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  • All I want for 2011 is...

    YOU!

    Hehe. Kidding aside, I look forward to a brighter year. With all the troubles that I've been through, 2010 was not a good year for me. I have nevertheless learned a lot of lessons which make me believe that everything just happened for a reason - blessings in disguise. I pray for more blessings to come this 2011, at work and at home, and I wish the same thing for my friends and family.

    I'm positive that God has something great in store for me next year! He's such a genius to have prepared me really well. No more tears, no more heartaches, no more emo moments! :)

    Happy New Year! Cheers!!!


    ***

    Party Party!

    Am I a party goer?

    Everything was just happening too fast this 2010 that I didn't notice it's almost over. I had a hard time coping with this very fast-paced year. I'm glad I spent most of my time, partying!




























    I ain't Mr. Gimikero. Remember this post? Well, I thank God for giving me friends who never get tired of sending me invites. I use to ignore them all. This year, everything has changed. I take comfort for the fact that my presence is somehow valued and so, I'm trying my best not to turn any invitation down. From one event to another, from Manila to Baguio to La Union - but nope, that still won't qualify me as a party goer. I'm still the same guy whose idea of a great time is spending quality time with loved ones at home.

    Happy Holidays! Cheers!!!

    ***

    The Island of Camiguin

    I wasn’t really fond of the idea of travelling down south. I didn’t know that Camiguin is located in Mindanao . When my friend said that she’s getting a plane ticket for our November trip to Camiguin, I just said yes without really knowing where this island is. I thought it’s in the Visayas area, even after seeing images of their tourist’s spots.


    We left last Friday. Our scheduled flight at 8:30AM was delayed for 30 minutes. We arrived at the Cagayan De Oro airport at around 10:15AM. I can’t believe I just set foot in Mindanao .



    While on our way to the CDO port, we can't help but jokingly ask the driver: How far is Basilan? Taga-saan po ulit mga Ampatuan? Wala naman po Abu-Sayaff dito? LOL. Apologies for our ignorance!


    We arrived at the CDO port two hours later. We waited for a ferry for about 15 minutes, and finally arrived at Camiguin after about another hour. It’s almost 4PM; that completes our 7-hour travel time.



    Camiguin Highland Resort is literally located in a mountain. The view from the hotel is breathtaking.

    Checking in:


    The pool:



    First destination: The famous White Island.





    The sunken cemetery:




    Soda Pool:


    Cold Spring:


    Ruins of century old structures:



    Ardent Hot Spring:

    Katibawasan Falls:


    Camiguin Church:


    Horseback Riding:


    They say, Camiguin means "come again". I had a great time and I enjoyed the trip, but I don't know if I'd ever set foot to this island again.

    Next stop, the place where my heart is - Baguio!
    ***

    Moving in

    I just bid Quezon City goodbye. QC has been my home for almost four years. Last week, I've moved to...

    Pasig City!


    The place is just 5 minutes away from work. New place, new environment, new beginning?


    ***

    The windy city of San Fernando


    San Fernando, La Union is where I spent four years of my teenage life - high school life that is. Back then, I was supposed to attend high school in another catholic school in Tagudin, Ilocos Sur but my ever supportive sister advised me to try Saint Louis in San Fernando instead. (Saint Louis College - High School, was and still is, one of the best schools in the north).

    Last week, my mom was admitted in one of the hospitals in San Fernando. I filed a 5-day leave at work, which means I get to spend almost a week in this place.

    Nostalgia begins...






    St. William's Cathedral

    City Hall

    San Fernando was declared a city in 1998. It was one of the cleanest and greenest municipality in the Philippines in the early 90's, next to Baguio and Puerto Princesa. If Marcos is for Ilocos Norte and Singson is for Ilocos Sur, Ortega is for La Union. The Ortega clan is probably the most loved political dynasty in this part of the country.

    Forgive and Forget



    Forgiveness only matters if the other person knows he/she's been forgiven.

    That's a moment that I've been praying to happen. The timing was perfect. It's God's will; he prepared me well. I'm glad that I've finally voiced out what I feel, to tell them what my heart has been longing to say. I'm happy that they now know that I have long forgiven them. It was liberating.

    T'was like a space shuttle ride. Just let it all go...

    I don't care what their intentions were. When they asked for my forgiveness, it doesn't matter if they're sincere. I am already good with the fact that they took time to get in touch with me and say sorry. I've forgiven them with all my heart - that has to wrap-up everything.

    Case closed. Party! Party!

    Cheers!!!


    ***

    Did Facebook kill your blog?


    One blog post a month. How scarce is that? These days, that's better than no post at all.

    Blogging was such a hit 3-5 years ago. Before I discovered WordPress and Blogger, there was Friendster - Friendster blog that is. At least Friendster promoted blogging. Facebook isn’t. It's killing blogs.

    Talk about the latest gadgets, food, travels, love life, dates, crushes, job interview, your annoying boss, your slow internet connection - anyone’s everyday experiences. Before, you can only read these in blogs. Now, it’s all over your Facebook wall.

    Are you giving up blogging too? Have you?

    ***

    Ang Puno ng Santol

    I love trees. I feel bad every time I see people cutting them down.

    I literally grew up with this santol tree. I'm not sure of its age but it probably is older than me. When I was a kid, we use to sell its fruits for 50 cents a piece...

    The place where it stands has become one of our favorite spots when taking pictures at home. It's got a huge trunk, almost twice my body size:


    Standing tall at around 40 feet:


    We never had plans to cut this tree down, so I was surprised to see this last weekend, when I arrived:

    Illegal logging happened at our front yard!

    I don't know the exact reason why, but my father said he'll replace it with rambutan. Ain't gonna cry over spilled milk, so we made the most of what was left:





    I'd forever miss that tree...

    ***

    20 Friggin Something Has Gone So Fast

    I wish I could go back to those days when celebrating my birthday is something that I always look forward to. When it was just all about having fun. When you don't have to think about the things that you have done, should have done, and should be doing. No worries!

    I thank God for teaching me some of life's most important lessons these past years and I am happy that I've learned my lessons early. I have always been blaming Him all along and I'm glad I finally get to understand why.

    2010 didn't start well for me. But everything that I've been through is all worth it. I never enjoyed life before as I do now. I realized it's not too late for me to catch up. To do things that I thought I should have been doing way way back.

    I'm not being preachy, but I know and I've finally accepted that God has better plans for me. But saying "I am 20-friggin-something years old" is not cool though!

    ***

    Pizza Volante

    Over a decade ago, Baguio's cool weather and pine trees are two things that a visitor would rave about. Consider yourself lucky if you have seen Baguio's green mountains, and experienced breathing fresh air with that distinct pine tree scent. Today, everything has changed, I heard Tagaytay is a better option. Nonetheless, I still consider Baguio my second home.

    Session road at night.

    My favorite place in Baguio? Session road. And a walk along Session road for me is not complete without going to Pizza Volante.

    This place is located right at the middle of Session road. The first floor used to be the lobby of Session cinema; the second floor was once the theater's control room. This is how the place looked like before:
    The "Session" signage still exists. -source-

    And this is the "theater" now:

    Today: Pizza Volante beside Greenwich. -source-

    What I miss the most? My all time favorite burger pizza. It's perfect with beer, but even better with (surprisingly) coffee:

    The highly addictive brewed coffee. It's refillable, awesome!

    And those waffles (can't find another picture) - one of the best in town.

    Pasta - yummy!

    The first floor.

    Aside from the textured ceiling, posters of the last movies shown here serve as a reminder that this was once a movie house. Those posters were never removed behind the glass display windows. More dining tables are found at the second floor, which used to be the theater's control room. I really love how they recreated the place.

    It must be the food, the ambiance, the coffee... the memories. Whatever it is, I'd always consider this place special.


    ***