Personal · Places

Pangasinan 2019

“In terms of our happiness, time is really the fundamental currency. What really matters for your day-to-day moods is what it is you’re doing with your time.” -Psychology Professor Elizabeth Dunn

Our family spent another happy weekend out of town as we visited Alaminos City in the province of Pangasinan. It was also the weekend of Owa’s birthday. We left Manila by 1am and arrived by 6am. We first went to Minor Basilica of our Lady of the Most Holy Rosary of Manaoag, attending the 7am mass.

We had our breakfast after the mass, and started another journey to Alaminos. Manaoag was far from Alaminos, grabe! We passed by Lingayen and Dagupan. We arrived in Alaminos shortly after 11am. We stayed in a rest house owned by Ate Gem’s relatives. It was actually small for us (we’re 15 people!) but it was beautiful and well-maintained, even though it doesn’t cost a lot. It was actually a 10-minute drive from Hundred Islands, and just 5-minute away from Alaminos Market and Victory Liner terminal.

Our itinerary was to visit Bolo Beach in the afternoon and Alaminos municipal hall in the evening, but we decided against it because the weather was bad. We’re actually starting to worry if we can still push through with the island hopping in Hundred Islands. But as always, God is so good to us. We woke up by 4:30am the following day on clear Pangasinan skies.

We started island hopping in Hundred Islands by 6:30am. It cost us P 3, 710– 2,000 for the boat rental, 1,510 entrance fee for 15 pax and 1 baby (babies are not charged for an entrance or environmental fee but the 10 pesos daw is for insurance), and 200 pesos refundable fee for the trash bag. I actually liked the initiative of giving insurance to the tourists, as well as the fee for the trash. It’s about time to change tourism system for the better.

We visited 5 islands, and passed by several more (according to our boat man, those that don’t have shores are just rock formation, HAHAH). We decided to just land on those islands where we can actually do “something”, because we have “elderly companions” who wanted to drive back home to Manila in the afternoon.

First island we visited was the Governor’s Island. It’s a 5 to 10-minute hike up to be able to see the panoramic view of all 122 islands around you. Tip: Be careful for even though the steps were not very steep, however, it can be slippery because of the moss. There were also 2 viewing decks- the second and higher one can give you a better view.

Our second stop was the Romulo Island. It’s my favorite island because of its calm waters and fine sand. We went swimming here, and I love that the water was clear and the view was spectacular. Tip: It is a small island, can easily be strolled around. Behind it is the Mayor’s island, you can also check it out. Also, it can be a very good spot to take your lunch, if you’re opting not to rent a cottage in other busier, more developed islands. Be very careful though because it is rocky underwater, wearing aqua shoes may be necessary.

We passed by Virgin Island and the Pilgrimage Island on our way to our third island. We decided not to land because our elderly companions were tired already daw, hehe. Sayang lang, because Virgin has a floating bridge. Pilgrimage Island, on the other hand, features a large statue of Jesus the Redeemer, stations of the Cross, and a 1000-step hike trail.

Third island was Marcos Island. We stayed here the shortest period, but it was actually the most intense: we survived the cliff diving in Imelda’s cave! It wasn’t actually a daredevil jump (12 feet), but it was exciting. Tip: They observed a No Life vest, No Diving policy, which is very good. What’s not right was our boatmen insisted to make us pay P50 for each person who jumped, their exact words were: bawal po kasi gamitin ang life vest sa labas ng bangka. Kung gagamitin sa pagdive, rerentahan ng P50pesos (Life vests cannot be used outside the boat, otherwise you have to rent it for P50). And they have informed us of this “policy” after we’re done cliff diving. Kudos na sana to Hundred Islands eh, meron lang pa din talagang nananamantala sa mga turista (btw, bakit nga kaya ganun? 😥) Anyhoo, at least we enjoyed the experience. In addition pala, don’t bring any valuables (or even slippers, if you’re not wearing aqua shoes) to Imelda’s cave, unless you have somebody with you who won’t be jumping, for it’s a one-way out from the cave.

After the exciting jump in Marcos Island, we then headed to Quezon Island, the largest (I think) and most developed island. It’s like a big resort where you can rent a cottage, cook your meals, swim all you want, and take amazing pictures. Some of us opted to go swimming, but I and my siblings went up to the Hanging Bridge.

We stayed in Quezon Island for about 30 minutes, and our elderly companions were starting to complain and wanted to go home na daw. Haha 😋 So our boatmen just let us see the other islands (Old Scout, Lopez, and Children’s Islands) from our boat. Our last stop was my second favorite- the Cuenco Cave. Yes, upon landing, you have to go through this large cave to be able to go to a restaurant at the other side. It has comfort rooms, and a cliff diving spot. This is where we had good pictures of our jump. 😊

We ended our Hundred Islands visit at 11:30am, a little bit tired but full of happy memories. If you’re running out of time, and just wanted to experience what each island has to offer (you don’t really care about beach bumming or having lunch in the islands) you may also do what we did, but I do strongly suggest you take your time, explore each island, and experience all the other activities (snorkeling, helmet diving, zip line, banana boat ride, and even go hike in Pilgrimage Island). Please check this blog post from Pinay Solo Backpacker for complete fees and sample itinerary for your own Hundred Islands visit.

Overall, I enjoyed our trip in Alaminos. I will probably come back, once Ella is old enough to fully appreciate the trip, and I’m also knowledgeable enough of the place’s history, marine life, and biology. Haha, oo, mag-eeducational trip kami dito. And I really wanted to do the 1000-step hike in Pilgrimage Island. And I’ll bring our tent the next time so I can stay over night and camp.

Family and Relationships · Places

Staycation at Haeinsa Condotel

The #SingForever family held our Christmas/Yearend/NewYear party by having a staycation at Haeinsa Condotel last January 12-13. My friend booked it thru Zen Rooms, and for a 3k+ expense for one night, I could say, we just got the most out of what we paid for.

Haeinsa Condotel- 3 ⭐⭐⭐

Booking: I think we didn’t have a hard time contacting the hotel. My friend was the one who managed all the booking and contacting, and he had actually given us a confirmation email quickly after our agreement of the date.

Customer Service: The condotel’s reception was bland. When we entered the lobby, the receptionist just simply looked at us and continued what she was doing in her computer. I calmly told her my friend’s name, and she answered me rather unenthusiastically.

Cleanliness: Our group’s a total of 9 pax, so we got 2 Family Rooms as accommodation. The room was spacious enough (though, it was narrow and elongated, not wide) for 2 single beds, 1 double bed, a square dining table with 3 chairs, a refrigerator, and bathroom (with thermostat to control water temp). The room and bathroom were clean when we arrived, but I think a bigger trash can is needed (kasi diba Family Room, so maramihang tao kaya sana mas malaki ang trash can).

Family Quadruple Room good for 4-6 persons

Amenity: Given its location, I think Haeinsa is primarily a traveller’s inn, for it offers just a comfortable place to sleep in- nothing more, nothing less. There’s nothing much you can do, but I must say that their internet connection was fast and reliable.

Convenience: It isn’t hard to go to Haeinsa Condotel. It is very near (walking distance) to East Avenue and EDSA. There are also a lot of stores, including fast food chain, outside the building, so it wouldn’t be difficult to grab some food if their restaurant doesn’t appeal to you.

All in all, Haeinsa Condotel is good enough for a comfortable place to sleep in. Just plan to bring in games or activities that you actually enjoy (and you are not the bunch who are into swimming) and your staycation will be affordable, okay and fun.

Christian life · Married life · Places

Learning only from the Experts: joining MER 1

Just would like to share how God abundantly blessed us last weekend when we attended the Marriage Enrichment Retreat (MER) 1 of our Couples for Christ community.

The retreat was conducted at Bale Maragul in San Antonio, Arayat, Pampanga. We left Manila by 5:45am and arrived at 7:30am. We are actually the first chapter to arrive in the location.

North B2D represent!

Bale Maragul is a perfect place for a retreat. They have bale maragul (meaning “bahay na malaki” in kapampangan) comprising of 3 floors full of airconditioned accommodation rooms (for couples and for families/groups). We stayed in a room at the ground floor, complete with a big comfort room for bath (with tub and shower) and toilet. The session hall is very nice, I think big enough for 100 people. The landscape of the resort is also nice, and they have 2 swimming pools.

The retreat started with an orientation followed by the Opening Worship. While praying, I think about all the things I left in Manila- Ella, my review classes, my work- and decided to surrender to God all my concerns. When Aljhon and I joined CFC in 2016, this MER is actually one of the things that we ardently look forward to. Excited lang kasi kami talaga palagi sa mga ganitong klaseng retreats. However, we failed to attend last year because I was due then to give birth. For this year, I was at first hesitant, because there are weekend classes I need to attend. Praise God for giving me a submissive heart, and I let Aljhon decide for us to choose MER over my review, for the last weekend proved to be one of my highlights this year.

The retreat comprises of 7 talks, each one focusing in making God the center of our marriage. Here are my important takeaways:

1. God commissioned husbands and wives to serve Him through marriage. Marriage is not just a relationship, but a Worship.

2. The family is no longer just the basic unit of society, but a domestic Church as well. And as commissioned by Christ, the father will always be the Head.

3. Expressed in the term “Padre-de-Pamilya”, the father is expected to fulfill priestly duties to his own domestic Church.

4. The wife is always a help mate to her husband. But she is the Heart of the home. The mind may be higher than the heart, but without a heart, it is dead.

5. The pastoral care of the wife and the children may come from the husband/father, that’s why it is the husband’s urgent responsibility to grow spiritually. But the pastoral care of the husband never comes from the wife; rather, it is given to him by his leaders from the community.

6. Parenthood is by far the biggest, noblest, and grandest vocation. It even literally requires laying down your life for the sake of the family. And so in this seminar, I salute my parents, especially my Mama, for doing the best in providing for and loving us in a way no one else could.

7. Submissiveness of the wife is never a sign of weakness. It is by her unconditional love that a husband can securely fulfill his role and duties. Nothing is truer than the saying, “Behind every successful man is a woman”.

8. There is no broken relationship that cannot be repaired by God. For our God is a healer and restorer.

I thank God for leading my parents to the Couples for Christ, for I, myself, is a testimony of how God is truly gracious with this community. I have seen many miracles through this family, and I must say that the most important one is when I found my life partner who shares the same values and faith in this community. Aljhon is God’s gift to my faithfulness, and I know that He has even greater plans for our family. I am grateful to CFC because they are guiding and teaching us to become partners and parents the best that we can be, even at a very early stage. God is truly good and great!

Reviews

11 years worth of celebration

Villa Alfredo’s Resort in San Fernando, Pampanga is easily one of the best public resorts that I’ve been to. My Gen Choir family went there to celebrate our 11th year and we went home far from feeling disappointed.

Review: ⭐⭐⭐⭐

This place is huge! According to the owner, they have 5-hectare land but only 3 hectares are now used for the resort. When I first came here in 2014, there were only some few pools and limited amenities. Just for 4 years, they have already constructed differently themed pools with adult and children slides (one as high as 4storey), a team building/outdoor playground facility, and more rooms and townhouses for overnight staying. They have also improved their aviary and aquariums. This resort is also very instagrammable. Ate Joan and Ephraim even took the chance and had their prenup photoshoot (part 1). The entrance fee of P250 (overnight) plus P2500 room for 12pax is SO, SO, affordable for 22 hours of fun and relaxation. I totally recommend this resort for family and barkada outings.

Resort rates as of June 2018
Just one of their themed pools. Sobrang enjoy magswim and magtake ng pictures.
Mercado Family 💖 Thank you Daddy for coming with us ^_^

I didn’t have enough time to stroll around the area and photograph all amenities (in charge ako kay Ella eh; I think it would be best if you can stay here for the whole weekend/2 days, 2 nights, to fully enjoy all it has to offer) so I’ll just share with you the vlog made by the hubby on our staycation at Villa Alfredo’s Resort.

For 11 straight long years, we have been singing for the Lord. We started with even more than 30 members, but now only 5 of us remain (naka-hiatus pa ako dahil kay baby Ella hahahah). God knows how much patience, love, and faith we have put so that we can continue to serve Him. Praise Him for choosing and empowering us to share our lives in service to Him. Thank you Jona, Dudz, Rodette, Jamaila, and ate Gem (most especially) for being with me in this journey. Quota na nga siguro tayo, but I know deep down we are not yet ready to let go of our service. Bahala na si Lord na magdala sa atin sa susunod nating ministry. But for now, I’ll still enjoy singing with you early every Sunday morning. Love you guys! 💖

💖💖💖
Married life · Reviews

2nd.

Aljhon and I celebrated our 2nd wedding anniversary last May 14 doing the things we love to do as an individual- him taking photographs of me being surrounded by books. We visited the Book Museum cum Ethnology Center located at Concepcion, Marikina City. We initially planned on going to Art in Island, but it was closed due to the nationwide barangay election holiday. We enjoyed the day discovering the history of publishing in the Philippines, seeing a decent collection of different reading materials, looking through various cultural artifacts, and of course, taking photographs around the museum.

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Happy fam at the Book Museum
The most photographed area inside the compound, where every structure has its own meaning.

Review: ⭐⭐⭐ I’m naturally a nerd, and a museum is one of the places that I truly enjoy being in. I was actually excited to see and be able to read their collection of books, but I was somewhat disappointed when we arrived. Only the general reference books are allowed to be read, topics that are of real interest are just for display inside the bookshelves. Also, some reading materials are just travel pamphlets, which is because the owner of the collection, Mr. Buhain, is also a travel junkie. Parang he would just buy any book that is within his reach when he visits a place or country. But though the selection did not appeal to me, what I love about his collection are the miniature version of popular books such as the Shakespeare’s plays as well as their copies of Philippine comics. It brought me back to the time when I was just 7 or 8 years old, I would borrow comics, pocketbooks, and readers’ digest from our neighbor, and I read while my friends play. Ang nerd lang talaga, haha! The tour around the Book Museum costs P300, including 3 display rooms and a hundred-peso merienda from the cafe inside their compound, the James Dean Cafe. The price was okay, though the first display room only showcases different salakot and stones. Their ethnology exhibit is just fine, I enjoyed looking through their handiwork and learning more about the Northern and Southern culture. But it seemed to us that some “artifacts” are already modernized version of what had existed before. Hindi naman sa hindi legit, pero hindi rin yun yung lumang lumang bagay na makikita mo normally sa loob ng isang museum. But I appreciate the owner’s generosity of sharing his collection to the public. Also, the exhibit (both books and artifacts) is organized well, so all those negative observations are just fine by me. By the way, the James Dean Cafe is instagrammable, and their shakes taste decent. You’ll get just the worth of what you paid for.

The Northern Culture exhibit. I like this better than the other display room.
The Book Museum’s icon. This is Mr. Dominador Buhain’s right foot and signifies the owner’s love for traveling as well as the city where the Museum is located, Marikina. And yes, there are smaller feet by the wall, showing foot impression of Atty. Buhain’s family members.
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Ella enjoying every display as well. Takot nga lang siya sa mga bulols. Hahah
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The door with baybayin inscription. What I love about this place is even the small details have their own meaning.
A breastfeeding Mama. *sob*
This display is amazing. It has old and original published versions of some popular and well-loved fiction novels as well as the smallest woodcarved crucifix.

Starting her young. 😉 Two of my life’s favorites in one photo.

This large mural is handpainted and shows the history of publishing.
Replica of Jose Rizal’s Triumph of Death over Life sculpture.
We got lucky because we met Atty. Dominador Buhain, owner of the Book Museum cum Ethnology Center.
Milkshakes and brownies.
We visited the Museum during the election holiday kaya we got the place for ourselves.
Happy Second Anniversary Daddy ❤

Dalawang taon na pala ang lumipas. Aljhon can’t even believed that it has only been 2 years. A pregnancy (and all its drama), Rafaella Jesusa, enrollment to Grad School, CFC CLP, 2 Best Employee awards, resignation from Kasagana-ka, family problems (and all its drama), 10kgs of weight gain, 2 hospital confinements, and 1 short haircut- a lot indeed has happened to our little family for 2 years. Some are joyful occasions, others are heartbreaking, but all of them are blessings and opportunities to learn and grow. Aljhon is still the great guy I know, and I enjoyed being married to him. But we also had fights, and I discovered some annoying habits and characteristics of my husband as we try to build our own home (totoo pala talaga yun). The two years was not perfect, but it was real. And those two years taught us that while this can’t be the fairytale we had dreamed of when we’re young, this is just the RIGHT story for the both of us. I learned to love and respect him as the head of our household, and he empowered me to become the best woman I can be. And the most important? It is that we stood by each other no matter what the circumstance (or what others may say about us). Because that is what the two years is all about- learning from and being by each other and loving every moment of the worthwhile ride.

 

Book Museum cum Ethnology Center

127 Dao Street, Marikina Heights, Marikina City

Open Monday to Sunday 9am to 5pm

570 4449

adb.bookmuseum@yahoo.com

Motherhood · Reviews

Ella’s first Summer Adventure

As our family’s thanksgiving, as well as advanced celebration of Papa & Mama’s anniversary, we spent last Sunday at Noah’s Park Resort in Rodriguez, Montalban, Rizal.

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Ella enjoyed her first experience of “swimming”, though at first she was so scared of the water and the new environment. It just melts my heart to see her become curious of her surroundings, and eagerly respond to all the new things around her. I was also proud (though paranoid and hesitant as well) as other children would come to her and play with her.

Nung una takot sya sa tubig, but she eventually got the hang of it. One thing I learned with babies is that let them discover things, don’t use the word “No” too much. Just be around her as she discovers the world around her.
Sama din ang baby sa Hanging Bridge eh ^_^
Mapuno ang lugar but it can still get very hot. Make sure you wear rashguard and put sunscreen.
In front of one of the houses
#TheAgustins with Jam ^_^
Ang saya ni Ella ^_^
Nagmoment hahahaha
The “mini-bar”/ restaurant
Photoshoot! Hahahah
#ERJ

Review: ⭐⭐⭐ The entrance fee of P200 is reasonably price for a daytime (8am to 5pm) usage of their 5 public swimmimg pools, large landscape, and additional exciting amenities such as zipline, wall climbing, and rapeling. What I like most about their resort are: 1) green outdoors nice enough for instagram, and 2) lots of things you can do inside the resort. I am a fan and lover of trees so I truly appreciate Noah’s Park for having so many trees inside their premises. Being surrounded by trees also means less badtrip because of the summer heat, more especially important for a family that has a baby, like us. Moreover, you can never get bored in this resort. They have Grand pool with 2 slides (right side for kids and left side for the swimmers and adults), Garden pool, 1 Wave pool, Rock pool (lagoon-inspired), and a Bucket pool (our favorite). Aside from swimming, you can climb and walk on the hanging bridge, or do zipline, wall climbing, and rappeling, for a VERY affordable price of P50 each. Then, you can stroll in the property and take photographs of their landscape. The houses (they call it Condotel) are colorful and pretty, and make sure you spend some time for a quick photo shoot in their restaurant/mini-bar (not open during daytime, but this is the most instagrammable spot in the resort). Lastly, they have a basketball court and a team building facility (more of a playground or an obstacle course) that you can play in.

Downside would be: 1) no one was answering in their contact numbers as well as facebook page so don’t even bother calling them, 2) and because you haven’t contacted them, come as early as 6am so that you will still have cottage of your choice, 3) even if you will rent a room, the resort still requires you to get a cottage if you want to swim in the pool (SERIOUSLY, I don’t get it), 4) for a very big place, they forgot to provide ample number of comfort and shower rooms (good thing is it’s only a 30-minute travel to our house, so we just took our bath at home), and 5) their adult pool was so dirty the water smelled like sweat.

All in all, Noah’s Park Resort is good enough for a daytime summer outing with the family (just use the wave and pail pools, kahit dun lang sulit ka na din). Corkage fee is just for softdrinks, alcohol, and electrical appliances, so you can bring in home-cooked meals or food to grill (grillers are free to use). Bring lots of sunscreen as well as energy so that you can fully enjoy all this resort has to offer.

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Bucket Pool, our favorite ❤
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Wave Pool
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Ella’s favorite place in the resort 😀 abot nya eh :p
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Rock Pool. Yes, the pool can get really crowded, peak season eh.
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Hotel.
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Condotel

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Hanging Bridge. Even Ella took a walk! Hahah
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Team Building facility (i.e. playground)
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Chapel
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Haven’t seen photos of their cottages in their website, so here they are. These are the cottages in the Upper Section (Small cottages, P300 daytime rate). If you will stay here, be patient because the pools are 5-minute walk din!
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Lower Section cottages (Garden round table P700)
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Lower Section cottages (round table P900)

Noah’s Park Resort

Bgy. San Isidro, Rodriguez, Rizal (Beside Avilon Zoo)
T: 347.5031 / 517.1242 / 399NOAH
M: 63+ 922.854.4410
E: noahsleisurepark@gmail.com

Family and Relationships · Reviews

Ten things I’m grateful for at #enjoyPH: Monasterio de Tarlac

  1. Ate Joan’s 29th birthday celebration.
    Tinky-winky!

     

    Wow! Just one more year, and there’s already a 30-ish in the siblings. Hahah! This family trip is memorable for we know that we may not get to see Ate Joan everyday next year. She and Ephraim are already preparing to get married, and the plan is they will reside in Cavite. 😦 While this is a bitter-sweet milestone in the fam, we couldn’t say no because we know that that will make our Ate Joan happy. I am thankful that we  made her special day memorable and happy, while being together.

  2. The beautiful, sunny weather. Monasterio de Tarlac is a beautiful recluse hidden atop one of the mountains of Tarlac. Having a pilgrimage here can be enjoyed most if you come during the dry (but cool) months. We’re grateful for our decision to go on an early hour of an October Saturday because it allowed us to enjoy the area with less people (to photobomb in our pics, hahah), no hassle from a hot and humid afternoon (that can lead to cranky, irritated little baby, plus sunburned skin), and just cool and calming ambience (even better than the hustle-bustle of Baguio).
  3. Uninterrupted, safe travel. Make sure you have your own transportation if you wish to come to the Monasterio. I am not sure if there’s public transpo that can get you to and from the place, but based from what I experienced on the long, winding, and uphill road, it would be very difficult to commute, if you even find any. Our family doesn’t have our own car, but we’re fortunate and grateful to come across Island Discovery Tours and Travel Services, where you can rent a van for a very affordable price. As a second-time customer, we can really vouch on their hassle-free ride and kind drivers.
  4. Instagram-worthy landscape. 
    In this era of selfies and photographs, one’s travel destination wouldn’t be #travelgoals if it isn’t visually appealing. While I believe that Monasterio de Tarlac doesn’t need tourists, but pilgrims, their landscaping definitely isn’t eyesore, either; and for that, my IG feed feels thankful. Well, you could never go wrong with nature, anyway. The whole -hectare of land is situated atop the mountain, so the view is expectedly breathtaking. There’s also a 30-feet statue of Jesus and smaller monument of Mama Mary that are surely mandatory IG photo.
  5. Opportunity to pray and rest.
    What really pushed me to push through with this lakad is the opportunity to attend a mass in their Church and touch the relic of Jesus’ cross. Yes, as in the real cross carried by Jesus to his death and Crucifixion. I really don’t admit my being a devout Catholic (especially now that I lie low in our choir service), but I take pride in my faith and religious upbringing. I am also a woman of tradition, and I am fond of seeing, touching, and experiencing different relics as well as observing religious customs. Consequently, attending the mass in the Monasterio urged me to revisit my own conscience. The mass celebrant repeatedly told us that we arrived there for a reason, and that wherever we are in our life journey, we never are alone. I just felt kilig upon realizing God’s sweet message for me: that He is still my Father, whatever the circumstance. He never leaves nor forsakes me all the step of the way.
  6. Opportunity to meet new people while renewing the bond we have with those we’re always with. 
    One thing I always look forward to family trips is the bonding we’ll share not just with the family, but as well as to new friendships that could be formed in the place we’ll visit. I am grateful because we (or specifically, Mama) became friends with some people at the Monasterio. While I am not really the extraverted one who befriends locals, I reaped the benefit of the..
  7. Hearty breakfast overlooking Tarlac plains that satisfy both the soul & heart. 
    COMPLETE ^_^

    The friend of my Mom I was referring to in the previous point told us of a beautiful place where we could eat our breakfast (bangus sisig binalot whole-heartedly prepared by Mama). This is actually my favorite part of our trip to Monasterio, because that was when I truly felt one with the fam. Also, the view was beyond beautiful. All of us were thankful for that one hour of pure laughter, catching up, and social media-freedom (no one was using the phone when we’re eating!).

  8. The time to be away from the hubby and realize that I miss him terribly. Well, aside from the fact that I was forced had to attend to Ella’s wet diapers, I realized that I am no longer comfortable leaving Aljhon from important and out-of-town trips like this. I cannot even remember the last time I left Manila without him! (I am no travel junkie, and I wasn’t able to join company/church summer outings for 2 years in a row due to my wedding and pregnancy) We’ve been together for 6 years now, and I just realize how he became not just my partner, but an arm extension, an indispensable part of me. Honestly, becoming a parent took a toll on our relationship lately. I didn’t even flinch upon learning that he can’t come with us because of his photography classes, much more, offered not to join this family trip to stay with him. But that day without my husband, I know that my joy was not complete. I kept on thinking about how he was, what he was doing, or what he had for lunch (okay, fine, I also regretted that he, his dslr, and his photography skills were awol). I thank God for He made me realize how important Aljhon is, and that no beautiful place or experience can ever be as wonderful having my husband by my side.
  9. Being close to nature, thus, becoming closer to God. Just to reiterate, you can never go wrong with nature. Or at least in my opinion. Having seen too many greens and smelled the distinct probinsya air, even just for a day, made me feel relaxed and recharged to face the second half of the school year. I also thought of how blessed we are for having an amazingly creative God. Nothing can really equal God’s idea of mountains, plains, trees, etc. Everything is in proper order, has its own organization and system. And whenever I think about this, I feel like a small speck of dust in a vast, infinite universe. But this small speck of dust is God’s princess, His beloved; and for this, I am eternally grateful.
  10. For simply being with the family. 
    Paulit-ulit man, I would like to express how grateful I am for this time to be with my family. Yes, we all may be residing under one roof, but often, life throws in so many commitments, errands, and to-dos, that we forget to even check on our family members and ask how are they doing. I just realized, especially now that I have my own family unit, that we must never forget our roots, that truly, time is the most precious thing we can spend on the people that are dear to us. And time cannot be chased. We don’t wait on time, either. We make time, instead.

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Monasterio de Tarlac is situated at Mount Resurrection, Eco Park in the barangay of Lubigan, San Jose, Tarlac. Mass open to the public is at 10:30am every Mondays to Wednesdays, Fridays to Saturdays. You can go there as early as 6am, but staying beyond 5pm is not really advisable for the road has sharp curves that are dangerous without daylight (I actually didn’t see any road lights). There’s no entrance fee for each visitor, but they charged P50 per vehicle upon entering the compound. Bring your own baon, and like us, eat at the pavilion situated at the back of the restroom. Turn off your wifi. Enjoy! ^_^

Reviews

Dahil Hindi ko Nakita

Kita kita movie poster. ©Google Images

Isa. Isa ang pelikulang ito sa mga bagay na nagpamukha saking change has come, indeed. Ang pagiging nanay, babaguhin at babaguhin talaga ang mga routines at perspective mo sa buhay, sa ayaw mo man o hindi. Pero isa akong masaya at mabuting Ina. Isang beses ko lang pinag-isipan kung sasama ba kong manuod ng pelikulang ito o iwanan at ipaalaga sa iba ang beybi ko.

Dalawa. Sige na, oo na. Hindi pala isa, kundi dalawang beses kong pinag-isipan. Did it make me a horrible mother now?

Tatlo. Tatlong beses ko pa naman pinilit si Jona na manlibre ng sine, tapos ako pa palang di makakasama. Pero dibale. May higit tatlong paraan pa naman para mailibre nya ako. #tatlongliboparasabinyagniBabyElla

Apat. Apat na oras wala ang mga kapatid at Mama ko sa bahay kahit pa napakalapit lang ng SM samin. Apat na oras ang ginugol nila para sa pelikulang ito, pero sabi ni Mama, hanggang bago daw sya matulog ay iniisip nya pa rin yung mga nangyari kay Lea at Tonyo. Ganun nya ka- #feels yung movie.

Lima. Limang minuto tuloy kaming late sa Misa kinabukasan, dahil panay pa ang kwentuhan namin tungkol sa mga plot twists kesa ang umalis na agad.

Anim. Anim na beses ko din kasing kinulit ang kapatid ko para magshare sya sakin ng mga spoilers at ano ba talaga yung twist sa dulo. Sorry Lord (6x).

Pito. Pitong araw na ang lumipas mula nang unang nilabas sa mga sinehan yung pelikula. Ilang araw pa kaya ang hihintayin ko bago magkaroon ng HD nito sa internet?

Walo. Walong beses na ata akong nakabasa ng ganitong listahan sa mga blog posts at status sa facebook. Pero alam kong higit pa sa walo ang mga taong nakitawa at nakiiyak sa dalawang bida. Higit pa sa walo ang natuwa at nainlove kay Empoy. Higit pa sa walo ang nagsabing simple pero maganda ang pelikula, na may pag-asa pa din ang Philippine cinema na magkaroon ng mga palabas na hindi lang puro commercial, pero may laman at kurot sa puso. Yung tipong meron kang mababaon paglabas mo ng sinehan, dahil napag-isipan talaga yung storya.

Siyam. Sana sa pangSiyam na blog post o status na mababasa ko tungkol sa movie na ito, meron nang nakapansin na isang stalker si Tonyo. Batuhin nyo na ko ng tinapay dahil wala kong karapatang ijudge ang inyong leading Man nang di ko pa napapanuod yung movie, pero stalking ang ginawa nya kay Lea. Isa syang stalker na may ready-ng Banana costume sa bahay.

Sampu. Magkakaroon din ako ng mas matinong listahan ng Sampung realizations pag nakita ko na ang Kita kita. Sa ngayon, eto muna habang inuubos ko ang aking pang-Sampung kape habang nag-aalaga sa aking Sampunging beybi. (Joke lang✌ Pangalawang kape pa lang ako, at hindi sumpungin ang baby ko😛)

©Google Images

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August 3 UPDATE: Nagkita-kita na din kami sa wakas nila Tonyo at Lea. Kahit di na ko nabigla sa mga napanood ko, #feels ko pa din yung pelikula. Thank you KZ.💔