Tuesday, March 29, 2016

THE WKND SPECIAL Vol. 6


Or should I say HOLY WEEK? Or HOLY WKND? HAHAHA! I’m so funny!

I am enjoying this series so much that I have decided to follow up just last week’s post with another one. Also, it had been a pretty eventful holiday weekend so why not, right?!


March 23, 2016 | Holy Wednesday

As for me, the holiday weekend officially began on the eve of Holy Wednesday. I believe, by this day, Catholics such as yours truly should already be taking a break from consuming meat products, but I was sadly unable to oblige because Cheesy Garlic Chicken Fillet Night happened.

This is something that my boyfriend and I had long wanted to do but kept on putting off until Wednesday. So even when I knew it wasn’t quite right, I gave it a go since everything we needed was already set and just awaiting our service.

The result? Perfection!!! According to my standards at least. Hahaha! Kidding aside though, our Home-cooked Cheesy Garlic Chicken Fillet was really good. I mean the sauce wasn’t that sweet. It was a balance of sweet with a little kick of spiciness. It was paired with coleslaw without the mayo as a side dish which made my taste buds even happier. Good thing it was a pretty successful project since it was the first viand we ever made. Now we are more excited to cook more. Hihi!


March 25, 2016 | Good Friday

As I always do every year, my Good Friday was spent for some sacrificial and devotional time. I once again joined in our barangay’s Way of the Cross in which we would go around the roads, farms and hills in our area while we pray the 14 Stations of the Cross.
 
There had been a few changes this year. Way of the Cross started at 5:00AM, earlier than the usual 7:00AM. I liked this schedule better because the sun wasn’t that bright yet during the whole journey. And because it started earlier, it also ended earlier as expected at around 8:30AM. There were also some changes in the trail leading to the end of the walk. And since Alyanna, my niece, and I woke up late and just had to catch up with the group, we had a hard time following because we didn’t know which route the group took. Good thing we were able to catch and keep up with the help of the other tardy joiners. The usual comboni pitstop on top of the hill wasn’t available that day too, so the group had to just rest somewhere by the road in the hill. It was tiring but ultimately fulfilling!
This Way of the Cross is one of my most precious traditions yet. It sends a freeing, cleansing, optimistic feeling in me. It’s something spiritual. I am not the most religious person out there, but taking part in an activity like this is something I am and always will be very proud of. And because of this, I vow to walk and pray until I’m old and grey, unable to walk long and steep hills because of arthritis. But until then, I’ll just do what it is that I need to do – walk with him.
 
March 27, 2016 | Easter Sunday

Rejoice for the Christ is risen! :)

I woke up this day after 11 hours of much needed sleep. And what was the first thing I was told? That we were going to have a family boodle fight! Whaaaat?! Much obliged!

This simple boodle feast was hosted by Ate Myra, Kuya Russell and their kids. They prepared adobong baboy, sinigang na baboy, salted eggs, mangoes with shrimp paste, bananas, and watermelons – so yummy and so Pinoy. It was the first time we had something like that, so I was really happy about it! Another family bonding!

I would not mind if we are going to make it a yearly thing. I actually hope that we do! I’ll even contribute some food too!

Then come early evening, I had Easter dinner with my high school girlfriends plus Jep and Archelle at Bugong Bistro in Halang.

It was basically catch-up and make-fun night with my girls over Thai food. We tried to update each other about what each other’s been up to lately. We then laughed and laughed about how we were so naïve and stupid as high schoolers. I know, I know. It’s the only thing we know to do when together, but this time we were able to un-box some really crazy HS memories that shouldn’t have been unearthed ever because they were just hella embarrassing. That we ever did or got involved in such activities was beyond us! Hahaha!
We squeezed in summer planning too since we are bound to go to the beach come May 2016. And even this part didn’t reach an agreement, hasn’t reached an agreement yet. What did you expect?! Haha!

Good thing we had the restaurant all to ourselves because we were too loud like always, and I could only picture out how others would react were there anyone else aside from us there at the moment. Imagine eight female voices battling it out on the table! Crazy!

We hung out some more at Starbucks before calling it a night. :)

***

And that’s it about me. Hope you all made the most of your time through happy and meaningful moments with Him, your family, friends, and loved ones just like I did over the Holy Week.


Pray and love!

Tuesday, March 22, 2016

THE WKND SPECIAL Vol. 5


Or should I say WKNDS? :)

Some things happened over the two consecutive weekends, so I’m going to indulge myself by oversharing.

To briefly sum things up, I spent some good quality time with my family, friends and boyfriend.


March 12, 2016 | Saturday

This was the day I paid a long overdue visit to my school, Lyceum of the Philippines University – Laguna, for some good time with a few of my friends. There was nothing like bonding with friends in the same place that got us all close together. It was a well-timed visit since the school was celebrating its 15th Foundation Anniversary that week.
Though catching up with friends and school was my primary reason for going, I also went because of PNE (Parokya ni Edgar). Despite already watching PNE perform there before plus the other time I did when I was still in Grade 5 or 6, I still wanted to see the band again because why not??? The guys know how to put on an entertaining show for everyone through romantic/comedic lyrics matched with humorous banters. It was a no-brainer go-go. :)


Rekta, a local band led by our good friend Kuya Bogs, performed as a front act too, so that was a bonus.
The crowd sang and clapped along, and we did too. I was not able to keep count, but I think the band played not more than 10 songs. That was fine because at least I enjoyed all of them. The concert ended a bit earlier than expected, around 9:30PM, so we still had time to have late dinner before calling it a night. :)

We spent more time in front of the stage, so catching up wasn’t given much attention which is why I hope to see them again soon.


March 13, 2016 | Sunday

Whenever there are family gatherings, I make sure to make time no matter what. Even when I already have a prior appointment, I find a way to squeeze in a few minutes or hours to attend family events, especially really important ones, because they don’t come along that often anymore.
Last, last Sunday, my family on my mother’s side gathered to join in the celebration of Baby Gaile’s 1st birthday! Her actual birthday was last March 14, but it was a Monday, so Kuya Gian and his wife had to adjust their daughter’s party in consideration of the invitees. It was a simple lunch catering for the adults and afternoon party for the kids. It had been a chance for the family to get together for even just a short while, so I was glad it happened. :)
Gaile brings so much joy to everyone in the family despite her being a bit shy and aloof. That’s most likely because she doesn’t see most of us that often, so that’s cool. Besides, she’s a baby, a cute one, so whatever she does or however she acts out is excusable. Haha! :) Personally, I am delighted every time I get to see and cuddle her. I want to carry her around even if that entails crying on her part because she doesn’t really know me well. Hahaha!
HAPPY BIRTHDAY AGAIN, BABY GAILE!

I love you! Kisses!


March 19, 2016 | Saturday

This Saturday was spent making up for my birthday treat for the boyfriend that had to be postponed several times because I decided this time I wanted to prioritize catching up with friends too because I felt like I had been neglecting them which was the last thing I wanted to do. Sorry! Haha!

Jeck’s birthday was last March 8, and we went out March 19. It was still March, so I’d say that wasn’t overly delayed and still a valid date. Haha!

I chose to just take him out on a date. It wasn’t fancy or anything unique; just a simple one was enough for him for as long as the thought of reciprocating his efforts was there. He would always be the one to take me out, so I decided it was about time he got the same treatment because guys deserve as much appreciation from girls too. :)
Faustina’s in UPLB was the perfect place because it was just this small, quiet and cozy restaurant that I was hoping it would be.
Food was magnificent. Everything we ordered was its bestsellers and for good reason. Silindro Ribs and Peach Mango Pie a la Mode were the absolute bomb and most probably the reason we’ll come back.
HAPPY BIRTHDAY, JASON!
You already know what I want and need you to know, so I’ll just leave things at that. You know the rest. Thank you! Kisses!

***

I missed writing one for this series. Something about it is so relaxing. It’s like The Happy List Series with the joy it brings in me except it’s purely all about life events here.

Bye for now! :) Time for a break! Time for Holy Week! 

Thursday, March 17, 2016

Stilts Calatagan 2016: Warming Up To Summer

How do you create summer? You look for a place. You put the sun and sea together. Then you make it your own world. For days if you can. For just one if it’s all you have.
Stilts Calatagan Beach Resort in Calatagan, Batangas is hectares and hectares of tranquility and harmony with nature in the form of sand, sea, trees, flora, and floating cottages.

It is basically divided into three beach subparts namely Serenity, Destiny and Harmony, each having distinct features that cater to the different needs and wants of different guests. Among the resort’s other amenities and facilities are a playground, a restaurant, swings, pool benches, cabanas, huts, tree houses, and floating cottages.
 
As for the floating cottages, they are what Stilts is best known for. They are actually pretty unique since, as the resort’s name suggests, they stand on stilts in the water, something kind of like what famous beaches in Maldives have. Imagine what it feels like to stay inside one of those cozy things, must be some heaven. Such pretty amazing lodges come at a price though, of course.
And as if the beach weren’t enough, two pools were also built for further lounging. Activities like kayaking, boat peddling, ATV rental, and island hopping among others are also being offered.

It is admirable how detail-oriented Stilts is. It is very obvious how much attention is given to its every nook and cranny. There are signs bearing quotes of inspiration, woods serving aesthetic and functional purposes, and various trees standing as either shade or source of fresh air. The resort dedicates itself in achieving the desired overall vibe of not minding life’s other businesses. From the entrance to the inside, the resort is very well organized to imbibe being the best place for rest and relaxation.
The tides were low by the time we visited, but I think that they don’t really get very high anytime of the year. Like even when it becomes high tide, you can’t really expect the usual height of high tide, but that’s all good because it doesn’t get any less appealing. It’s still inviting in a sense that you can stay in the water and be calm in that moment while savoring the serene oceanic view. The water is clear, and the sand is fine and colored cream as expected. I could not have asked for anything better.
It was weirdly and insanely peaceful there. Weird and insane because, if you think about it, there was actually so much distraction from people to pets constantly walking, running, photographing around me, but I did not at all feel disturbed. The silent beach sound was and is always louder and more dominant than any of the ambience.
I had the best time doing what is deemed appropriate when at the beach – nothing. Though there were various activities I could’ve done, I opted to just maximize rest and relaxation since I don’t get to be in such calming places as often as I want. It was one of the wisest instant decisions I ever made this year, what a sweet life.
 
I don’t know why I’m being thankful for this and why this realization is only hitting me just today, but I am now more appreciative of where I live because when I think about it, although it may still be a little bit far in other cases, my home is actually already pretty near some beautiful beaches. When I want to go on a spontaneous trip and shortly escape reality, a few hours of commuting, no plane or boat rides necessary, is all I will ever need, and bam, it’s the beach already. I have Batangas and Quezon for that here in the South and Subic, Zambales and Bataan up North. What lucky? :)
And in the larger scheme of things, I’m more thankful that I live in the Philippines, a tropical country so rich in natural resources. I have made it my goal to visit as many islands as I can to get as much knowledge and experience as I can.
I consider this special because it is my first trip this year. And if it is any indication of how my 2016 will be adventure-wise, this is going to be one with so much promise and positivity when it comes to both the travel and the destination. I’m one excited kid looking forward to all the unknowns of future exploring.

Summer is here, so you know what’s coming.

You may check the resort’s website at http://www.stiltscalataganbeachresort.net/

Wednesday, March 2, 2016

MY HEART AND OTHER BLACK HOLES by JASMINE WARGA

Aysel and Roman became suicide partners. One was skeptical she could follow through with her plan and the other one needed someone whom his mother could entrust her son with, so they were the perfect pair to assist each other in carrying out the act. On the days leading to April, they would see each other, plan the when, where and how of their act, and learn about each other’s lives. Aysel would then ask Roman to accompany her while she sought closure. In the process, Aysel would become more and more unsure of herself which would cause Roman to doubt her.
It’s like your sadness is so deep and overwhelming that you’re worried it will drown everyone else in your life if you let them too close to it. – Roman

My Heart and Other Black Holes is both a heartbreaking and a hopeful book about two troubled teenagers who couldn’t take living in the shadows of their family’s history anymore.

What first got me hooked was its unique plotline. Don’t get me wrong; I have already said a few times that suicide stories have become a trend lately. As for me, all the books I have opened just this year related to the same subject, but this one was quite different. I had no idea about suicide websites and suicide partners. They never even crossed my mind, so I was really intrigued when that new concept welcomed me the moment I opened this novel.

The mind is its own place, and in itself can make a heaven of hell, a hell of heaven. – John Milton

I have to admit that I could not find the story’s appeal at first, though; it started out a little dreary. I was waiting for the story to get to the point. It was only when I was on the first quarter of the book when I got its grip. Though this was the case, it didn’t mean I dragged on reading. It was actually quick to finish that it only took two sittings for me to get it over with.

What was nice about this one was that even when it didn’t have the grandest gestures of love, the supposed relationship still had the romance that triggered something more than just cuteness, something more along the feeling of hopefulness. The relationship didn’t even become real concrete up until the end, but I still felt that same level of sweetness just like I did in other books wherein characters were more intimate when it came to their interaction and connection. I felt the same even during the seemingly sad instances. It was magical like that.

I know you didn’t. And I didn’t want you to. I care about you too much to watch you die. I want you to live, Aysel. So I did it alone because I wanted to save you. – Roman

If anything, I felt that the climax had less impact than it should’ve had. This, based on observation, was because the buildup wasn’t enough to prepare the reader’s emotions for when the story peaked. It didn’t establish much worry, fear and panic. Maybe worry, fear and panic got a bit late in the picture or happened too quickly.

Did I like My Heart and Other Black Holes? I did. It was an easy read despite its being a bit heavy content-wise. The characters and the situation were easy to understand as well. Still, I think it would have been better if the author developed and elaborated the pain of the characters more and began with the buildup earlier on to add weight.

Sometimes it takes watching someone else observe how you live to realize exactly how you live. – Aysel

Are you done reading this book? What are your thoughts? I’d like to know them! Feel free to share them below! 

Photo source: http://www.goodreads.com/

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