Saturday, December 31, 2011

Goodbye 2011, Hello 2012!

Aww! I’m still in disbelief that 2011 is now boarding! Thanks for the happy times with you 2011! There may have been lots of devastating, fateful events with you, but you only made us stronger! And now that you are about to leave, please take with you all the misfortunes we experienced. Life is beautiful and life must go on no matter what! New Year 2012 is arriving soon. It carries with it new hopes for new beginnings. Goodbye 2011, Welcome 2012!

Wishing everyone a Happy and prosperous New Year!  May the coming year be a blessed year for each of us!

Wednesday, December 28, 2011

It's Way Over

Christmas is finally over!  Actually, long way over and I’m partially relieved.  We expected for lots of  kids to come over but only a small number showed up. (I am pertaining to the Godchildren here and not the unknown kids on the street. There were tons of them and they came knocking  no end! They received their share of blessings though.)  Anyways, the holiday season hasn’t totally ended.  New Year is yet to come so we are still looking forward to see these Godchildren come by ‘til the holiday ends.  Christmas is for children after all! If they won’t show up, well they probably have their own reasons but we would rather wait for them to come than vice versa.

Anyhow, I thought our Christmas would just be another ordinary Christmas. Thanks to my beloved nephew and his family... and also daughter’s friend!   They came over and we had fun.  I hope New Year will be the same.  ... be celebrated with loved ones and friends.

Joining you in the 2012 countdown!  Don’t drain yourself in too much preparations  for the “Media Noche”.  Take it easy and have fun too!  Ciao!

Saturday, December 24, 2011

'Tis the joyful day of the year

Wishing all my friends in blogland, anonymous visitors, and the diligent and dedicated EC droppers of this blog a very Merry Christmas!  May you always have peace and joy in your hearts!

Sunday, December 18, 2011

The Paradise that is Pearl Farm Beach Resort

I am a genuine beach-a-holic!  People close to me can attest to that.  Thus, when daughter planned our Davao vacation, I made sure that we’re gonna make it to Pearl Farm Beach Resort. I got a good number of excellent feedbacks about this fabulous resort, so it thrilled me no end to make it there. However, daughter failed to make a reservation for our day tour beforehand.  We were very lucky though that there were still remaining boat slots.  Hence, we were readily accommodated by the courteous staff.

The Pearl Farm is a popular beach resort located in Samal Island, south of Mindanao.  To get there is to pass through their gateway, the Pearl Farm Marina. This is where we registered and logged- in our names on the boat manifest.  This private port is also a beautiful beach resort and hotel by itself.

We embarked the boat and left the Marina at exactly 7:00AM. ‘Twas a relaxing ride amidst the serene blue sea and magnificent view of the Davao shoreline, islets and greeneries of Samal Island.  Newspapers and bottled water were handed out to us while on board but found no time to read as I was so stirred up with the  exciting trip. Upon reaching the island, we had a warm welcome and a fresh fruit juice when we disembark the boat and stepped on the resort’s iconic Parola. I was quite mesmerized at the first sight of the posh resort.  More so when we were shown around the place via an electric shuttle car. Every single nook is worth appreciating! It’s simply awesome!

We wasted no time and took a dip at the stretched of the white, powdery sand beach. How marvellous to be submerged in the clear water and view the little marine lives underneath. I wished our time in the beach won’t end.  What a tough time it was for me to leave and break away from the most fancied chillax moment by the breathtaking beach.  But time was running out and the buffet lunch must be enjoyed if we wouldn't want to be left by the boat as it was to leave at 1:30pm.

The highlight of the tour was the sumptuous buffet lunch at the restaurant near the seaside. The food served were comparable to the five star hotel’s buffet fares in Makati City. Hubby and the big kiddos seemed not to have enough as they kept on coming back at the serving counters. Ha ha.. And yeah, I have to admit, I think I was the biggest eater in the group eh. Ouch! Eh, why wouldn’t I be when all the food I want were there!  Seafood, native chicken tinola, beef, fish and the freshest fruits like pomelo and mangoes. I'm just glad, there was no durian! But the kiddos were looking for it. Eww.... We finished our lunch just exactly on time as the boat was ready by the port waiting for the guest passengers. But we had to make a quick  run to the “Butik” souvenir store of the resort for some ref magnet souvenirs to add to our collection.

I was indeed very impressed with everything the resort has.  From the first class facilities to the courteous staff!  I can’t think of a better adjective to describe our trip to Pearl Farm. All I can remember is that, it was a glorious experience!

Thanks much for dropping by.  It's only a week to go before Christmas.
 'Hope you have the best of the holiday season!

Thursday, December 15, 2011

Marking Nineteen Years of Cancer Free Life

I’m celebrating a milestone!  Woo hoo!!  I praise God for all the blessings and miracles in my life!!  Nineteen years ago today, I was diagnosed with Breast Cancer.  I fought the hardest battle and by God’s grace, I’ve beaten the dreadful disease with flying colours. It wasn’t easy overcoming fears and anxieties   but with prayers (loads of it!) I learnt to be optimistic and didn't  give negative thoughts any chance of taking over my sanity.  There’s no denying that cancer sucks!  It keeps running amuck, indiscriminately hitting anyone, without prejudice to the most health conscious individuals.    A number of people close to me have not been spared by this idiotic disease.  Tough as she is, I am nevertheless confident that by God’s grace, the loved one is now traveling the road to absolute wellness.  Our prayers are walking her through it!  And for the cyber niece of mine who is currently threatened by the big C, I know she’s one tough girl too.  I am praying for her as well, for her successful operation scheduled today.  May this be the start of her complete healing!

Life may not always be perfect but it certainly is full of surprises. And mind you, there sure is a rainbow after the rain!   Indeed, there is life after Cancer!   

As I've mentioned,  I’m celebrating my nineteen years cancer free life!  There’s so much to be thankful for and my spirit is soaring high!  Please join me in my celebration!  


Please read my other Cancer diagnosis commemoration post:

Monday, December 12, 2011

Davao Day 2- Part II : Outland Advanture, Crocodile Farm, Pards

Our second day in Davao seemed too short.  There were yet lots of places to visit but so little time in our hands.  Nevertheless, we managed to squeeze in most of the itineraries daughter planned for the day.  Thus, after fetching hubby at the airport in the mid afternoon, the big kiddos made sure not to miss out the Outland Adventure Zip line they were keen on trying along with their oldie mom . Lol!.. Here’s one “thunders” (a gay lingo for an oldie) who  didn’t want to pass over this very challenging experience.  As I always say," Life is short.  Do what you want to do coz sooner or later; you may not have the chance to do it again."  Hence, although breathlessly, I carried out the heart stomping adventure I feel like doing with my two children.  Like the terrifying Sky Walk and Edge Coaster ride experience we had in Cebu, this type of extreme adventure is equally bloodcurdling but absolutely awesome!   I went with the kiddos and tried to match their guts!

The Zip lining activity was a totally exhilarating experience.  It felt like I was a bird flying above the trees, river and mountain coz I sped off, superman style. I should have brought my cam with me up on the lines but I opted not to for fear of dropping it while I get too excited with the thrilling action. Hence, there's no actual footage of that memorable adventure of ours! Sigh! The two guys (hubby Tom and Tantan, daughter's friend) who were left behind were unsuccessful in taking a good shot of us while in speeding action. Good thing, I found one video in the Outland Adventure website. It shows the second half of the fantastic ride like it was my own actual video shot.

And here is the video courtesy of their website:

This video shows the second half part of the zip line. Can you feel the thrill
while speeding down the line?  Simply awesome!

Mom and daughter all geared up
for the thrilling action..

Our last destination for the day was The Crocodile Park.  Far from what I imagined it to be,  the park is only a small zoo of sort that houses a huge crocodile, countless smaller crocs, lots of parrots, hawks, eagles, python,  an orangutang , and more species of birds. There were various shows that involve performances of the different animals and a tight rope balancing exhibition right above the crocodiles’ pen.  There was an act that the exhibitionist almost fell off the rope. If it was a real accident,  the unruly crocs have one good meal. The trip to the Crocodile Park was an added educational trip for us. The place is a real winner for kids.  It was already dark when we left the park for our dinner that evening.

Relying on our driver/tour guide, he initially brought us to Luz Kinilaw Place. According to him, it is one of the most sought after eating joints by tourists in Davao.  But we backed off after we saw the place at the ground floor. It looks like an ordinary street side eating place to us. (But learned later from other blogs that it is indeed a pretty good place upstairs with good Tuna  Inihaw and Kinilaw). Our next stop was Pards, another Pinoy style grille restaurant.  Looks like Davao is teeming with this type of eating places. Apparently, these are the kinds of restos that customers flock onto. After our belly bursting dinner at Pards, I understood why it's a fave in the city..

On our way to the hotel, we saw tons of durians being sold on the sidewalk.  We pulled over and haggled for one. I couldn't stand the smell so I stayed inside the van and the father and daughter feasted on their loot. They didn't finished the whole thing but wouldn't want to leave the left over behind. They asked the vendor to tie it tightly in a plastic bag to avoid being noticed by the hotels security guard. We entered the hotel's premise like we have nothing with us, let alone a prohibited durian. But as daughter passed by the guard, the guard kept on sniffing like a hound dog. Lol!  Then he followed us in our room and asked if we got a durian with us. Daughter tried to deny. Hahaha.. as if she can hide it! But the guard only requested that it be properly wrapped and keep frozen in the cafeteria's ref to be retrieve when we check-out. Daughter gave in but didn't anymore asked for it when we checked out.

The durian which the father and
daughter feasted on.

Thanks for taking time to read buddies!  Hope to see you as I blog hop.  Have a great  day!

Tuesday, December 6, 2011

Davao Day 2 - Part 1: Phil. Eagle Center, Kookel's, Jack's Ridge, Japanese Tunnel

This is a long delayed post.  But I’m posting it just the same for the sake of documenting the memorable vacation/celebration of ours. 

On the second day of our trip to Davao, we're up from bed early in spite of the tiring tour we had the first day. We were picked up by our driver/tour guide ahead of the appointed time and headed early to the Philippine Eagle Center.   We have heard much about this center where the famous Philippine Eagle named Pagasa is being taken cared of and that made us curious how the birds are doing there.  We found out that Pagasa and another one named Pagkakaisa were products of artificial insemination, a successful attempt to increase the dwindling population of the Philippine Eagles. It is now 19 years old. Pagkakaisa, I think is younger. Pagasa is indeed huge! I can only imagine how magnificent it could be if seen out in the wild freely flying high! Hopefully, time will come when humans will be gentler and would stop their poaching activities for the survival of the wild life.

Our trip to Philippine Eagle Center was more of educational than leisure. Pythons are displayed on a couple of stores just like an ordinary pet cat or pet dog.  They rent it out for photo op purposes. The two boys dared posing with one.  I couldn’t help screaming out of fright! More so when I saw a man placed her little baby girl inside the cage of a massive python just to prove to us that the python isn’t at all ferocious. Oh my!

Pagasa: The Celebrity Phil. Eagle

Buying few little souvenirs.

Son with the albino python.

Patronizing native accessories being sold by a Maranaw boy.

The little baby making the python's cage her crib.

It was noontime when we finished exploring Phil. Eagle Center.  Subsequently, our tour guide/driver brought us to Kookel's  for our eating escapade.   Kookel’s is another Filipino inspired restaurant located in Bangkal, Davao City. It is also one good eating place with considerably fine ambiance. It has two al fresco dining section and one air conditioned area. We chose to stay inside the aircond room since it was humid and hot that noon.  Food choices were the usual Pinoy fare the kiddos enjoy.  Sisig, chicken barbecue, chop suey and the likes.  I’d say food was great and reasonably priced which is likewise highly  recommendable to those who’d visit Davao.

Wanting to see a lot more of Davao’s popular places, we rushed to see the historical Japanese Tunnel but passed by Jack’s Ridge along the way.  Located at the top of Shrine Hills in Matina, Jack’s Ridge is a  resort  with restaurants and bars to choose from and a pool which we were not able to see.  From here, the breathtaking view of Davao can be seen crisp and clear on a bright sunny day. Likewise, we were told that it is more interesting at night coz the city lights brings forth more enigmatic scenery than daytime.  After some good photo sessions we proceeded to Japanese Tunnel.

The big kiddos while waiting for our driver.

The Japanese Tunnel is a historical spot that was conserved and safeguarded from further destruction. The remaining tunnel is only about 300 meters long but is said to be much, much longer and crisscrossed had it not been occupied and owned by other private individuals.  It is totally dark if not for the light bulbs that lit the place.  It’s hard to believe how this tunnel took its shape.  From there, you can clearly visualise the sufferings of the Filipinos who were forced to dig the tunnel under the harsh supervision of the Japanese conquerors.  It was indeed a nice actual review of our Philippine history.

The facade of the Japanese Tunnel.

Japanese lady statue to welcome you as you enter the tunnel.

Can barely see but I'm in the photo. Lol!

Countless birds' nests attached to the "ceiling" of the tunnel.
The place has become birds' sanctuary of sort.

Railings are placed around the water spring
for safety measure.

The big kiddos as they came out of the tunnel.

There goes my very late post. Thank you so much for taking time reading this entry! Have a great day!

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