Entrance Exam Season

Every time Mati would randomly ask his sibling about what’s their dream job, Meg’s default answer is “author” while Migi is “building glass cleaner” (because of his “love” for wall climbing probably).

As much as I wanted to be so open-minded, embrace my kids’ whateverness, deep inside there’s that “scientist or astronaut” wish for your kid. So I always feel that maybe Migi is just joking or maybe change his mind.

But Migi’s high school / grade 7 entrance exams results / ordeal is saying that I should be taking more seriously his “building glass cleaner” dream.

He did not get in to the list of PISAY. He is not in top 10% of graduating class to even fill out Sci-High’s application form, and he’s too “middle class” for UP High.

I know that part of not judging a kid on some grades etc churvalo.

So there, I might have to start looking at having a “building magnate” for the first child instead of an astronaut.

On to greater heights with you bebeboy.

Waiting in Vainness

A friend gave me a wonderful “healing charm” bracelet for Christmas. It made me think if I’m still in pain, grieving, or unwell? 

It was my mother’s 1st death anniversary last Jan. 17. Sometimes, I wonder if I did not grieve enough, felt sad enough over her death.

When emotional issues like this comes up, I crochet. I crochet so my mind will not be idle, and no emo thoughts would get in. I hook and hook and hook and hook and hook.

I started crocheting when I was watching my mother in her last days; while we were waiting for her “rebirth.”

And, now she’s gone, I’m crocheting to put death to thoughts I don’t want to entertain; while (yet another) waiting. 

I felt like Life is a one big waiting. In between is a series of waiting. I won’t preach about making the most of waiting blahblah because at the end of it, seriously, no one will hold it against on how you make it so lame or good except for the memorial company who will ask photos of you for a slideshow presentation. Of course, you want to give photos of #yolo and happiness to St. Peter memorial. 

Ate Mona/Elsie and few friends have been asking why I’m givinng away all the things I crocheted. Well, it serves its purpose already. I made them to fill in the gaps of waiting. And, I honestly, I don’t really want to see the finished stuff I made after. I dunno if I find them ugly or I hate to be attached. 

But not these latest 2 finished items:

I don’t like making table runners and motifs but they actually turn out cute. πŸ™‚

Who wore it better: the table or me?!?

(Finally, I got a photographer. But a photographer does not necessarily means it makes me look more beautiful.)

I got this yarn for free from a raffle by Ashley’s Crochet. I’m not a violet/purple person so this yarn color was not something I was excited about. But it’s perfect for this cousin-in-law who loves purple. She was messaging me about making her some thing so receiving the yarn was the perfect timing.

Anyhow, I love how the color gradient turned out. I also love the feel of it; and most of all, I love how I make it look pretty.

(Panuhot lang po iyan.)

I so want to keep it.But I can wait.On to the next “waiting.”

OOTD: cropped top by i

Lippy from @keihlasmom travel loot

Shades from Color Me Run

[Day 3 Negros]Β That Last Sip

“Sagada has no tableya because cacao only grows in low-level altitude. We only have coffee beans,” said this senior lady  vendor in Sagada’s market. Yes, Sagada people like Cebuanos prefer to answer back in English than in Tagalog. And, yes, I was stupid enough to look for “tableya” in Sagada. @.@

But, yes, I was no longer stupid to look for coffee beans when we went to Dumaguete (Negros) last week. 

We were able to try “painitan” in Valencia when we were in Negros last week, but not the popular in Dumaguete. I wanted the kids to try it but the place we’re staying was so far up in the mountain that it’s going to be “paniudto” when we get to “painitan” in Dumaguete. Kidding! (Painitan usually refers to tsokolate (hot cocoa drink) & puto (sticky rice cake of sorts).)

Going home, we went via RORO in Sibulan port. If ever we’d relocated in Dumaguete area, I’d pick Sibulan because Dumaguete is getting too city; Valencia is too much tourist spots & expats favorite. 

Violin Mountain, one last shot.

The following photos have no relation to this post; but I need to show them off. They’re all taken by Mati, the only willing person in the family to do this favor for me.I crocheted the top as a gift for my aunt so it deserves to be flaunted.

We arrived 1-hour earlier in Sibulan for the Roro schedule. The ADD in me just cannot do nothing while waiting. So I went alone (because the rest were lazy as Mark) to check the nearby market in the hope that I could chance upon a “painitan” center. And, I got lucky!

The stickiest “tsokolate” I ever tasted in a painitan. It was like melted chocolate.

Bohol “tsokolate” has always been on top of my favorite, but I guess it’s Sibulan now. But their tsokolate/tableya has a distinct “tangy/sour” kind of taste like when you have that too dark pure chocolate kind of sourness. I love it; but the kids kind of look for the usual chocolatey-sweet tableya.

My tableya loot from Negros: the melted was from Valencia; the rest from Sibulan.

Last sip before boarding…

[Day 2 Negros] The Ultimate Top 9.8 Things To Do in Dumaguete / Valencia, Negros

Dec. 29, 2016

For 2 nights, going “home” looks like so “probinsya” life. It’s total darkness and dirtroad. And, I’m not complaining.

The one or 3 people we met when walking early in the morning always pointed to us the fancy resort on the other  side of the mountain. I guess they felt pity on us being on the not-fancy part of their town. I tried hard not to reply that we have a lot of those fancy resorts back in Seyboo; we want this DIRT ROAD! Kidding; We really cannot afford the fancy resort. @.@ 

The place we’re staying ⬇️. It should not be misspelled as Violent (corny!).
I felt we’re being glutton on this day; we kind of cram all the Top 10 Things to Do when in Dumaguete / Valencia:

Al Fresco Breakfast at Valencia Plaza

I really love this strip of eatery / carenderia across the Plaza / Church of Valencia. 

Trekking to Casaroro Falls

Dip into a “public sauna bath”

We went to Pulang Bato, Valencia popular for its “steamy” scene. It’s amazing to see “smoke” blowing up on the sides of the road. I’m not sure but this is probably where the geothermal plant of Valencia must be located. Anyhow, we did not go there for the geothermal plant. 

We took a dip at Red Rock Hot Spring, which seems to be also the plan of other people. With more people coming in, it can get really intimate in the pool. πŸ™‚

Climb for P50

Anywhere we’ll go, Migi would always take his climbing shoes with him. So as not to disappoint him, we drop by at Greyhound Climbing Gym, located in the FU Gym (Foundation University North Campus). It’s manned by a local legend climber, Mich, so it’s a decent indoor climbing facility in Dumaguete. 

Cafe Chilling

Meg has this thing for hanging out at “cafe.” I don’t know where she got that “cafe” concept.

For the few cafes I’ve been to in Dumaguete, i think Poppy’s Coffee tops the “chill feel.” On the “coffee” part, Mark would call them “hotel buffet” coffee.

Gadget rules this family. @.@

Walk?!? Nah!

I really love the University town feel of Dumaguete though lately, it kinda feels it’s also having the “American Dream” phase — too many cars. Or maybr it’s just the Holiday.

Upscale Carenderia

I think Sta. Teresa resto replaces Gabby’s Bistro as our default go-to eating place. It’s cheaper, and Gabby’s kinda felt too greasy. But Gabby’s is always something to be in the itinerary.

Stargazing Attempt

[Day 1 Negros] Chongkayla Village

Dec. 28, 2016

(I think it’s apt to call this trip now as Negros because Negros Oriental and Occidental is now just one province.)

Sometimes airbnb-ing would take us to a a place like this, taking the path less travelled literally. 

Mark had been planning for a Christmas holiday trip with the kids for some time. The original plan was Biliran but backed out at the last minute after his meticulous research that there’s not enough amenities for a “children” type of  activity like swimming pool, or JollibeeMcdo. So we decided that Biliran is  reserved for a legit “backpacking yolo” kind of trip; I mean you know like millenial kind of trip.

So last minute, we decided to go to Dumaguete because it’s kinda tried and tested destination. But then somehow we ended up in a truly remote area of Valencia; probably not much different from Biliran.

So we stayed in a placed owned by a year+-old Chinese immigrant. It’s located in the Mt. Violin (I dunno if he just made it up or it’s the place legit name). Based on google maps, we thought it’s just a bit on top of a hill in Dumaguete. But based in real life,  we’re right above smack on a mountain area minus the cemented road kind of mountain.

Being entertained by a legit newly immigrant Chinese with his very new acquired English who said that he’s never going back to China (or probably I just did not get his English right), this remote piece of Valencia felt like those mountain villages of China featured in documentary videos. Think about those mountains in the border of Himalayas.

In  between of trying to understand each others conversation, it made me wonder if China had been so harsh to him and his family or is he just very risk-taker to decide to relocate in the Philippines despite the language barrier?!?

Seeing him attending to us with his 2 young daughters in tow makes me think that immigrants tend to be successful is probably because they have the need to work harder, harder than the locals to make it in their new place.


More photos from Day 1.

Maria’s Batchoy, default breakfast place in Dalaguete.

Maayo shipping line. I think fee for back and forth is P1k+. You can pay in advance for the return ticket.

They’re so grown up. @.@

The Bean Connection or Scooby’s or both. Meg said we should hang out at cafe. @.@

Lunch was at Jo’s Inato Chicken in Sibulan. I really love this branch because of its boat-shaped tables. πŸ™‚

Twin Lakes: Lake Balinsayao & Lake Danao

The lake’s water level is noticeably lower this time compared to our 1st time here. They said it’s because of the summer.
Lake Balinsayaw

Lake Danao
Sta. Teresa Resto

CMS Drama. Google, y u?!?

Google, why you can make snazzy design for your home page every minute but totally forgot about blogspot.com?!? 

I started blogging unknowingly back in 2004 after giving birth. I might credit Migi for inspiring me to write because he was not an easy baby making parenting such a confusing thing; it’s so confusing that it made writing an easy thing to do. Well, it was really more of ranting than writing. 

The early “mommy blogs” of mine was in multiply because back in 2004, it was the easiest CMS / semi-blogging platform to use. I did try livejournal, typepad, wordpress, blogger, vox, and whatnot at that time.

Multiply was killed in x years ago. So there I lost a lot of my childish, ppd-driven posts. I still do have the texts, and photos (Thanks to Daryl). I planned to upload them again, but when I re-read them, I cringed. It’s like so jeje, which is really the truth. But the WWW is where I can pretend I’m not jeje. @.@ So somehow, Multiply being dead was a blessing in disguise.

So I moved to google’s blogger, blogspot.com, because i felt Worpdress is too professional, too #fashionblogger #photoblogger kind of CMS. It’s like a place where you need to do SEO, and all the html hack for your design, and sliding photos on home page. It’s not jeje enough for me. πŸ™‚ 

Owkei, I picked blogger because it’s too useless to tweak that all you can do with it is write / blog. In my case, rant. πŸ™‚ Really, I picked blogger because I find it more for just random personal, a bit intimate, thoughts.

(Rule of thumb back then: blogger for personal blahh; wordpress for not-personal blahh. Because I do use both, and I actually have more worpdress sites that i “maintained.”)

For some reasons I do not know, with all the brilliant people and money of Google, Blogger blogspot.com got stuck while google’s home page got a snazzy design look every day. 

Then Blogger’s iOS mobile app just crashed and crashed lately. I mostly update from the phone just because so. It became just a muscle memory to me. When I tried on a desktop or laptop, I just don’t feel the need to populate the worldwideweb with my yet another beautiful thoughts. I guess because of the big-ness of laptop screen, there’s too much distraction. So that’s how a big thing the blogger mobile app to me!!! 

I waited for it to be owkei for months. Yes, months, that’s how I “like” blogger! But nothing, happened! 

So I guess, hello wordpress! The pressure of becoming a professional blogger is high.

I actually was thinking of medium because it’s so sleek, fancy, and intellectual. But i might end up not writing any thing because the pressure to be intellectual is so high. 

Tumblr also but it’s too millenial. I get lost with their dashboard. And i don’t get the “reblog” feature. I mean ?!?

So there. Wow! Did I just nitpick on CMS platforms?!? I can get so overdrama on web apps. @.@

On to becoming a professional influential blogger. 

[Day 4] Bukidnon-CDO: All-for-1 3-in-1

This day we’re supposed to move to Pangantocan, Bukidnon. It’s 2 or 3 towns away from Valencia, around 70Km travel. We’re supposed to be joining a trail run, Kalatungan Ridge Ultimate Run, on Saturday morning. 

But Mark’s swollen achilles worsened. I could actually just leave him at Valencia while I go on with the race but we’re “all-for-one-one-for-all 3-in-1” so we decided to “move on” to CDO. 
Our last breakfast at Valencia was at their Painitan. I guess because of the renovation of their public market, their painitan’s kinda affected. It was the “loneliest” painitan I’d been to. πŸ™

Tailoring shops are like everywhere in Valencia.

really just wanted to stay in Bukidnon, but to enjoy the place, we really need Mark’s foot to be not in pain. You know, trails are everywhere waiting to be explored. It’s like rubbing salt to the wound to be surrounded with beautiful mountains, and you can’t do any thing about it.
So off we moved to a place with taxi. πŸ™‚ CDO is probably the city in Mindanao that I have been to most so I was really not much looking forward to it. Plus, I feel that CDO feels like Cebu (so much feels in this sentence).
I was craving for “prow-ven” before leaving Valencia but I did not get any before boarding the bus.

This mushroom turned greasy at Circa in CDO satisfied that craving. Thinking about it, CDO is now an exciting destination. 

One of the reasons why i was hesitant to move to CDO because we’re bound to just go on a food trip especially when we’re staying in Red Planet (Tune hotel before), which is surrounded by mallssss. 

I cannot describe how disappointed I was with not being able to join the trail run. So to make up for it, I signed up to whatever upcoming fun run I came across in CDO, even if it was as “corny” as me. 

Angst pabebe

Arriving in CDO this day, I could claim that I got to cross Mindanao from south to north. 

[Day 3] Valencia, Bukidnon 2016: Years-Worth of Throwback Photos

Being in the middle of very big mountains, grand plans are waiting! First on itinerary was jog to Musuan Peak from the Valencia town proper we’re staying then back. Breakfast, then visit / chill at Lake Apo. It’s going to be a LAKE TO SUMMIT DAY!!!

I was awaken at 2am with the gushing of water from the faucet at the bathroom. It was Mark trying to “ice” his “achilles tendonitis.” Of all the times that it showed up, it happened when we were surrounded with trails and natures where it would require a lot of time on foot. Yes, his foot decided to swell when we arrived in Mindanao. @.@ How convenient!?!?
So no jogging happened but we tried to take it literally one step at a time, until his foot could no longer take it. 
We still proceeded with Lake Apo. Mindanao people really love to name their places “Apo” like Mt. Apo, and then this Lake Apo. It’s claim to fame is that it’s the cleanest lake in Philippines.

If you’re not into swimming, there’s nothing much here. If I had to do it again, I would trek it from the highway to the lake to make it more enjoyable. But here are some ways you can entertain yourself:
Buy home-made delicacies from the women who seem to be the caretakers of the lake. You can also ask them to cook meals for you.

Rent this floating cottage. P300+ if you want to be towed around the lake. Lesser price like P100 if you just want to sit on it.

Then you can take all kinds of photos for 1-year supply of instagram posts and throwbacks. 

One photo for my crochet instagram account.
Then another 1 for my “running” account, My one and only yoga pose. Credit to the #instagramhusband who was able to take this pose which I was probably able to hold for 1 secondsss.

Lunch time, we moved out from the Lake Apo. This time, Mark really looks in more pain.

Musuan Peak plan became blurry. But we just thought we could just wing it out. And, it’s really hard to miss it because it’s that one “sore thumb” standing out in Valencia like always calling you to visit her.
After few steps, Mark gave up. I was sad to leave him behind.

But most of all, i was saddest because no one can take yet another 1-year supply of look-at-me-now photos. πŸ™ 

Musuan Peak is actually a quick trek. It’s level of “difficulty or ease” is like Mt. Manunggal in Cebu when you start trekking it from highway (only it’s shorter. I think out-and-back is 5Km or less.)

Some random photos I took along the way.
But first let me take a #selfie!

Ended this day with a meal at Manna x Quail. It’s Mark’s favorite, and so to make him happy, we had dinner there.

Their coffee is good. It deserves to be drunk(sp?) BLACK! πŸ™‚

[Day 2] DVO x Bukidnon 2016: Layover

I wanted to leave Davao for Valencia, Bukidnon at lunch time so I could attend a friend yoga teacher’s class but the OC Mark wanted to very early because delays and such might happen with our bus trip to Valencia. Like duh, So much about being a “backpacker” and carefree.

So I bargained for visiting the merkado for the Painitan before heading to the bus terminal. Painitan is my thing lately when visiting new places. It started with the Dumaguete Painitan.
Davao’s Bangkerohan Market has the biggest Painitan center I’ve been to. It has stalls after stalls of similar looking Painitan that it’s kinda hard to find the one you’re looking for a first-timer.
We went to Del Mar Painitan because it’s the internet celebrity. πŸ™‚ 

I just have to say though that Bohol has still the tastiest sikwate / tsokolate for me! 

Then it was a 5-hour bus ride to Valencia, Bukidnon. We rode the DVO-CDO bus. Owkei, I admit that I was ignorant when I imagined a wild wild west kind of scenario with this trip. But Except for sitting for 5 hours, views of greens and mountains, occassional bus stops, it was pretty uneventful.

Most of the passengers were senior lolo and lolas. Based on their conversation, they’re going home to Ipil, Zamboanga. So after they’d land in CDO, they would then be hopping to another bus trip to Zamboanga. They’re the original travel bloggers minus the internet. With them are bagful of food and Royal Tru Orange. πŸ™‚
Quarantine. Every time you enter Bukidnon, they always let you get down and pass this wet carpet.
Food trips

Veggies in this part of the archipelago are extra crunchy and freshier!

And THIS! Thanks to the DIL! πŸ™‚ Next to durian coffee, this is the closest thing I’ll eat Durian. 

Arrived past 2pm in Valencia, and we had a quick go-around of the city. We were able to pass by this city 3 years ago when we visited Malaybalay, and it seems to be just a busier city this time, more mall construction, subdivision, and cars. 
And this Manna X Quail has decent coffee. πŸ™‚

And I love their restroom, it’s bigger than our house!

We had dinner at Chesper, the most recommended eatery of Motorela drivers.

It has all the lights, and people of Bukidnon.

I ordered RM, Remeber Me, for its name. I think it’s the equivalent of lansiao of Cebu.

A nice dish to end our first day in Valencia, Bukidnon: REMEMBER ME.

Davao 2016: I & My Daughter-in-Law

Meet my daughter-in-law, @ariannechan! πŸ™‚

With our age gap, It’s kinda weird why we know each other. πŸ™‚  And so it’s one of the reasons why I ❀️ Davao. I really don’t mind being transplanted here. 
First time to arrive in Davao at night time. And, it was the same after-office-hours busy streets as before as if nothing happened just few weeks ago.

Anyhow, this is a quick overnight stay, as we’ll leave early tomorrow for Bukidnon. πŸ™‚
We had dinner at Little Nam, a Vietnamese resto. It’s located near the BPO center of the city together with other small quaint restos in some sort of a complex / strip.
And, I committed a major food blogger faux pas when I forgot to take a photo of the guicon. @.@