Bohol, the second time around

Following my earlier post on Dumaguete City, our team proceeded to Tagbilaran City. It was a two-hour ferry ride from Dumaguete, which was pretty uneventful. I slept for the most part because I was afraid of getting motion sickness.

This is my second time in Bohol, the first was with my high school friends and my ex so the memories were good and bad. lol. So imagine my gladness that I have new memories to kind of overwrite the first one a bit.

The hotel we stayed in was forgettable. It was old, and in need of renovation. That’s what we get for scrimping. There was no elevator, and thank goodness we were only staying at the third floor.

For dinner that night, Google pointed us to Gerardo’s, one of the city’s better restaurants. It was an ancestral house that has been refurbished and turned into a family restaurant. Great, great warm interiors. The home cooked food was delicious although kind of common, I didn’t see anything special. It was a bit pricey, too. Was able to only take a photo of the seafood kare-kare and calamares.

Gerardo’s

The following day, after our official work, we get to spend a bit of time going around the province, yay! Because we had limited time though, we didn’t have the chance to go to the iconic Chocolate Hills that Bohol is known for. However, we were able to go the tarsier sanctuary and research center, and got to see the smallest primate there is. They’re a bit sensitive though so we had to be really quiet and not disturb them.

Then we had lunch on the floating restaurant plying the Loboc River.

Last, we stopped over at the blood compact site, which is significant to Philippine history as this marks the official friendship of the Spanish and Filipinos.

Great company, great trip!

Dumaget-me

It was my first time to go to Dumaguete City, and even though it was a short visit (and official at that), I had fun. I and my colleagues even found time to squeeze some “us” time, and explored the city a little bit. There was actually not that much to see in the capital of Negros Oriental itself. Most of the tourist attractions and places of interests are outside the city limits. When we arrived on a Sunday afternoon, we just checked in to Henia Hotel, which by the way has a gorgeous family room for a cheap price (but I don’t have photos!), and just walked around the famed boulevard by the sea. The city was unassuming, quiet, and reminds me a lot of San Jose in the province of Antique. However, the is a street full of restaurants, and by nightfall, we saw a lot of bars that began to open. I actually saw a lot of foreigners lingering within the streets so there might be more to it beyond its charming and laid back surface.

I was so happy to see this monument of the day that the Congregation of St. Paul of Chartres arrived in the Philippines, and landed in the shores of Dumaguete. This was where my Paulinian roots started. All throughout my days in St. Paul, I kept hearing about how the community grew from its humble beginnings, and it is very fulfilling to actually see it.

We also passed by the famous Silliman University.

Then had dinner at Sans Rival Bistro. Very affordable good food here! We even tried their chocolate sans rival, with all its melt in your mouth goodness.

And caught the second day of this year’s simbang gabi (which turned out to be my last, too).

Next, we took the ferry to Tagbilaran City, which will be the subject of my next post.

I am Iloilo

I’ve been to Iloilo more times than I could count. But during this trip, I was still able to see and be in places I haven’t to before. I am glad that it hasn’t run out of things to explore for me yet. Also, I had a newbie with me who I am currently mentoring. Being with her makes me feel old and young at the same time, lol. It is very refreshing because she has the excitement of experiencing first times, at the same time, I realized that she was born the year I entered college. That makes me like her grandmother haha.

So we had three hours to kill before our flight back to Manila, and we went to the Molo Mansion where we had a blue ternate flower ice cream (sooo good), Molo Cathedral (Iloilo is home to great churches, which are architectural icons), Iloilo Esplanade and Madge Cafe (super great coffee!!). Also took the chance of grabbing a good old bowl of the original La Paz Batchoy.

Year end parties

2018 is probably the year that I had minimal attendance to parties. Because I was hospitalized, I missed tons of get-togethers, and failed to organize some more. These included the office major Christmas party and family reunions. I only had two: dinner with former colleagues, and our division party the day before I went to the hospital. At the latter, I was already having the beginnings of tummy aches and I absolutely had no appetite, putting to waste the voucher for a buffet dinner at a classy hotel. Still grateful for the opportunity to be with friends and second families, though.

A dose of sanity

They were my rock before, and I am happy that I had the chance last night to spend albeit a little time with them. They’ve seen me at my best and worst, in the darkest hours of my life. I really regret the time that we grow apart over the years (but yeah, that’s life). I so wanted to unload all the pent up emotions I’ve been holding back, but I just can’t. Love you so guys!

Coffee jelly

My social life outside of family has become almost non-existent. As any Gen-Xer would tell you (add being a mother to that), priorities change. Maybe personalities also change. I could definitely say that myself. Before changing nappies, juggling a budget, keeping a household in a surviving condition took over, I was a young girl once who gloried in the company of, not only close friends, but a gregarious extended social group. Now I am reduced to children’s parties, weddings, quiet dinners and once in a blue moon coffee sessions that happen after official events. I don’t know if because I have no choice, or these are the only choices I have. Long gone are my cigarette- and alcohol-toting days. Now I’m lucky to get to know my younger colleagues over a glass of coffee jelly.

Pool party

Pool parties seem to be the norm in grade schooler parties. We’ve been invited now to a couple but this is the first time we went because Mczy’s parents are good friends of ours. I am now officially old because I have gone from being a swimming fanatic to a scrooge. I’m sure every mother would understand me and this quirk of not enjoying having to pack clothes, keeping an eagle eye on kids while trying to eat and mingle, washing them up, keeping wet clothes and so on. We actually had fun anyway but you know…

I am just happy my kids were happy until you had to tell them they have to go out of the pool.