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Tuesday, April 30, 2013

Boracay Chronicles 1: Where We Stayed

Before going to Boracay, my mom’s group did not make any reservations at all.  I was pretty freaked out because I haven’t tried going somewhere without making any arrangements for a place to stay.  I know that summer is a peak season for Boracay and that we might have a hard time looking for a place to stay.

But there was no need for me to worry my pretty little head, because an Aklanon friend of my mom had contacts in Boracay and we were able to secure lodging.  We were told that it would be a cheap one, not beach front, simple and bare rooms.  Scary and unpleasant thoughts were running in my mind.  Last time, we stayed at La Carmela de Boracay, and Jellybelly and I had a pleasant stay there.  I don’t want to stay in a bad resort with my mom.

It was such a surprise that we were led to Eriko’s.  We stayed at the first floor, renovated rooms  (I’m with 3 active senior citizens, but they hate going up and down the stairs).  While it may not be a beachfront resort or a first class one, the location made up for it.  It was only a short walk going to D’Mall.  The alley going to the resort was well lit at night (2 minutes walk to the beach).  It may not be a first class resort, but it was spacious, clean and affordable (within the range of 2000-2200 pesos/night good for 4 persons).  It was an air-conditioned room with mini-ref, cable TV, cabinet, hot and cold shower.  My mom is a stickler for cleanliness and it passed her standards (no funky smell, no rotting furniture just clean, clean, clean).  The only thing lacking is the rack where we could hang our wet clothes.  If we had stayed in the upper floors, we would have a veranda with which to hang our clothes.  They can provide a rack, but we forgot to ask and just hung our wet clothes in the bathroom.  There is also a mini‑store that sells essentials like water, shampoo, etc. so that is a good thing.

Pics of the ground floor and upper rooms:

The room (all of the fixtures were brand new, we were told that it was just renovated):

The Homey Diva:

I forgot to get their contact number though, but I’m sure Google would be useful.  Next time we would plan our Boracay trip, this would be a resort worth reconsidering.

Monday, April 29, 2013

Zest Air

Before I continue with my Boracay posts, I will tell you about my Zest Air experience.  So, we booked Manila to Kalibo flight with Zest Air, Lite N Eazy fare.  I think my mom paid not more than 1500 pesos for each of us (one way).  Travelling Lite N Eazy meant no check-in baggage.  Only 7 kgs of handcarry was allowed.  Her friends wanted it that way so that they wouldn't have to wait for their luggages, and they wanted to be on the go.  

Our flight was scheduled April 20, departure at 4 p.m., but for an unexplained reason we got a call from Zest Air telling us that the flight to Kalibo was delayed and rescheduled at 8:45 p.m.  We were so excited to go, but that put a little damper in our spirits.  An Aklanon friend of my mom was supposed to attend his alumni homecoming and we were supposed to witness it.  Because of the delayed flight meant that we would arrive at Kalibo around 9:45 p.m., too late for the homecoming.  The only saving grace was that the flight went smoothly.

We were not also able to secure a homebound ticket immediately as my mom's group did not have specific return dates (they might want to extend to go someplace else, and other reasons).  The prices of the airfare varied and kept getting expensive by the day.  Our return ticket was at more or less 3400 pesos each (Lite N Eazy), a big difference from our original air fare.  Good thing though was that our flight back to Manila was on time.

Will I book a Zest Air flight again?  My answer would be it will have to be my second choice and if I would get a really good price on my return to Boracay (I really don't have a choice right?  I mean all carriers in the Philippines are notorious for being late, -ahem(PAL and Cebu Pacific)-.

Thank You Lord

I have been battling with cancer (liposarcoma) since 2010.  I have undergone four operations to remove tumor recurrences (plus a left ovary removal, part of my colon resected and left kidney removal because mass adhered to these organs).  My last operation was last October and had my left kidney removed after undergoing a failed radiation therapy.  My mom didn't show weakness.  Jellybelly has strong faith.  He never wavered, not one bit even as I was clinging for life.  My dad held my hand.  My sister and brother-in-law provided and helped financially for my operations.  Friends and even strangers encouraged me to hold on and fight back.

Now, it's that time of the year again, time to have my CT scan mainly for monitoring.  I have been trying to push this out of my mind, even going to great lengths at delaying, but I have to face my fears.

My family and friends have all been praying with me and for me, and prayers are answered.  God is good!

I thank and praise God for a clean bill of health.  No more tumor recurrences.  Thank you Jesus of Nazareth!  Thank you Mama Mary!  Thank you Guardian Angel!  I thank also St. Therese of the Child Jesus, St. Joseph and Padre Pio.

I am proof of God's mercy and love.  I accept this miracle.  I embrace life and love.  Thank you God!  I am HEALED!

Sunday, April 28, 2013

Caticlan Photos

The Homey Diva

Boracay Bound Nails

My mom together with her friends went to Boracay last April 20.  I was her +1.  I was so excited.  The last time I went there was in 2008 with my Jellybelly.

I decided on a hot pink mani and pedi, to make a contrast against the blues and greens that I would be wearing.  This is an old polish from Elianto (color 19).  It was too late when I noticed that it did not give a smooth finish (it being an old stock of mine).  It looked good from a distance, but on closer look you would see the bubbles.

Photo taken on the van from Kalibo going to Caticlan:

Photos taken at White Beach in Boracay:

Friday, April 26, 2013

Manaoag Part 2

As you exit the church, along the side, you can see different stalls selling all kinds of fruits, decors, and what have you's.  This post will be about the "things i see" as I accompanied my mom who bought pasalubong.



Bagoong/fish sauce/fish paste:

Puto, tupig, patupat:

Fresh fruits (chico, duhat, sinegwelas, mangoes, guyabano, tomatoes):

Chichacorn, sibuyas, candied peanuts:


Walis and decors:

That's about it!

Manaoag Part 1

Our last pit stop was at Pangasinan.  We visited the miraculous shrine of our Lady of Manaoag or Our Lady of the Rosary.  There are a lot of devotees who ask for good health, good voyage and better fate.

At the entrance:

Inside the church:

By the church, religious items being sold:


Vigan Part 2

It rained while we were in Vigan, but that did not stop us from having our empanada fix as well as other favorites we had to buy.  My mom bought bagnet and longanisang Vigan (which I did not try as I am trying to stay away from meat). Although the empanada had bits of longanisang Vigan, I just closed my eyes and pretended that the meat was tofu.

Here's how they cook the empanada:

We also had to try the dirty ice cream, as requested by my brother-in-law:

Bought a lot of chichacorn.  They say it's a healthy snack (i still say it has to be consumed in moderation because it has salt).

On our way home, we passed by Candon (a town) and bought their famous calamay.  It is a sticky sweet delicacy (almost gummy in consistency) made of glutinous rice, coconut milk and brown/white sugar.

Yummy food from Vigan!