Saturday, November 30, 2013

Tres Marias

When we were in high school, we called ourselves the "Scorpians", obviously because we were born in the month of November: Anita Go, Imelda Tan and I. We mostly hanged out after school. We frequented each others houses. I loved playing hide and seek in the dark stock room of 'Union Merchandise' and unbashfully, loved eating lunch at 'Hock Hing Commercial'. They were the homes and stores of Imelda and Anita respectively. My bosom friends live in Manila with their families now.

The Scorpians at Imelda and Anita's joined birthday celebration at the Romulo's

 Imelda and her husband Arthuro

 High school chum Corazon and her husband Enrico, and Arthuro

Lucas and I with pictures of the late Carlos P. Romulo on the restaurant walls.

The girls and their better halves

Thursday, November 28, 2013

Thanksgiving on November 10 (late posting)

Thanksgiving party for:
My birthday,
For Roy's homecoming and despedida,
For safe travels of all family members, and most specially
For our Lord's love and protection.
Thank you dear Lord!

 Party's fare

 At home

 Thanks to Angel for the party arrangement

 Enjoy the food Jackie, Allan, Julia and Dianne

Arthur, Boy, Imelda and Miguel around the yummy main course, the Cebu lechon.

But these are the only pictures Lucas took that night. Everybody was busy eating, talking and/or catching up with one another. Happy thanksgiving everyone!!!

Monday, November 25, 2013

Exotic Thailand (late posting)

Lucas, Roy, Martha, Marion and I went to Bangkok, Thailand on November 6, 2013. We spent 4 days and three nights in that wonderfully exotic country. My travel agent Jeng Ringor from Pan Pacific Travels booked our stay and tour. I have to thank her for being such a wonderful travel agent. Our nice hotel was a walking distance to all the places we wanted to go:  shopping centers, food courts, spa, malls and other local sights. Our Bangkok tour guide was such a nice person too. She briefed us on our safety and of things to do (or not to do) while out on the streets on our own. It was an enjoyable Bangkok experience for us all. I would certainly love to go back again.
 The travelers: Lucas, Martha, Marion, Roy and I

 At the lobby of Amari Watergate Hotel - beautiful flower arrangements everywhere.

 To Siam Narimit Show and dinner

 A grand production showcasing the history and dances of Thailand.

 Posing with some performers outside of the theater.

 Elephant ride

 Boat transfer to floating market.

An exotic but uncomfortable bangka ride

 At the floating market

 Exotic place

 Buying grilled banana from the boat

 Shopping was such a hassle - you must be tough enough to learn the art of bargaining and ready to quarrel with the rude salespersons.

 Lunch at the floating market. The food were cooked from the boats.

 The golden buddha - temples tour

 Bells for prosperity

 Lucas loved the string ensemble at the lobby - beautiful music.

 Ready for the Grand Palace tour

 It was a soaking wet day.

 Look at the stair's railings.

 Posing like the guardians of the temples

 Replica of Angkor Wat

 The kings' palace

 Reclining Buddha

 Huge statue

 The feet of the reclining buddha

   The travelers and the Buddha's sole. The sole carvings are made from mother-of-pearl.
We were in Bangkok when Tyhoon Yolanda hit Philippines on November 8, 2013. We followed up news from CNN each time we got back to our rooms. We were worried about our family, relatives and countrymen in the Philippines. We were also kind of worried if whether our flight back home on the evening of November 9 would push through. It got delayed for about 2 hours though. We safely reached home in Manila on November 10 around  2:30 in the morning. 
As of present writing, I thank God for sparring populous Metro Manila and I thank God for all the relatives and friends who were safe and accounted for in Tacloban. My family and I, we are sending help to our fellow countrymen in affected areas like Tacloban, Samar, Bantayan Island, Culion in Palawan etc. I am also directly helping the rebuilding of the house of my household help who came from Leyte. I intentionally delayed the posting of all my travels because there were more pressing things to attend to and as a personal gesture in sympathy to the victims of Typhoon Yolanda.

Friday, November 22, 2013

Family Holiday (late posting) at El Nido

Roy came home from Seattle, USA. The family had long planned to spend a beach vacation with him that will also include Tom and his family. Henceforth, we coincided the semestral break of Dylan from school on October 31 to November 3. As a family of 10, we pulled in everybody's resources and went 'dutch treat' to one of Philippines most famous private get-aways - the El Nido Islands Resorts in Palawan. Luckily since the vacation was planned early on, my son Emil was able to get a good discount from Ayala. We were even further upgraded from Miniloc to Lagen Island as an apologetic gesture from Ayala due to a flight booking mistake. They also included a ten thousand pesos refund in terms of consumable. They also gifted us a big box of truffles from France per room for further inconveniences. We of course kindly accepted their generous apologies well. The lady who made the mistakes thanked Emil for not shouting at her.

 At Ayala's private terminal

 Welcome song upon arriving El Nido airport

 Boardwalk for the boat ride to Lagen Island

 Getting ready for the transfer.

 Exotic island view on the ferry

First family dinner at Lagen, El Nido Resort

 Daughter-in-law Angel and grandson Yuri at the buffet.

Dylan and Yuri on Halloween night

 Forest view cottage


Marion, Martha and I with the Lagen Island stone symbol at the background

 Wow breezy! Yabang!

 Family picture on the boat - islands hopping

 Family picture at the lagoon

 Marion, Martha and Emil at the lagoon. A pity, Lucas was not able to take any kayaking pictures of us.

 Family picture at the Snake Island sandbar 

 At sunrise

 Limestone and forest view

 Lucas on a climbing trail

 Roy and Emil enjoying the serene rides.

 On water board near the sea view cottages

 Taking the speed boat to swim on a nearby isolated beach island. Roy and Marion went ahead on a kayak.

 Before leaving El Nido for home, the sea was kind of getting rough.
.....That's all folks.