Monday, September 23, 2013

The Art of Doing Nothing: Living a Royalty Life @ Shangri-la Mactan


April 14, 2013.

Eat.Pray.Love.  This movie had been very inspirational.  Perhaps at one point in my life I felt the same way. The only thing is, I got stuck at EAT stage.  Liz portrayed by Julia Robert as she went to Italy learned about this old Italian expression "Il Dolce Far Niente" which means the art of doing nothing.

All my life I had been fighting to be the best in everything I do at school (who could memorize the periodic table), at work and even at home.  I had always been the second best and you know what they say, the runner up is the first loser.  Stinger right?  (Take note the tenses, it's past tense form, so if you ask me how am I doing? thank you, I'm ok now).  Disclaimer: this is not a rant post. haha!

Although, it took me great time to really understand the situations, an open mind and a good heart were all i needed.  "What wont kill you will only make you stronger" as the song goes. It was a matter of perspective, how I perceived things, saw things, saw it half full.  I couldn't erase the past.  It was the way it is, a learning experience.  So I evaluated my values, the things that really matter to me. Kept good relationships.  Since then, I have chosen my battle.  It's not the prize but the journey.  And that includes love life. Maybe, this is the only part that I cannot not accept as me second best.

With all the chaos in the city and the drama rama, I've learned how to take care of myself.  A little escape helped; a quality time to sort my mind just to feel the moment. So here's what I did last summer.

The art of doing nothing: Living a Royalty Life @ Shangri-la Mactan

Waking up in the most comfortable bed.

Fruits for breakfast

the comforting sea breeze; feeling the moment!

just be lazy in a Jacuzzi. warm water relaxes the muscles keeps your blood flowing.

Sight seeing. Enjoying the view.  Feeling the moment.

Getting ready.  A dip in the pool would be refreshing after a humid afternoon.

would you still worry if you see this view?

what about this? worrying can damage brain cells

be surrounded with beautiful people.

laugh with friends.

and smile.

Special thank you to Luigi for arranging everything and Marc for the pics. I love Shangri-la!

Sunday, September 22, 2013

The Dance with the Gentle Giants

I'm scared of stray cats when they get too close.  Yes they are the epitome of walking gracefully thus the term catwalk.  They are arrogant because they know how beautiful they are and it shows in the way they raise their heads when at rest.  But just keep them away or at a distance... They have sharp teeth and god-knows-what-rabies. You will not know when they will attack. Those claws can definitely scratch your skin. And my friend caught me in action how I panicked when a stray cat neared me. Sissy!

This was taken in Oslob Cebu while waiting for the pump boat that will take my friends to go whale watching-slash-diving.  So I've been to Tan-awan Oslob Cebu twice already.

First was to take a Canadian friend,

Then, to take a Japanese friend.

It has been internationalized.  Ironic because I read about it first from a UK newspaper online.  How did UK learn it first when Cebu City is just 113-km from municipality of Oslob? We departed from Cebu South terminal as early as 5am.  It was a 3.5 hours bus drive for Php147.00 You need to be there early.  It's only open until 12 noon and the sun can be unfriendly.

On both occasions, we were lucky that the weather was perfect.  The water was calm and the sun wasn't yet at its full strength. Actually, the second time I was just hiding under these shades and waited for my friends. It's quite pricey, like I said it got internationalized.  500 pesos for locals and 1000 pesos for foreign visitors for  a 30-min view and dive. I don't get the price difference.

Then off I jumped.  I knew they were harmless, but their size intimidated me, when I saw one swimming at my direction I hurriedly climbed back to the banca skinned my knee.

Going back to the cat story.  You know how cats annoyingly brushes their tail on your legs that it jolts you from your seat? I wonder what happens if these giants flips its fin at me while I was busy to have a photograph taken.

and the water was so deep already. These giants just glide in the water, very graceful.  They are very peaceful creature.


My choices can be weird: a cat vs whale sharks and I chose the later if only I have fins and gills I could swim all day with them. ha ha ha mermaid!

The Death of a Cheerleader: The Day I Turned 30 in Alcoy


March 12, 2011. I never felt so scared in my life.  I would be a year older and it was not just any year, it was my 30th birthday.  Yes the number 3.  I don't know but I wasn't excited.  I was stressed, I know it was just a number but I was so worried. Perhaps, I got scared getting old, seemed like I was running out of time and I have not achieved a lot, worse I haven't figured out what I really wanted.  I felt the pressure, knowing my brothers and sisters had their plans laid out, my friends living MY dream and they were good at it.  "But then again, the grass is always greener on the other side of the fence.  While you are wishing to be someone else, someone out there is wishing to be you.  So just love life and count your blessings"  

So I faced that day bravely as I had less than 24 hours to celebrate and bade 29 goodbye.  So I invited some friends who are young at heart and has aged gracefully (this is a compliment) because the last thing I wanted to do that day was to feel old as I was.

Bantayan Island was my first choice.  There's something about that place that I feel so homey. But Japan got hit by a tsunami and the waves were just crazy that time, it wasn't safe to ride a ferry and cross the island. So we opted south. Anyways, slow driving road trip is the coolest.

Each municipality has something to offer.  We bought lechon in Carcar City for lunch and nothing beats their chicharon.  Argao's torta is simply the best perhaps because of the local wine they put on it.  We drove 94.6- km to municipality of Alcoy.

Yes, it was yet another beach outing.  So we arrived at our destination: Tingko Beach in Alcoy.

We checked in at Kai Nani Pointe Resort. Fresh air, picturesque view, blue ocean, white sand; these were the things I needed that day.

We stayed at one of their huts. It costs Php 1500/2000 per night (off peak/peak rates).

The hut was expensive. no mattresses. we'll you don't need an AC or fan.  It was just really a room for your things.  They had a care taker that played as a security guard at night.  It was still a public beach. Our neighbor hut was robbed. It didn't have door and lock.

But nevertheless, the water was amazing! I like the way how they used the rocks and mount those huts.

Didn't I say the water was blue?

and white powdery sand that tickled my feet of its softness.

March 13, 2011

30 was the magic number and I had to face it gracefully.  "The death of a cheerleader."  Back in high school when our dreams were big, we used to think, what we would become when we reach that age. While halfway through that, it was a scary number.  Perhaps that's why I got so worried and scared, I was running out of time in achieving my goals. How could we reach the moon and back, career wise.  Love life wise 30 is a good year to settle, I thought.

Thank you to some good friends who celebrated with me and made me realize its really just a number and life continues.  What happened in Japan was just an earthquake, it wasn't the end of the world yet. 30 is like just 20 except that your decisions are wiser and you have more money! 

Monday, September 16, 2013

The Surprisingly Danao City Experience

"Its just a bad day, not a bad life"

Sept 14, 2013 @ 3:00PM

I missed my alarm. I took a quick shower, pulled my bag and grabbed my key. My friend was patiently waiting as we set to go to Danao City for his team building.  I had my gas refueled (it was close to empty) and water checked (hot afternoon, and the temperature was rising, not a good sign).  I was already an hour late then I learned my tire got punctured with a nail. I thought, just great! I drove to the office which is 10 min from the gas station, left my car (I don't have the time to fix it, I can get it the next day), met my friend.  On the taxi, then I found out I left my phone in the car.  Series of unwanted events. I didn't have my coffee for the day I started to feel dizzy.

Finally we've reached our destination: Danao Coco Palms Resort.

Would you let your day be ruined if this is the view you will see? I turned down a friend before when he asked me. I didn't expect it was so beautiful.  I recovered after dinner, put my swim wear and took a plunge at their pool.

But let me take you a tour.  This is the room. It cost Php 2500 a night and let me justify the cost.

It's good for two but can fit in up to four/six.  The cool couch in the receiving area is a fold-able bed. The actual bed is very comfortable. Although I would have preferred bigger pillow but who am I to complain I was just a guest, this was not my team building.  The toilet is clean. It was decorated in blue hues of mosaic tiles, which I like and it has hot/cold rain shower! yay! The hallway is big, the AC is functional, it should be it's a new resort, it has flat screen tv with cable channels. I like the way it is just as I like the way my room to be.

You can play volleyball at the front yard or any team building games.  You may enjoy the pool from 8am to 10pm.

You may order you favorite mango shake for php150 at their bar. They have friendly staff. The room come with free buffet breakfast: tocino, longaniza, soup, egg, hotdog.

here's their menu.

Have an active day and enjoy their water world for php100.  The water can get deep.

or just take a walk and enjoy the morning sun.

You can relax at this cozy hut.

But I like to play with the water.

Danao's fishing village.

or whatever you do, you can just sit down and enjoy the view.

so choose to be happy because life is so beautiful and I'm living it.

Sunday, September 15, 2013

The Romantic Sumilon Island

"Good things comes to those who wait. But to those who make it happen, will it be better?"

I spent lots of gold bars in the hope of becoming fairer and whiter and then what? hid in my room crocheting because the sun was too hot it could burn my skin? So what's the point? Enough Rapunzel story, the prince charming was not coming soon.  It was time to change the story line of Rapunzel.  I will have more time doing quilts when my knees give in.  So I ditched the needle and yarn and packed my bag.

As they say "wherever your heart is, there you will find your treasure" and at that moment, my heart as my compass, it beat OSLOB, so I took the first bus going south under the scourging heat of the afternoon sun! A three hour bus ride from the city.  I didn't worry getting lost. Even though, I had been to Oslob several times, that was the first I went on my own and I was not familiar with the place but I trusted my instinct.  I knew I would find you.

The Romantic Sumilon Island:

When I was younger our parents took us for a road trip south.  A sight of this island made my mind wander; a big castle, white horse, sparkling sand, magical dolphins.  I've heard great stories about this place.  I've had several invitations but I declined.  My previous team went there but I was so busy with school. My friend designed the Blue Water Resort that could give us fair discount and I declined I was so busy with work.

September 8, 2013: Sunday - Who could forget that day.

I woke up in this lovely morning.  The Oslob shore seemed calm. What a great way to paddle to Sumilon Island. As the sea met the shore, it embraced with music as the water splashed. A chorus you could only hear in heaven.  So, I did my morning ritual; a prayer. 

I thank God for the lovely morning and for the gift of life. 
I sure want to wake up with you by my side.
I thank God for the sun.
As warm as your holding hand.
I thank God for this beautiful life.
The serenity, peace of mind, good health.

 Finally, I arrived safely to the shore where I wanted to be lost and found. 

And i found you. Blinding as the water glitters, your smile captured my poor heart. It's that happy crescent painted in your face. 

Truly, this island is magical.  As our path crossed, you lead the way to happiness no words could describe.  

You fixed my broken halo so I could soar again and I will be your angel.  

Sumilon, it was worth the wait. You've conquered my heart. You've defined love differently.  You set me free. I will be back for more and conquer the other side of the island.


- - -

While writing this post I tried to recall the real reason why i declined those invitations. Then it occurred to me what i said to myself before, I just remembered as of this writing. Surprised, my eyes grew bigger when I remembered this thought. I said, I would only go to Sumilon when the right one comes. I reserved the place for someone I truly care.  

- - -
Bus from Cebu city to Oslob - ceres (php 155)
Bus from Oslob to Cebu City - sunrays (Php 147)
We stayed at Platypus Bar and Resort - room cost Php 1000 (unlimited people; air fan)
(Kudos to the owners they were very accommodating, prepare your Australian accent when you go there!)
Banca rent - Php 1,500 to 2000 whole day trip
Sumilon entrance fee - 10 pesos.