Tita Edna is my mothers youngest sibling. I have not seen for almost 22 years! The last time I saw her was when she and I participated in the wedding of her brother, my Tito Lino about 22 years ago, too! She was one of the bride’s maid while I was one of the flower girls.

Last week, I received a call from her and she asked me if the trips of Victory Liner going to Baguio in Pasay City is 24 hours. They will be traveling from Cotabato City to Baguio for a scholastic contest. She will accompany her student in the said contest. I decided to file a vacation leave for a day so I can see her. I know that if I wouldn’t take this chance then it may take a while again to see her.

Although, we seldom see each other, there is a bond that will always connect us. :) I am so excited to see her. :) My younger sister Patty will come with me to fetch her. I wanted to bring my daughter along but since Nonet still has classes the following day, I decided to leave her with my mother.

I hope that they will have a safe trip and that her student will win the contest. Can’t wait to see her later on. I will also ask my mother to make some sandwiches to be wrapped in waxed paper, so they wouldn’t get hungry as they travel via land going to Baguio. If only I have budget, I would love to come to Baguio. :)

See you later, Tita. :)

Ciao! :)

Enchanted Kingdom: The Magic Stays With You

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I believe the most awaited place in the educational trip was Enchanted Kingdom in Sta. Rosa Laguna. We arrived at the park maybe between 12:30 to 1PM.

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It was my third visit and Nonet’s first. My first visit was when I was in 4th high school. Long long ago. My second was in 2004. Quite a while still. I was really happy to be back. Nothing much has changed in EK since my last visit. But, I am still enchanted by the park’s beauty. The stone train still sits in the Boulderville. I had a picture in its first coach, and I had Nonet’s picture taken in the same spot. :)

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It was a Thursday and there were only few people around compared to the number of people during weekends. We’re able to enjoy almost all the rides. I was surprised on Nonet’s bravery. She was not afraid to try the different rides around. :)

Our first ride was the roller coaster. I was carried away with Nonet’s excitement and courage. She even raised her hands when the coaster goes down. :) We enjoyed driving the bump car and the bump boat.

Her friends enjoyed the different kiddie rides especially the carousal. We also went up aboard one of the cabins of Wheel Fate. Nonet was not afraid of heights. I kept on telling her not to look down but she enjoyed our height and the top view of EK park! I enjoyed that ride, too. :)

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We saved Riogrande Rapids for last. It’s a good thing, Ate Mhiles asked me to bring clothes for Nonet and I. I brought extra pair of jeans, shirts and undies for both of us. Pau’s bag was a big help, too. It was truly a waterproof bag!

We took the rapids twice. The kids enjoyed it too. They loved getting wet! :)

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After changing into dry clothes, Nonet and I had a little shopping. I bought her and mama a shirt. I also bought Wizard wand and the penguin. I asked if she wanted Eldar instead but she preferred the penguin. Before I brought the penguin; we had an agreement that she will be more obedient and kind to mommy and mama. So, every time she gets a little “pasaway” I always remind her about our agreement with the penguin. :)

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Truly it was a day of fun, laughter and camaraderie. I get to meet parents and make new friends. It was one day I would never forget. :)

Ciao! :)

At the Gourmet Farm

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Our next stop was the Gourmet Farm. On our way to the said farm, we were able to pass through and admire the beauty of the world’s smallest volcano, Taal Volcano. From the distance, it looks so harmless and quiet. But, the said volcano is still active even to these days.

Nonet and I were able to enjoy the beauty of nature as we headed to Gourmet farm. As expected, Gourmet farm houses “farm” of culinary herb. Rosemary, basil, oregano and many more. I wasn’t able to write down the different herbs around the farm. They also offer fresh lettuce and other veggies that you can find in a garden salad. Their products include salad dressings and sauces. I believe that the children were able to enjoy that visit. The parents did, too. The farm’s landscape is fantastic. The fresh air that blows our hair is very relaxing and calming. It was really time to unwind and to energize. (We would need a lot of energy going to our next stop).

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I learned that Gourmet farm’s prime product is coffee. I am a coffee person but I wasn’t able to buy one from their store. The available coffee on their shelf needs a coffee maker. I don’t have a coffee maker yet at home.

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We had our lunch in Gourmet farm. They served us a very delicious iced tea. :)

Hope to come back there again.

Ciao! :)

A Trip to Daranak Falls and Calinawan Cave

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Since, we’re there, the barangay secretary let us use the service and tour around the Tandang Kutyo, which includes visit to Daranak Falls and to a cave called Calinawan Cave (I hope I remember the name of the cave correctly). It our time to unwind! :)

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Our first stop was the Calinawan Cave. I was bad; I forgot to ask the name of our tour guide. He said that the said cave served as a home to wounded soldiers during the war. How I wish there were available incontinence products during that time that our brave soldiers used when they were wounded.

The cave is bounded with tress and vines. One wouldn’t really notice it at all. We didn’t dare to get into the cave but we were told that many people have been exploring the said cave and their local barangay is planning to develop it further and introduce it as a tourist spot.

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After a quick visit and “picture picture” at the entrance and exit of the cave, we headed off to Daranak Falls.

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Exit of Calinawan Cave

It was my first time to see a falls within my reach and enjoy the cold water from the mountain’s spring. I have seen different falls like Pagsanjan Falls in Laguna and Maria Christina Falls in Lanao in pictures but not as close as Daranak Falls. One would really appreciate God’s creation.

The running water was really inviting! I do not have extra clothes and we do not really have plans of going to Daranak. I rolled my pants up and kicked my shoes off. I really enjoyed the water! I wonder if the water from the falls will ever run out. Well, as long the source or the springs continues to produce water then we will be able to enjoy this wonderful God’s creation. :)

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I would like to share this wonderful experience, not only because it was worth telling but I want this to be an eye opener to everybody. That we should be thankful for the wonderful creations God made for us. And, that we should be responsible in taking care of them. In our own little ways, we can help each other preserve the beauty of these creations.

Ciao! :)

Mama is Off to Bora :)

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I received a text message from my cousin this morning about their planned trip to Boracay. He said that my mother will be coming with them. My mother is spending a week vacation in her birth town with her sisters, brothers and mother whom she has not seen in years. Boracay is just a ride a way from where she is. As what we have expected, they would really go there and enjoy the fine white sand of the island. :)

I am really happy for my mother. I am glad that we’re able to make a way and stretch a bit for her fare and pocket money. :)

In spite the fact that we can really feel her absence at home because my sisters and I need to do all the chores in the house, and taking turns in looking after my daughter; we all know that she is enjoying her vacation and that is what important. :)

I wonder how many stories she has to tell when she gets back on Monday. Hehehe! I believe that they would be staying overnight in the said island as they watch the dancing fire from an outdoor firepit, when the sun sets.

I cannot wait to see the pictures she has taken. I hope that she did not forget to charge the camera.

Well, this is the first time that our mother has been a way for a long time. And, I can feel even without saying it that we miss her already. :)

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Ciao! :)

A Reunion

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As of this writing, my mother is enjoying the company of her mother, her siblings and her relatives which she has not seen in decades. She went to visit her mother, her sisters and their sick eldest brother in Antique. My Tita Ellen and Tito Lino were her companions. They left Manila to Ilo-Ilo via Cebu Pacific last May 2, and they will come back on May 9.

Since, it is going to be her first airplane ride and a long trip; we decided to hear mass at the Antipolo Cathedral. As always, the Cathedral is full of devotees. We attended the 9AM mass. Mama’s stomach was not well then, that we decided not to kiss the mantle anymore.

During the mass, my daughter noticed the stained glass wall of the Cathedral with the Holy Family. She noticed the halo of Mama Mary, St. Joseph and Jesus. She asked why they have a “circle” on their head. I told her that they are holy. She then asked what holy means; I answered her that being holy is to do good to other people and to follow God’s commands. Then she asked why I not have any halo. I told her that mommy isn’t that good yet to have one. I know that she has something to ask but I shut her off. Hehehe! I wouldn’t know how and what to answer her succeeding questions. It was a real hard question and answer portion! :)

In the afternoon, we went with our mother going to her sister’s house in Alabang. Tita Ellen and mama have not seen each other since my papa’s death in 2007. It was like a mini reunion. I get to see my maternal cousins and their children. Antoinette was able to meet her second cousins as well. Oh, I should be getting knee sleeves for her. She is so “malikot”! :)

It was really fun talking with my maternal cousins. I do not see them often unlike my paternal cousins. It was like a mini-reunion. :)

After our dinner, we left the house with hopes that we would see each other more often. Then in Alabang, we parted with my mother, my Tita Ellen and her son Ambo, for they go to my Tito Lino’s house in Parañaque.

The following day, we called mama on Tito Lino’s phone and thanked God; they arrived in Antique, safe and sound. :)

I really prayed that mama and her siblings and her mother will have a good journey going to Antique and back to their respective homes.

God bless them all. Our Lady of Peace and Good Voyage, pray for us all!

Ciao! :)

A Graduation Treat

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I am just so happy to know that my vacation leave on Antoinette’s graduation day has been approved. I received an email last night confirming that the vacation leave I have applied for is approved. :)

Nonet shares with us that the presentation they will have on their graduation day. :) I have already bought a gift for Nonet. I got her a pair of shorts and a sunglasses. :) I do not have enough budget to buy expensive toys. I know that she will love my gift for her. While I was at the mall, I went to the toys department and searched for something she would appreciate. I found different pretty baby gifts, but I reminded myself that my daughter isn’t a baby anymore. Whew! Time really flies so fast. :)

Another treat that I am planning to give Nonet is a vacation treat. It’s not that I am sending her to a land far away, but I am pretty sure she would enjoy the breeze and the environment in Quezon. She has been sickly lately, and I believe that a change in environment would make her health better. I also believe the she would enjoy the company of her cousins. :)

How I miss taking a long vacation break.. :( I haven’t had any month-long vacation leave after I graduated from college. God blessed me with a work right away. :) But, sometimes, I feel so tired and a long vacation break would satiate the “vacation hunger” I am feeling. Hehehe! I wish I have the money to spend. :)

Well, it will just be a week from now when Nonet receives her first diploma. I am proud of myself! Hehehe! I have a graduating student already. :P

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Ciao! :)

My Choice of Church!

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Talking about weddings, though I will not be getting married soon, I have a list of churches that I wanted to visit if not get married in it. I have these churches and cathedrals in mind because of their history, the saint they have been dedicated to and because of a special blessing I received when I visited the church. :) Maybe, these may help those engaged couples to decide which church they would go to. :)

Immaculate Concepcion Church or popularly known as Pasig Cathedral, is on top of my list because about it was the first place that ney and I went through when he visited me here about 11 years ago. Though things didn’t go through the way we have wanted it to be, at least we still have each other now. And, I believe that one day, we’ll get married too. :) When we went in the church,  a wedding ceremony is being held. He admired the architecture of the church and I told him that the church is antique. That it was built about 400 years ago! He told me then, that when we get married the priest would ask us by calling me as Engineer and him as an Architect. Well, I am an Engineer by profession but ney wasn’t able to finish Architecture for he switched to Political Science, a year after that. Another thing, that made me fall in love with the church, is its long aisle and because I was raised and been living in Pasig City since I was born. :D

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Pasig Cathedral

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Pasig Cathedral’s Altar

Another church I have in my list is the Nuestra Señora de Gracia Church in Guadalupe. During my “wedding singer” career days, I got the chance to sing in the said church with Kiko and Richard. I fell inlove with the church’s facade. Taking pictures on the stairs that led to the church’s main door would really look beautiful for keeps! :) It is like getting married in the old days for the church was built in the 17th century and is the oldest church in Makati City. Probably one of the oldest church in the Philippines!

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Nuestra Señora de Gracia

The next church I have in my list is the little church in Plaridel, Quezon. I am still checking my files if I was able to save a picture of it from my last trip to Quezon. I have included the said church, because my paternal family lives in the little town of Plaridel. Ney served as a councilor of that town and he has lived his life in there. If I would choose a church from Quezon, then it would definitely this church.

The last, but not the least in my list, is our own church in Rosario; Sto. Rosario de Pasig Parish Church. The church was once a chapel but the growing population of Brgy. Rosario made it to be a parochial church. The said church is special to me because, I was baptized and confirmed in the said church. My Christianity has been hoaned in the said church. I served as choir member, a lector, and a legionary in the said church. That’s why getting married in this church would really be possible. :)

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Taken at the Grotto of Sto. Rosario De Pasig Church with Antoinette

Ciao! :P

Playtime at Star City!

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At our last stop in Nonet’s field trip was the Star City. We arrived at around 3:30PM and the teachers told us that we’ll meet at around 7PM. Food are not allowed inside the theme park since there are different food stalls available. It was quite a long trip from Malabon Zoo to Star City, that’s why we took the opprtunity to rest for a while and had a great snack. We didn’t have any sandwich packed, so we settled on eating biscuits and junk foods! :) Hehehe! It’s just a good thing that there are different detoxifier available in drug stores like thermotox. :)

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We thought that there could be an upcoming bad weather for the rain drizzles when we arrived at the park. But, thank God, the weather turned fine! :) Since we have limited time to spend around the park, the other parents and me decided to start riding on different rides available for the children. I told Nonet that she was only 2 years old when she first visited Star City. I told her that she didn’t like the rides then. :) But now, she really enjoyed the different rides. 

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We didn’t get the chance to watch the fireworks display because we need to leave at 7PM. I bet that all kids enjoyed the theme park. I enjoyed it too! :) I am really happy that I let Antoinette joined this field trip. And I know that it was just the first of many more trips to come. :)

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Ciao! :)

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