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I Travel With My Childhood Friends

I know this is a chestnut, but still my favorite quote on traveling: “The world is a book, and those who do not travel read only one page.” – Saint Augustine

About 5 years ago, during the start-up period of this blog, I wrote about one of my life’s blessings which are my friends. For those who have read my blog 3 years ago, you might have remembered (or not!) one of the travel adventures I did with my childhood friends too. So basically, you have an idea that I maintain a 25-year-friendship with my solid core.

Okay, for new subs, to give you a little backgrounder, I grew up being friends with a lot of people – Yes, generally I am friendly but I think everybody will agree that amongst all your friends, you have a core group. The group that you could go silly with or serious with or sneak out at night with. The ones who are with you through ups and downs. Yes, I have a solid foundation. I have been friends with my 4 girls who I fondly call “bru” ( short for Bruha – a Tagalog for witch) for 25 years now. Needless to say, I met these girls in grade school (First Grade to be exact).

I love traveling a lot and some of you have seen that in my series of posts already. Indeed, traveling makes me discover the unknown, thus, changes my perspective as a human being. It makes me humble having to realize that my niche in this world is just a tiny spot in this vast universe.  I am glad that in the last 3 years, I get the privilege to explore the world with one of my best brus , Joan. We went to Bohol, to Singapore, Hong Kong , Macau and our supposed travel to Malaysia (please read my “Why Malaysia Made me Cry’ here.)  not to mention our local travels together. Amongst all the places we’ve been to, I love our recent travel to Hong Kong and Macau.

Why? Because we went along with another bru, Anna Marie – plus, they brought their kids (and husband). Yes, some of my friends have kids already and I am glad that we are turning the pages of the unknown world together. What makes me a little emotional is this: We were their age when their moms and I met. (oh boi, times do fly so fast).

Beholding the world in the eyes of my little God-children and looking at how happy they were in every Disneyland rides while, us, adults have gone crazy, in every expenses, responsibilities and “adulting” stuff that we talked about, I realize how lucky I am to have explored life with my childhood friends whom I consider my family ( by choice).  I wish and pray that these kids, 6-year old Liam and 7-year old Eanna, find a solid friendship as strong as their parents’ (and God-parents’).

I wish the same for my future little ones.

Soon, when they grow up, we will tell them how nice it is to turn pages of life, explore the world and rediscover oneself together with your solid friends. Just like their moms.

You may read my HK and MO travel thru the links below:

Four Days in Hong Kong
Day Tour in Macau

 

 

Panagbanga 2016

This year was extra special ‘coz I was with the best people to be with. My siblings – less big sis who is still in a sensitive  condition and couldn’t bear the long drive.

Tidbits about Panagbanaga:

 

  • Mission of festival : The Baguio Flower Festival Foundation Inc. (BFFFI) operates, organizes and manages the Panagbenga Festival to boost the tourism of Baguio and the rest of the Cordilleras through showcasing various events, exhibitions and activities that promote the history, traditions and values of Baguio and the Cordilleras which is sustained in an earth-friendly manner. Source: http://panagbengaflowerfestival.com/

A little backgrounder of our trip:

  • We booked through Airbnb – we chose a condominium near Burnham Park  – the center of Baguio city where the festivities are being held at  so we could just walk.
  • Taking a cab or jeepney during the festival is not that easy – better book Grab Taxi   ( Baguio booking fee is 25.00 pesos)
  • Water heater at the condo broke – we had to manually heat water and take a bath but it was part of the thrill
  • We booked bus ticket to Manila the moment we arrived in Baguio – this way, we were secured of our travel- we didn’t want to be stranded because bulk of tourists are going back Sunday afternoon
  • The only available time we got for bus was 9:20 am- the flower float parade starts at 8:30 – there’s no way we could catch that. Our brilliant minds worked – aheemm – since we only wanted to see flower floats, we went to the Panagbanga park near Baguio Convention Center . This was the assembly area of the flower floats, we were fortunate enough to take pictures while crowd got so impenetrable.
  • Before the parade starts, we were off to go back to Manila – good idea, this was before traffic clogged the zigzag road.

 

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My Role Model

I  was applying for a part-time job online and part of the online application was to write  and essay about  one person who has influenced me when it comes to training or teaching. Without any ado, I thought of writing about just one person. No one else comes close.

 

Here it goes…

I grew up to be hard working and responsible person especially in my studies and in my job because of a special person. She was my teacher in pre-school. I started at a very young age of three in school and she showed nothing but patience with me and my classmates.

I graduated from pre-school and moved on with my being a student. She also moved on to find a new job, as she has a growing family to support. She got a job from a government office. She remained my inspiration despite the so many changes that we each encountered.

When I was trying to decide on the course to take for college, she suggested AB – English because she knew I was good in that field. And she knew because she used to be the Best in English Awardee in high school too. As the say, it takes one to know one.

She has become instrumental in almost all of my milestones in life. When I got promoted to be a trainer at work, she was the first one to know. And she was genuinely happy. I told her, I did it all because she molded me ever since I first stepped my feet at school ground. She was my supporter in all my undertakings and my greatest critic too. She was so selfless and always willing to share with me everything that she thinks could help me in my journey in life. She set a very good example of professionalism as apparent in her almost 20 year – stay in a government office. And she doesn’t just love me, she loves my siblings too.

Her name is Ma. Belen. And I am one of her 4 children. Yes, she is my mother and she is my forever inspiration.

Our Road to Big Three – Zero ( Singapore)

With us turning 30 this year, also marks the 24th year of our friendship.

It has always been a part of our bucket list to travel abroad before we reach 30. Amongst the “brus”, as we call one another, only Annalyn has the chance to go out of the country for several times already with her family.

It was Joan’s and my first time to travel a foreign land and SG is our first destination.

Sharing with you our Singapore Adventure- The first destination on our road to big Three Zero!

Singapore Flyer: The world's tallest Ferris Wheel

Singapore Flyer: The world’s tallest Ferris Wheel

Tourist Unlimited Card that we purchased that could be used in MRT, LRT and bus

Tourist Unlimited Card that we purchased that could be used in MRT, LRT and bus

Bugis Junction Area

Bugis Village Area

Trying out local food with my Bru

Trying out local food with my Bru

A pose with Merlion, ofcourse

A pose with Merlion, ofcourse

Marina Bay Sands at night

Marina Bay Sands at night

Obligatory Selfie at Universal Studios Logo

Obligatory Selfie at Universal Studios Logo

Goofing around like true-blue foreigners :-)

Goofing around like true-blue foreigners 🙂

In a land of Far far away

In a land of Far far away

Giant grove at gardens by The bay

Giant grove at gardens by The bay

We were like Kids again

We were like Kids again

We saw panda bear

We saw panda bear

Taken by my beautiful travel buddy

Taken by my beautiful travel buddy

Singapore Botanical Garden

Singapore Botanical Garden

Phase In Life

reading this again made me smile. Indeed, what does not kill us makes us stronger 🙂

SimplymeSMC

 I  have written this piece a year ago when I was lost and shattered. I am finally posting this, hoping that somehow it’ll inspire everybody who’s been and who are currently battling against odds of Life, that there’s always a rainbow after the rain. Hope, believe, strive and survive! At the end of all life’s struggle, it is always the one who strives get to win, it is always the fittest who makes it to the finish line.  I hope you get something out of it:

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You are in your mid-twenties; you got yourself a very fulfilling job; people look up to you; some wants to be just like you; you exude oozing confidence; you enjoy attending parties; you’ve got a very good circle of friends; you have planned your life ahead; you precisely know which path to take 5 years from now; you are about to finish your Grad…

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Life’s Best: Travel and Girlfriends

Traveling is one of my hobbies. It gives me a bizarre experience, a feeling of independence and a chance to appreciate world and its beauty.

When I’m not travelling, I love spending time with my friends. Being with them makes me feel happy, at peace and our time together could take us down memory lane. – remembering everything that we went through as kids, as teeners, asstudents, being adults, and for Joan, Motherhood.
I recently got the chance to hit two birds In one stone – an out of town vacation with two of my treasured girlfriends, Annalyn and Joan.

I practically grew up with these ladies, along with other childhood friends. 10 years of being classmates, a lifetime of being friends, and now, travel buddies. What else could I ask for ?
In an ordinary blog, I would probably be sharing with you my travel itinerary, budget breakdown and practical tips on exploring Bohol island, but now, I will give you a snap shot of my treasured moments with my girlfriends of 24 years at the beautiful island of Bohol.
This is just a start of our travels together.

The next time I reminish with them, this travel is surely a part of of wonderful memories that we will always go back to.

Lunch by the floating restaurant in Loboc River

Lunch by the floating restaurant in Loboc River

what's a trip to bohol without a visit to  our little friends?

what’s a trip to bohol without a visit to our little friends?

Butterfly sanctuary

Butterfly sanctuary

Driving an ATV

Driving an ATV

chocolate hills which we jokinlgly call Pandan Hills because it was green when we were there

chocolate hills which we jokinlgly call Pandan Hills because it was green when we were there

Camera 360 Camera 360

Joan and Me on snorkeling DAy

Joan and Me on snorkeling DAy

With Annalyn : this is has been here a couple of times already but for us, she didnt mind going again.

With Annalyn : this girl has been here a couple of times already but for us, she didnt mind going again.

Man-made forest at the background

Man-made forest at the background

Shell Museum

Shell Museum

I love these girls

I love these girls

just like the old times

just like the old times

being in a beautiful place with eautiful people

being in a beautiful place with eautiful people