Posts Tagged ‘sheep’

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35th | Middle Earth

September 4, 2019

Photo set | Northern Island, New Zealand

I stopped celebrating my birthdays when I turned 20 for silly reasons most people wouldn’t really understand. Not that interesting so don’t be curious.

Every year, on my birthday, I leave and go on an adventure and for the last leg of this quarter life crisis, I went to Middle Earth. 12 days full of missed flights, stairs, bottles of wine, herds of cow, flocks of sheep, steak, steep trails, fish and chips, broken luggage, sorting baggage, magnificent views and loads of fun!

Flew Qantas. Flight from Manila was delayed so I missed my connecting flight and was stranded in Sydney airport for a few hours. Booked the next available flight to Auckland. Fortunately, my Wellington flight got moved to a later schedule so I did not miss it. Good thing there was also free booze on board, good enough compensation to the exhausting sprint I had to make to my connection only to arrive to a closed gate.

After 13 hours of flying…

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Arrived in Wellington, finally, to homemade burgers and local beer at my cousin’s house. Yes, my cousin and her husband make their own bread and patties!

Northern Island winter road trip

The places we went to on our 10-day road trip from Wellington to Auckland.

Wellington

My cousin and her husband cooking me up a feast at their new home and what a coincidence that a friend of mine from way back also lives in the same suburb as them! She saw my Instagram stories arriving in Wellington and messaged me. Chance meet up of course and she also brought me 3 bottles of wine haha!

Cape Palliser

Road to Cape Palliser, such picturesque views outside my window!

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We passed by some wild seals too! Stopped by the side of the road and took some pictures of these cuties. Careful enough not to get too close as some curious pups were growling at me haha.

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250 steep steps up to Cape Palliser lighthouse despite the really strong winds and without exercise since February…

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…knee-breaking climb to this amazing view!

Mount Victoria lookout

360-degree scenic views of Wellington. Always chasing sunsets.

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Te Papa Museum

Did not finish exploring and will need to go back!

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Weta Cave

When you love Lord of the Rings and The Hobbit, you just have to visit this place. Home of the talented people behind these amazing conceptual designs and visual effects.

Martinborough – Poppies

Passed through this town going to Castlepoint. The town features over 20 wineries, most within cycling and walking distance of the village square.

We stopped here for late lunch and some wine tasting. I am not a wine person but this place is definitely a must go to. Wine and food, superb.

Castlepoint

This small beach-side town on the Wairarapa coast is just beautiful.

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Instagram husband

Dessert Road

Road crossing to Ruapehu district. Landscape of the Northern Island is so diverse. Majority of the road trip, all I see is lush green forests and cattle and sheep ranches. Then we come to this. Both sides covered with low scrublands and snow capped Mount Ruapehu, Mount Tongariro and Mount Ngauruhoe as backgrounds.

Mount Ruapehu

It was snowing when we arrived and first snow fall experience for these kids in the 7 years they’ve been living in New Zealand haha! Pretty winter wonderland.

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Chateau Tongariro Hotel

Parked our car by the hotel. We took a bus up to Mount Ruapehu as the road was very slippery and we did not bring chains.

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Happy, wind-burnt and freezing faces!

Taupo

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Huka Falls

The Huka falls—largest falls in the Waikato river. The flow rate from the water drop of the falls could fill up 8 olympic size pools in roughly a minute. Amazeballs.

Wairakei Terraces

Relaxed in the silica enriched thermal pools as we were dead tired from all the walking and hiking. There is also a walk where you get to experience a recreated Maori settlement, said to have settled some 1,000 years ago, drawn by the thermal activity and the abundance of food. They believed that the hot pools contained healing powers and therapeutic benefits. Amazingly, the houses are so small and considering that most Moari are largely built people.

Rotorua

Wai-O-Tapu Thermal Wonderland

Wai-O-Tapu (Māori for sacred waters) is an active geothermal area by the Taupo volcanic zone, some 27 kilometers south of Rotorua.

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Lady Knox Geyser

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Champagne pool

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Devil’s Bath

Whakarewarewa Forest – The Redwoods

Magnificent stands of towering native and exotic trees in this beautiful forest.

Lake Tikitapu (Blue Lake)

Lake Tikitapu is also known as “Blue Lake” because of its gorgeous sapphire waters.

Rotorua Museum

This magnificent structure used to be an elegant spa retreat called the Bath House in 1908 and was later on converted into a museum and art gallery. Sadly, this beauty closed in 2016 for seismic strengthening and remains closed til now.

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August 6th, BIRTHDAY!

Matamata – Hobbiton

Where else to celebrate the last leg of my quarter life crisis but at the lush pastures of the Shire in Middle Earth?

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Waitomo Glowworm Caves

I swear we went. They just did not allow us to take photos. According to our Maori guide, the glowworms are sensitive to light and sound which is why they prohibited use of cellphones and cameras and also, said gadgets are expensive and they do not want to be spelunking the caves just to retrieve these.

Grabbed some pictures from Google Images (maybe back when it was still allowed to take photos, I dunno).

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This stunning view is the Cathedral Cavern known for it’s awesome acoustics. Our guide even asked one from the group to sing. It’s been witness to many concerts and weddings too. Photo: Google Images

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We descended the cave and rode a boat in total cold blackness to see the glowworms. This picture is the closest I could find that best resembles what we saw. It was so cool! Like a trillion stars lining the ceiling of the grotto. Photo: Google Images

The only photos we were able to take — exit of the cave and the entrance to the souvenir shop.

What an awesome day! Ate truffle burgers and truffle fries for dinner, lazed at our Airbnb by the lake and downed 2 bottles of wine. Happy birthday to me!

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35th

Coromandel

Cathedral Cove

These familiar scene out of Narnia. Shorter way by boat, Longer way by hike. We took the latter. Even found a few blooms of Sakura. View was worth it.

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Hot Water Beach

An underground river of hot water flows from the interior of the earth to surface in the Pacific Ocean at this beach, thus it’s name. Visitors can dig large holes and soak in the thermal water.

Hamilton

Disney on Ice

Because we are never too old.

Auckland

Last stop for this trip. Met up with friends who are based here and was so happy they celebrated my birthday with Korean food and ramen!

SEA Life Kelly Tarlton’s Aquarium

Killed time and went to the aquarium while waiting for our Korean dinner.

8 Colors of Korean Bbq Buffet Restaurant

Thank you for indulging my Korean obsession!

Sky Tower

It was really nice that the guy by the escalator going up the tower told us to check the skies first before deciding to pay more than $20 and just be disappointed. It was raining nonstop and was really cloudy. We did not go up. We went shopping instead lol.

Last day (huhuhu)

Breakfast at Kreem

Went shopping at Dress Smart and had dinner at Ramen Takara because it’s my last night and everybody knows how much I love ramen hahaha.

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Homebound

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Early morning flight to Sydney, had to leave some things as I was over-baggage (my quinoa and honey), arrived on time in Sydney but they closed one runway and had to stay inside the plane for an hour because no available tube to park. Sprinted (again) to transit and to my gate only to find that my flight was delayed. Seriously Qantas you need to sort your schedules and stop with the tight connections. My feet hurt from running around the airport.

Arrived around 10pm in Manila, stayed at my best friend’s place, was so exhausted fell asleep the moment I went to bed and was snoring. Went to church the next day (thank you LORD for my awesome vacation), had lunch at Soru (always) and flew home to Bacolod in the afternoon.

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And I feel like I’m still hungover.

Thank you to Krissy and Alvin for my room (haha) and for going on this trip with me, Micmic for seeing me in Wellington and bringing vino, Aubrey for meeting me in Auckland, Ching and Patrick for letting us stay at your ginormous place and Ilaine and Bambi for coming out for ramen and dessert. 12 days is tooooo short! I wish I was on vacation 24/7.

Photos from:

Krissy & Alvin of Knotting Wong Photography

My DJI Osmo Action camera (yes I switched from GoPro)

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Bye friend!

xx

DMV

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Thursday at the farm

March 25, 2016

Holy Thursday | Photo set

xx

DMV

 

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A day at the farm

April 3, 2015

Holy Thursday at the farm.

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Time well spent with loved ones.

xx

DMV

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What I learned from TV

September 15, 2014

For those who know me, I’m not a tv or a movie person. I’ve been watching a lot of movies lately though, well, watching what my kids have been watching and it’s amazing how you get to learn a lot of things from these movies. My kids are aged 10 and 9 so I’m not really sure if  they actually learn something or maybe they just watch because it is entertaining or interesting, but, well, it somehow had me thinking.

They’ve recently watched Smurfs 2, Epic, Percy Jackson: Sea of Monsters and Frozen (that’s a lot of movies for me!). And one thing these movies has subliminally pointed out is the importance of family. Papa Smurf going after Smurfette when she was kidnapped by the Naughties; Mary Katherine and her father’s reconciliation; Hermes’ acknowledgement of Luke and his endless effort in trying to reach out to him; Percy Jackson accepting his half-brother despite their differences; Anna continuously pursuing Elsa, never giving up on her sister despite being brushed off and pushed away. Family ties are upheld and applauded in these movies.

One constant point these movies has also captured and I guess is trying to promote is that you never give up on family.

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We all have that one (or two, or more) member of our family who is well, somehow “different“. It could be a husband, a daughter, a brother, a cousin, or whoever you consider as family; there will be that someone who will be called the “black sheep“. Why so? Maybe because this person’s views does not settle well with the rest of the family’s; or maybe this person has done something that would fall between stupid and unforgivable; or maybe this person is confused and drowned his self into intoxicating elements* because he believes the family will not understand or he has really low self-esteem; or maybe this person has done something that shamed the family; or maybe this member pushed away the family, renounced the family, acting arrogant and ungrateful; it goes on.

(*Intoxicating elements doesn’t necessarily have to be alcohol or drug related. Remember, online shopping is also intoxicating, get what I mean..)

And because this person did a lot of undesirable things and hurt us to the extent that you could not even begin to describe what to feel, does this mean that it is right to abandon them and simply give up on them?

Well, it totally depends. It totally depends on what you feel is appropriate. If you feel that you need to cast out the black sheep, by all means, do so.

But let us go back to what God teaches us about sheep.

In the parable of the lost sheep, there was a man who had a hundred sheep. Every morning he took them from the fold (a place where they stayed at night) on a hillside and led them to new, fresh pastures. Later in the day he would bring them to a quiet stream, or, if there wasn’t any stream nearby, he would draw water from a well for them to drink. At night the good shepherd took them up the hill again to the fold. Everyday the sheep followed the shepherd wherever he took them. He called them by name and they came to him. Every night he would count them to make sure they were all there.

One night one little sheep was missing. Somehow it had strayed away and became lost. If the shepherd left it and didn’t go look for it, it would surely be killed by some wild animals. The shepherd did not want to leave it. He left the other sheep and went to find it. He went searching until he found the lost one. (Matthew 18:12-13) When he found it, it was tired, hungry and cold. The good shepherd put the little sheep on his shoulder and carried it back to the fold. He did not scold it, but he rejoiced and was very happy that he had found the little sheep.

(Lesson 44: The Parable of the Lost Sheep)

The Shepherd represents the family and the lost sheep is well the “black sheep”. Do we even know what it’s like to lose our bearing and to be hopelessly adrift in uncertainty? To be alone, lost and disoriented without a sense of direction is one of the worst fears we can ever encounter. Somehow, lost black sheep are very well acquainted with this feeling.

Smurfette is not Papa Smurf’s daughter but he treated her as his own. And when she was lost, Papa Smurf went after her, searched for her to bring her home. When he found her, she was all bad and naughty, just as what she was created to be but he still pursued her, believed that there is a part of her that is good, that she is better than what she is supposed to be. Papa Smurf did not give up on Smurfette.

Elsa froze all of Arendelle. She continuously pushed Anna away. But Anna believed that her sister is not the monster that everyone perceives her to be so she didn’t give up in reaching out to her, she went after her and pursued bringing her home, assuring Elsa that everything will be okay, that she is more than her fears, and that she could undo whatever damage she has done. Anna cared, always uplifting the good she found in Elsa and she loved her unconditionally, to the point that she more so willingly gave up her own life to save her sister.

A Pastor I met for counseling once told me that as long as there is life, there is hope and when there is hope there is a chance for change. If it is still savable, save it. God is our redeemer, and God saved us from all the sin of the world.

Apparently, the family is your loudest doorknocker, they will force you to open your doors. They will scold you or punish you cruelly for the stupidest, unthinkable mistakes, but having said that, the family presumably will never leave you alone or throw you out of their lives. Psychologically speaking, this forgiving nature will keep a lost sheep, a Smurfette, an Elsa, from committing further mistakes.

We are all anchored to our families. They make us who we are. If one wanders lost, search and save. Because ideally, you never give up on family.

Family. Blood related or not, they are your security blanket, your protection, your madness, your home, your unconditional love.

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Well, that’s a whole lot of learning from watching TV.

xx

DMV

“For the Son of Man came to seek and to save what was lost.” Luke 19:10

“For this son of mine was dead and is alive again; he was lost and now is found.” Luke 15:24

(Photo courtesy: Tumblr, Goodreads)

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