Quarantine birthday series | Jyuan’s 16th

Another quarantine birthday. Out of town, out of reach.

(Sooooo sooooo late to post)

Spent the day at Manggapuri Villas to celebrate Jyuan’s 16th last September 2021.

Road trip!

Happy birthday Jyuan!

Birthday Boy

xx

DMV

37th | Still not moving

Not sure why I can’t really get around to writing anything on here these days. Not considering I have been veeeeeerrrrrryyyyy busy with work, nevertheless I do get off days too. And I mostly spend it just lying in bed and sleeping or scrolling thru my Instagram feed, playing mobile games, watching Netflix and a little bit (maybe not) of online shopping.

I can’t really say that I’m unproductive because believe me, I do get a lot of important things done despite the procrastination but I really feel so out of touch, so uninspired, and so lazy.

So here I am posting about my 37th birthday (which was August LAST YEAR by the way), in May of 2022, maybe because I just want to document things and have something to look back at.

Started the week off with my friends up the mountains.

Grateful to have spent this day with this bunch even during this time of quarantine nonsense and pandemic shenanigans.

Got my second dose COVID-19 vaccine on my birthday. Best gift I gave myself.

And came home to this surprise!

Thank you fam! My purple heart is so full!

And capped off the week with some cake and coffee with Benjie and Tricia.

Such a wholesome birthday week celebration. My Leo season. Thank you universe!

Finally finished XD

xx

DMV

33 Yipee | Mt. Pinatubo

If everyone should know, my birthday falls on a month dubbed as tiempo muerto meaning dead time. August is that time of the year where your funds are low, harvest season is months away and skies are always gloomy. Chinese even believe it’s not the best time to move to a house, start a business or get married. I’m not Chinese though, but still..

I always have a hard time planning what to do on my birthday because what I usually want can’t be done during this time of the year BUT I always end up spontaneously doing something fun. 😄

So anyway, me, my sister and her husband booked a flight to Manila for the weekend to celebrate my birthday and since I like to hike every once in a while, I signed us up for a Tinipak River trip with Jeron Travel. So timely that we will be in Manila during the trip and I’ve always wanted to visit the place.

Day 1 | August 3

Since I’m with Chinese people, dimsum and congee in Binondo and of course can’t miss Masuki’s mami, yum!

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

After that feast, we went to Banawe to my BIL‘s friend’s store to buy us some car parts to bring back to Bacolod then chill for a bit and from there we were talking about if he wanted to join us in our Tinipak River tour. Last thing I know, we booked a trip to Mt. Pinatubo for tomorrow.

For this year’s birthday, the original plan was to go to Masungi Georeserve but they have a minimum number of people per group and it was only three of us. If we wanted to pursue, we have to pay for the minimum number of people so it was quite expensive. Next option was Mt. Pinatubo but a couple of tour operators I inquired with do not book tours from July to mid October because of the rainy season. They wouldn’t want to risk because bad weather would mean sudden landslides and flash flood so those two were off the list. Tinipak was a blessing and I was like–I get to do something cool for my birthday this year.

While we were talking about Tinipak and other plans, Pinatubo came up and RC, my BIL’s friend’s secretary said that she knows someone who could give us a tour. I was like I’m game, is everyone else game? And wow, they all said yes. 😂Lucky me! Imagine, Pinatubo and Tinipak back to back! So we parted ways, got things prepared for the hike and slept early.

Note: These people haven’t exercised for a long time and it would be my sister’s first time to hike in her entire existence. 😂

Day 2 | August 4

Left for Capas, Tarlac around 3:30 am, stopped by 7/11 for coffee and Mcdonald’s for breakfast then headed off to Tito Danny’s place.

Registered at their tourism office, signed a waiver and off we go.

DCIM100GOPROG0050611.JPG

Trek to the Pinatubo crater consist of an estimated 1 hour jeep ride and 2 hour hike.

And the views were just awesome!

DCIM100GOPROGOPR0682.JPG

IMG_3115

IMG_3167

DCIM100GOPROGOPR0707.JPG

DCIM100GOPROGOPR0663.JPG

There is an aeta community living in the area, they usually watch cattle of ranchers who bring them there to feed. Our guide, Kuya Ricky, told us that some Koreans have set up a church and school to help them out.

After the more than 1 hour jeep ride, we start the 7km hike to the crater.

IMG_3179

IMG_3112

IMG_3209

IMG_3171

Mt. Pinatubo erupted in 1991, making it the 2nd largest eruption of the 20th century. The eruption produced high-speed avalanches of hot ash and gas, giant mud-flows, and a cloud of volcanic ash hundreds of miles up. Volcanologists said that this eruption had a worldwide impact and has caused global temperatures to drop temporarily.

Trail up the crater was lahar covered, soft and rocky (lahar is a mix of volcanic ash and rocky fragments) and mountain walls showed traces of landslides. I remember slipping a couple of times because it was raining. Crazy weather because well, it’s rainy season. One minute it’s scorching sunny (yes we got sunburnt) and next thing you know, it’s pouring.

This was our first stop. There is a little hut of an aeta family and they sell food, drinks and souvenirs. I asked Kuya Ricky what they do, if the children even go to school since I notice a lot of little kids running around. Our guide said they are different from the aeta community we passed earlier with whom the Koreans helped out, these ones usually harvest wild bananas to sell. They sell really cheap and since Mt. Pinatubo has become a tourist spot, they set up their little tiangge where hikers/tourists could rest and buy food, drinks and souvenirs. Other than that, they live a very routinary life. They wake up, sit, laze or play around, sleep. They don’t have electricity. I’m not sure if they have support from their local government. There’s an ongoing dispute between the locals and the military from what I’ve heard.

IMG_3122

IMG_3117

IMG_3120

IMG_3118

This was our second stop. They set up portalets and cottages where you could rest. From this point, it’s just 20 minutes to the crater.

IMG_3136

IMG_3138

IMG_3139

IMG_3143

IMG_3141

My buddies brought with them a ton of food hahaha. Like literally too much for a day hike, can’t go hungry. I was even joking to sell some at the crater since everything costs a hundred bucks.

The trail up isn’t lahar covered anymore, more of river streams.

IMG_3144

Just some of the flora we passed along. I didn’t really see many flowers.

Then steps to the crater, not sure how many steps there were.

IMG_3150

IMG_3156

Then this.

DCIM100GOPROGOPR0716.JPG

Pictures just can’t do justice to what my eyes saw. It was magical even if it was raining. What more on a clear day?

You can actually go down to the crater but you are not allowed to swim. Wanted to go down but the fog was setting in and they advised against it because it might start pouring and we could get stranded.

I was so happy that I got to hike up a volcano on my birthday weekend! Been wanting to since last year hahaha. And so happy everyone was game despite the crazy weather.

* We paid P2,000 per person for the Mt. Pinatubo trek, that’s already inclusive of the Jeep rental, guide and permits.

Reward! This place was featured in Rated K so we decided to try it out. Sisig did not disappoint.

IMG_3195

Day 3 | August 5

We missed our Tinipak trip the next day because everyone was sore and feverish. Sorry! ✌️✌️✌️ We roadtripped instead to Tagaytay, had breakfast at Breakfast and coffee at Starbucks, the one on Calamba Rd.

IMG_3248

All homemade.

IMG_3240

That mandatory Taal volcano photo. Would’ve gone volcano hopping if weather wasn’t bad haha! 😂

IMG_3235

Foggy view but at least they spelled my name right (because the barista asked how it is spelled 😂).

Stopped by the Marcos Mansion for some buko juice on the way back. It’s actually become a sort of bike rest stop.

Then for dinner, thank you Arnold and Christine for my salubong feast! 😂😂😂

No plans are the best plans. Thanks for an awesome birthday weekend!

Day 4 | August 6

Flew home for my birthday. Had lunch with the most important people, blew my candle and spent the rest of the day lazing around with my boys. 😊

 

xx

 

DMV

 

 

31st

The initial plan was to climb Mt. Pulag for the weekend but then the weather did not permit us to do so. Was devastated, maybe a bit. Thank you so much Hanna! Will have to reschedule this one some other time I guess.

So what went down…

Since we already had tickets, Pam and I flew out to meet the other half in Manila.

IMG_3679

This was the closest we got to that sea of clouds we were supposed to see that weekend.

IMG_3680

So it was Friday and when we arrived everyone was still at work. Dropped off our stuff at Joby’s place since we were crashing there. Was famished, roamed around BGC to find somewhere to eat that’s just near. This was late lunch at Persia Grill, the interior was very pretty, food was good.

IMG_3984

Had coffee and chilled for a bit at the nearest Coffee Bean before we went back to Joby’s condo. I finished my book while Pam caught up with work before we met up with everyone else.

Friday night tip: should make reservations waaaaaaaay ahead if you want to get a table. Had ours at Barcino. Wine and Spanish food. Complete attendance!

FullSizeRender (1)

I can’t quite remember what food we ordered but I believe it was good. What I remember though was having two bottles of really good Shiraz at 13%. Though this may be normal for wine, it’s actually below average for a Shiraz, I’m a lightweight so 13% is pretty strong for me. Don’t judge.

Not sure what was going on here but yeah, blaming it on the wine.

FullSizeRender (2)

That’s my very pretty friend right there. She and her team made the most recent Nestle Chuckie tv commercial and I’m hella proud of her!

Processed with VSCOcam with se1 preset

Passed by Reserve and Tipsy Pig but was on wait list. Ended up at Burgers and Brewskies. No more wine for me, just my ever reliable Jack D. (On a much sober note, their burgers are really good, like really really good. Big, fat, juicy, generous, delicious, gaaahd.)

Ended our night with Ministop chicken and fried wantons and sharksfin for takeout. I miss! I think this was the highlight of my night (hahaha).

Road trip the next day, off to Tagaytay for lunch.

FullSizeRender (3)

Played heads up to kill time. Traffic was not that heavy. Passed by a number of lambos on the way, might have been 6 or 8 of them, not sure if they were from a show. Twas cool to watch as they drove by really fast, one after the other, in different colors. It was really foggy when we arrived, but then again there’s a storm so, yeah. No view, all we saw was fog. I think everyone’s fog lamps were on. Sky Ranch was off the list, what a bummer.

IMG_3736

BUT! lunch at Breakfast at Antonio’s made up for it.

FullSizeRender (7)

Blueberry Heaven! I die.

FullSizeRender (6)

Had coffee at Starbucks after, the one on Calamba Road beside Country Suites, where it’s supposed to have an incredible view of the Taal lake and volcano. Unfortunately, I didn’t get any good photos because 1. It was packed and we didn’t have a decent spot for a view and 2. It was really foggy.

It cleared when we were homebound, round 5pm-ish I think.

The mandatory Taal volcano picture. That’s an active volcano right there.

Went straight to Draft when we arrived in Makati. That’s a liter of beer for each of us. Or was it just me and Joby?

On Sunday, after having lunch at JT’s, I met up with Mary Rose at Market Market to buy some stuff for the kids. We got stranded in High Street, it was raining really hard and found a bit of an excuse to have coffee and catch up on the latest gossip, though I was running late for dinner.

This was dinner at Miel’s Tita Chiqui’s pad. Yellow Cab and four bottles of wine. Was trying really hard to get my senses intact.

Though what we initially planned, due to unforseen (raaaar) circumstances, didn’t push through (no Mt. Pulag, no manghuhula), I had an awesome birthday weekend because what really mattered was getting together with the other parts of me.

I had five cakes on my birthday!

IMG_4010

And celebrated with those closest to my heart ❤️

IMG_4009

xx

DMV

%d bloggers like this: