Storytelling 101

Once upon a time, there is a happy girl living in a tree house. She met a guy in the market when she is buying foods one afternoon. From then on, they will buy together in the market. Until the guy confessed his love to the girl which she wholeheartedly accepted.

But one day, the guy did not show up. Until the next day and the days after that. Later on, she found out that he ran away with someone else.

Because of that, she kept on crying and had refused talking to anyone. She started to be sad and chose to be alone.

Until finally, she accepted what had happened, thought of it as a blessing and chose to be happy again.

Ever since then, she strived hard to enjoy her life, do what she wants and love herself more. After all, life is too short to be miserable. It must be enjoyed. 😁😉😊

Journey with Love

Time flies so fast! I did not notice that it has already been a year since that turning point in my life (heartbreak). A year that was full of many things that had happened, changes and whirlwind of emotions.

IT HAS BEEN A YEAR SINCE I STOPPED DOING A LOT OF THINGS.

I stopped crying for someone who can no longer wipe my tears away.

I stopped thinking about someone who has a mind full of everything except me.

I stopped torturing myself by hurting it everyday.

I stopped making myself miserable when I can be happy.

I stopped doing stuff that is killing me in every little way.

I stopped being unhappy.

I stopped being lonely.

I stopped questioning myself and even God why things happened this way.

I stopped searching for answers and reasons.

I stopped being Detective Conan solving the equations.

I stopped being pathetic by doing those things that people find funny.

I stopped defending myself when others already judged me without hearing what I have to say.

I stopped chasing someone who does not want to be.

I stopped caring for someone who does not need it from me.

I stopped fighting for someone who already gave up on us and me.

I stopped loving someone who already fell out of love and who no longer feel it the same way.

I stopped wanting someone who wants someone else anyway.

I stopped believing that I could not live without him when he can totally live without me.

I stopped everything that could ruin myself and my life in every single way.

I stopped everything because I deserve more than that pain, hate and misery.

BUT THE MOMENT I STOPPED ALL THESE THINGS, I STARTED TO DO SOMETHING NEW.

I started smiling for all the things that happened to me.

I started thinking about those people who care for me like my friends and family.

I started doing things that make me happy.

I started to live and appreciate life as much as I can be.

I started to laugh more often even it is corny.

I started to enjoy life to the fullest that I can be.

I started thanking God for everything He has done to me.

I started finding answers without even doing anything.

I started focusing to much more important things.

I started thinking less about what people has to say about me.

I started minding my own business and ignoring all the negativity others are throwing into me.

I started chasing the time that I missed with myself, my friends and especially my family.

I started caring more about myself.

I started fighting for what makes me happy and what I think is right.

I started loving myself and giving it the value it deserves.

I started believing that we do not need to depend to others to have a happy life. We can make it amazing even just with ourselves.

I started doing stuff that make me a better person and make my life totally wonderful.

I started everything that I can think of that is worth every breath that I take, everyday that I wake up and every challenges that I had to face just to live.

AND BECAUSE OF WHAT HAD HAPPENED EXACTLY A YEAR AGO, I LEARNED MANY THINGS ABOUT MYSELF AND MY LIFE.

I learned that I can be independent and can conquer anything.

I learned that there are people in this world that were born to love and care for me in whatever circumstances I am in.

I learned that whatever happened, my family will be there for me even if there were times I took them for granted.

I learned that in order to be happy, you need to appreciate everything and everyone even the smallest thing in the world.

I learned that you can love others if you love yourself.

I learned that you can get what you deserve if you know what your value is.

I learned that every single thing that happened in our lives has its own reasons.

I learned that the people who came in our lives have a purpose either to give us lesson or to stay for the rest of time.

I learned that people come and go so we need to prepare ourselves if one day they’ll leave.

I learned that long term relationship is not a qualification to stay together for a lifetime.

I learned that the people you loved can hurt you the worst.

I learned that the people who hurt you are not that bad at all. They are still the good and kind people you loved. Yet, they just did a bad decision.

I learned that when you love, leave something for yourself so that when they leave, you are still being loved.

I learned that hating and cursing someone are inevitable especially when you were hurt but it can only make you miserable. Find deep down in your heart to forgive and heal those wounds.

I learned to be opened to my family and friends and I shared more about my emotions and thoughts.

I learned that talking to your friends will help you a lot to feel better even if you are already pointless and annoying.

I learned that the best way to move on is that you accept that it is over.

I learned to travel more (doing solo trips), laugh more, eat more, love myself more and make myself better everyday be it in the way I dressed or the way I think or the way I act. Because I am the only one who can give it to myself better if not the best.

BUT IN BETWEEN THIS YEAR, IT HAS BEEN SO TOUGH AND ONE ROLLER COASTER RIDE.

I reached to the point that I felt hurt then I hated and cursed. Then, I felt happy and excited. Then went back to hate, hurt then happy and the cycle continued. But, things changed and got better every single day. Until, I became contented and happy. I became more confident. And I became stronger and better.

And I wanna thank every single person who arrived in my life and touched it in their own way.

To those who judged me without hearing my story, thanks for giving me the reason to care less about you and what others will think and say about me. Either I am being good or bad, you always have something bad and negative to say. So why care! 😛

To those who hurt me, thank you for letting me realize that I can be better and stronger. And that I can still forgive people even if how much they had hurt me. Even if they don’t apologize for doing it to me. That in every pain that I felt, there is always a positive thing to it and there is still something I will be grateful of.

To you, thank you very much for the happy and good memories we shared together, for the love and care you gave and for touching my life in a positive way. Things may end but I will always be grateful.

To my friends, salamat for listening, for opening my eyes to the truth, for comforting me, for bullying me, making fun of me and for whatever trips we are in. Our relationship is not perfect but you loved me even if I am too difficult to understand and to handle.

To my family, daghang salamat for the love and care. For welcoming me with your heart and open arms even if I took you for granted and missing our family day because I am out traveling. For understanding me and being patient. I will always be thankful of you. I am blessed that God gave me you.

To God, super thank you for not leaving me even a single second. You showed me everything even the worst. You led the way and made me realized about a lot of things in this life. You blessed me beyond what I deserve. You loved me unconditionally. You are there anytime of the day. I am blessed. Thanks God.

I SHARED THESE THINGS BECAUSE I WANT TO ENCOURAGE OTHERS WHO ARE HURT AND BROKEN-HEARTED THAT LIFE DOES NOT END WHEN THE PERSON YOU LOVE STOPPED LOVING YOU.

Your life is so precious and beautiful for you to just make it miserable by being sad and wanting someone or something you cannot have. You just have to accept that it did happen. You deserve to be happy and the only person that can give you that is yourself. If you keep on being miserable, think of all the people who wish that thing will happen to you. They will now be celebrating.

I did not say pretend to be okay when you are not. But what I am saying is that, give yourself the limitation on how long are you going to be not okay. How long are you going to cry. How long are you going to ask why. How long are you going to blame yourself. How long are you going to wish to be with him again.

But when you reached the limitation, stopped there. Then do something that can make yourself happier, better and stronger. Because if you continued being not okay, you will be in pain but not because of the person who hurt you but because of yourself. Do not reach to the point that you are the one responsible in ruining your life. You can do better than that.

Think of what had happened as a blessing. Think of the positive side. And please, stop feeling self-pity. C’mon! Do something that can make yourself proud of you.

Remember, God will not give you a challenge that you cannot conquer. Instead of asking Him why things happened, asked God why He blessed you that much.

Appreciate everyone around you. Your friends and family even strangers. Do something better for them who care and worry about you.

Never regret that it happened. If it happened that way, let it be. You cannot undo the past. But, do something now that you will be thankful for in the future.

And like any other wound, the wound in your heart may be painful but it will heal through time. And it will leave a scar, a beautiful one. Because that scar will remind you of what you’ve been through, how you survived it and how wonderful you have become.

You are beautiful and awesome! Smile and be merry. 😍

#TripMagSoloSaMati : A less than 24 hours journey

Last weekend I went on a solo trip to one of the surfing sites in the Philippines, Mati City. It is the 5th class city and capital of the province of Davao Oriental. Famous for surfing and skim boarding but there are still a lot of things you can do there. 😊

Check out my experience over the weekend. And include this on your #travelgoals, #bucketlist and #wanderlust journey. 😀

HOW TO GET THERE From Ecoland Bus Terminal in Davao City, you can take a bus with Mati signage. There are two bus liners that ply there. You can also choose either to take the non-stop, air conditioned or non-air conditioned bus.

In my case, I was able to take the air conditioned bus because the non-stop bus follows schedule (not every hour).

The fare is Php 240 and the travel time is 5-6 hours including all the stopover both in bus stops and terminals.

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I thought that I am the only passenger but people arrived a few minutes after. HAHA!

HOW TO GET AROUND The tourist destination in Mati is kinda far from each other, except the Baywalk and Clock Tower which both can be found in the city proper.

If you want to go around, you can either take a habal-habal (motorcycle), tricycle or rela. I am not sure if how much is the fare for the trike and rela since I took the habal-habal.

These habal-habal drivers will approach you once you get off at the bus terminal. The rate will differ on where you will go. Try to negotiate to lower the rate if you think it’s too much.

For me, I hired to tour me around and dropped me off at Dahican Beach. My driver, Kuya Mon 0935 4768200 gave me a rate of Php 500. The next day, he charged me Php 150 to pick up from Dahican Beach and drop off at the Bus Terminal.

SLEEPING DINOSAUR Our first stop is the Sleeping Dinosaur.

IMG_5889.JPG Supposedly, you can get off at the viewing deck before you arrive in the terminal. However, I chose not to because I was worried that I will find it hard to look for a vehicle to ride going to the terminal.

It is about 10-11 kilometers away from the terminal. Or about 15-20 minutes ride.

As the name suggest, it is a hill that formed like a sleeping dinosaur. A portion of it is surrounded with seawater. Visitors can also trek on it. It will take 30 minutes.

But for people like me who has limited time, I just took photos and appreciated it from the viewing deck. 🦖

IMG_5874IMG_5848CLOCK TOWER Before we headed to our next stop, we stopped at the city’s Clock Tower. It can be found near the City Hall. Near the clock is written the date 1903 when the place was declared as a municipality.

BAYWALK Last stop before heading to Dahican Beach is their Baywalk. It is located by the sea. It is surrounded by stalls and restaurants. Here you can find and buy the famous Empanada. Kuya Mon kept on asking me if I will buy but I didn’t since I won’t directly go home from Mati. But, when I go back, for sure I will try this.

IMG_5914.JPG Many people both locals and tourists would go here especially when the sun is about to set. Some are just relaxing and chatting while others are taking pictures, eating and even dancing. The sunset here is beautiful too.

CRZR2376.JPGDAHICAN BEACH Kuya Mon then dropped me off at Amihan sa Dahican. He has been promoting and convincing me to stay here but I already had a reservation at Dahican Surf Resort.

For those who plan to go to Mati City, you can either stay at Dahican Surf Resort or Amihan sa Dahican. Actually, they are just a few walk away from each other.

The difference might be that DSR has rooms and tents that you can choose from. Their fan room costs Php 2000 (5 pax), Php 2400 (6pax), Php 3600 (10pax), Php 4800 (12 pax) and AC room for Php 1500 (2pax) while their tent rental is Php 300-500 plus the entrance fee of Php 200 per pax. You can reach them at their Facebook page Dahican Surf Resort. They only have common comfort room and shower. They have Surf Shack Bar and Grill where you can dine and drink. They also teach surfing lessons.

On the other hand, Amihan sa Dahican only offers tent for those who want to overnight. The rate is Php 320. They have a store where guests can buy their needs. However, they don’t sell liquors/alcohol drinks and cigarettes. They don’t allow drinking within the premise since they are protecting the marine life of the turtles and the kids that they are supporting. They advise guests who want to drink to go to DSR. They also offer surfing lessons for Php 500 per hour. And they can cook for their guests at a corresponding fee. If you want to stay here, please send me a message so that I can give you the contact number of the caretakers.

Wherever you choose to stay, always keep in mind to be responsible guests. Do not throw garbage anywhere. Help the people protect their paradise.

SURFING I did not go to Mati City just to chill and eat even if I want to just sleep all day. Hahaha.

But I went there to do something for the first time and tick off it from by bucketlist. That is surfing!

I have been to Siargao but was not able to do it. And so, I will not miss this time.

I went to Amihan sa Dahican for the surfing lesson. My instructors, Kuya Winston, Qiara and Kuya Jose were so patient with me the whole time.

img_6108.jpg First thing we did since it was my first time was to do the basic. Paddle, ready and stand up.

After learning it, we went to the water and applied what they taught me. After few minutes, I was kinda frustrated thinking that 1 hour may be over yet all I did was paddle. But, I did not give up. I kept on trying and motivating myself that I can do it. Plus my instructors are encouraging me and very helpful.

Until I did once, twice, thrice and I did enjoy. It was the best experience though.

After falling for a couple of times, I did it.

I was very happy after that and felt so fulfilled. 🙂

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Happy Kiddo 🙂

<br

on id="attachment_media-149" align="aligncenter" width="506"]IMG_6027.JPGMy instructors Kuya Winston & Qiara 🙂[/caption]<br
that, I went back to DSR to change and prepare my things. Then, checked out and headed back to Amihan sa Dahican where Kuya Mon will pick me up.

Indeed, it was an experience that I will always look back and cherish. Not just because I was able to surf. But before the trip, there were people who told me that it's gonna be hard and unsafe for me to go there alone. This motivates me more to do it. Also, I was able to meet and chat with new friends (the locals). Talked about their lives and how beautiful & peaceful their place is.

Definitely, I will be back in Mati City. First for the empanada. Second for the museum (I missed to visit because I was running out of time). Third is for the turtle at Amihan sa Dahican. Fourth is for the surfing. And lastly, of course for the people and my newfound friends.

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TIPS

  1. Mati City is far from Davao City so it is better to depart Davao City early in the morning. Much better also if you can take the non-stop bus.
  2. When traveling to/from Mati City, you can bring your foods but there will also be stopover.
  3. It is better if you contact a habal-habal driver to pick you up and tour around the city.
  4. If you have already contacted a driver, you can ask the bus driver or conductor to drop you off at Sleeping Dinosaur so that you won’t need to go back there. It will save you time. Then inform your habal-habal driver to pick you there.
  5. Do not forget to try the famous Empanada at their Baywalk.
  6. Buy your dinner at the city before heading to Dahican Beach. Though, Dahican Surg Resort has a restaurant but the foods being served is limited.
  7. You can also buy your necessity like snacks, water, toiletries, etc. in the city. There are many convenience stores in the area. There are also banks where you can withdraw money.
  8. If you want to stay in a room, reserve a room in advance at Dahican Surf Resort. There rooms are very limited that it gets fully booked fast.
  9. If you opt to stay in a tent, there are options to choose from. You can either bring your own tent or rent their tent at Amihan sa Dahican or Dahican Surf Resort. There is also an area a few meters away from DSR where you can put up your tent.
  10. Do not leave Mati City without surfing. May it be your first time or not, or may you be a beginner or expert, you should do it. It is indeed fun! 🙂

I hope you can pay a visit at Mati City. It is kinda far but it is totally worth it. Plus the people are so accommodating and friendly. You will not just gain experience and stories to tell but you will also gain new friends. 😀

EL NIDO : WHAT CAN YOU SAY?

I have been to El Nido once way back 2016 (if I am not wrong). And this year, I went with my family minus my mother. For the almost 2 years difference that I visited there, one thing that I noticed is that there are more tourists now. Maybe because it is easier to go there and many have great stories and pictures that had been shared. So, yeah!

But, what can I say during my visits in El Nido?

  1. It is a long drive or trip to get there except if money is not a problem and you can just ride on an airplane directly to El Nido. But for travellers like us who are mostly on budget, we need to do it the longer yet less comfortable but still convenient way. We took 5-6 hours to reach El Nido. It was a journey seeing trees, mountains, rock formations, oceans, and a lot more.
  2. Long drive no problem. You know why? It is because it is totally worth it. What awaits you there is very beautiful.
  3. Still beautiful place for island hopping and snorkeling. The corals and fishes are very alive and numerous. They are well taken care of by the locals. The lagoons are clean and beautiful. The sea is very inviting. We did not get tired of swimming and snorkeling. Every side is picturesque. You can have tons of photos worth sharing. Mother Nature is instagrammable and jaw dropping.
  4. The people’s care and love is very present. You can really tell that the locals there are doing their best to protect the province. Maybe because it is a huge means of income but more than that it is their paradise. Indeed, it is paradise that needs to be cared and protected.
  5. There are rules that need to be followed when doing the island hopping tours. Every guests are expected to follow the rules especially not throwing of garbage on the ocean, not feeding the fishes and not stepping on the corals. In this way, we are sure that the species are not damaged and disturbed.
  6. The no plastic policy. I am not sure if this is implemented throughout the town but we were able to buy in a store and they are using paper bags instead of plastics. And they cannot even provide one because they are not allowed to.
  7. There is a wide variety of place to stay from homestay to inns to pension houses to hotels to resorts. What ever you like and whatever suits you, they have something for you. You just have to choose based on your own preference.
  8. The foods are delicious. The prices are reasonable I believe because the serving is big, the seafood is fresh and they are all yummy. Worth every penny.
  9. The amazing and friendly people. When you go to El Nido you can meet different kind of people both locals and tourists. But everyone in El Nido (the locals) are friendly. From the van driver to the tour guide to the boat captain to the crew to the tricycle driver to the restaurant staff to the vendors. They are nice and helpful.
  10. Sunset in El Nido is mesmerizing. We took one photo in a restaurant with the sunset as background. Wow! It is like a painting. Very beautiful 🙂

 

On the other hand, there are few things that can still be improved in El Nido.

  1. The tricycle rate is not fixed. We ride on different tricycles and the drivers gave us different rate even if our origin and destination are just the same. They should regulate this as well. Yet, surcharge fees still be applied during late night trips.
  2. The road is small for the number of vehicles going around and coming in & out. Since it is getting popular and many tourists are coming, sometimes you can feel a traffic jam. Though it is very tolerable.
  3. This is for those who cannot live without internet connection. Their internet connection in El Nido is weak. But maybe the good side with this is that you can connect to the people you are traveling with and the people around you by disconnecting yourself from the digital world. Because personal conversation is still the best communication. As they say, Disconnect to Connect.

 

Indeed, El Nido is a place that everyone especially island and beach lovers should visit. Thanks to the locals for taking good care of their wealth. And I hope every tourist that will go there will remember the rules and will help protect El Nido. I hope they will be mindful enough to avoid doing things that could ruin it. In this way, we can share the beauty of El Nido to the generations to come.

 

 

 

 

#LaFamiliaGoesPalawan

Hi, guys! It has been awhile since I posted in my blog. But I will try to publish our latest escapade the soonest that I can. I just hope though. HAHA!

Anyway, a few days ago , me & my family (except Mama) went on an out of town trip in Palawan.

So, why Palawan?

Palawan is always part of the dream destination of most of the people not just with Filipinos but even foreigners. But other than that, there can still be another reasons for other people why they chose to visit Palawan.

For me & my family, I guess we have more or less 3 reasons. Let us talk about that one-by-one.

  1. Palawan is a popular tourist destination.
    • Having one of the 7 Wonders in the World, Underground River,  be located in this place encouraged more people to go, visit & experience it. But aside from that, Palawan has in store a lot of wonderful things to do and see. Of course, that includes the wonderful beaches.
  2. Palawan is so beautiful to miss.
    • Palawan is more than just a city or a province or a group of islands. But Palawan is paradise. A paradise of the beautiful Mother Nature, delicious foods and friendly people. These and more really want you to come and go back.
  3. Palawan used to where my father worked when he was younger.
    • He talked about it a lot of times and over & over again. And every time that he shared his story, you can see that excitement and happiness in his eyes and voice. Actually, he was his own talkative self during the trip, talking anything to the our tour guide, boat crew and van driver.
  4. I have been here last 2016 (if I am not wrong) and I want my family especially my parents to visit it. I want them to experience what I did, to create their own memories and to tell their own story.

That is why when Cebu Pacific Air offered a seat sale promotion last August for their domestic and international flights, I then checked to possible places where we can go. Fortunately, the fare to Puerto Princesa was only around Php 1800 per person and that’s already round-trip. And so, I called my sister, mother and aunt. When they agreed, I then booked everyone. I booked 10 pax that include my parents, sister, brother, sister-in-law, aunt, uncle and 2 cousins.

Months prior to our scheduled trip, I created an itinerary then I asked tour packages in an agency. But as days went by, I decided to have it DIY (do-it-your own). That’s when I started looking for hotels to stay, van transportation to rent and tour in El Nido.

When we were like a few weeks away to our trip, my uncle became unsure if he can go because he has a training to attend, my brother sent me a chat message that he won’t let my sister-in-law go because of some personal things and my mother is hesitant to go as well because of work. Until we were able to convince my brother to go but they will just go home ahead of us and thanks God, he agreed. So, I booked his round-trip plane ticket and my sister-in-law’s return ticket. Then, my aunt also called requesting me to book for my uncle from Manila instead of Cebu.

On the contrary, my mother really was not able to go because of work. Okay! We already ranted and complained enough and everything was over so I won’t rant again here. 😀

Thus, the trip was a mixed of emotions. Happy that we can spend it with the family. Excited because it will be our first out of town trip together (aside from Negros Occidental & Cebu). Plus, it’s my cousin’s (Keishza) first plane ride and she didn’t know about this trip until we arrived in the airport. She’s 9 years old by the way. Sad & worried because Mama cannot join and she’s alone in the island.

In addition, typhoon Basyang had landfall on the week of our trip. We were worried that it might be stormy during the weekend. Thanks God and we were blessed with a fine, sunny weather.

I am gonna share our tour, experiences and tips on the following posts.

TIPS

  1. If you are going to El Nido or other municipality in Palawan, you can commute a van, or rent a van or car. I am not sure if how much is the fare but for El Nido, it costs Php 600 per person per way if you will commute. But for us, we rented a van from Northern Hope Tours at Php 10,000.00 two-way.
  2. It is cheaper to rent a van for the city tour than book a tour. The van costs Php 1500 for the first 4 hours while the city tour package costs Php 600 per head. The differences are when you rent a van, it only comes with the transportation, fuel and driver. But, you have the option where to go and how long to stay. While when you avail a tour package, there is a tour guide, a transportation, fuel, entrance fees, driver and snacks. But, it is limited to what is included in the package.
  3. Puerto Princesa is a little bit traffic already. So make sure that you have enough time to travel to the airport. Enough that you won’t be left by the airplane.
  4. There are lots of places to choose where to stay in Palawan. Just make sure to book earlier because there are many tourists coming there and rooms are most likely to get sold out fast.
  5. If possible, devour yourself with seafood. The province is rich with this. You can choose from a wide variety of foods. They can cook it whatever you like.
  6. Try their Crocodile Sisig and Tamilok. These sounds weird but the first tastes like a ground pork while we haven’t tried the second. But it is best to try something new.
  7. Don’t forget to bargain when you buy pasalubong and souvenir. Use your haggling skills because in most cases, it worked for me. HAHAHA!
  8. The people in the province really gives important to Mother Earth. They really have this mission to protect and conserve it. So, always abide their rules and help them protect the nature and their pride.
  9. When you travel, aside from seeing, exploring and experiencing, also try to learn from where you go. Learn about the history, the story and even its purpose. In this way, we would understand the people in there.
  10. Remember to connect to the people (both the locals and fellow tourists) and have fun.

 

Day 1 – Puerto Princesa City Tour

 

#LaFamiliaGoesPalawan: Puerto Princesa City Tour

And the day has come… our trip to Palawan!

Early morning on the 16th day of February, 2018, we all met in Mactan Cebu International Airport. 6 of us including me, my sister, father, aunt and 2 cousins came from Cebu City; my uncle from Manila; and my brother & sister-in-law from Escalante City.

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Cebu Pacific Air was on time that day. We were able to took off at around 10:40AM and landed before 12NN.

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I called our van driver but he was still on his way. So, while waiting, we took a few photos in this podium placed in celebration of the Chinese New Year (which is that day and it’s a holiday).

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After about 15 minutes, he arrived and told him that we will have lunch at Kalui Restaurant. My sister was able to try it there on her first trip to Palawan and she did recommend the place. When we arrived, many were waiting outside. This only proved that this place is really popular and in demand.

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We did not wait that long until a table was available to accommodate all of us. After ordering and getting our tummy full, we went to their comfort room. Guess what if what did we do??? Yeah! We took photos again. We can’t help it. The place is so beautiful. Their comfort room looks like a house and there are many paintings outside.

After that, we went to our first stop of the Puerto Princesa City Tour.

Plaza Cuartel

This used to be the military base during the World War II. There is a tunnel that connects to the airport. Unfortunately, it is no longer accessible.

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Immaculate Concepcion Cathedral

Next stop is the Cathedral that can be found just across Plaza Cuartel. We went inside, prayed then went out.

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Then the driver asked us if where we want to go, Crocodile Farm or Butterfly Eco Garden and Tribal Village. He pointed out the differences. The first being a crocodile farm, we can find baby crocs to big crocs. While the second being a Butterfly Eco Garden and Tribal Village, we can find butterflies. Aside from that, there are also other animals that can be found including a crocodile. Then there is a tribal village where we can meet Palawan natives called Palaw’an.

Just to clarify, Palawan is a place while Palaw’an are the people living there.

Souvenir Shop

Before we headed to our next stop, we dropped by the Souvenir Shop to do some souvenir and pasalubong shopping.

Butterfly Eco Garden and Tribal Village

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After paying the Php 50.00 per adult entrance fee, we were then welcomed by a tour guide. He gave us some information about Palawan including why their logo is peacock. Palawan peacock-pheasant can be found only in Palawan and is considered to be the most expensive peacock in the world. A baby peacock costs around USD2000 each. They are already endangered.

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After that, we headed to meet other animals in the garden.

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Then the guide told us that the Tribal Show will about to start and he handed us to the other tour guide who can speak the native language, Ibalnan.

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Everyday they will do a show to visitors to introduce their creations, activities, livelihoods, talents and even how they hunt for foods. Every two weeks, the families will be exchanging who will stay in the village and others will go home in the mountain. The people in the Butterfly Eco Garden also teach the young natives their language so that they won’t forget it.

After that, the visitors can take a photo with the natives and their pet, a snake. I don’t like reptiles and snakes are really not my thing. I think I have a phobia both the animal and the human (LOL! HAHA).

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Mitra’s Ranch

This is a place owned by late Senator Ramon Mitra. It is a very beautiful place with an overlooking view of Puerto Princesa City and Dos Palmas Resort. Visitors need to pay the entrance fee of Php 20.00 to be able to get inside the house and take photos. They also have a small bar where visitors can have a snacks. They have zipline and horseback riding too. But, the view is so breathtaking and more than enough to stay and chill.

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Baker’s Hill

Our last stop is Baker’s Hill. We roamed around and took photos. Then decided to eat pizza before heading out. We then got back to the van and headed to El Nido.

The 5-hour journey now begins.

We departed at 5:30PM then arrived at St. John Island View Pensionne House at 10:30PM. We just had a short stopover at Halfway to have our dinner.

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TIPS

  1. If you are renting a van for El Nido and have enough time for a City Tour, you can do it before departing to El Nido. We rented at Northern Hope Tours.
  2. If you are traveling in a group, it is cheaper if you just rent a van than getting a tour package. Unless, you want a tour guide with you. A van rental costs Php 1500 for 4 hours while the City Tour package is Php 600 per person.
  3. When we had our City Tour, we chose the Butterfly Eco Garden and Tribal Village over the Crocodile Farm. First because there is still crocodile in the Eco Garden. Second, there is more animals that we can see in the Eco Garden. Third, the chance to meet and witness the natives.
  4. When buying souvenirs, try to haggle the price.
  5. Do not miss buying pasalubong from Bakers Hill. Their pastries and goods are delicious.
  6. You can eat and chill at Bakers Hill.
  7. You can do Zipline and horseback riding in Mitra’s Ranch.
  8. Kalaui Restaurant offers wide choices of delicious foods. Plus, the ambiance is very amazing.
  9. We chose St. John Island View Pensionne House because there were few hotels/resorts left that can cater a group of 10 pax. Also, there are good reviews in TripAdvisor. But, the resort is about 10-15 minutes tricycle ride (without traffic) to the beach.
  10. The tricycle fare in El Nido is not fixed. It will vary on the driver. Ask the hotel staff for the fare.

#TripMagSoloSaTaiwan : Northern Coast

Yay! This will be my 3rd and last day!

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This is my no breakfast yet look! 😀

For my last day, I booked a half day tour for Taiwan’s Northern Coast via Klook. The tour guide will pick me up at the hotel at 8AM. So, I decided to wake up around 6AM to prepare myself and my stuff because I will be checking out as well.

At 7AM, I went down and checked out then took my breakfast. Before, I can even finish my sandwich, the tour guide was already there looking for me. So, I just brought my foods and drinks and continued eating in the bus.

Unfortunately, they picked me up first. HAHAHA!

Then, we picked up the other guests. We were like 8 or 9 guests. There were 3 other Filipinos with me.

The more or less 1 hour bus ride to our first destination started at Taipei Main Station (where the last guest was picked up).

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Along the way, we did see buildings, bridges, establishments, even road construction and of course, nature. Taiwan is a clean place and I love traveling there because of the trees and mountains.

Our first stop was Chung Cheng Park where we can find the 25-meter Goddess of Mercy statue. The place also offered a great overlooking view of Keelung.

But before we reached the park, we passed the statue of Confucius.

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When we got off from the bus, the tour guide gave some information and instruction before we were told that we can roam around.

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Guests can get inside the statue, ring the bell, see the beautiful Keelung City, take pictures and buy souvenirs.

I just took a photo of the statue and decided not to climb up inside because it’s kinda tiring. HAHAHA!

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Then, there’s me! 😀

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Then, I went to the bell and again just took some photos.

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Afterwards, the tour guide was back in the meeting place to pick us up and proceed to our next and last stop.

Just a couple of minutes away, we arrived in our destination, the famous Yehliu Geopark. It is the home of the Queen’s Head rock formation.

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We were given an hour to roam around and take pictures. It was raining the whole time but it didn’t stop us to capture the beautiful place and that rare moment.

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This is Tony Ling, our tour guide, giving information and instruction.

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Let the tour begin… 😀

Why the place called Yehliu? It is because of these plants that grow in the area. These are called Yehliu. Its fruit looks like a small pineapple but pineapple tastes better.

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This is Lin Tian Zhen, a fisherman. His statue was built as a sign of gratitude of the people in his heroic deed of sacrificing his life to save the kids who were drown in this ocean.

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Remember always! Never cross or go beyond that red line. The rocks are slippery. You might end up falling on the ocean.

Since the park has been famous, expect that there will be many guest visiting here. Whether it’s raining or not.

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And the longest line will be in the Queen’s Head. It will eat up on your time if you will fall in line to take a photo with it.

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But we have a hack! 😀

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Thanks to this beautiful and friendly lady, Joyce from the USA for taking photos of me and being my companion for this tour. A new-found friend that I hope to meet again one day. 😉

When the time was up, we met him again at the entrance then we headed back to Taipei City.

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In going to and from Yehliu Geopark, you will pass the ocean, the mountain, the city. It is so amazing to witness the lives of the Taiwanese in this area.

When we were entering Taipei City, the guide asked me if I want to be dropped off in the hotel or if there is some other place that I want to go. I asked him if he can dropped me off at National Taiwan University or the Ying De Univesity in the famous Taiwanese series, Meteor Garden. Unfortunately, it’s out of the way so I decided to alight at Taipei Main Station so that I can buy some pasalubong in the mall.

I bid farewell to my new friend and continued my walking journey to the station. I decided not to go to National Taiwan University because my feet were aching already. So, I went back to the hotel to pick up my stuff then headed to the airport.

 

 

#TripMagSoloSaTaiwan: Taipei City Tour

I started my second day in Taiwan with an early trip from Hualien County to Taipei City via a train.

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After 2.5 hours trip, I arrived at the Taipei Main Station. I decided to head first to the hotel that I will be staying so that I can leave my things before starting my tour.

I will be staying in Uinn Travel Hostel. After a train ride from Taipei Main Station to Chiang Kai Shek Memorial Hall Station, I walked for about 10-15 minutes to get to the hotel. Thanks to #GoogleMaps for the help. 🙂

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This is my cozy hotel. It looks attractive and homey outside.

 

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These two welcomed me. 🙂

When I arrived, it is still so early for their check in time. The staff informed that I can leave my things and proceed with my tour. I asked them if I could change and they were so kind enough to let me use their bathroom in the lower floor. And then, they gave me some information on what can I see within the area.

Then, I headed out and start my day 2.

Let the walking begin… (We really need to walk and walk and walk! Hahaha.)

My first destination is the Sun Yat-sen Memorial Hall. A memorial to the founder of modern China, Dr. Sun Yat-sen. The National Sun Yatsen Memorial Hall was built in 1972 as a tribute to the founder of the Republic of China.(From: Guide to Taipei)

It can be found just a few meters away from the Sun Yat-sen Train Station. You will not be lost because there is a signage outside. No entrance fee.

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Other good thing about the place is that you can have a look of Taipei 101

 

I believe he is Sun Yat-sen. (I cannot read Chinese. :D)

 

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This is the Memorial Hall.

From here, you can have a full view of the Taipei 101.

When I was there, the guards had a performance. I am not sure though if it was the changing of guards or just purely a performance. Anyhow, everyone was entertained.

Next stop is the Confucius Temple and Dalongdong Baoan Temple. They are just located in the same area (like you can just walk from the first to the second).

This is the station where you need to get off and walk to Baoan Temple and Confucius Temple.

One of the things I love about Taiwan is that you can just leave your scooters and bicycles without worrying. Plus, you can rent a bicycle anywhere. You just have to tap your Easy Card. They have bike lanes too.

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And the people do follow traffic rules too.

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When I was walking to the temple, I saw this tall fence with some words written in Chinese. This is the time that I wish I know basic Chinese. Haha! I am not sure if it is the temple that I am looking for or not. But Google said that I should keep on walking until I crossed to that fence.

 

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When I was there, I saw this quote from Confucius. I continued walking until I saw the 6 Confucian Arts. I took a photo on each of them before heading to the temple across the street.

 

It is the Dalongdong Baoan Temple. There were few tourists and few locals praying. I roamed around and took some photos. I really wanted to try praying with the incense sticks but I do not know how to. 🙂

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After that, I went inside to the temple across it which I do not know what is the name.

Then went back to the temple I went first. Without knowing, that tall fence is where I can find The Confucius Temple. Unfortunately, it was closed during my visit. So I just took the photos of the gate and the quote outside. Then, I headed back to the train station for my next destination.

But before heading to my next stop, I got hungry. It was past lunch time already. I was looking around and I see many local restaurants or like a carinderia in the PH. But my problem is how can I communicate with them. Their menu is written in Chinese and I am not sure if they can understand me speaking in foreign language. Thus, I looked for another place to eat until I find Subway. Okay! This is so new (seems like there is none of it in PH. Haha!) but I have no choice. Even if I want to try eating the local dish that much, I chose not to because I cannot understand the menu. Hahaha! Plus I am very conscious with what to eat since I just came out from the hospital!

Then, finally heading to my 3rd stop, the Chiang Kai-shek Memorial Hall.

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The CKS Memorial Hall was erected in honor and memory of Generalissimo Chiang Kai-shek, the former President of the Republic of China, and was opened in 1980 as part of a national park and gathering area. The name of the square is officially Liberty Square (自由廣場), as seen above the front gate, however the name change was politically motivated and most people in practice still refer to the entire complex as CKS Memorial Hall. (From: Guide to Taipei)

I just roamed around, took photos and enjoyed the view even if it was raining the whole time.

I also got inside the hall, checked on the display, bought souvenir and a postcard, wrote a note for my mother and dropped it in the post office. I want to make it a habit to send a post card to my mother every time I am out of country. Starting this trip. 🙂

She was able to receive it two weeks after and she hanged it in our Christmas Tree. Haha!

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When I got satisfied and tired in walking around, I decided to head to Taipei 101.

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When I arrived, it was still raining. I directly headed to the floor to claim my ticket. Actually, I already bought a ticket through Klook but I need to clam the physical ticket in Taipei 101. The staff asked me if what is my preferred time and she told me that they cannot guarantee that it will be 100% visible because of the rain. So, I chose the 4:30PM schedule.

Since I still have a few more minutes, I decided to go back to the food court and had a snack because I felt really hungry.

Taiwan is the land of milktea so I decided to try one even if I am not supposed to drink anything with milk and tea. 😀

Then headed back after that. And took some photos.

We will be transported to the 89th floor via an elevator. Of course, that is the only way I guess. Haha!

While we were travelling, there is some voice over giving us some information while the ceiling of the elevator’s display kept on changing (just like when we went to N Seoul Tower in Seoul). And it seems I had panic attacked and so, I kept myself busy in taking videos. 😀

Fortunately, even if it was raining, the view outside was still very clear. There was still day light since it was still 4:30PM. I can clearly see the tall buildings that already look like a miniature, the mountain, the fog, the bridge, and a lot more. I enjoyed looking outside, taking photos.

The difficult thing about traveling solo is taking yourself a decent whole body picture. Luckily, there was this woman (a Filipino) who offered to take photo of me and even let her daughter took some because as what she said, her daughter is good photographer. Indeed, they are. Thanks to them. 🙂

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When it was already getting dark, I decided to go down and proceed to my next destination. But before that, we needed to pass through this store in going to the elevator.

I would supposedly be going to Elephant Mountain to get a very nice view of Taipei 101. But since it was raining the whole day, I thought not to go because it might not be visible.

So, I decided to head to my next and last stop, Taipei Main Station Mall. Yeah, the station has a mall and a wide variety of things to buy from pasalubong to clothes to souvenirs to toys to Japanese collectibles (I have been looking for this because my mother requested) to a whole lot more. They also have restaurants where you can dine.

I walked and walked and walked and checked the stores until I was able to buy what my Mama wanted, souvenirs and a Doraemon miniature for myself. I wanted to buy Doraemon stuff in every country that I will be visiting for collection. 🙂

It was around 8PM that I decided to stop checking the stores but instead look for a restaurant where I can have my dinner. I found one and bought some Ramen and Fried Pork.

My feet was hurting so bad already that I can barely walk. But I still have to walk to the train station and to the hotel.

After the dinner, I headed to the station then took the line to Chiang Kai-shek Memorial Hall station. From there, I walked again for about 10 minutes to the hotel.

While I was walking, I just noticed that even if the road was quiet and there was some dark spots but it is still very safe to walk. Plus, I saw a lot of scooters park outside and some have even a helmet left on it.

After a few minutes, finally I arrived in the hotel. I claimed my stuff, the key was given to me and I headed to my room.

My roommates were already sleeping the moment I arrived. It was already past 10PM. I just arranged my things because I will check out early the next day. Then had a shower, changed and charged all my gadgets. 🙂

And I called that a day. That’s how my day 2 had been. Too much things that I visited and saw. Kinda tiring but very fun. ❤

 

 

Sidetrip at Labyrinth in Toledo City

One fine sunny day, I went to Toledo City.

After my appointment and fortunately, there are still enough time left, I had a sidetrip at Capilla Santa Ana and The Labyrinth.

So, I told the tricycle driver that I am going to Capilla Santa Ana and he said that he knew the place.

Guests will be welcomed by the guard who opened the gate. He informed me that I need to pay the entrance fee of Php 100 per person for the Labyrinth. There is an office inside the chapel where guests can pay. After acknowledging him, I headed to the chapel.

The chapel is so beautiful and it’s like you are in the ancient days. From the doors to the furnitures to the saints to the altar. Everything about is mesmerizing.

Here’s a few shots that I have. There were paintings in one of the rooms but I am not sure if we are allowed to post so wag na lang.

I roamed inside the chapel, checked the other rooms and even upstairs. Afterwards, I decided to go out and checked the famous Labyrinth.

Labyrinth by definition according to Wikipedia (Greek: λαβύρινθος labyrinthos) was an elaborate, confusing structure designed and built by the legendary artificer Daedalus for King Minos of Crete at Knossos.

We commonly call it maze as well. The labyrinth in Toledo City can be found just beside the Capilla Sta. Ana. But, compared to the usual mazes that we can see, the structure of the plants here are shorter. Thus, the people can see the pathways. However, it is still challenging and tiring to walk through the pathway to the center and go back to the route to go out.

Yeah, there is no other way out but to go back. It’s really tiring but so fun. 😁

Take a glimpse here:

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just wished that I brought a bottled of water with us while walking around. Because I was really thirsty especially it was sunny that day.

After that, I went out so that we can go back to the city.

However, you cannot go out from the place unless you can present a receipt to the guard of the payment. And they have CCTV in the area so they know who’s paying and not. No escape guys! 😜😂

TIPS! 1. Bring a bottled of water.

2. There is a trick where you can get a good shot with the whole maze. Find out when you are there.

3. Do not forget to pay the entrance fee.

4. Take time to sit or kneel and pray at their chapel.

5. And do not forget to take good pictures. It is very picturesque.

6. Discover how beautiful what’s inside it and it’s history.

7. If you want to go there, from Cebu City, you can ride a bus at Ceres South Bus Terminal or v-hire at the V-hire terminal near University of San Carlos Main Campus. Then, get off at Toledo City. From there, you can ask the tricycle driver to take you to Capilla Sta. Ana. They already know the place.

8. They are open from 10AM-12NN & 1PM-4PM during Mondays to Saturdays. Closed every Sunday.

TRAVEL COMPILATION 2017

Disclaimer: it’s a super lengthy post and super late. 🙂

Let’s start the journey back to the first trip for the year in my favorite place with the best people. Siquijor Island with the Family ❤

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From the island  to the mountain of Laguna, to try the Masungi Georeserve Trail, Tinipak River, Regina Rica Shrine, Pililla Windmill, etc.

Then a trip to the beach with VMBU Family.

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We went home in the island for the birthday celebration of my father, Papa Sonny and sister-in-law, Ate Porcia.

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Spent the last weekend of March in Lambug Beach for April’s homecoming. This was also the time that they wanna tell me how stupid I am but I didn’t listen. 😀

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I organized a trip (for the first time, for my own business) for my bestfriend (April) and her friends.

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It was indeed a good time for us to catch up as she has been out of country for a few years.

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Friday night out with these cool officemates at League Sports Bar. Some billiards & darts & gulp (you know what I mean Hahaha) 🙂

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And then one night, I asked for Tropang Laagan’s time over dinner and admitted that I am indeed stupid. Reality hits me! Tanga lang talaga bes! Hahaha

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The next day, I am home in the island for the holy week, talked to my parents and spent the days with the whole family in the beach.

And then organized another tour for my friends and my family in Negros Oriental. We visited Apo Island, Pulangbato Falls & Twin Lakes.

Summer it is! And so, I tried how summer feels like in one of the famous resorts in Cebu, Solea Mactan Resort. (Actually, I was here for work but cannot stop from taking photos. Thanks Sir Andy! :))

Then, my officemates wanted to visit Siquijor and finally, we were able to go there at the end of April.

I hope they had fun in the island. I enjoyed riding the jetski, though. 😀

Just the week after that, me, Neil & Toj had an impromptu trip to Cebu Westown Lagoon. We agreed within 5 minutes and met there after 30 minutes.

2 days after, I was sent for work to Boracay. Yeah, I grabbed the chance to roam around after.

On that weekend, we celebrated Mother’s Day at the condo unit rented by Ante Abeth.

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Then, had a beach trip the next weekend with the Pabonita Family to Tabuelan and a side trip at Pinamungahan.

Then the following weekend, Tropang Laagan had a trip to Daanbantayan and stayed at Casa de Tohay.

Ended the month of May with a dinner with my UC Engg Family.

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And started June by meeting my kulit inaanak, Baby Kasandra.

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On that week, I reunited with some high school friends during Jayne’s son’s birthday.

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And the most nerve breaking trip happened on that weekend, our trip to South Korea.

Then had a side trip at Jeju Island.

During my mother’s birthweek, we went home in the island and celebrated it by touring around with the whole family and lunch at Dagsa Resto Bar. Also, to welcome home my cousin Argie, who has been outside the country for a few years.

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And followed by a series of trip to the island.

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July for a fiesta celebration

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August for vacation

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August with the Lenares clan

Then lunch dates with the sisters.

A sad news came when Ante Abeth passed away. We might not be able to see her on her last few days, but we made sure that we were there to see her for the last time.

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On the day of her funeral is the birthday of Ante Clara and the day after that is her birthday. Thus, we had a double celebration on the next day.

Then started September with a trip to Lambug Beach with the #dreamteam (FPI VMBU Technical Team).

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On the same month, the VMBU ladies plus Nino went on a day trip at Mt. View & Adventure Café.

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Then attended the 1st birthday of Baby Kulit  (Kasandra) in JSJS Mountain Resort.

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But we just ate and ran because we headed to Dalaguete for the fiesta celebration.

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So thankful to Toj for accompanying me.

But the most adventure trip I had was in CDO-Bukidnon. We never missed the Advanced Water Rafting.

And a sidetrip to Bukidnon. Thanks to Maizel & Howell for the accommodation, tour, transpo, and everything including us gatecrashing the baptism of Maize’s nephew. Hehe!

On the following weekend, me & Ms.Kate went to SM Seaside and was able to check this Cat Café. Not a cat lover though but I enjoyed playing with them and taking photos.

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And attended the baptism of Baby Calix.

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Baby Calix and Kuya Keifer

By the way, I have to thank my work for bringing me anywhere in the country.

Been to Boracay for 5 times this year… (May, August, September, October, November)

Davao twice… (November, December)

Bacolod once… (December)

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Solea Mactan for rehearsal and VMBU Christmas Party…

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Makati and take note they let us dance. Hahaha! It was FPI Christmas Party…

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Side trip at Gen San and met my friends…

Side trip at Capilla Sta. Ana and Labyrinth in Toledo City.

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In addition, one of the highlights for 2017 is my trip to the hospital.

Thanks to everyone who care, visited, checked, stayed, & prayed for me.

And of course, who will forget that surprise to everyone solo trip to Taiwan during my birthday. Two days after I checked out from the hospital.

And that unending food trips with everyone…

Be it with the family…

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Be it with Tropang Laagan…

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Be it with my Engg Family…

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Or my VMBU Family…

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Then, the best season of the year is here, Christmas!

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Time to go home. But what??? On a plane??? Really???

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Because I should be home for my parents Wedding Anniversary…

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And the Purok’s Christmas & New Year parties.

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And of course, it is best to celebrate Christmas at home with the family! 🙂

Then, here’s me! A happy me! Might be broken and sad and even mad in the second quarter of the year. But still so happy and blessed. More than enough. More than what I deserve. More than what I asked for.

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Thank you 2017! Let’s do this 2018! 😉

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There are many unexpected events and changes that will come in our life, both good and bad. But what is important is how we deal with it. Challenges come, people go, laughter fades, tears fall, and a roller coaster ride of life will occur. But let us not forget to continue living and facing it. Turn that challenge into an opportunity to become better & stronger. Let people go because those who love you will never leave you. However, open your hearts to accept the people that will arrive in your life. Let the laughter fades only once but promise yourself to bring it back again the soonest much louder, much happier and much longer. You all have the reasons to be happy & laugh more often. Cry until there is no more tears that will fall. And when all of them will be gone, show that sweetest smile of yours that you keep for a long time. You will look beautiful with that because it is your most perfect accessory. And lastly, take that roller coaster ride with all your heart. Have fun while doing it and shout if you need to. At the end of the ride, for sure, you have lots of story to tell. And you can surely tap your back for a job that you’ve done very well! 😉

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