Nov 24, 2011

Three Today

Our little one isn't so little anymore!

Today she turned 3 years old and she's getting more and more adorable!

Can she just stay like this forever? :)

Happy Birthday, Baching!

Ate loves you so much!

Nov 22, 2011

Day 23 - A picture of your favorite book

As I've said here, I haven't been reading books for the longest time so these are oldies but goodies :) I had a hard time choosing which among them is my ultimate favorite so I just picked them both! They're of different themes anyway ;-)

Nov 20, 2011

Day 22 - A picture of something you never leave the house without

 My beloved wallet and my trusty hanky!

Aaaaaand.. Since we're already talking about my wallet, lemme share to you narin the newest addition to its bulkiness.

I was so giddy last Thursday when mom told me that my Unified Multi-purpose Identification card has arrived. If you're wondering why an ID made me giddy, well, it's because I waited for it for 11 freakin' months! I applied for it December of last year and it's almost Christmas time again when it was delivered -- guess that says a lot about our government system/processes, yeah?

On a lighter note, this isn't called multi-purpose for nothing. Instead of issuing an SS ID alone, this UMID was released to be used for four different government agencies: SSS, GSIS, PhilHealth and PAG-IBIG Fund. Also, according to the letter that it came with, it also has a microchip that stores personal information and SSS data and provides a convenient and faster way of getting SSS benefits and privileges.

Now all I have to do is take good care of it if I don't wanna wait another year to get a replacement. Oh and I also have to stay single for a few more years so that I won't need to have my last name changed! Hahaha.


Updated on January 27, 2016.

I have removed photos of my UMID as it has been used in fraudulent activities. At first, I have been notified by concerned netizens that fake online sellers use it to lure people into buying their non-existent items. Then just recently, I have seen photos circulating in Twitter that this same ID has been used to bribe someone to spread false stories about Maine Mendoza, half of 2015's phenomenal loveteam AlDub. I am in no way connected to these people and for the record, this ID is now invalid and surrendered to SSS. If you chance upon these identity thieves, requesting you to leave a comment or shoot me an e-mail so I can take the necessary action. Thank you so much.

Nov 17, 2011

Day 21 - A picture of something you wish you could forget

There was a typhoon on our scheduled trip to the shores of Puerto Galera October of last year. In fact, I almost called on all the saints I know during our ferry ride to the island. When we got there, the weather is still gloomy and in effect, the waves were extraordinarily strong. But what the heck, I and my college friends are definitely not passing on the chance to beach bum and enjoy the mini-reunion.

So despite the rain and the strong current, we played in the sand and walked a few steps into the water. We were taking pictures endlessly so we're facing the shore and in the middle of waddling and jumping and giggling with my maharot friends, a couple of huge waves ate me entirely! For a moment there I thought I was gonna die! I was panicking and struggling to stick my head out to the surface. I am certain that the water is just about waist-deep because I'm on bent knees and could feel the sand but the current kept pulling me down.

After what seemed like forever, the water calmed and I was able to get up to my feet. With sand all over my body (my mouth, even!), I walked back to my friends who were checking on me and at the same time trying to control their chuckles. After making sure that I'm okay, we all laughed about the incident but up until this moment, I'm still terrified by big, strong waves. Even the thought of it, or merely seeing pictures of it, send chills down my spine. I wish I could forget about it soon, or at least before we hit Boracay on June. (oooh, that rhymes! haha!)

Nov 13, 2011

Guess who's staying in for the week? :-)

Yep, J! ^_^

He recently made a career switch and now he's doing OJT in a government agency. He will be reporting for work in NAIA1 and because he lives way up north, he decided to just stay here. Less travel time for him, more time for me, everybody happy! :-)

I emptied a drawer full of stuff I keep for God-knows-why to make room for his clothes.
Wife for a week, eh? ^_^

So if I ever fail to blog in the next five days, you know why. ;-)

Blissful beyond words,

Nov 10, 2011

An Early New Year's Resolution

Okay, I was supposed to write about Ocean Adventure but I just had to take note of this random thought. Please bear with me :)

My friend Jaq shared with me this beautifully-written post (do yourself a favor and click the link! ^_^) and it sparked a lengthy conversation about reading.

And then I realized... where has my love for reading gone? I used to be head over heels with books, and now I don't even open an e-book, let alone a real one.

I used to cry a river reading the works of Sparks (sadly I failed to see him when he visited the country last month), took note of the codes in Dan Brown's sci-fi, memorized lines from Albom and Coelho and stayed up to finish Harry Potter even if I have a 7AM class the next day. I can still recall Francis Kong's lessons on life in The Early Bird Catches the Worm but the Second Mouse Gets the Cheese. Even Bob Ong, demmet!

Then I remember when I have yet to land my first job, I was already computing where my soon-to-be salary would go. I told myself that every month I would set aside a part of it to buy paperbacks. I've been working for quite some time now and had I fulfilled my plan, I would have had 27 books in my (now dusty) bookshelf. Sigh.

Heeeeence... a light bulb moment!

Even if we're 2 months away from the new year, I am writing my resolution for 2012!!!

*drum roll please*

If I fail on the "Lose Weight" mantra year after year, then at least I should be able to keep up with this easier goal, right? :D

With a new-found longing for January 1,

Nov 9, 2011

Subic Trip with J's Family: Our Homestay

After 3 hours on the road and 4 hours getting up-close and personal with the animals in Zoobic Safari, we all felt that we deserve a nice and comfy place to stay the night. Good thing Tita Meg doesn't settle for less :-) She passed up on the tram tour to look for a homestay for our group of 16 and this is what she found:

Forest View Residences is a US-style residential village in El Kabayo Road, Subic. They offer the units to families and big groups who are in the city for short trips or longer stays alike.

Much like your usual village, the place is private and security is tight.
You'll find here the peace and quiet you're looking for when in a vacation.

This is the unit that Tita Meg got for us :-)
Hotels in Subic range from PhP3500 - PhP 5000 per night, with strict number of guests per room. This one costs Php 6500 per night and can fit all of us so it's definitely sulit!

It's pretty spacious and looks modern (Thank God! I most certainly don't want a creepy-looking vacation house on October 31st. Haha!). The furniture and fixtures seem new as well. Let me tour you around :-)

There's a huge sofa and a 32" LCD TV in the living room. Sorry for the not-so-good angle. I don't want them to wonder why I even have to take a photo of the place. Hahaha.

The Dining table is huge and classy, too -- minus the plastic covers, that is!
But I understand that they just wanna keep the fabric clean :P

The kitchen is complete with the basic appliances you'll need to prepare quick meals. On the opposite side is a large sink and another counter.

Now on with the bedrooms...

The master's bedroom. It has its own bathroom with a dedicated shower area.

And then 2 rooms like this. This is where we stayed, along with J's mom, and the family of his bro. We brought with us an airbed which we put in the center. All rooms have A/C units, by the way.

This is the common toilet and bath. Not seen in the picture is a bathtub (sosyal!) and a water heater. It's equipped with a bidet as well. On the other side is the vanity counter and sink. Water pressure is strong also.

I generally liked the place but here are a few pros and cons that you may wanna know if you're considering renting it:

   - Fully-furnished, with high-end interior pieces.
   - Beds are comfy and A/C is working well so we had a good sleep.
   - Very homey, and there's a lot of open space, which I love (and the kids, too, I think -- cause they enjoyed running around :D)
   - There's a swimming pool near the admin office, if you wanna take a dip. Too bad we don't have a lot of time (and I didn't have a swimsuit too! Haha!)

   - The place is kinda far from the main road. If you have you own car, this won't be a problem. Otherwise, I don't think I saw public transport in the area.
   - When I pulled the comforter (the blue one in the picture above), there's a dead cockroach in there! It was disgusting, yeah, so we just didn't take the comforter off. We used our own blanket when it got too cold in the middle of the night.

Overall, we had a pleasant stay. The cockroach could be an isolated case, so I'd still recommend the place :-)

Forest View Residences
El Kabayo Road, Subic Bay Freeport Zone
Rates and reservation details are here, here and here.

P.S. I almost forgot, the power went out at midnight but it went back after around 30 minutes. I'm not sure if it was just a technical problem, or the house's way of saying "Happy Halloween!" Hahaha!

Nov 7, 2011

Subic Trip with J's Family: Zoobic Safari

If you've noticed here and here, I was an emotional wreck last week. The boyfriend and I were having issues and for a moment there I thought that was the end of us. Luckily though, during the Halloween weekend, tita-in-law invited me to go out-of-town with the whole family and J came to fetch me. We talked and settled things and kissed and made up ;-) And the rest, as they say, is history :)

Now back to the out-of-town trip. I was only told to pack my things noon of Saturday. J and I left home that same evening and slept over at their Marikina house (first time! :D) and come early morning of Sunday, we're bound to Subic!

Our first destination:

Tita Meg got Zoobic Safari tickets (I forgot to ask where) at a promo price of Php1499, that's for 6 persons already. But in case you wanna know, here's the regular rate:

Yes, it's kinda pricey, and everything inside comes with a price, too.
But let's just say we're doing it for the animals :)

After presenting your tickets, you will have your wrists stamped.
You'll also need it when you go in and out of the premises.

We got there around 11AM starving so we opted to eat first. They have a mini resto there but the food choices are limited.

Of the 5 set meals, only 3 were available when we were there.
Yeah, I meant it when I said "limited" :P

The interiors are consistent with the whole safari ensemble (but they could definitely improve on the ventilation).

The boyfriend's family.
That's S2BMIL at the far left and beside me were bro-in-law and his wife.

Us ♥

 Us again, post-meal. Candid shot courtesy of Kuya Migs. I dunno what we're talking about here but I guess if you ask us about the food, that look could describe it. The food is so-so. But for hungry tummies, okay narin. Haha.

After lunch, we proceeded to the mini-stage where orientation is conducted before the tour.

 She's our tour guide, and we belong to group number 15 along with many other groups of guests. Because each guide is in charge of about 50 people, the actual tour is sort of chaotic. You can just roam around by yourself, or choose to stick with her if you want it to be reaaaallly educational.

Closer look at the map.

Then the tour began. At this point, I'll let the pictures do the talking (or not.) :P

 The more tame birds you can find here.

 At Bird Thrill, there's more interaction with other types of birds.

 After this picture, J almost got bitten by that bird. Haha.

 Here is where you'll find rats, hamsters, guinea pigs, and more.

Zoobic Park houses the farm animals and those that live in the wilds.

You can feed them, but you have to pay for the food also.

 Behind us is a bearcat.

There are also boards like these in the park, where you can stick your heads out for souvenir pictures. If you don't quite recognize them, they're J's mom, Tito Bobby and Tita Meg :P

We just have to have one! :)

Next attraction is the Serpentarium.
(Thanks to Kuya Migs again, for all the photos with his watermark :D)

That ends the walking tour. The rest of the attractions are accessible via this tram for an additional Php50 per head. You can choose to bring your own vehicle, too, and drive alongside the tram.

Our first stop is the Forbidden Cave and another one called Zoobic Cave. I don't have pictures of the latter, and I forgot what's in there, as well. Haha.

Inside the cave are stuffed animals (real ones).

When we're done with the cave, we waited for our turn on the caged jeepney (below) for like 30 minutes, then off we drove into "the Philippines' only Tiger Safari".

In there, humans are caged and tigers are free, for a change :-)

This for me is the most exciting part of the tour. It's not for the faint-hearted, I tell you! You actually feed the tigers with raw chicken (which you also buy for PhP 200). According to Kuya, the chicken pieces won't even constitute a quarter of a kilo. Lesson learned: Next time, bring your own raw meat! Haha.

A crew will throw a few chicken pieces towards the hood and naturally, the tiger will run for it. Katuwa panoorin, promise! :)

After the safari, you'll ride the tram again to bring you to the rest of the park zones:

Do I look scared? Well, I am! Hahaha!

Next is the Savannah where ostriches run around, lots of them!

And for some reasons, wild boars too (not running, just lounging around like normal pigs :P). Please don't ask me how ostriches and boars are related. Hahaha.

Spencer aka Bruno Mars stayed at the back of the tram because we all didn't know we'll pass through something like this. He's playing cool until the ostrich threatened to run after him! Everyone was laughing at our guy! Haha.

From the muzooeum, our final stop is at walking distance:

At this point, we're just too tired so we just took pictures outside.

J took this from outside as well. Lots of crocs waiting for food.

Noticed Mariz's shirt? She just passed the CPA board exams (Congrats!)
But if you call her CPA, she'll correct you: CPA Dancer!
Oh-kay. Haha!

That ends the tour around Zoobic Safari. It took more than 3 hours and it can really drain your energy, but it's fun nonetheless! Friendly advice: Be sure to keep some bottled water and face towels handy :)

While having snacks.

The boss/manager/financier contented at watching us eat. Haha.

Before leaving, don't forget to buy souvenirs!

Prices are kinda steep, though.

And if you have some extra cash, you might wanna take a picture with the tiger.

Because we don't wanna spend so much, these souvenir shots will suffice :-)

There. I hope you enjoyed a virtual tour of the zoo! Up next, another Subic tourist destination: Ocean Adventure! :D

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