Boxes & Rack

A neighbor asked if it’s “temporary or permanent.”
It took me a few seconds to understand what she meant. In my mind, I was like “Of course, life here is TEMPORARY.” 
With the recent death of my mother, my sentiment about “temporary” has magnified; that every thing in this world is temporary. 
Thankfully, before I’d blurted out some nonsense philosophical life issues, I realized what she really meant. She was referring to our moving to the rented house from our own house. Temporarily means we’re renting because we’re going to expand our own house then move back to it after; or permanent because we’re selling our old house or we’re buying the house we’ll be moving to.
Being a boardinghouse girl for half of my life (assuming I’m still 30 at this moment), there’s always that “girl scout” feeling of me — to be always ready to move to yet another place. And, though we’ve been in our own house for 8 years, that feeling never left me. Like as much as possible, I like to keep all my things to fit in a box or 2 which I can easily lug around with me when the need to move will arise.
There’s a good and bad side to it:
Bad because I could never bring myself to decorate a house because more boxes would be needed in packing them up in case we need to move again.
Good because my boxes just perfectly fits in Mark’s RACKS obsession. Racks is another story. According to Mark, it’s like a framework where you can insert different apps or something like that.
So every time I see a pretty rack, I fall inlove. LOVE: that is something permanent. @.@

Small Talk

I I’d been buying from this flower vendor in the “old market” of Minglanilla, Cebu for sometime for the 9-day visit to my nanay’s tomb.

On the last day of the 9-day visits was only I learned that she also does flower arrangement. So I asked her to do one for me. While I sat down waiting for my flowers, we had small talk.
(The eatery beside the flower vendor was soooo attractive.)
But no, we did not talk any thing about political, agricultural, economic issue. 

We talk about their rich neighbors in their farm of Brgy. Malubog. The IPI who owns Mountain Resort where they get a free pass every New Year, the Sirao farm where which has now a P20 entrance fee. Literally, she’s part of that friends in high places. (If we walk/trek a little further at the back of Mountain Resort or at any area of the Transcentral Highway, we can actually find a lot of flower farms. But might as well not bother them or else their crop will be destroyed. @.@) 

We also talk about the weather. According to her, Weather’s really not good lately, her flowers’ prices are getting expensive lately.

P150 for this flower arrangement. They deserved it, maybe more than that — like world peace. 🙂
Pass this UK place, and this gown dangling would be perfect for my flower.
Finally, something decent flower for the mother.
I’m going to miss the Monday myBus rides, and that friend in high places.



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Negros Oriental Day 3: Tabing “Next-Time”


Karla, our official selfie-stick, left very early for a different road trip to her hometown Ilo-ilo so no one could take the “groupfie.” 
I tried getting a “group selfie” but the feels was just different. #chos 
This was our last eats before going back to the Queen City of the South, Cebu! This was at Jo’s Chicken Inato in Sibulan. 
Jo’s Chicken in Sibulan has a pretty set-up.

They have that boat-shaped tables and it’s located by the beach.

You know that Just when you got into the vibes of the place you’re traveling to, it’s when the time you’d be leaving it. I hate that part but I just got to be thankful. I’m especially thankful for having the chance to travel with the group this time. 
Everyone’s conked out from the prevous day’s activities, and decided to act our age: close to doing nothing.
Breakfast was at Plaza Valencia again. I dunno with the rest of the group, but I could just lounge in that place whole day people-watching who were also probably people-watching. I guess it’s a known fact that Dumaguete and its nearby towns are favorites of senior / retiree foreigners. Either they bring the laid-back pace of the place or it’s what attracted them to it in the first place. Or maybe because of Siliman University, which is known to be “American” university.
Anyhow, our 3rd day was a Sunday, and together with us at the “al fresco” eateries / painitan were the male, mostly senior, foreigners. We ate at “Western Style Country Breakfast.” It’s where the dishes were American Breakfast of pancakes, french toast (wait, is that American), and complete with white males lounging on the outside tables. 
They’re probably waiting for their wives from the church or doing market.

So the road in this area is closed on Sundays for the Sunday market of vegetables, fruits, and local delicacies. And, it’s clean. Oh, can I have my Sundays like this? The husband and kids can park theirselves at the diners, while I do market.

But snap, we’re back in Cebu, where it can sometimes feel rush-rush-rush. 

Negros Oriental Day 2: Tabing Boulevard


Photo from Karla Quimsing.

Flor suggested we’d have “themed” selfie. So after Tabing Dagat, we had Tabing Boulevard. From Bacong, we “trekked” early to Dumaguete. Except for Mark and Franee, everyone went on foot to get some sunrise & breakfast in Dumaguete.

Flor and I were ahead of the pack because we did run-walk…

and pose.

We even got to be in a fun run’s… finish line. When we arrived at Robinson’s area,  it was timely that a fun run was starting. We got a finish line too. 🙂

Then on to the famous boulevard of Dumaguete.

Then on to the yet another famous eatery of Dumaguete, Painitan which is in their public market. It can be chaotic so be a “cowboy.”

They’re famous for puto and sikwati, but they also serve various breakfast dishes. 
And that they serve different variety of Sikwati: there are “pure” (no sugar or any thing) and “sari-sari” (tsokolate mixed with milk), then there’s more. I think better go for “pure” then you just do the mixing of other stuff like sugar and milk.

Because we are “young and full of energy,” we decided to do another “trek” at Casaroro Falls in Valencia. I think everyone were not first-timers to this falls except for Karla and I.

And oh I LOVE the trek to the falls. It was no longer paved because of typhoon Sendong so the bridges and platforms were gone, and were replaced with big rocks. It’s like total body workout but just so refreshing because the place is so green!
Perfect for “chansing” moments…

If you pick a man, pick a man who will not only pick you up, but also pick up some trash.

(Franee for save the river, picking up some water bottle of some useless human.)
Fashionblogger “buhis-buhay” pose.
I wish the trek did not end, truly enjoyed going up and down the rocks! @.@ I missed trail running big time!

“Tabing Falls”
But I had to confess that there’s one thing I hate about the Casaroro Falls, the going up to the entrance. @.@ It’s probably 300M of straight-up ascent! But that’s part of the charm.

Lunch was at a Plaza in Valencia. They have this sort of “al fresco” foodstrip, which is probably part of their market, only it’s facing some sort of a park and the Church, and there lots of big trees around which tamed the heat.

There are their own “painitan” version serving tsokolate and coffee made of their “local” beans, ice cream shop, breakfast place aka “americanized” carenderia, and the typical carenderia. 

And the best part is the European feels of al fresco dining! 🙂 And there are few doves loitering the place, and we can now call it “Little Rome.” 

Then it was a rush of prepping up for the wedding which was to bein 3:30pm. And an award should be given to “yayafab” Flor for glamourizing us all, including her self in such a short time span. Well, we’re not that hard to beautify. 🙂

The wedding venue at Tierra Alta was so romantic. It was in a clubhouse of some fancy subdivision in Valencia which was on top of a hill facing Mt. talinis. Their view is so pretty it’s not FREE. @.@

I’m not a flower person but The flowers at the wedding were so pretty that i wished to take them all home with me.

This wedding was probably for me, I saw orange every where!

The beautiful groom and bride, who made this trip possible.

I wish them a marriage as beautiful and edgy as Casaroro trek, as “calming” as Tierra Alta, and surrounded by wonderful people through and through. 

“Tabing Couple”

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Negros Oriental Day 1: Tabing Dagat


Photo from Karla Quimsing
I think this was the first time that I ever got to join them all in 1 group in an outing out of Cebu. But it was not really an outing. We attended Chris’ wedding in some spanky mountain in Valencia, Negros Oriental.
Mark and I left home at 4am-ish. We’re not that excited. @.@ Well, it was really more of being able to get out of the city area before the morning rush. And, the countryside’s really pretty early in the morning.
And of course, the obligatory foodie pit stops we had to make an extra time for. @.@
Maria’s Batchoy in Dalaguete, Cebu. Batchoy’s so-so but it’s a welcome break from the long drive. And toilet’s clean enough to relieve before proceeding with the drive.
Brumini Resort in Oslob, Cebu.. Karla mentioned that it’s a nice coffee place in Oslob, Cebu. It actually has some sort of mini foodstrip inside their resort so there are a lot of options. We grab some coffee from Brumini, and crepe from Sizzlin’ and Shake.

We then got into a barge in Liloan, Bato to get us to Sibulan, Negros Oriental.

So we were the first to arrive in Negros in the group. Lunch time came, others then started to trickle arriving. 
Lunch was already with Dion & Flor, Norlan & Mayang at Gabby’s Bistro. It’s inside the vicinity of Florentino Apartelle. Honestly, I find their food here average. But it’s a resto with such a character. It’s a must visit for the photo ops.

But I like my aglio pasta w/ shrimp though.

When Franee & Karla arrived, we all then proceeded to the airbnb house we rented in Bacong, Negros Oriental. It’s the town next to Dumaguete. The house is some 300 meters away from a beach. 

But the beaches were like subdivided with so many walls so there was not really much to it. But not to Flor, it definitely made a good prop.
Hashtag #instagramhusband
So we kind of leave in Tabing Dagat.
Dinner was lovely at KRI resto, near Siliman University. It’s some kind of fusion resto.
Franee’s dish was the prettiest at that night, me thinks.
Wow! We’re really on a roll. It’s like the adults got out of the cage. @.@


I’d been doing this 9 Mondays visit to nanay’s tomb. And, I tried to insert visiting some “living” people along the way: relatives or friends. Because I kind of realized that i don’t want to wait for people to be dead before I visit them. 

Today, I was happy to know that SM myBus has a bus stop in Cansojong, so near my uncle’s house. I dropped by to bring a cake for my aunt’d birthday this week. I’m not sure when exactly this week is her birthday. @.@
My aunt’s not home, and my uncle’s abroad. But my cousin, Jonel, was home. He’s autistic (they said it’s in our genes.). I’m the eldest of the cousins in my mother’s side, and Jonel’s the 3rd. I think he’s already 30. I used to “babysit” for him, highschool / college days. He’s non-verbal that’s why it was really challenging watching over him.
I do miss my nanay. When the surgeon saw the size of the mass of the tumor in her colon, he told me that based on its size, it’s probably already there 10 years developing inside her. It kinda pains me to think that all those years, my nanay has probably just hid her pains from me. But I’d like more to believe that God made it painless for her all those times.

Siargao Day 4: Friendzoned

went to the beach area and stArgazed for the last time. It’s like my farewell to Siargao. I then noticed fireflies swirling around the tree near me. I was probably still a grader back in Badian when I last saw a flock of fireflies. Oh sweet nostalgia! Siargao’s definitely such a tease. It’s like doing this little tricks to keep me drawn to it. Siargao is just that effortless charming. 

If Siargao is a boy, he’s definitely like that of a laidback next-door pretty boy surfer dude, trippy harmless. You just cannot help but fall for his boyish no-care attitude. You can just lounge with him forever in the hammock, and talk a bit of this and that intellectual stuff / deep thoughts.
But sorry, Siargao lover surfer boy, I could not fall for you… for now. Or maybe you came too late. But then I guess we’re really just good for a fling. 
Because Despite being having this low-key profile, you’re kind of high-maintenance. I need a sugar-daddy to keep this hang-loose lifestyle for both of us.

Siargao is probably the trip that I felt a little ache of living it. Alysa, the host of Pacific Island Villa, said that some of his guests would end up staying for months. It was a bit hard to leave since I kinda get attached to the laid-back routine we had; when I finally got into the vibe of the place.

Our Day would start with a morning run or stroll along the path in between a beach and coconut trees. 

Breakfast would then be coffee and bread topped with fruits from the local vendors.
Then maybe a dip at the beach after breakfast; then head to a yoga class at the beach. It’s just feels good to be doing a tree pose side-by-side with real trees gazing at the beach with the sound waves. 
(With the Chinese yoga teacher who is so pretty in her tan. She looks like Mulan. I look like a lesbian beside her.)
Then post-yoga treat at Buddha resort or any of those hip-looking cafes,
where the husband would patiently wait for me. 

I would then just take all my time finishing my salad and coffee, just lounging.

Then, we’d head to some place like Dapa, visit a relative, and got feed with huge crabs.

Go home, and take a siesta. Then for dinner, go out to some carenderia or some fancy place.

Then Go home, maybe watch some sappy TV series or stargaze or take a dip. 

Oh Siargao, you’re just too good to be true. If I had met you way before, I would probably have no problem of leaving everything behind, and relocate there; and get a resto waitress or hotel staff job then write a book on the side, or learn to surf and become a tutor, a tour guide.
But then I can no longer afford that now. So let’s keep our relationship at friendzoned.

Siargao Day 3: Tsunami

I started the day alone. Mark’s injured, some kind of a sprain. So I ran alone. Well, Not really alone because the Villa’s dog was with me. 🙂

We stayed at the other end of GEneral Luna (GL), far from Cloud 9 where the bulk of tourists / surfers are. Our place Brgy. Malinao is indeed “malinaw” (peaceful). It’s so quitely charming; it’s hard to resist enjoying the morning view and breeze.
For the first time, the Type A Mark has no itinerary for this trip. He used to have it figured out from the taxi ride to the airport, what / where to do, down to his outfits to the last day. @.@ But since he has not much say,  I used him as my habal2x driver instead.
Because we don’t surf, I headed to a surfing on the mat session instead: yoga by the beach. If I can’t have a surfing photo, i must haz a yoga by the beach photo. But the tourists who I yoga-ed with, mostly foreigners, are not really into taking photos. So yeah, I still don’t have a photo of me making awkward poses by the beach. I joined a class in Buddha Resort (they have 830 and 4pm classes daily except Wednesdays).
(students and teacher meet at Buddha Resort’s lobby then walk to the nearby beach)

After my yoga, I then asked Mark to drive us to Magpupungko Beach; it’s located in another town, Pilar (around 35km away from GL). It’s a pool formed by the sea during low tide. It looks so pretty on the photos. Mark called it tourist trap.
But it was a worth it trap. I just want to be trapped in it forever though i’m not a big fan of swimming. It’s really pretty except that there would be a group of people every now and then who would pass by the area to take photos of the beautiful formation so it would feel awkward to be there “swimming” with “cameras” aiming at you. I felt like an animal trapped in a zoo. 🙂

Anyhow, if you’re visiting this place, try to reach it via the trail through the “mini cave” instead of via the beach. It’s very short trek, probably 200 meters only. 🙂
We passed by this protected swamp to and from Magpupungko, which i later learned houses crocodiles. A nice place to take a break from the heat.

But Mark totally said NO when I asked him we should do this “Tayangban Cave.”

He said it’s totally a tourist trap.

Anyhow, the Boulevard of Pilar was probably the highlight of this day. There’s this small carenderia-by-day and BBQ-by-night place which served the best halo-halo in Siargao. Of course, it’s the only halo-halo I tasted in the island. And as a travel food blogger would say, “it’s a must thing to do in Siargao.”

The eatery owner excitedly advised us that we should have visited the previous afternoon because we could have witnessed a TSUNAMI. You could sit on the boulevard, and get soaked wet by tsunami. And being the Cebu girl who only heard horros of tsunami via TV, I could not figure out why she’s excited about tsunami. I surely don’t want to be there when there’s a tsunami even how exciting it is. @.@

So before we leave, she advised us again to maybe come back in the afternoon or dinner time so we could witness a tsunami. I’ll definitely come back — not for tsunami — but for this, halo-halo, the view, and her tsunami stories.

(At Hapetan Eatery, Pilar Boulevard)

Photos for the rest of Day 3:

At Kitya’s. There’s quite a few hip cafes owned by foreigners, which are Most of the time run by their local Filipino staff, who sometimes has a weird implementation of their “products” like these 2 coffee which was served in 2 overflowing bodum. Not that I’m complaining.
At Mama’s Grill. Those moments when we don’t want a hit-and-miss dishes with hip cafes, we go to ever reliable Pinoy BBQ place.
Coconut overdose.

Siargao Day 2: Shaka – the Ultimate Top Thing Must Do

Early in the morning, we had some morning walk nearby the place we stayed in. The barangay we’re staying in had this pathway by the beach side (I think it’s how they “rural plan” their island), which made me wish we could stay there for months. 
But then came noon time, I got bored. I don’t surf, swim, and any thing cool to do with water. Island hopping is not an option because I want to stay in an island long; not hop and bring food for someone to cook in the island. The coffees I stumbled into were blahhh (sorry for the #1stworldpains rant), but the view can and the vibes can really make up for it though.
(But there’s anothing I love about the restos here is they always have a veggie salad on their menu.)

BUT there’s something in Siargao that is seductively attractive; there’s that vibe that makes me just want to hang loose. After making coffee and sandwich (i have to write that down so I could post a foodie photo), I went out to the beach, and strip myself off with my clothing and make “lubog” myself in 2-piece. Eeeewww writing that grosses me out but seriously why do we Pinays are being punished, even by ourselves, with the thought of wearing the proper swimming attire?!? 
It was timely for me to wear “bikini” in my adult life because it’s Women’s month…

It’s time to celebrate “thigh gap.” My gap is quite closed. 🙂

But really the beach was empty, and the people we are staying with are foreigners who would randomly strip off their clothing and sun bath any time of the day.

Everyone was hang loose: the people, the beach / place, the barefoot/ers, the vibes. It would feel out of place to be not one.

As I wrote this one, I googled “hang loose,” and coincidentally it’s a surfer thing. Their term for it is “SHAKA.”
Now I understand why there’s a cafe named Shaka run by surfers & surfer “photographers.”

And, it’s then now I understand why these local surfer boys / trainors did this “hand” sign. It’s the symbol for “shaka.”

Posing with surfer boys is the closest thing I had done to surfing here in the surfing Capital of the Philippines. As well as:

Eat “pan bisaya” which are also surfers’ eats. This “coconut/husk” oven bread with different fillings is a local delicacy. And, as a travel blogger, I would add “it’s a 101 things to do in Siargao.

Drink at coffee shops owned by surfers.

Elevate my “tan” to surfers’ girls colors.

And of course the Cloud 9 boardwalk, and taking photos of surfer couple, #relationshipgoals.
But “hang loose” attitude is actually hard to achieve. When sometimes the idea of “travel” or whatever we call it is tainted with the “top 101 things to do.” It’s kind of a feeling of entitlement that this travel destination is required to entertain you. I’m getting far away; won’t bore you with my preaching.
But I feel like in my old life I was “hang loose” until I married a type A kind of personality person whose attitude is:
 “you only rest when you’re dead.”
But I’m not gonna whine about it because he’s paying for this “hang-loose” trip. @.@ So let me just…

Siargao Day 1: The Best Part of the Trip

is being in the airport, lounging, that feeling that you’re going off somewhere, people-watching. It’s like you’re waiting for climax.

Flight got delayed for 2 hours. It was our first time delayed experience with Cebu Pacific, maybe we’re not that of a frequent flyer.

We got a free McDo chicken meal. A “foreigner” or Fil-am commented that all fastfoods in Philippines have some sort of a fried chicken meal. @.@
So more time for people- watching because delayed. This is probably the first Cebu Pac flight I was in that there were more foreigners than Pinoys. I wonder what’s really in Siargao now.
Aerial view showed Surigao’s such a greeeennnn place. It’s the greenest I encountered.
It rained after a few minutes when we arrived at the resort we’re staying, Island Pacific Villa. 

So I just made coffee. @.@

Coffee on a hungry stomach was not a good combination. So “poor us,” we had to drag ourselves to this very popular Ronaldo’s place where staff wear skimpy outfit. 
But their veggie skewer, in short barbecue nga utan, was not a disappointment. 
My best Surfer look selfie. 

Wondering which is better — waiting for the climax or the climax itself?