Boracay Island – Is it worth it to go back?

From its powdery white sand, blue water and fabulous sunset to a wide variety of beach activities, and a great selection of bars and restos, no wonder Boracay Island is the most popular beach destination in the Philippines.
With the recent reopening of the island from rehabilitation closure, is it still worth visiting?
February 2009 was the first time I came to this island with friends for a few days of vacation. We stayed in small cozy inn/resort made of bamboo. There were sand arts in every station welcoming tourists, poi dancing at night, henna tattooing and hair braiding.
Cagban Port
Cagban Port
The restaurants were mostly Pinoy and the only food chain we could find was Andoks. You were sikat then if you stayed at La Carmella — the popular resort back then. Everything seemed nice except that some establishments were near the sea and a few were even nearer.
And that was my memory of Boracay.
Tourism in Boracay already boomed back then, but nobody really thought about how the island would be more exploited with the increasing number of tourists coming every day.
The headlines about rehabilitating the island promised so much to the tourists. Visiting it  became so hyped after reopening, especially for those who haven’t been there yet.
Last March, I came back, this time with family as my uncle wanted to celebrate his 60th birthday there. I still recognized Caticlan Port though a lot of things already seemed to have improved.
In Boracay, the white sand is still the finest and most powdery I’ve ever seen. There’s no need for aqua shoes exploring the shores, but other than that, the island looked more like a community of resorts and mall with establishments, bars and restos serving different cuisines side by side. And there are a lot of ongoing construction everywhere.
My siblings and in-laws went for Helmet Diving (it cost P1000, cheaper than 2009) and saw ruins of some coral reefs. There is only one coral reef in the helmet diving area and that is where tourists take pictures. Yes, they were able to see fishes just because the guide was feeding them. I really wonder how the island looked before the rehabilitation.
The D Mall
The D Mall
I did enjoy the vacation because I was with family. My son is the happiest on the beach and I didn’t need to worry that he might step on some rocks on the shore as there was none at all. The sunset is still lovely, save for the fact that we shared it with a lot of other people so it was impossible to have a clean photo.
Sunset in Boracay
Sunset in Boracay
Would I come back a third time? Not any time soon. There are a lot of underrated beaches and islands in the Philippines that I haven’t been to and besides, the island still needs a decent break.
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My baby’s gender reveal

I was on my 23rd week of pregnancy when I decided to throw a very casual baby shower or rather a gender reveal. It was a little too early but it’s also a way for me finally meet some friends whom I was not able to see for quite some time due to my condition. Besides, I know how excited they are for me.

We went for a congenital ultrasound early in the morning. Guess what? It’s a boy! Wish granted for me, though whatever gender is ok. All we’re praying for is a healthy baby. We hurried back home to cook and prepare for the gender reveal. Our guests came late which gave us enough time to cook and prepare.

Lek helped me do a simple wall decoration and prepared some games. The foods we prepared are more like comfort food. I prepared a potato salad casserole and fruit salad, bought a banana cake and brownies from bakeries and Jayson cooked French fries and Pansit. He also made some home-made peanut butter in case they want some sandwich.

The games that Lek prepared were so fun and so suitable for my Maersk friends. There were four games:

1. Create our Baby’s face – My 8 guests were grouped by pairs. They were given an A4 printout of my face and Jayson’s face and another paper with a baby’s face shape outlined. They had to come up with a baby’s look out of our faces. Best creation wins. For this game, Natz and Era won.

2. Charades – This is a game in which players had to guess the title of a song or movie with the baby word in them from pantomimed clues. We grouped them into 2 and it was Era, Natz, Joy and Rhianne who won the game.

3. Guess the Song title – There’s a team representative for every round who will pick a song title and an animal sound he/she can use to sing some lines from the song. Team members have to guess the song within a minute. If the team members were not able to guess the song, the other team can steal to get a point. It was the same group who won this game.

4. Guess my Baby’s Name – I told my guests to get a piece of paper and a pen. I told them a clue for my baby’s name. Barang who was actually the first one to give me her guess won the game.

Those were all the games that we did. By the way, my best friend’s mom and sister also came. I think I spent almost half an hour to open their wonderful gifts for my baby! It was evening already when we finished and my friends were still full to eat dinner. Too bad my high school friends were not able to come.

Simple ways to celebrate a greener Christmas

Forty days to go and it’s already Christmas Day. Christmas runs the longest here in Philippines; we can simply say that we generate more trash and rubbish during the yuletide season than any other months of a year. With that, I would like to share the simplest way to celebrate Christmas in a green way.

REUSE and REDUCE

As a pledge for a Greener Christmas, why don’t we not buy any Christmas wrappers, boxes or ribbons for wrapping gifts and just use magazine pages, old ribbons, boxes and paper bags instead? Also, we can give away things that we bought before that we haven’t use yet or gifts that we received but we don’t really need. Sometimes, we buy things because we find them cute or nice but in reality we don’t need these. We also received gifts that we don’t need like things that we already have.

Surely there are people around you who need those things. By giving these things as gifts, we are saving money and by reusing ribbons, boxes, paper bags and gift wraps we are simply saving the Earth.

 

The Sìle Blog Challenge

I’ve mentioned in my previous blog that I won’t nominate anyone for Leibster Blog Award and it’s because I came up with something silly and fun which is (drum roll please…) The Sìle Blog Challenge!

The Sìle Blog Challenge is not a chain letter. It is mainly a blog post wherein you have to reveal your weirdest habit. It also contains 7 main questions from a crazy mind. The challenge here would be answering the 7 questions and coming up with your own additional 3 questions that can make your friend’s brain blood vessels work double time, lol. Totally there would be 10 questions when you pass it to a friend. 

And since I am the author of this madness, I have to start off.

My weirdest habit is putting ketchup in everything I eat, well except desserts. I don’t do this much now ever since I learned the golden rule ‘Less is more’ and apply it in eating. The lesser calories the more chances you stay in shape, wahehehe.

Sile’s Blog Challenge questions:

1.) If one freaky friday a swap happened between us and there would be no chance that we can get back on our own body, how are you going to go on with my life?

2.) If you are going to scold me for something what would it be?

3.) If you are going to volunteer for something, what would it be and for what or whose cause?

4.) Aside from world peace, what other thing would you want everyone to have?

5.) Provided that you are a teacher, what’s the greatest lesson you would teach your students?

6.) How would you describe a vintage fashion? What clothes or outfit would you consider vintage fashion?

7.) How would you make someone believe that God exists or something that you believe in exists?

I’m passing this madness to:

http://engrnathalie.wordpress.com/

http://baranggutan.wordpress.com/

http://checereza.tumblr.com/

http://aoitenshi.tumblr.com/

a nomination for Leibster Blog Award

Finally, I finished writing 11 things about me for the Leibster Blog Award. It started when my good friend Barang commented on my latest blog post that she nominated me for said Award.

The word award made it really sounds cool. I was wondering why she nominated my blog while I opened the blog post link she gave. From then, I found out that it’s not actually an award, contest or what so ever but simply a chain letter except that you have to answer some questions and come up with a no. of questions before passing to fellow bloggers.

‘Marketing strategy to make bloggers utilize their blog or publishing tool especially those in hiatus?’, I was thinking. Well it works, like for Barang, hehe.

Anyway, to stop all assumptions I tried to research about this Leibster Blog Award over the internet. The search results I got from google are mostly blog posts of people who have been nominated but  I found one with title ‘The Leibster Blog Award Origin’.

Sopphey, a blogger who was nominated thrice also did some research about it. From what she wrote, I think the idea of this blog award is like slum books wherein we choose friends, crushes and people we would like to know to sign it.

So to get through with this, below are 11 facts about me and my answer to Barang’s questions.

Here are 11 facts about me:

1.) Photography eats a lot of my free time. I love taking travel and landscape photos and when I do portraits I want it simple and natural as much as possible.

2.) I am a frustrated writer but no so anymore after a short course class in Journalism. Thanks Mr Jaya Prakash!

3.) I am a retired model. Modelling has been a passion and a way for me to earn extra. I still model for good project though. I got into photography from modelling as I was inspired by some works of photographers I’ve work with before especially tito Nick Bustos.

4.) I am pursuing a dream to be a known artist probably in photography.

5.) I can sleep anywhere like buses, trains and etc. But I can’t sleep in a room alone in other country.

6.) I discover the sweetest thing on Earth which is Godiva’s Dark Chocolate with sea salt, thanks to Liza. I am also a fan of Malteasers, Kitkat and Crunch.

7.) Extra strong mints and lozenges keep me sane. I love to share it to others and laugh at them when they can’t take it.

8.) I scuba dive though I can’t swim.

9.) I am finding all the guts in the world to try outdoor sky dive though I can’t fly?!?

10.) Flying cockroaches and rats make me jump off my seat.

11.) When I was young I don’t stop or I repeat counting when it doesn’t end on even nos. (yeah I know, Obsessive Compulsive)

11 Questions from Barang:

1) According to your own taste, What kind of breakfast will overpower the horror of waking up early on a Monday? American Breakfast – Pancakes and Bacon plus egg I would be wishing everyday is Monday.

2) Do you believe in aliens? Why or why not? Yes, why not? I even believe in Mermaids.

3) If you could live the life of one fictional character, who would you be and why? 1. Robert Langdon of Angels and Demons, well sometimes I wish I am a guy. 2. Chiyo Sakamoto because I wanna experience Japanese culture and I admire he being go getter. 3. Black Mamba of Kill Bill – she’s such a bad ass fighter.

4) What is your favorite holiday? A lot! Since I work here in Singapore, going out of the country has been my favorite thing to do.

5) Are you a morning or evening person? Evening person. Still young to be a morning person.

6) What is your most memorable vacation to date? First Scuba dive at Batangas, Philippines and second scuba dive at Krabi, Thailand.

7) Beach or mountains? Beach!

8) Where would you like to retire? As of the moment Philippines.

9) What did you want to be when you were a kid? To be a newscaster. I look up to Ms Korina Sanchez.

10) What is the best thing you’ve learned in school? IT related stuff 🙂

11) If you only have 24hours left to live, how will you spend it? Visit my kids at Virlanie Foundation, Church, Lunch with Family and then spend the last hours with love ones. But If money is not a problem, I would love to go to Maldives, scuba dive and spend the day with love ones.

I decided not to to nominate anyone for Leibster Award since I would like to do this differently. With that I come up with Síle Blog Challenge and I will write about it on a separate post.

back to work and got this

I’m back to work the day I fly back to Singapore. I’m tired. I wanted to cry on my way to work for wanting more rest, I cannot be absent as Liza and Yan are in Europe vacation. I thought I’ll be seeing my dear bird before she left but they fly the day before I came back.

It was pretty busy at work due to business conventions but is good as there are no irate guests. One of the guests even gave me a card and it really brighten up my day.

Image

The card is from Mr. Ron Kaufman, author of the best seller book ‘Uplifting your Service’. He is one of the training consultants of Marina Bay Sands before. I think he’s in town to promote his company’s services and book.

It was a noble experience to be appreciated by people famous in hospitality industry and whom taught you to be the best in Service Industry.

hongbaos answer for financial emergency

Just when I was finishing my blog post about my disappointment yesterday, the box I ordered for packing some stuff finally came. I can already organize some of my things that I need to send home. *grin* I went to China Town after work to buy all the things on my sister and tita’s list. They can’t get enough of souvenirs shopping here. I was also able to organize some papers and discover something that I can use now. What is it? Hongbaos and some tips which I kept since 2010. It was like a reprieve, I just need to get a few dollars from my savings and taadaaah I can now redeem my lens from Tamron service center. I mismanaged my financial budget this month. I forgot to pay my credit card and thought that I have a lot of money to spend. I overspent on my Krabi Trip. I can’t wait to get my lens from Tamron Service Center and I can imagine the face of the receptionist or the lens repair man tomorrow when I pay them with a bundle of S$2 and S$5 bills, haha.

Tamron service center in Singapore is JEL Corporation Far East Pte. Ltd.
JEL Centre, 11 Changi Way North, Singapore 498796
Tel:+65 6248 5333 Fax:+65 6881 1000
gen.enquiries@jelcorp.com http://www.jelcorp.com