Writing and rewriting my own tales day by day

Archive for the ‘travel’ Category

Day 1 of my long vacation,Good Morning Vancouver

It’s delightfully cold today. The furnace did its job last night and it’s nicely cool instead of oppressively freezing today. Ninang said that yesterday was the first time they had sunshine in days, so it’s relatively warmer. Just in time for Lola and I coming in.

The moment I woke up though, I was feeling ravenous. Even though I had a very full dinner of steak, rice, berries, and cookies last night. Luckily, there was already breakfast on the table, courtesy of Yaya Fe, and I ate it with the noisy little doggie of the house running circles round my chair and nipping at my heels. I’ll significantly gain weight during my month-long stay at the rate my appetite has been like, but plenty of my officemates already told me not to worry about it and just chillax. And gain weight, if that’s the natural course of events.

Their little doggie is very cute, but it’s a fierce little barker! I learned quickly enough not to turn my back on it–yesterday, it jumped on my back and left a scratch on my leg! It’s a little bully, that’s what it is. I gave it quite the scolding and now it’s just staring more or less quietly at me.

And now I just finished a giant mug of coffee with liberal helpings of cream and sugar, and a giant cookie. Now I feel like taking a walk, to at least lessen this heavy, stuffed-full feeling.

I do miss my officemates, but not the stresses of the work itself. However, as not to let this four weeks be a waste, I’ll be making the most of each and every single day, and do my best not to think too much about home and work. I’ve been wanting a break like this forever, so I better do it right.


Substituting Awesome with Awesome

I moped for a bit after coming to the conclusion that I probably won’t be able to go to the JYJ concerts.

Then I reflected on my plans for this year:

  • adventures and clubbing in Bohol and Cebu
  • badminton games with the office crew
  • practice swimming
  • Puerto Prinsesa, Palawan: island-hopping, underground river, beach bumming
  • start boxing again
  • family outing in Subic
  • girls’ wild trip in Hong Kong and Macau
  • Vancouver, Tennessee, Mexico — very tentative plans
  • climb Mt. Pulag
  • chillaxing in Batanes
  • South Korea: sea, temple visits, Hallyu pilgrimage, autumn color viewing
  • scuba diving certification in Coron

That’s a rather full schedule. Moreover, it will all cost a considerable dent in my funds despite my efforts to fatten the savings account with a thriftier lifestyle. If I go wild chasing after JYJ, I might not be able to do other things on this list now, would I?

So far, my Coron plans are vague, and could very well be scrapped because I don’t have a travel buddy for that yet and no one’s willing to take scuba diving lessons with me because they’re scaredy-cats. Since I can’t go see JYJ, I might as well put the funds that I would have allocated to their concert and my stalking for my scuba diving and get myself a certification. Not quite as squeal-worthy as seeing Kim Jaejoong’s rippling abs live, but exciting in a different way. Girl’s gotta look at the bright side.


Better start my research for the scuba-diving plans then.

Sea Dive Resort
Coron Divers

I’d rather live for JYJ than die for JYJ

JYJ is having a concert in Indonesia.


The minute I saw the information I was ready to order a VIP A ticket and book my flight to remarkable Indonesia–until my teammate V reminded me that April 9-10 is our department outing.

Geez. I was really excited about the department outing, especially since we really need to have some quality time with the new hires, and I’m always up for travel. But watching JYJ is one of my big goals for the year. So much so that I made it a New Year’s resolution. I was never able to watch the TVXQ concerts in South East Asia, because I was a college student without my own money and paranoid parents back then. I should at least be able to watch JYJ now.

But I can’t watch them. Not in Indonesia, at least.

I could go to the Thailand concerts. But I have to admit… I’m scurrrrrrred. I just have the feeling that the Thailand concerts will be crazier since those are the ones most people will probably go to. I want to crazy fangirl party at a JYJ concert, but I… dunwannadie. @_@

I mean, my few other experiences with K-pop lives didn’t exactly go well before. It’s really difficult for a short person to battle mass hysteria. I wouldn’t try that alone.

Oh JYJ, I can live for you, but I won’t die for you. I guess Fate is keeping me apart from JYJ. Knowing that I’ll jump on Jaejoong and freak the wits out of him given a half-chance.

Work life is remarkably better if you can connect with your direct supervisor

My team leader at work is a soft-spoken person who always remains composed and rational. We’re very different in the sense that I am spontaneous, bordering on hyperactive at times, while even in his excited state, he’s still calmer than I usually am.

I’ve always respected him because he’s intelligent and skilled, and goes beyond that—he’s creative and has precipitated several changes in the department, for everyone’s benefit. Luckily for me and my teammates, he’s also a believer in work-life balance and always checks on our particular situation: whether we’re getting too heavy a work load, or have too many different tasks, or are in some kind of bind. Ever since he became our team leader, I felt less like a drone in the gigantic corporate hive and more like an individual with my own voice.

Recently, I discovered that we have a common interest in traveling.


After a nine-day trip to the north, I’m grateful for many things

Thank you, all the people I met along the way. A million thanks to everyone who helped me and my travel buddy.

Thanks to the tricycle driver who brought us to our first transient house in Pangasinan. Thank you, staff of Hundred Isles Transient House for providing us with shelter in Alaminos. The lady in our first Lucap wharf food stall, thanks for the lovely bangus lunch. Thanks to the boatmen who took us to a tour of the Hundred Islands.

The elderly desk employee at Victory Liner’s Bolinao terminal, thank you for helping us deal with the city. We were all but lost, and you helped us find shelter for the night, as well as a trike driver to take us around, and it is all thanks to you that we didn’t get scammed in a big way. A gruff, rather tough, but kind elderly man, you reminded me of my lolo and because of you, I was able to feel that Bolinao wasn’t just a city full of people picking on tourists. Thank you, Kuya trike driver, for keeping to your word and picking us up from the remote white beach of Patar and taking us back to our transient house. Thanks, Dos Flores Resort for housing us that night.

Thank you, Kate Dulnuan, for being our guide in Baguio. The Sisters of the Immaculate Heart of Mary, your seminar house is lovely, thank you for letting us stay there. Thanks to the workers of the La Trinidad strawberry fields for our strawberry picking experience, and special thanks to the Kuya who wrapped my feet in plastic bags so my white sneakers wouldn’t get so muddy. Thank you, Bencab Museum, for the unusual, educational, and relaxing museum experience. 50’s Diner, it’s always a pleasure to dine there, thank you for the comfort food, which we needed after the harrowing ride from Pangasinan to Baguio. Thank you, Jim and Shanti of Bliss Café. Your place is aptly named, and gave us our best Baguio dinner experience. Your food is vegetarian food as it should be—delicious and doesn’t give meat-eaters any feeling of deprivation. And you are such warm and welcoming hosts as well. Thank you, to the kind waiter at Café by the Ruins; you were only doing us a favor offering to transfer our can of condensed milk to a portable container for our travel, and you had to replace it when one of your colleagues spilled it.

The instructors at San Juan Surf Resort in La Union, thank you for teaching us how to surf. The food bar at the same resort—what a lovely surprise, the food was reasonably priced and extremely good as well. Thank you for our post-surfing feast.

Thank you, lolo from Amiannance bibingka shop, for welcoming us in the city. Your goods are such fine pasalubong. Thank you, the lolo from the Bantay bell tower, for being such a funny guide that just put us at ease. The actors and actresses and production crew of “Babae ng Digmaan,” what a wonderful zarzuela, thank you for the show. Grandpa’s Inn in Vigan, your place is really a home away from home. Thank you, helpful staffers, for making our visit comfortable and you take care of us from the minute we stepped out of our trike upon arriving to putting us on our way to the bus stop. Thank you, the bell boy who picked up longganisa from a different place when your pasalubong shop ran out. Vigan City, thank you, I love your vibe and I will come back soon.

Thanks to my parents for letting me go on this trip. To my Mama, I know you worry a lot, but thank you for letting me go anyway. To my Dad, who simply said “Be a traveler, not a tourist. Make it an adventure.” And who lent me a waterproof, shock-proof, very tough camera. Thanks Dad.

Thanks to my teammates, who wished me a happy trip and covered for me while I was away for an entire work week. Thanks to Mae for being my travel buddy.

Philippines, World, that was a great nine days. Thank you.