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Showing posts with the label Travels / Tours

One fine morning

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Someone says good memories are for bad times; not that I'm having one. It feels good to express gratitude.  I look over my week and notice that I put in effort to turn yesterday's emotional glitch around. The attempt was successful. I am happy. So on to this life-enhancing exercise of sharing joys and faves:
attending an art exhibit whose artist I have personally met from a fundraiser for Haiyan victims last year a friend I haven't seen in 25 years who now lives in the UAE rang and we chatted for two hoursPompeii and Robocopsomeone tells me I am her inspiration. Whatever she meant I thought knowing that was inspiring as wellmemories! I woke up one fine morning this week and reminisced: this spot in a splash resort, so appealing to the country girl in me  (Del Rio, June 2012)


exploring a lake with young nephews and nieces (Sebu, 1 January 2014)


finding myself in a lovely tea room free to dream as much as I want (Cassia Cafe and Tea Room, 2010),


while sipping green tea wi…

A sweet blue situation

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Ever experienced being disoriented while traveling? It was not jet lag in my case. Fourteen hours on a Bangkok - London flight with additional whirl changing air crafts in the UAE, and I was strolling around Scarborough Castle early the next day. So the culprit was very likely the stress around my mutilated passport.

A few minutes before deplaning in Manila, I learned that our pilot was a lady. I whispered wow as I recalled how the plane felt as if it was gliding playfully on its side through a forest like a merry fairy shortly after take off.

And that takes me back to a sweet dilemma: PhD or learn to fly?


So as I waited for my cocktail during this year's Valentine al fresco dinner with single friends, I fancied engaging both, but one at a time. Then the server came with my drink miffing me out of doctoral and helicopter reverie to a vision in sea green!


You see I deliberately ordered Blue Hawaii for Sally, and what did I get? Ah well, at least the glass on the right seems true t…

See you later, alligator!

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There's something about going up in the air. Some kind of high. I may have felt homesick watching the buildings grow smaller as the plane zoomed into space, but it's cool joy to welcome the normality of getting back to work.


Thursday my passport was sorted. Suddenly I didn't want to think of Bangkok. I packed wondering when I can come back home. But then it's wonderful to see the end of this stress so of course this one tops my faves for the week. There was one final thing I did before dealing with airports and immigration.


I went to see my old man.

Back in 2005 I defied sorrow that only death could pull off by glaring at it in my mind dry-eyed throughout the burial ceremony. How dare you snatch my father, you massive coronary! 

Fast forward to 2014. Holy Garden Matutum Memorial Park was breezy when we walked in. The kiddo insisted that his Tigger relaxed beside my anthuriums. It gets easier each year. Time does heal.  


Less than thirty-six hours later I flew back to …

Life in the slow lane

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As if the delay of my passport release was not enough, the office of Academic Affairs emailed to remind me that my work license was expiring. So much for being happily stuck at home, sweet home. I should probably start pleading for a miracle. There had to be something to make up for this black cloud over my holidaying head. I tried looking around and it's wonderful to find joys and faves despite all this trouble.

Ever tried going around looking for something you fancy eating in a downpour? Life in the slow lane. You can afford time to do what you want the way you want it. It was like stepping back into a world where deadlines don't exist. No alarm clocks. No meetings. Just friendly vendors selling fruits under trees in front of their houses.


Tuesday I sorted out a couple of beneficiary issues on my health insurance. If you are familiar with how paperwork is done in the Philippines, you would consider yourself lucky if you got things done in one go. This time I did and to celeb…

Camp Mariano

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Camp Mariano is a summer camp along the Pan-Philippine Highway to Koronadal in South Cotabato.


Next to the camp entrance is where locals or visitors to the province spend lovely afternoons -


enjoying a dessert called buko salad

Buko is a Filipino word for young coconut. There are variations among ingredients. This one includes ube ice cream and jam, sweet banana and leche flan.

Around Camp Mariano are little huts selling coconut vinegar and salted fish; root crops like camote (sweet potato) and turnip.

The sign on the tree house says "Live Christ, Share Christ." Having lived in a Buddhist country for 16 years now, I felt a bit strange but cheerful reading that. And then I knew something: I was reconnecting with Christian culture. I was home.

Linking with ABC Wednesday * Blue Monday * Mellow Yellows

Boracay

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Boracay is a resort island in the Philippines, administered by the Philippine Tourism Authority and the province where it belongs - Aklan. The island is approximately 196 miles south of Manila. I visited it on a whim in 2013, a year after it was awarded, among several other awards, the best island  in the world by Travel + Leisure, an international travel magazine.
"Apart from its white sand beaches, Boracay is also famous for being one of the world's top destinations for relaxation. It is also emerging among the top destinations for tranquility and nightlife." (Wikipedia) Ruby Tuesday



Blue Monday

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Mellow Yellows

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Linking with ABC WEDNESDAY

Chakri Naruebet

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Sepia Saturday
"What is a newlywed like you doing posing in the middle of a highway?"

"Look closely, Ma. I'm roving the ocean."

"What ocean?"

Wondering, I examined my own photo. Indeed I looked like I was standing where traffic could send my 38-kilogram frame swirling to kingdom come any minute. The sea was a blurry blue. Unrecognizable at a glance.

So I explained to my mother that I wasn't spending my honeymoon risking my life on a Thai highway. I was exploring an ocean beauty docked that time in Sattahip naval base - Chakri Naruebet, or at least a part of her where visitors were allowed -

Wikipedia Fast facts for HTMS Chakri Naruebet: - It is Thailand's first and only aircraft carrier, and the only one in Southeast Asia - it is the world's smallest aircraft carrier - built by Bazan, in Ferrol, Spain - ordered in 1992, launched in 1996, and commissioned into the RTN in 1997 - designed to operate an air group of V/STOL fighter aircraft and …

Birthday trip to Singapura

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"I'd like to be a kid again but only because naps were insisted, twirling in circles was acceptable, and the only password I had to remember was open sesame." - Adan Burks True.

It was unabashed fun posing with some childhood TV idols at Universal Studios.

At first I was hesitant thinking I was too old, but reckoned what the heck.

'Today I will grin and giggle like that third grader with pigtails that I was, and be quietly thrilled as when I won that little multiplication contest in class. Period.'

Touring Lion City was also officially starting a walking regimen. That's two at a time. Or three: exercising, touring, enjoying the sights. Though highly urban, the country girl in me had no complaints at a Lamborghini whisking by as we explored Marina Bay Sands.

No deadlines, no meetings, no homework, just holiday bliss.

Doing something unplanned and then finding out it feels wonderful should make it to my faves this week -

Like walking barefoot in a part of Gardens …

Thrones, stairs and ambassadors

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The few visitors in the throne hall of King Narai's palace were leaving when I got there. Pleased with the solitude, I lingered. The quiet seemed to usher in an opportunity to commune with the spirit of the ruins, however fleeting it was.

Like usual thrones this one is elevated.  Over at his palace King Narai had foreign dignitaries, those of France's King Louise XIV whose practice of wearing high heels was hypothetically due to his short height.  There must have been some influence or connection there.

This is the Dusit Sawan hall. The stairs are steep. Imagine King Narai going up the steps to sit on his throne. I fancied going up. It was uncomfortable, but then I'm no king and they must have adapted some fashion of climbing steep stairs in 1666.


This is a close-up of the memorial plaque by the throne. It portrays King Narai granting an audience with French ambassadors -


The ruins still exuded so much character. Ambling behind the throne was like playing hide n'…

Ship-seeing to Sichang

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There is tension between Taiwan and the Philippines over the recent shooting of a Taiwanese fisherman by a Philippine coastguard. Taiwan retaliates; rejects apology from the Philippines, impose sanctions, threatens Manila with naval drills in the South China Sea, goes arrogant, eg. compares themselves to a golden retriever, the Philippines a chihuahua in the event of an attack. Wait. I love dogs. My ears are on alert mode, though I didn't have time to find how the shooting took place, there's an identical twin of my wondering through an FB comment by Mike San Agustin Mccrea

"if a vessel is required to stop for a coastguard inspection in its national (usually 12mile) limit, and refuses to do so the coastguard is entitled to take such action as is necessary to stop the vessel. If it does not stop after a warning [shop], it seems fully justified to fire on the vessel.... If someone gets shot it is the fault of the skipper of the offending vessel.... So if this is the …

Quiapo Church

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More formally known as the Minor Basilica of the Black Nazarene or Saint John the Baptist Parish, Quiapo Church was founded in 1586 by Governor General Santiago de Vera in Quiapo, Manila.


As a third grader I would look at a picture of Quaipo church in a Social Studies textbook and would often wonder how true were those 'extra' stories of crowds walking to and fro on a break of pews or right at the doorstep while mass was going on.

Finally after thirty-one years two weeks ago I saw the place for myself; people conducted business in front, and not inside as I worried. It was also my first time to set foot on a Roman Catholic church since Grandpa's funeral mass in the mid 1990s.

ABC Wednesday

Parasailing in Pattaya

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I always fancied parasailing (or parascending or parakiting). Usually a boat tows the person harnessed to the parasail. I was towed by a jetski, as were the others who took this fun ride. The tour started in Pattaya where we took a boat to Coral Island. About 15 minutes out in the sea we made a stop to parasail.


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ABC Wednesday * Our World * Blue Monday