Peace Amidst Chaos

It was our first solo travel as a couple. We were dying in anticipation when rain was pouring heavy and wind was blowing strong the day before our planned trip. We had to try other options like originally Puerto Galera then Baguio, Batangas, Vigan and so on. We even delay it for two days hoping for a better weather condition. Once confirmed that it can’t be any finer, we still had to push through as I, myself, wouldn’t wish for my vacation leaves to be put to waste. Besides we’ve been waiting for this long enough that we can’t afford not to carry on. Thus resolving to Subic instead.

Us exploring resort’s area on our first day.

After searching for nice beach hotels in the area, I chose (yes I get to choose, if not always most of the time) the one that looks clean, comfy and with relaxing ambience perfectly suited for the very intense atmosphere due to typhoon.

Third floor where our room and the pool is located. Big waves down behind us.

It took us around three hours of bus ride in which we were mostly asleep before getting to the resort. Because we arrived ahead of standard check in time of most hotels we shared bottles of beer, two each, first in their homey in-house restaurant to wash our vexation off the worsening weather. About checking in, thrilled as we were, true to their website the room was spacious and the bathroom too. It was minimalist inspired. Toiletries were provided along with set of towels and robes. The room has a minibar too where drinks are readily available. They were quite pricy by the way. It was too cosy that we couldn’t resist resting a bit.

Corner spot he found.

In search of a place he used to visit few years back, late afternoon until nightfall we were downtown subic. In there, we had our petty little fights. We realized how different we are and how we argue on the smallest thing ever possible just because have opposite thoughts on the matter. We annoyed each other too much that we went back to our accommodation silent. It was an earsplitting silence. After awhile he walked out of the room and then went back. Three times repeatedly without a word. I kept quiet too. Until he hugged me closed to him while saying his sorry. Avowedly accepting fault wasn’t neither of us I hugged him back. We came to terms and finally conciliated. He pulled me up and lead me to a small, private and beach-overlooking spot. We watched the procellous waves below and looked at the dim clouds above. Finding peace amidst chaos hand in hand with someone you love, it was all about that. Nothing else counts.

Basking the pool’s view which was just few steps away from our room.

Other days are not anything contrary. There were conflicts but we patch up and still stick to each other. The best part of the trip was being aware of each other’s likes and dislikes and knowing how to compromise.

Let the pool be an option while beach isn’t very complaisant.
My love.

We would have surely savoured the place and the moment itself if we have witnessed the sea in a more serene and tranquil state rather than those of raging big undulations brought by the storm. I personally hope for us to come back. Maybe then everything is synchronize, the people, the place and the weather condition.

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Adobo Pan Inspired by Japan’s Curry Pan (カレーパン)

This blog will give a little twist on us Filipinos’ best-loved dish~ our very own chicken adobo. A slight information about this dish is it’s basically chicken boiled in vinegar and soy sauce with garlic and black pepper. Others put laurel leaves, potato and many others to enrich its flavor.

As for this gimmick, you can use leftovers. Or merely cook the usual adobo first, like I did. After seeing on Japan television how they make カレーパン (curry pan), the idea of doing it myself automatically bugged out of me. I recognized it strange using curry though, so I thought of doing it with adobo instead. If you too would like to try this adobo pan, follow these easy steps.
To start off, shred chicken or simply debone.

Add some sauce. Do not overly do it since we do not want it dripping. Just the right amount to maintain natural taste.

Sprinkle a pinch of cinnamon. This is to bring more relish. If you notice most of dough products has it.

Prepare loaves of bread. Peel off its edges taking away its brown part.

Crush the pieces removed from the loaf and set aside.

Put a good amount of shred chicken adobo with cinnamon over one loaf of bread.

Cover with another loaf. Moist each sides with water before pressing with your fingers to close it.

Dip into beaten eggs and dunk over crushed loaves after.

Fry each side for a minute and a half.

Serve hot. Enjoy your crunchy adobo pan.

If you’re feeling more adventurous and wish to do this on other dishes you may do so, as long as it doesn’t have too much sauce in it.

Doon Na Tayo (Let Us Now Be There)

Ang paghihintay na hindi tiyak ay tila isang mahabang daang walang patutunguhan. Subalit darating din ang panahon ng paglimot. Gaya din ng pagpapatawad na handang kusang ibigay hindi para sa kanya kundi para sa iyo. Sapagkat tulad ng paano nagwakas, wala ring tahas na sagot sa kung paano ang bukas. Maging ang tanong na bakit ay lumipas na. Doon na tayo, sa lugar na masaya, kung saan ang kasalukuyan at ang bukas ang siyang tanging mahalaga.

Waiting with uncertainty is like a long road leading to nowhere. But the season to disremember shall come. Also the willingness to forgive not for him but for your sake. Because like how it ended, there is no definite answer as to how tomorrow will become. Even the question of why too has passed. Let us now be there, in a happy place, where the present and the future are the things that only matters.

Mt. 387 Day Hike

I’d like to believe this was my first official hike. I used to climb mountains when I was in high school yes but I didn’t have the perception of real ‘hike’ back then. September 29th Friday night of last year when we travelled from Manila to our destination in Puncan, Nueva Ecija. It was actually annoying for our service van arrived late in our meeting place to the extent that I already considered backing out. Good thing I have my childhood friend and my cousin with me. We entertained ourselves catching up with our stories of here and then while waiting. It was a bumpy ride going there thus, I barely had some sleep. I supposed everyone on that trip too. My cousin Ate Joy and I stayed awake and went on chatting until we finally reached our jump off point.
We got there thirty minutes past five in the morning (if I remembered it correctly). We were advised to use the toilet, change clothes (if we have to) and eat breakfast before we start moving. We had a short introduction too courtesy of the local guides. According to them, it is actually called Mt. 387 because it is in an area holding 387.9 hectares of the Talavera Watershed Forest Reserve. At the end of briefing, we were asked how we want to go back down, everyone chose the traverse trail except me. Yes I refused raising my hand for that. But my friend and my cousin were up for it so I just went along and approved of it eventually. The other option was slightly plane as the guide said so only that it is way farther and will took longer hours to descend. There is no easy way out and I was a little anxious about it.


Afterwards, we started ascending. As we go on uprising, only few minutes later I went through hard breathing already. Succumb to my laziness of having exercise regularly. Resulting of me being at the tail end amongst everyone else who were with us on this trail. Hardly noticing the path we were taking, not even recognizing the first view point neither, all I could think of was to carry on and get it over with.

I have only started acknowledging and appreciating the woodlands and forestry as we passed by when the track became moderate. Well, at least for me. It could have been the easiest for more steady climbers.

But apart from the scenic views, it is the purpose that comes with climbing that makes it worthwhile. And for our time, this time, it was the tree planting activity. Each hiker shall plant a seedling or two during rainy season in accordance to agreement between the Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) and locals for reforestation. However on dry season, one must bring a liter of water to help in sustaining the seedlings planted by previous climbers.

I was surprised and overwhelmed to know about these. Apparently, I wasn’t aware when the local guides were explaining all of these earlier. I just had to ask our guide again who generously and patiently expound it for me.

We then proceeded after planting. We had plenty of stops for photos first before we finally got into a turning point which is overlooking the popularly known Chocolate Hills of the North. Though it was green colored due to prevalent grass growth, it is still a beautiful panorama to witness.

Another view point right after a few steps is the Batong Amat Peace Park landmark. Here we spent more time to breath in and to absorb the beauty of nature.

At the summit facing down to where we began, I say hard work has at long last paid off. It is a moment of victory for me which I can always share but will never be stolen. The precious part was seeing that it is in our most unglamorous and hard times that we most appreciate life.

After an ample time of rest and some photo ops, we headed down and continued with our traverse to Aloha Falls. Here’s the part where I don’t want to elaborate nor I wanted to remember. As we resumed the steep and slippery road seemed endless. I don’t recall how many times I have asked our guide, “are we there yet?” and how many times he answered me with, “just a little more”. And then I would joke on him, “you are fooling us” but he would say, “no mam I am motivating you”.

Worst was my knees were shaking and its bending became voluntary. I’d feel like I already wanted to crawl or roll myself down just so I could be there quick. But it can’t be. So I had to motivate myself that this is temporary and soon will be over and that we’ll be approaching the Aloha Falls soon.

You couldn’t ever imagine how delighted we were at the very sight of the tall running water. It was also very refreshing to see. We were too shattered and exhausted to jump in through the cold water and bathe hence, after taking photos of it and with it, we hurried to our drop off point. Took a shower hastily, ate a little and headed back home.

The next day, Sunday, my legs hurt so bad and couldn’t get up from bed. Yet it was all worth it. For the record, I only agreed to do this because everything just seemed to be not working the way I wanted them, both work and personal matters. So I thought I should try doing new things. And I don’t regret it, this was such an exceptional breather. If someone invites me for a climb again? Let me think about it. Hahaha! Kidding aside, yes I might. Pardon me if I don’t have that much and not familiar with real climbers’ “terms”. It’s just a shame not blogging about this so I did it with how I experienced it and understood things my way.

Nostalgia

Typical Filipino Christmas. We are known to have the longest Christmas celebration in the world which normally starts with “BER” months. As early as September the season’s spirit is already felt throughout the entire country. You’ll hear carols playlists on the radio. Some rushing to retail stores doing early gift shopping. Houses are decorated with lanterns and lights. Families put up their Christmas trees inside their homes together.

It wasn’t far different in our family. Only that we start decorating late as December. And when I say “we” it just pertains to my mama mostly. When she replaces the curtains into vibrant colored ones, we knew it’s that time of the year again. My papa would hang a lantern and overlay it with colourful Christmas lights outside our house. And that was just it. And then we would go to church together for our “Misa De Gallo” yearly tradition.

We never really had a Christmas tree back then. Let alone ate a Noche Buena. We don’t stay up late and wait for 12 midnight to fancy eat. My brother and I never did. Our parents would usually tell us to sleep early so the next day when we wake up it’s Christmas already and we will open the gift if there is. Gift in our own understanding that time would actually mean candies (mainly) and a little of chocolates. This wasn’t much. Still we are grateful. We sleep under a roof and we have food on our plates. This was Yuletide for us.

I guess when you aged, you can’t keep yourself from being nostalgic. These realizations came in yesterday when I went to the mall to get myself something for Christmas. Though I ended up buying for someone(s) else instead. I understood I have all year round to gift myself so I thought let this season be for others. Glad I have completed buying stuffs for everyone on my list.

Go Overboard

An acquaintance recently asked me on how do I manage to have time for everything that I’m into. I get it where he’s coming from. He knows I have an eight-hour (normally) day job. Sometimes it requires 10-11 hours depending on how occupied we are. In addition, my usual travel time to and from work is roughly 4 hours. So maybe that’s what made him enunciate such thing and assume that my occupation would left me little time for leisure. And yet he would come upon me baking, blogging, keen on photography, traveling, and freelancing (on certain occasions I do work-from-home –perks of being an architect).

That’s not much it, I reckon we (each person) dissent on what extreme is. Mine would probably be an outdoor adventure like traveling from one point to another by holding on to a freely moving pulley. Right, zip-lining it is! I have experienced it first in Skyranch Tagaytay few years back. Did it with a friend (shoutout to Sheryl!) beside me so it was more like fun to me as a first timer than fearsome. Next was the Avatar One (first in Asia) in Sandbox Adventure Park located in Porac, Pampanga. Can you imagine zip-lining 180 meters down in a roller-coaster style? For the record, it scared the hell out of me not because I was alone but for at some point in the middle of the ride the pulley stopped. Someone has to throw a rope up on me which I need to catch and hold tight just so he could pull me a bit until the pulley started working again. Still I enjoyed it!


More of Sandbox, I also did the aerial walk, an obstacle course using sturdy ropes built off the ground. I have survived their 10meter high giant swing too. My heart somewhat ceased beating and thought for a moment l have almost lost my soul from the sudden release. Not too long and I’m relaxed as it started rocking me back and forth. There’s also this 15-meter high adventure tower where one can wall climb, rappel and free fall. Out of the three, I only did rappelling. Here I had to cut some hair strands off that were stuck in the rope (due to carelessness, I should have tied my hair first).
Besides above-mentioned, I love ATV driving as well. This easy-control, penny-worth exhilarating ride feeds the hunger for speed and adrenaline. What makes it more commendable is the reward of scenic panoramas along or at the end of the trail. It’s so addictive that I actually have done it thrice. In Bohol around chocolate hills, in Bicol with the view of perfect-cone shaped Mayon volcano and in Tarlac going to Tambo Lake.


Another unforgettable adventure of me was the skywalk. This is the famous 360degree walk in a glass floor panels around the edge of 40-storey Crown Regency Hotel (tallest building in Metro Cebu). Being at the top enables you to have a good eyeshot of the whole city. If you do it at night, which I did, the sight of city lights from above is incredible.


And then a year ago, there’s Caliraya Resort Club in Laguna. I recalled it celebrating my birthday with my family. They offer similar facilities like giant swing and zip-line. I was oblivious enough not to do it over and again. Indecisively, I took my audacity to a new level. I braved their 80-feet cable-suspended sky bicycle. It was spine-chilling but just as much as liberating. Oh did I mention their super slide? it’s a must try too (did it twice!).


The excitement heightened when I had the chance to hop on an open-cabin Skyride in Sentosa Singapore. See these men looking so felicitous, they were just right behind us so I was able to snap a photo of them (I apologize for posting). Not only that, I’ve kicked up the rush into playing and riding the Luge in a 1.2km track. True to their ad campaign, once is never enough.


After all of these, I told myself, I’m good. I’m finished. I’m done. But here came snow skiing. On the spur of the moment, I’m on a high again. It was a “maybe” once-in-a-lifetime endeavor for me. Here’s the catch, I fell off the highest slope straight down to where the starting point of the lift (use to bring skiers up). It was a hard fall and I was screaming at the top of my lungs. I imagined I was dying. Luckily, not my time yet I believe, no injuries acquired not even a single scratch.


Does it finally end here? I guess not. Great outdoor adventure awaits you. Don’t dread on knowing and seeing life. Go overboard. I myself would love to paraglide or skydive someday!
“Because you can and you will”. Cliché. I know but what could be better than encouraging words? Admit it or not, we long to hear it either when gothroughing something and wanted to forget (not now please!) or into accomplishing never-done-before kind of stuffs. And if one day you decide to shake off your frights, know that I’m there pepping up for you!

Beach Delight

Being in an archipelagic nation, we are overly exposed to plenty of nice beaches. I think it’s clean to say that wherever part of the country you are into, you can reach the nearest of it in about three to four hours (average). It is just fair and in our favor to relish what we have been blessed with. So yes I adore beaches very fondly as much as many other (if not all) Filipinos do.


More reason to fully appreciate is because I have gone through living in a house (my grandparents’) near by the seashore for a time in my teenage years.

My usual mornings are waking up with overlooking view of the sea from the back of our shack. There, I see the sun rays reflecting over the crystal-like glowing clear waters. Savoring the cool sea breeze blowing a kiss around my face. Listening to the waves sounding like music to my ears.


Afternoons are mostly walk by the coast (alone or with a friend) awaiting for the heart-stopping sunset scene while facing the horizon. The sight of it is enough to loosen up from a hard day’s grind. Basking these simple joys and the serenity brought by sand, water, sky and all its entirety are genuine kind of happiness to me.

This isn’t something like life-changing, I know, but if you get the feeling, I hope it inspires you as much as it did to me while having my own moment of “beach delight”.