Posts Tagged ‘summer’

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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 | Lantawan

May 19, 2019

Weekend at the mountains. Mahjong sesh leveled up ­čśé

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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First of Summer | Boracay 2019

March 4, 2019

Photo set | Boracay Island

This world-renowned tourist destination was closed last April of 2018 for rehabilitation due to irresponsible tourism and reopened on October of 2018, 6 months after, accompanied with lots of drainage constructions, demolished establishments and investment restrictions.

Side trip from work and even if I was feeling sick, I decided to tag along, just really curious to how this beautiful island looks now.

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Such a busy route, trips to the island are 24/7.

Although there are a lot of construction still going on on the island, it’s generally clean. Haven’t swam in these waters for the longest time as it was infested with algae, it’s like green muck all over.

But now…

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Water is really clear! I certainly took a dip despite the scorching heat and my runny nose.

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White Beach

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I get off days too!

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Puka Beach

There are still lots of tourists coming in but I guess it’s more controlled, no longer congested like before where you walk shoulder to shoulder with everybody else. It’s also really dim and quiet at night now.

Lots of leg room here.

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And of course, the island still boasts of its pretty sunsets.

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No filters needed.

Lots of sneezes but no regrets. Going to the beach was a good idea.

 

xx

DMV

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Mommies Day Out | Taiwan 2018

September 13, 2018

Mommy break in Taiwan.

Scorching summer heat but still fun nonetheless especially with the company I was with. Seriously nonstop laughter from the littlest, nonsensical and most random things.

Photo Set

Day 1

First stop – North Park for breakfast since our flight was not until later in the evening.

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Left for Taipei around 7pm and arrived past 9pm. Our hotel is in Ximen, we checked in at Diary of Taipei, (very conveniently located near the Ximendeng shopping district, Taipei main station and is only 5 km from the airport), and walked around to look for dinner.

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The famous Hot Star Chicken. There was still a queue even when it was already late.

Day 2 | Taipei

Patriotic Park

Went early to see the changing of the guards but apparently it was closed.

Shilin Main Presidential Residence

The former residence of Chiang Kai-shek and his wife turned into park and tourist spot. Did not finish exploring this area though as it was a scorching 40C but still decided to climb up a long stretch of stairs to go to a pavilion that wasn’t even impressive and got myself unnecessarily drenched lol.

National Palace Museum

Houses 8,000 years of Chinese history. Some pieces date back to the 10th century and are still amazingly very well preserved.

Shuangxi Park and Chinese Garden

We just passed by this park on our way to the museum and decided to check it out after. Built in 1974, park features different types of bridges, pavilions, courtyards and lots of lily pads, the place is so beautiful!

Baishihu Suspension Bridge

The first long span suspension bridge in Taipei and on the other side is a strawberry field.

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Shilin Night Market

Fun finds and lots and lots of street food.

Day 3 | Northern Taiwan

Yehliu Geopark

When sea erosion form beautifully shaped rocks.

Jiufen

A mountain town in Northeastern Taiwan, packed with tea houses, narrow alleyways, street-food shacks and souvenir shops.

Shifen

Was supposed to go the Shifen Waterfall but it was soooooooo crowded. So here’s a picture by the bridge going there lol.

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Went to Shifen old street, lit a sky lantern and let our wishes fly.

Day 4 | Ximen

Woke up late yaaaaay! Lunched at the popular Modern Toilet. Food is surprisingly good, generous servings too.

Ximendeng

Tried out the street food around this area. Did not try the stinky tofu.

Geography Bar and Cafe

A little tricky to find, we got lost a couple of times looking for this place but it was so worth it. Place is small but cozy and they make their cocktails very meticulously. Their playlist also included a couple of OPMs lol.

Xinyi District

View of Taipei 101 at almost midnight.

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Barcode

Known to be one of the poshest and most sophisticated chill-out spots in Xinyi District, this was a really pretty bar. Thing is, it was a Tuesday when we went so we were like the only ones (and a few tables) there. Stayed until closing, they close at 2:30am.

Day 5 | Home bound 

Did a little shopping for some goodies to bring home and well, never ending milk teas.

Refreshing break indeed despite the summer heat thanks to these awesome ladies.

On another note, best time to go to Taiwan is between December to May, weather is much cooler they say.

 

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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Last of Summer | 2017

May 29, 2017

One last beach trip with my boys before school starts and summer is officially over.

Photo set | Punta Ballo, Sipalay

Day 1

Thomas and Friends go to the beach



God’s art and my life in one frame


Day 2

Day 3

Punta Ballo is (I believe) an unspoiled beach paradise┬álocated south of Sipalay, approximately 4 hours from Bacolod City. A stretch of white sand, spectacular scenery, calm waters, clear skies — what an awesome weekend.

Some suggested accommodations in Punta Ballo:

Nataasan Beach and Diving Resort

Artistic Diving Beach Resort

Robinson Cruse White Beach Resort

Southwest Sipalay Resort

Perth Paradise Resort

DMV

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´╗┐Hong Kong 2017 | Summer break

April 4, 2017

I’ve read somewhere that family vacations are “happiness anchors” for kids until they grow up, banking on treasured memories and bonding moments. Instead of spending so much on gadgets and expensive toys and since March was a month of so many celebrations (Joaquin’s birthday, his and Miguel’s transition to 7th grade and Juancho’s moving up from toddler class), we decided to take the kids out for a treat. So Oceanpark and Disneyland it is.

Day 1 | Take off

Early flight to Manila and the kids were very much behaved, thank you. Got our Rame Nagi fix and free donuts because the light was on.

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Left Manila for HK around 5ish in the afternoon (flight was delayed), took the A21 bus to Mongkok, met with the AirBnb person and had late dinner nearby.

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Touchdown! Kids seem happy (lol).

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Day 2 | Ocean Park

Early start and noodle breakfast.

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There’s a train line going directly to Ocean Park and Disneyland, how convenient.

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Curious little kids.

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My little adventurero ­čÖé

Kids’ new friends.

Transferring to watch the Dolphin and Seal show, picturesque view from the cable car.

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And the big kids off to go on the big kids’ rides.

This view to cap off the whole day event. It was overwhelming to see the kids have so much fun.

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Victoria Peak

We headed to Victoria Peak after to catch the sunset and well, was in for a surprise.

No we did not take the tram because the line was like 10 years long. We took a taxi instead and it was much cheaper, $49HKD vs. $88HKD and more than an hour of waiting to board the tram.

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Entrance to the Sky tower costs $32HKD, kids half the price. Can’t really remember (haha).

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It was a case of expectation vs. reality. The place was overly crowded.

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On the way down the sky tower, there was an area where you could take 3D photos. This was not the Trick Eye Museum, the museum was on the other side and had a $100HKD entrance. This one was for free.

Day 3 | Disneyland

Off to the happiest place on earth!

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Cinderella’s Castle

Pretty flowers all around!

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Choochoo train that takes you on a tour around Disneyland.

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Everything is exaggeratedly overpriced in Disneyland (rice costs $18HKD!) but when Juancho passed by a souvenir shop with the entrance displaying Tsum Tsum toys and was like super excited when he saw it, well, I just couldn’t break his heart.

And his reaction? Well, there are just some things money couldn’t buy.

I find that Disneyland is more for small kids, the rides and attractions in general, although the older kids (including us) did enjoy the experience.

Day 4 | Free day

Harbour City

Roamed around Tsim sha tsui, shopped a bit and lunched on some Canton Dim Sum Expert chicken and pork buns. The siomai was also good but no photos because it was gone in an instant.

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Caught up with my friend Reg and treated us to some Korean dinner. Thanks Reggie! My treat in June (haha).

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Mongkok

The place where we were staying was right where Ladies Market is and just around the corner was sneaker street. So, off we went to hunt for some cheap shoes and buy some pasalubongs before they close. Some stores close round 11pm.

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Street food…street food…street food!

Day 5 | Homebound

Flying all day, tiring week but with the wide smiles on the kids’ faces and the endless laughter makes it all worth it.

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Flowers at the airport

Goodbye Hong Kong!

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Hello Manila!

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and hello Bacolod! Home finally!

Starting a new family tradition. Til the next summer trip!

Oh, by the way, we got our Disney and Ocean Park tickets on Klook. They sell much cheaper than the tickets sold on the official sites and when you get to the park, you don’t have to wait in line.

 

DMV

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