"Thank you. I spent it with my brother's family. I just arrived from Subic," was my reply.
"Lucky you! How could you be so lucky!?" he commented.
I contemplated on his last remark, "maybe I am".
I've read stories about better opportunities; how we always see the other side of the fence as a greener pasture. The stories our friends post in their FB walls like they are living their dreams and how we wish we are in their shoes.
Less we realize, there are other people dying to be in our shoe. Most of the times, where we are has always been greener. (ok, not my love life part I guess.. haha) According to the article that I've read, the key to happiness is contentment; to stop comparing status with others but rather be grateful. So, count your blessings.
- - - - - -
I got a call from my sister-in-law. She wanted to take the kids to Subic for the new year before school resumes. I told her that I've never been there so I don't have tips where to go and what to do. While assisting her with booking an air tickets online, she invited me if I would love to go with them. Perfect! I was on scheduled leave anyway and I didn't have any plans.
We flew to Manila, took a van and drove to Subic for 2 hours via NLEX. Clark would have been a preferable airport but the available flights were too expensive to think there were 8 of us.
It was a very short ride but I fell as sleep half of it and woke up with this sign. I've been to Clark but only in transit on my way to Baguio City.
Excited. Alas, we arrived safe but our tummy were growling. It was noon time.
We took a 7AM flight from Cebu, arrived in Manila 8:15AM, then had breakfast. There was a coding imposed to minimize traffic (oh Manila!), our van's plate number ends in zero and we couldn't be in the highway until 10:00AM.
Our driver-slash-tour-guide took us to The Aristocrat for lunch. I'm challenged with my Tagalog, I wonder how I pass this subject for 12 years, so I let my sister-in-law do the ordering although I helped her with the menu. The waiter who assisted us made a smirk with what I said and I caught him. Aha! you speak Bisaya, then I learned he was from Leyte! Good grief! That made our ordering easier or I would have commented "Hindi cya ang order ko!" a known joke in the office.
I love Kare-kare because of its peanut butter sauce. It's a dish popularized by the people from the north. Mostly made from Ox tail so I thought a seafood Kare-kare is a must try and yes it was a good one.
I've tasted better Bulalo but this was good too. Chicken Honey is their featured dish and very popular. It's similar to Max's fall-off-the-bone chicken. It's tasty and its not dry. What makes it different is the sauce.
The colorful pancit canton looks yummy. But I find it so-so. My mom can cook better.
Subic surprised me. I thought, "Am I still in the Philippines?" The pavement was so clean you could not see a pile of trash left out or waiting to be picked up. The air was so crisp you can feel the cool sea breeze from the bay and the smell of fresh leaves from the forest.
They balanced good industry with nature. We were amazed to see these stray monkeys.
But we were advised not to feed them.
Its a rich place I didnt see a shanty. I saw big houses with spacious lawns. I wonder why there's no jeepney roaming. I saw one taxi.
The bay is so romantic.
It was laid out and planned very well kudos to the urban planners!
A walk-able place. Less humidity and a good weather.
Subic was just a lovely place!
My introduction was about counting blessings and not to compare. I'm grateful for the trip as it widens my knowledge to take care of nature more. I wish Cebu could be more pleasant as Subic. I'm not saying its not, the operative word is more. hehe. Cebu is as progressive to which I'm thankful to be part of.
"So yes Sir, I'm lucky! I guess I just didn't see it that way before!" Indeed happiness is a state of mind and a matter of perspective.
Like I said I don't do new year's resolutions as they are bound to fail anyway (ha! ha!) But this year I will choose to be happy by counting my blessings!