Word Play

My friend, what have you discovered lately about yourself?  It is said that regardless of our age, we need to continuously grow and learn.  Anyway, the world is our classroom and we are the eternal students of life.

I am fond of art and appreciate it on all its form – dance, visual, music, literature.  As you know, I dance and can sing a tune (sometimes).  My hands were not gifted to draw nor paint. Literary was never an adjective used to describe me.

One lonely September night, my friend Marie and I accidentally discovered a hippie indie bar in Mandaluyong where they feature Spoken Word Artists declaming their pieces and offer open mic to those who want to share their work of art.  Since then, we have grown to go out again at night just to watch spoken words at quaint bars and envy those who can choose all the right words to say and how beautiful their pieces were.  I used to chat with someone I met online last month whom I exchanged what I called “word play” where we throw random thoughts about our daily lives which turns out to be lyrical.  I don’t know if he enjoyed it but I do, SUPER!  It was a needed diversion from the stressful situations I’m in lately.  I was surprised by the simple yet sensible conversations we have in a poetic manner.  Though our exchange of messages ended (Unfortunately, I was dumped.  Haha!  Moving on…), I still have this thought that I can possibly write something sensible.  Hey!  I am trying to keep a blog so maybe I have the talent somewhere hidden inside.

And so I grabbed some notes and tried to create a simple poem.  It’s hard!  After tossing and turning, I came up with a simple Haiku:

Haiku 01

I am not really sure if it was good enough, but at least I tried.

I tried to post one Tagalog word play I exchanged with my previous chatmate.  How I came up with it was a suprise to me (Maybe because Halloween was near at that time?  Or maybe because I described myself to him as a Vampire – amply describe the lifestyle and time zone I follow).  It amazed me that I can compose something on a whim so I submitted it on one Facebook Page that I follow.  Luckily, it was posted and liked by some.  YEHEY!  I am one happy gal! 😀

Paalala

My first published work.  Click the pic to see the link (Hey!  That rhymes 🙂 )

Just sharing my simple accomplishment.  This inspires me to have a small notebook and write any of my ramdom thoughts and create something out of it. Even if the budding friendship I’ve had with my chatmate was cut short, even if I am alone, I can still continue with my word play.

*Tinakits*

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Where Have I Been?

My friend, HI!!!!!  It’s been a long time since I created a post.  It was relatively odd that I don’t update my humble site even if I have been to so many beautiful scenery within my backyard, the Philippines.  I just like to catch up with you and make sure I have enough entry for the year (I just recently realized that I have not made any entry for 2015).

Aside from the usual routine I have on a daily basis – work, home, occassional socials here and there; I have enjoyed exploring these places:

February 2014: Banaue & Sagada, Mountain Province

Trio at Banaue Rice Terraces

Trio at Banaue Rice Terraces

Brushing my rusty rappeling skill at Cave Connection Tour (Lumiang & Sumaguing Cave) at Sagada

Trying out my rusty rappeling skill at Cave Connection Tour (Lumiang & Sumaguing Cave) in Sagada

Strawberry Cafe - our favorite and highly-recommended restaurant at Sagada, Mountain Province

Strawberry Cafe – our favorite and highly-recommended restaurant in Sagada, Mountain Province

May 2014: Calaguas Island, Camarines Norte

Beautiful piece of paradise at Calaguas Island, Camarines Norte

Beautiful piece of paradise at Calaguas Island, Camarines Norte

Waling-waling Eco-Village at Calaguas, Camarines Norte - your only option for non-camping accomodation on the island

Waling-waling Eco-Village at Calaguas, Camarines Norte – your only option for non-camping accomodation on the island

August 2014: Kamay ni Hesus, Lucban, Quezon Province

With the family that adopted me illigally (hehehe!) - the Condicion Clan :D

With the family that adopted me illegally (hehehe!) – the Condicion Clan 😀

December 2014: Baguio City, Benguet

Raisin Bread shopping at Villa Cordillera Hotel inside Camp John Hay, Baguio City

Raisin Bread shopping at Villa Cordillera Hotel inside Camp John Hay, Baguio City

February 2015: Puerto Princesa & El NIdo, Palawan

My favorite travel buddies at Puerto Princesa Underground River

My favorite travel buddies at Puerto Princesa Underground River

Enjoying the crystal clear water and fine white sand at El Nido, Palawan

Enjoying the crystal clear water and fine white sand at El Nido, Palawan

April 2015: Isla de Gigantes & Iloilo City, Iloilo

Spelunking with my new travel buddies at Bakwitan Cave, Gigantes Norte Island, Carles, Iloilo

Spelunking with my new travel buddies at Bakwitan Cave, Gigantes Norte Island, Carles, Iloilo

Breathtaking view at Cabugao Island, Carles, Iloilo

Breathtaking view at Cabugao Island, Carles, Iloilo

With my best friends Roger and Emer at Catedral de Nuestra Senora de Candelaria, also known as Jaro Church at Jaro, Iloilo City, Iloilo

With my best friends Roger and Emer at Catedral de Nuestra Senora de Candelaria, also known as Jaro Church at Jaro, Iloilo City, Iloilo

So, why am I not blogging about it?  Well, I read soooo many travel blogs providing all the nitty gritty details of the places I visited!  To tell you honestly, I was quite indimidated and awestruck with the completeness of their entry and they created it way before I visited the place.  So, what will I offer more? – that is the question that is still stuck in my hard coconut shelled brain.  My insecurities led me to have a creative block.  But the optimist in me says, “Take it as a challenge”.  The carefree side of me says, ” Go ahead.  Blog away what’s in your head”.  Therefore, I will try my best to offer other insights and share to you my exact thoughts and things I think will help you.  Anyway, that’s what friendship is for, right?  You need to be open with each other.

I miss you my blog and my friend.  I will try to get in touch more often. 😉

-Tinakits-

PHILIPPINES’ OFFICIAL HOLIDAYS FOR 2015

My friend, are you planning a year before your trip? I do!  Why?  Because airfares are usually the cheapest if you book it months before your trip.  That is why even if we just ended the first half of 2014, I already have official trips in 2015!  Yes, that early.

Though I was surprised, I was more excited when the Philippine Government announces the official holidays for next year (2015).  This is not only to plan our trips early, but also for business projection and planning especially we will have eight (8) long weekends.

So my friends, here’s our holidays for 2015 as posted on our Government’s Official Gazette:

As usual, Muslim Holidays will still be determined which are Eid Al Fitr and Eid Al Adha.

 

So my friend, let’s plan our trips together for next year! 🙂

 

 

 

*Tinakits*

 

 

BOHOL: Beauty After Tragedy

Enjoying our Loboc River Cruise in Bohol

Enjoying our Loboc River Cruise in Bohol

My friend, what do you consider in travelling?  Well, we always consider our budget, the place that has all the activities that you want to do and the convenience.  Those are the usual reasons.  But for the travel plan I did recently, I also consider helping out our fellowmen.

Bohol is one of the places in the Philippines I visited a few times and never get tired of it.  I went there with friends and will always go back there if ever asked again.  So when my sister Thess and her son EJ asked me if we can go there for my sister’s birthday, I did not hesitate and availed of the promotion that Air Asia has to Tagbilaran.  I booked it together with my partner B and my mother so all 5 of us will go to that wonderful place in Visayas on March 2014.  I booked our tickets last May 2013, a few months before Bohol suffered the damages brought about by a strong earthquake.

Loboc Church Ruins - sad to see a damaged sacred place :(

Loboc Church Ruins – sad to see a damaged sacred place 😦

Dauis Church - one of my favorite churches in Bohol.  Now it is being reconstructed and not yet open to the public

Dauis Church – one of my favorite churches in Bohol. Now it is being reconstructed and not yet open to the public

After the earthquake and seeing the damages in Bohol and its neighboring provinces, all 5 of us worried if we will still enjoy our vacation.  I also thought if my family and B will still see the same glorious sceneries and churches I have enjoyed numerous times.  We thought of backing out.  Then again, tourism is their main source of income.  Although our family donated some for the victims of earthquake and Typhoon Haiyan, I guess promoting their Tourism is one way of helping them.  So I continued searching for a place to stay in and arrange the countryside and island tour I did before.

ACCOMODATION

Playa Blanca de Asteria at Panglao, Bohol

Playa Blanca de Asteria at Panglao, Bohol

If you are looking for a cheap place to stay in near the pristine beach of Panglao, Bohol; I highly recommend Playa Blanca de Asteria which is very near the beach.  We only got one room for the 5 of us for Php 3,100 a night which includes 2 beds where each bed can occupy 2 adults, 1 extra mattress, aircon, our own toilet and bathroom, and a small fridge.  If you want a cheaper option, they have a fan room or kubo for only Php 800 a night. I contacted the very accommodating Ms. Aster Alegrado via email (aster_blessing@yahoo.com) and texted her, too (+63 920 353 5708).

Our gorgeous view from our room

Our gorgeous view from our room

TOURS AND FEES

B in the middle of the road at Bilar Man-made Forest at Bilar, Bohol

B in the middle of the road at Bilar Man-made Forest at Bilar, Bohol

For convenience, Ms. Aster offer us their tour services, too.  Their roundtrip airport pick-up/drop off plus Bohol Countryside Tour is Php 4,300 which includes, driver’s fee, van rental, gasoline and parking fee.  As for the entrance fees to our Countryside Tour like in Tarsier Conservation Area, Prony the Python Area, Chocolate Hills viewing deck, Butterfly Sanctuary, Hanging Bridge and Loboc River Cruise with lunch, allot Php 960 per person for it.

Cute little Tarsier at Tarsier Conservation Area

Cute little Tarsier at Tarsier Conservation Area

Don’t worry, there is no fees to the Blood Compact Site and seeing Dauis Church and Baclayon Church.  If you want a side trip to Bohol Bee Farm, just add Php 500 for it.

Enjoying my sister's birthday treat at Bohol Bee Farm

Enjoying my sister’s birthday treat at Bohol Bee Farm

 

For Island tour which includes going to Balicasag Island, Virgin Island and dolphin watching, the cost is Php 1,800 which includes boatman fee, gasoline, and boat rental.  The prices mentioned is already for the 5 of us.

As always, I enjoyed snorkeling at the pristine sanctuary near Balicasag Island in Bohol

As always, I enjoyed snorkeling at the pristine sanctuary near Balicasag Island in Bohol

Enjoying fresh coconut water in the middle of the sea at Virgin Island, Bohol

Enjoying fresh coconut water in the middle of the sea at Virgin Island, Bohol

In total, here’s our fees for the tour plus accommodation:

Php 9,300   –   One room with aircon for 4 days and 3 nights good for 5 people at Php 3,100 per night

4,300   –   Countryside Tour

500  –   Bohol Bee Farm side trip

1,800  –   Dolphin watching & island tour

Php 15,900 – TOTAL

÷                5 – Number of pax

Php 3,180 – Room and tour fees per person

+         960 – Entrance Fees and Loboc River Cruise w/ lunch

Php 4,140 – Total Fee per person for 4 days, 3 nights

 

POSITIVITY AFTER TRAGEDY

Our funny tour guide at Butterfly Farm in Bohol

Our funny tour guide at Butterfly Farm in Bohol

I will not further explain the places we visited.  In fact, these were all explained by other bloggers.  But what I can tell you is this, Bohol is more wonderful after the earthquake!  Take it from me 😉

B and the Chocolate Hills at Carmen, Bohol

B and the Chocolate Hills at Carmen, Bohol

Yes, their gloriously old churches were ruined, their roads may need constructions, their Chocolate Hills Viewing Deck may need to be reconstructed, but their positivity is still alive.  When I went to the Butterfly Sanctuary, we went there on our own without a guide.  But when we went there last March, we have a guide and was very funny.  During our Island Tour, our boatman was very helpful and stating his experiences with the friendly dolphins.  During our snorkeling activity at Balicasag Island, our guide was helpful, encouraging us to swim further to see the colorful fishes and corals on their sanctuary.  And as always, the Boholanos were the warmest people I have ever encountered!  Every time you pass by them, they always have a smile on their faces as if they never encountered any tragedy.  You will see them working hard and dedicated to their job which I see with our guides.  They remain to be optimistic despite some decline in their Tourism.  They are still accomodating and have the spirit to rise to the challenges!  It warms my heart to see role models in this province.  Yes, we may have paid more than other bloggers have spent on their trips, but I am more than willing to shell out more for our kababayans in Bohol to help them rise up because they are working hard for it and they deserve more of it.

Romantic full moon lighting the waters of Panglao Island

Romantic full moon lighting the waters of Panglao Island

So my friend, if you are thinking of a place to visit this summer, visit Bohol and you will learn something from them.  Not only about the history, not only about their cute Trasiers, but also with their character of never giving up and retaining their positivity to rise up from disaster.

 

-Tinakits-

A Joyous Holidays & Fruitful New Year!

Our Christmas Tree with some of the many gifts surrounding it

Our Christmas Tree with some of the many gifts surrounding it

December is the busiest month on everybody’s calendar.  The last month of the year is also a time for us to reflect if 2013 has been kind or challenging.

For me, it was full of adventure!  There were downs but it was more of a learning experience.  I am very excited what will the new year will bring!  But I promised to continue with the topsy-turvy adventure called life.

To you my friend, thank you for being a part of my 2013.  Let’s continue with the friendship and enjoy 2014!

Happy Holidays! 🙂

Charity Work That Will Fill Our Hearts & Tummy

B and I with the famous Mt. Tapyas Cross at the back during our Coron Trip.  The cross was torn down by the recent Typhoon Yolanda :(

B and I with the famous Mt. Tapyas Cross at the back during our Coron Trip. The cross was torn down by the recent Typhoon Yolanda 😦

My friend, where are you?  Are you and your family affected by the recent earthquake or typhoon?  Glad to know that you’re safe and survived it.  As for me, I am safe together with my family.  Today, we are so addicted in watching the news lately to update ourselves about our countrymen affected by one of the worst typhoon in history.  I can’t help but shed tears to those in Leyte, Samar, Capiz, Iloilo and Northern Palawan who are grieving for the loss of their loved ones, their livelihood, and their town.

Before the storm happened, I already have plans to go out-of-town just to relax a bit and contemplate.  I am also stress with a lot of things that I am thinking of some activity to distress like a short travel or eat out.  Going on a travel is not the right time knowing that many are suffering.  Instead of spending it for a trip, might as well donate it.  So my other option is to eat to my heart’s content.  I love food!  I eat not only to nourish my body but to nourish my heart and soul, too.  I guess we all have our “comfort food” that we take to uplift out spirit.

So to hit two things I want to achieve: that is, to help others while I enjoy; I am planning to dine this weekend to some selected restaurants who commit to give a portion or all of their earnings to all Typhoon Yolanda victims.

It is called “Dine for a Cause” these eateries will not satisfy our tummy, but also serve our fellowmen that needs help.  My friend, here’s the list:

(NOTE: Just click on the pic to enlarge it and see all the fine details)

Yolanda-Action-Weekend-Participating-Restaurants

Chilis-Help-Is-On-The-Way-November-2013

download

Yolanda-Action-Weekend-Cyma-Restaurant-November-2013

Yolanda-Action-Weekend-Nomama-Ramen-November-2013

 

Let us all lend a helping hand especially RIGHT NOW.  So, where are we going to meet-up this weekend?

 By the way, please do not forget our friends in Bohol and Cebu who were devastated by a Magnitude 7.2 earthquake. 

 

-Tinakits-

Philippines’ Official Holidays for 2014

My friend, are you always planning ahead?  I am!  I am so finicky about the things I should do that I plan way ahead of time.  Can you believe that I am done planning for my budget next year even if 2013 has not ended yet!

That is why I was so happy that the Philippine Government already posted next years’ official holidays.  That means, my friends and I can already choose the best days to plan for our trip in 2014 so that we can book those discounted plane tickets once airlines announces their seat sale!!!  My Goodness!!!  I already overused the exclamation point to my excitement!!!!

So my friend, here are the holidays next year as posted on the Philippines’ Official Gazette:

January 1, 2014, Wednesday – New Year’s Day (Regular Holiday)

January 31, 2014, Friday – Chinese New Year (Special non-working day)

February 25, 2014, Tuesday – EDSA Revolution anniversary (Holiday for all schools)

April 9, 2014, Wednesday – Araw ng Kagitingan (Regular Holiday)

April 17, 2014 – Maundy Thursday (Regular Holiday)

April 18, 2014 – Good Friday (Regular Holiday)

April 19, 2014 – Black Saturday (Special non-working day)

May 1, 2014, Thursday – Labor Day (Regular Holiday)

June 12, 2014, Thursday – Independence Day (Regular Holiday)

August 21, 2014, Thursday – Ninoy Aquino Day (Special non-working day)

August 25, 2014, Monday – National Heroes Day (Regular Holiday)

November 1, 2014, Saturday – All Saints Day (Special non-working day)

November 30, 2014, Sunday – Bonifacio Day (Regular Holiday)

December 24, 2014, Wednesday – Additional special non-working day (Special non-working day)

December 25, 2014, Thursday – Christmas Day (Regular Holiday)

December 26, 2014, Friday – Additional special non-working day (Special non-working day)

December 30, 2014, Tuesday – Rizal Day (Regular Holiday)

December 31, 2014, Wednesday – Last day of the year (Special non-working day)

*Separate proclamations will be issued for the observance of Eid’l Fitr and Eidul Adha

Based on the information, we will have 4 long weekends.  Aside from Holy Week on April, we can enjoy long rest on January since Chinese New Year falls on a Friday (Jan. 31).  Another will be in August for National Heroes Day (Monday, Aug. 25) & a longer Christmas celebration since December 26th (Friday) was declared an extra holiday for the working people.

A fifth long weekend might happen because there is a possibility that Eid’l Fitr for 2014 might be on July 28th which is a Friday.  But still, it depends on the Muslim Calendar.

So my friend, let’s plan for our next years’ getaway.

-Tinakits-