Thursday, March 28, 2013

To my little angel(s)

I used to think babies are angels in heaven, until they are delivered to their respective parents. So, just in case there is any truth to that, I hope my angel (or angels) can see this. :)

You will be that kid in the picture.

When we see a fountain in the mall or at a park and you tug at my dress to let me know you want to run in the middle of it, get wet and spend all afternoon soaked with water I wouldn't dare think where from, I would check your day bag and given that we have extra clothes, you will have my permission.

And that would be the metaphor of our relationship.

You, running for the fountain.
Me, always ready with your extras.

On days you would want to be a cat, I can draw whiskers on your cheeks, too.

Sunday, March 17, 2013

Travel Tip: Oslob, Cebu

I remember making a promise to the fishermen at Liloan Port that I would help spread the word about how beautiful their province is. Now I’m fulfilling it.

Just in time before you finalize your plans for the summer, I am presenting to you an option you should seriously consider.


If you are visiting Dumaguete, Cebu or even Bohol, you can devote a day and do a side trip to Oslob. It would only take a boat ride and a few minutes of land travel. I am tempted to include directions here but I’m not exactly the person you can trust for that. During our visit, we relied on local travel blogs. They are all accurate and helpful, so I suggest you do the same.

We arrived at Liloan Port before the break of dawn. There was a bus waiting that would pass by Oslob, but we opted to take the tricycle. It took another 15 minutes and a lot of shaking due to the cold breeze, before we reach the shore.

After signing up, a local guide discussed the packages available. We could either WATCH or SWIM with the whalesharks. Of course we opted to SWIM WITH THE WHALE SHARKS! I know it’s not exactly ideal to connect the words swim and whalesharks by the word ‘with” but take the risk! These whale sharks wouldn’t be called “gentle” giants if they had a tendency to bite a limb off your body!

Aside from ensuring our safety, the boatmen also guaranteed that we will see a whale shark. These gentle giants are always there, regardless of the season, so you need not worry about your efforts going to waste.

The entire experience, with transportation, cost us around 700 pesos per person. Definitely not bad for a once in a lifetime adventure. On top of the whaleshark experience, the people of Oslob are very accommodating. We were tempted to stay longer just to talk to our boatmen but our ride back to the port was waiting. Plus, we were scheduled to travel to Siquijor (a must-visit, too!) that afternoon.

So if you still have a free slot in your summer plans, Oslob is a well-deserving place to visit. Go swim with the whalesharks!

Saturday, March 16, 2013

Switching Places

It’s the 4th year of our mother-daughter summer tradition. Instead of going for the usual domestic spots (we’ve gone to Ilocos, Davao and Palawan), mom and I decided to visit Hong Kong and Macau! Another unusual thing for this year is that my brother, with his fiancé, decided to join our trip.

Aside from the international destination and my clingy brother, this is the first time I didn’t hire a travel agent. Usually, for mom’s convenience, I book tour packages. That saves us from spending time figuring out where to go and what to do. For this year, though, I took matters into my own hands. Hong Kong’s MTR system is easy to navigate and Macau is not exactly a huge place, so I became our trip’s designated tour guide, whether they liked it or not.

Our accommodations were booked a month in advance and our itinerary was fool-proof and very detailed, up to the last dollar, 2 weeks before our flight. I was well-prepared to be our tour guide, IN PAPER. In reality, there were still a lot of glitches, misunderstood directions and language barriers my itinerary wasn’t able to document and prepare for. But I must say, unplanned adventures and misadventures are the best parts of this trip.

Travel buddies! At HK Airport, MTR and Cable car!

All my life, my mom has been my source of guidance. From the biggest and smallest of decisions, she’s always ready to speak her mind. That weekend, I was the responsible one. I called the shots and she dutifully followed. My awareness level skyrocketed, wanting to detect anything that may go against our plan. I wanted her to enjoy and not worry about a thing. Kind of like how much she cared for me that I came out of what could have been the most difficult years unscathed.

I now realize that, more than wanting to take care of her, I was unconsciously trying to prove that I can take charge. I wanted her to see that the many times they let me explore foreign places with friends, armed with nothing but well-researched itineraries and guts to be out there, truly helped me mature. Those instances she mentioned to my dad during our nightly Skype dates that I was “good with directions” and “related with strangers very well” were exactly the kind of pat on the back I hoped for.

As they say, there comes a time when we switch roles with our parents. We become the care-givers, the providers. There’s a long way from here to that, considering my parents are healthy and hardworking, thank God. But that weekend was a glimpse of how it feels like to be on the other end. And as a grateful daughter, I am thankful I was able to live up to that role.

She used to drag me EVERYWHERE. Reunions, Xmas parties, office meetings, weddings, etc. That may have been her way of creating a solid bond between us. Well, it must have worked. Way past the "pwede pa akong utuin" stage and we still enjoy spending time with each other. I don't think I ever won't. ❤✈ 

Yoga Kuzala

A dear friend, who is a fellow yoga enthusiast, is launching her very first project:


The April schedule is just their pilot month, so if you fall in love with yoga the same way I did, you do not have to worry about not knowing where to go after. I have to warn you, though, that there is an extremely high probability that YOU WILL fall in love with it. Given a very warm and accommodating community handling this activity, plus having Mae Evangelista as your teacher, oh my, you are in for a treat!

Sign up now and make your summer more exciting!

Love and light! :)

Kuzala is a sanskrit word for HAPPY. It is very fitting for this occassion, I must say. Go sign up!

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