Posts Tagged ‘negros occidental’

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Staycation Manggapuri | 2019

October 4, 2019

It’s been a very busy year but we managed to squeeze in some time to get together despite the chaotic schedules.

Annual getaway with my forever dates!

Photo set | Manggapuri DSB

Whole place to ourselves! Manggapuri is located at Prk. Mangga, Brgy. Igmayaan, Don Salvador Benedicto, a little over an hour’s drive from Bacolod City. Arrived late afternoon, settled in and munched on a lot of junk while waiting for the sunset.

There are 7 cabanas I think, good for four or two people. Very spacious and comfortable. The rooms have floor-length windows with spectacular views of the mountain, the shy Mt. Kanlaon, and of course the flood of sunlight in the morning.

The place also boasts of this more than a thousand LED tulips, perfect for that romantic night stroll.

Sunset sesh..

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Beautiful place indeed, perfect for that long overdue staycation.

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And while waiting for our sumptuous dinner, prepared by their in-house Chef, happy hour by the Jacuzzi.

S’mores by the bonfire and late night gossip with crickets as background music.

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Woke up the next morning to sounds of chirping birds and buzzing bees. So in love with quiet nature, I seriously wanted to extend my leave.

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Sikwate

And these babies! Say hello to Daisy and Donald, these huge, Pyrenean mountain dogs.

Manggapuri Villas

Accommodation:

Day trip: P600/pax inclusive of entrance and lunch, can stay until 5pm

Overnight: P5,800/cabana good for either 2 or 4 people inclusive of fresh and delectable breakfast; P450/pax for a 5 course superb lunch/dinner

Magnificent view, exceptional service, overall great experience: free

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Til the next vacation or staycation!

 

xx

DMV

 

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35th | August Encore

September 4, 2019

I feel like this has become an annual August thing and I love it!

Finally some quiet time with my best friends. Well, not so quiet.

Photo set | Punta Bulata, Danjugan

Just the four of us. Road trip!

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Punta Bulata

Arrived at Punta Bulata and felt like we owned the place. No one here and yay long weekend!

Got upgraded to a cabana, had lunch and lazed by the beach.

Happy hour by the pool..

..and watched this glorious sunset. The transition from the sky with the sun setting and the sky with the sun fully set is just too beautiful for words.

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Danjugan Island

Day trip to Danjugan on our 2nd day and since it’s habagat season, the waves were seriously crazy. I was just waiting for our boat to be wiped out.

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But we made it!

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Ramram, our guide briefed us about the island. It’s a 43 hectare island and marine sanctuary that is made up of 90% limestone forests. It was once a threatened and over-fished area but with the efforts of The Philippine Reef and Rainforest Conservation Foundation, Inc., the island has been restored to maybe it’s purest form, providing asylum to many wildlife species.

Me and Jobelle trekked while Miel and Pam took the boat to Moray Lagoon.

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Into the bat cave

And we went snorkeling! Saw some sea snakes, moray eels, giant clams and lots of different fish and corals.

We had a slight scare when it was time to go back when our guide told us that the winds were really strong and just to wait for advise from the boat operator if we could actually dock at the resort or divert to somewhere else. I thought we’ll be stranded. Thank God the waters calmed.

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I’ve been best friends with these crackheads for almost 3 decades now. They’ve seen the best and the ugly and the great and the nasty parts of me. They have suppressed strangling me countless of times because of my stubbornness and my twisted way of thinking because we are all weird somehow, but I know despite, they will always have my back. They hear my silence, they see my shadows, and they never judge.

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That’s a 10 year old Cabernet Sauvignon magnum that we downed in just a few hours

We may not always see each other or talk to each other, but we’ll always have August. (CHAROT!) Virtual hugs!

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No dull times with my soul sisters, always.

 

xx

DMV

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Weekend | Garden of Luisa

July 3, 2019

Photo Set | La Castellana

Somewhere in La Castellana, this just a little over an hour road trip from Bacolod City will lead you to the Garden of Luisa, a farmhouse turned resort, surrounded by lush greenery and a scenic view of the very active Mt. Kanlaon, for your perfect staycation.

Since cousins are home from abroad, we decided to spend one weekend out of town and we ended up here. The perfect excuse to laze, have coffee with a view, and even celebrate a birthday.

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The garden is home to a wide variety of flora and you could even find propagated ones, truly a haven for plant lovers (like me). They also have a pool with a diving board, the kids loved it! Swam the whole day and were totally baked. Juancho still sporting his toddler’s life vest, the one he used when he was just 2 years old (hahaha!), poor kid.

We also celebrated Lily’s birthday in advance. Happy 5th little girl! Perfect excuse for cake and spaghetti.

And even if it rained… Rain is rare in UAE (lol). Nothing is gonna dull this experience.

It was fun that we were able to relax and enjoy each other’s company, bonding over good food, excellent coffee, a magnificent view and of course, bottles of soju (lol). Definitely indulged everyone with my Korean obsessions.

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Family time is always the best time!

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Kids knocked out on the way home. Too much fun.

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Garden of Luisa is located at Bagonawa-Isabela Rd., La Castellana, Negros Occidental, Philippines, a getaway home destination located just an hour away from Bacolod City. Day rate is P5,000 for 10 pax and 300/pax in excess. Overnight rate is P8,000 for 8 pax. Rates are for exclusive use of the facility. Perfect for your next staycation!

xx

DMV

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Weekend | Lantawan

May 19, 2019

Weekend at the mountains. Mahjong sesh leveled up 😂

Hearty lunch, happy hour started at 12:00 noon and even if I lost at mahjong, twas a really good weekend away from all the noise of the city.

xx

DMV

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Local | Negros Occidental

January 7, 2019

There’s so much to see in our province honestly. Day trip bonding sesh with my cousins the few days they were home.

Photo set | Murcia & DSB

Lunched at Mambukal Resort, one of the popular mountain resorts in Negros Occidental located in Murcia and rests at 1,200 meters above sea level. It’s been the go to if you want a feel of the mountains since I was a kid. Can go hiking up to the seventh falls, kayaking in the lagoon, camping, watch the gigantic fruit bats or go dipping in the sulfur pool.

Passed by the viewing deck going to DSB overlooking a wide stretch of terrains and plantation.

Coffee at La Guada cafe. It’s a cafe resto with a marvelous view and guests can also stay overnight. They have a variety of rooms that could accommodate just you, a couple or family or you can opt to bring a tent, set up camp, make a bonfire and grill some barbecue. Can also go river trekking with their local guides.

Capped off our day at this pine tree haven in DSB.

Best times always with family.

 

xx

DMV

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Long Weekend | Holy Week 2018

April 3, 2018

Family time during the holy week down Southern Negros.

Photo Set | Nabulao Beach and Dive Resort

Day 1 | Good Friday

On our way to Hinoba-an, we passed by Campomanes bay at the Amity training camp. Thinking of letting our kids join the second batch some time in May, training on basic survival skills.

Juancho also got to take a picture with his favorite fire truck and ambulance!

Included with the camp is this view.

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Arrived at Nabulao Beach and Dive Resort just in time for lunch. We booked the Master Suite, very roomy with 2 queen beds, a sofa bed, clean bathroom and a terrace with a view. I could just live here lol. Rate is P5,000 per night (peak season), room could accommodate 6 people.

Time for a swim!

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The resort has 2 swimming pools, one where they have their diving lessons and one where kids could swim. They also have a mini bar by the pool, billiards and foosball. Other activities include water sports such as jet skis, banana boat, paraw sailing and island hopping.

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Lazed by the shore to wait for the sunset.

Kids writing names on the sand, playing volleyball and building sand castles.

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It was a Good Friday indeed.

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Day 2 | Black Saturday

Went Island hopping and the kids enjoyed! You could rent boats from the resort — big boat that could accommodate 25 people is P3,500 for 2 hours and small boat that could accommodate 10 people is P1,500 for 2 hours.

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The little kids were not scared, I swear (hahaha!).

First stop was Obong caves.

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There are many entrances to the Obong caves, 2 of which are dry entrances, the caves where we took the kids to and one that is only accessible by boat or by swimming as the entrance is from the sea. That cave we did not get to see because it was crowded.

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Arrived to people cooking lunch by the shore (lol). Sad that the cave walls are full of vandals and some leave their trash behind.

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Went inside the caves with the use of our cellphone flashlights and was greeted with stalagmite formations.

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The caves played a role during World War II, when the Philippines was occupied by the Japanese. The American Forces landed near Hinoba-an and used the town as their island headquarters. So glad to have the kids explore a little bit of Negrense history.

So there was a little bit of confusion with our boat booking that we ended up joining our friends on the big boat. All good.

Next stop was to a friend’s private beach where we were able to just relax and sip on some fresh buko. The place was awesome child friendly as the beach has shallow and very clear water.

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Kids were paddle boarding, riding jet skis and building sand castles while we adults were all talking about random stuff like young living oils and gallstones (hahaha).

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Went back to the resort to have late lunch, napped for a bit and waited for sunset but it started to rain really hard. View was still beautiful.

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Can’t diet in this place. Food is really good and sold at a very reasonable price. Overall experience at Nabulao is great! Very courteous and accommodating staff, very clean rooms and facilities, good value for money.

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Day 3 | Easter Sunday

Beautiful sunrise to cap the holy week.

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To old ends and new beginnings.

Grateful to have spent the long weekend with the most important people in my life.

xx

DMV

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Sunday Getaway | Duyan Cafe

February 20, 2018

So what to do on a Sunday?

When you want to escape the noise of the city for a bit, the mountains is always a good idea.

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Photo credit: Duyan Cafe Facebook page

Almost 30 minutes from Bacolod City, Duyan Cafe is located in Sitio Lantawan, Brgy. Guimbalaon, Silay City. Approximately 21 kilometers from the Silay Airport, route is well paved and cafe is visibly on the side of the road, you can’t miss it!

Unwind and chill.

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They serve sandwiches, coffee, tea and astonishing views. No entrance fee! The perfect weekend getaway. Even the kids love it!

Duyan Cafe is open Wednesdays – Sundays from 7:00 am to 6:30 pm.

 

xx

DMV

 

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Mystic Island | 2018

February 20, 2018

Our annual Vday getaway was cut one day short because of typhoon Basyang but we managed lol.

Day 1 | Valentine’s Day

Stayed in Negros Occidental (for a change).

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Brought my date with me to eat tooooo much seafood and watch the sunset

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Sunset at Melkens Seafood Restaurant, Brgy. Balaring, Silay City

Haven’t gone to the beach yet but I look so dark already (I’m blaming it on work and softball lol). Valentine’s day spent with best friends and family.

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Japanese Vday dinner with the fambam ❤️

Day 2 | Dumaguete

Road trip!

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Well because my friends love to eat we had breakfast first at McDonald’s (haha) then lunch at Kalan-an sa Dalan in Hinigaran.

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Kalan-an sa Dalan, Hinigaran – good place to stop over when driving south

Arrived Dumaguete just in time for sunset. Normally it takes about 5 hours or less when driving from Bacolod City but well, we had so many side (food) trips.

First stop, Rizal Boulevard. Because we wanted to blend in with the tourists (haha).

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Tempura, squid balls, squid rolls and balut

We had dinner at Golden Roy’s Lechon Manok and dessert at Sans Rival.

Day 3 | Siquijor

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Trike ride to the port lol

You have the option to take the RORO or the fast craft when going to Siquijor Island from Dumsville. We took the RORO, takes about an hour — Montenegro Lines cost P145.00/person (P130 regular fare and P15 terminal fee).

Siquijor is known as the Mystic Island because of its mystic traditions such as black magic and sorcery. But in all honesty, those are like — ancient. Mystic Island because the place is truly magical in all its sense.

From the pristine waters of the port to the emerald green shades of the waterfalls to the beaches with powdery white sand.

Not only that, the people are generally very friendly and accommodating.

We rented a multi-cab to take us to places for the day. Rate was P1,800 and our driver was a former councilor of one of the towns, I forgot which one. Very simple people.

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Went around the markets to look for sea urchins but to no avail, all SOLD OUT! 😦

Cambugahay Falls

We only went to 2 of the popular spots on the island because we didn’t really have much time (and we all woke up late haha), we were only there for the day. Going to Cambugahay falls, you actually pass by the Fish Spa, it’s under a 400-year-old Balete tree somewhere in Lazi but we skipped this one as it was really crowded.

135 steps down.

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Normally, the water is the shade of emerald green but since it had been storming the whole week, water was kind of murky.

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But that did not stop my friends from jumping in.

P20 unlimited Tarzan swings. P30 parking fee.

Salagdoong Beach

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Entrance fee is P30/person. Parking fee is P35.

It was really crowded that day and waiting time for lunch is one hour, perfect excuse to swim in the sea and laze on the shore. Amazing that despite being a public beach, it is very well maintained! Water is crystal clear, shore is clean. Food is so so but we were so hungry we devoured everything.

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Took us 45 minutes from the beach to the port and the scenery was so picturesque, staying on the island for one day is not enough.

Boarded the 6pm RORO back to Dumaguete. Forgot the shipping line but regular fare was P100. We were pooped.

Napped at the hotel when we arrived and went to Sans Rival (again) for dinner.

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We stayed at Sierra Hotel in Dumaguete City. It’s very conveniently located near major commercial hubs and tourist destinations, and is only minutes away from the airport and seaport. It’s fairly new having opened 5 floors in 2016 and the 6th floor in January of this year. Rooms are spacious, comfy and clean. We stayed in a deluxe twin room for P2,900/night.

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Photo credit: Hotels.com

Day 4 | Home bound

Lunched at the famous Jo’s Chicken Inato (with double rice),

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and dessert at Panda Ice Cream. Yum!

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Ube Fried Ice Cream by Panda —  I missed you!

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Took us 4 hours to arrive in Bacolod City and we went straight to Silay City for friends to catch their 9pm flight back to Manila. But first! Capped off our trip with inasal pandesyosa, isaw and pork barbecue at Golden Food Park.

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Always a riot with my forever dates. My whole face hurts from all the nonstop laughter. Thanks loves!

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xx

DMV

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Sitting with the Rebels

January 31, 2018

I used to not understand the complexity of insurgency; how it is deeply rooted onto ideologies so unfamiliar from what is taught through tradition.

The people branded as rebels have been stereotyped as savages. They are a people civilians have learned to fear.

What most fail to see is, they too are just, well, people. They too deserve to be heard, to be seen, to be felt, to be taken cared of. They too are citizens of this universe and they too have rights and is protected by the laws of the land.

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Now I’m not saying what they do is generally acceptable especially when clashing and raising arms against the military or when civilians get involuntarily dragged into their encounters, everything has it’s limitations. But what I’m trying to get at is despite the ruthlessness and notoriety, they have the right to equal opportunities accorded to all.

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Insurgency has always been a prevalent problem in our country which is why the government has created programs that extend development interventions to isolated, hard-to-reach and conflict-affected communities, ensuring that they are not left behind. Programs anchored on inclusion, accountability, transparency and sustainability.

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For those unaware, I work with the Provincial Government of Negros Occidental under the Technology and Livelihood Development division. PGNO already has an existing peace program through the Provincial Peace Integration and Development Unit (Pro-PIDU) in partnership with the 303rd Brigade wherein former combatants who decide to surrender arms will receive a livelihood package. The province has an existing half-way house wherein returnees are debriefed for reintegration to equip them when they start a civilized lifestyle.

For this year, our office as part of the Pro-PIDU, decided to focus our services on armed conflict-affected communities considering that areas tagged as such receive the least due to the risk involved.

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Last week, we’ve started our first tranche immersing into these areas doing orientations on our services, livelihood trainings and assistance, conducting surveys and just simply getting to know the people and their culture.

I’ve cried more than once this past week, their stories are so heartbreaking. And I’ve seen first hand what it is like to live a life like theirs.

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There are so many problems most especially the basics: water, shelter, health. I’ve learned (and seen) that greed has grossly plagued those in power at the expense of the poor, thus insurgency. It has become a vicious cycle. The lack of political will gravely affects the marginalized and it is so sad.

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But we’ve expressed that not everyone in government is tainted. And I am glad that the communities we interacted with gave us the chance to be heard and is open to our aid.

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Despite their present situations, the people are generally happy and very accommodating. They’ve given us a feast (they grow their own food).

The experience is very humbling. Makes you realize how petty your problems are.

Thank you to the communities, the Barangay Captains and Council, the PNP for facilitating our visits and accommodating us. Thank you universe for keeping us safe.

 

xx

DMV

 

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Integrated Farming | Peñalosa Farms

November 28, 2017

9,000 sqm of heaven!

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You need not go far, this farm is actually just located within the city proper.

Since me and my sister are looking into maximizing what little farm space we have left (and sadly sugar is not doing so well right now), we were really interested with the agripreneurship trainings Peñalosa Farms offers, so hoping we could learn a thing or two, we drove to Victorias City to inquire and see the place itself. And yes it was truly heaven. No wasted space here, the whole place was full of herbs and ornamental plants and farm animals.

We were welcomed with this tea made of 5 herbs (Ashitaba, Taheebo, Gotukola, Peppermint and Calamansi) sweetened with honey and I’d say it was really good considering I’m not really a tea person.

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I especially loved this space, a garden made with recycled materials.

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All around the farm, you get to see so much recycled stuff utilized as planters and even furniture. From used PET bottles and containers to used tires to used PVC pipes. Anything you could recycle, they use. Very ingenious.

The farm features aquaponics, they grow a large variety of mushrooms, organic vegetables, herbs, ornamental plants and probiotic livestock. I was amazed to see the hogs were so huge even when they do not use commercialized feeds, they formulate their own.

As how the owner advocates that no Filipino should go hungry in his own native land, he offers transformational agripreneurship seminars to help farmers or would-be farmers start up an organic based business.

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Imagine what you could do with just a small piece of land. There is no unproductive soil so to speak. Excited to get my hands dirty.

 

Visit their website:

http://penalosafarms.com/

 

 

xx

DMV

 

 

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