We stayed for a week or so at Mico’s home in Quezon City. It was partly vacation, especially for the kids, and partly house sitting when Mico went out of town for a few days. He had new helpers and of course, wouldn’t want to leave the house at their disposal. So off we went. It was actually bliss because I haven’t had to get up early, cook, wash the dishes and do the laundry. However, it was a bit farther than the office, and traffic going to and fro was horrendous to say the least. It was still fun, though, while it lasted. And we were there to celebrate the day of Dads for this year. We decided to stay in, and order some Chinese.
This is sooo late, but better than never right?
So last Holy Week, we brought ourselves to Pangasinan so we can try something new. The highlight of our trip was the famed Hundred Islands. Mischa has been dying to go here because it has continuously cropped up in her lessons, mostly in Social Studies, and one of the major tourist destinations in the Philippines.
We set out very early because we knew it would be so crowded given that 90% of the workforce is on holiday. Thank goodness we had a wonderful host, and Mommy Ann, being a local of Alaminos, pre-arranged everything for us, including our boat ride. We had to spend some time at the port, which was teeming with people of all sizes, ages, gender, etc. on that Holy Friday. The local government requires all visitors to register with them first prior to venturing out to sea plus pay a minimal amount for the continued maintenance of the islands and its surroundings. Since we were a large group, we had to be in two boats.
We just got off one island-Marcos Island-and stayed there for lunch and of course, beach frolicking. You wouldn’t believe how clear the water is and how semi-fine the sand. It is a bit rocky near the edge of the beach though.
Afterwards, we went around the area and just viewed all the other islands from our boat. Almost all the beaches were occupied. Most of the bigger and dock-able islands are named. It is noteworthy that those that we went to or seen even from afar seemed to be impeccable and well-maintained. Good for the people and environment, as well. I am not sorry we came here at all.
We tested the car’s mettle, tested the hubby’s endurance for driving, and basically had a blast during our trip to Baguio last month. In an earlier post, I already mentioned that we started that trip paying homage to the Lady before all else. Around lunch time, we checked in here.
Ma and Dad had their honeymoon here some five decades back, and the hubby and I had one of our office’s teambuilding here. Also, we had one of our rare childhood vacations when I was 10 in this city. So it was the kids who are first timers here, and we did all the touristy stuff. For about 80% of the time, it was raining but that didn’t dampen our moods and went go, go, go! Even if Maxine caught some bug and threw up one night and had a slight fever, it was all systems go for all of us.
First of course is the obligatory stop and pose at the Lion’s Head, the icon of tourism in Baguio City, which welcomes everyone to the city.
As soon as we’ve settled our stuff, we didn’t waste time and went to our first stop: Wright Park. Mischa saw in one TV show the horses people have painted pink so it was really one of the things in her bucket list.
We didn’t have the energy or the inclination to go up the famed steps to the reflecting pool and The Mansion. So we took off for Burnham Park where we went on a boat ride (when Maxine slept the whole time!) around the man-made lake. The gardens here at also something to look at. And capping our day was a family bike ride.
The morning of Day 2 was spent going to nearby La Trinidad to visit the strawberry farm. Unfortunately there were no strawberries to pick much to the chagrin of Ate Mischa. We just went around and bought homemade food like jams and fresh vegetables being sold by the locals.
Cafe Volante (where there was a long line) beckoned us for lunch.
Then it was Mines View Park where we had so much and which drained all our energy hehe. We had to walk a long way back because there was too much traffic and too little cabs.
Before calling it a day, we heard mass at the Baguio Cathedral.
SM Baguio was a good idea for dinner as it affords a great view of the city.
The last day was spent lying in and enjoying our beds. Maxine wasn’t feeling well that night so we just took it easy and had a late breakfast at the hotel.
Thank you Baguio, we loved you!
Lent was more a month ago but I haven’t posted anything of our vacation due to being swamped at work (it’s kind of a happy busy). Anyway, we still went to the same resort we went to last year, but new memories were created! Maxine is bigger now and able to really enjoy her surroundings more.
But we vow to come back again because one, service is kinda getting slow; two, facilities are getting old and not improved, and three, there are only two options for dining: Max’s the lone concessionaire, or the not-so-sulit barbecue buffet. You probably wouldn’t mind if you are prepared to grow wings because of having fried chicken over a 3-day vacation. You have to go out of the resort and into town if you want to keep your food sanity.
We also met up with my aunt’s family whose middle daughter, my cousin, and her family, including her American husband, were here on vacation.
What’s a trip to Hongkong with a child and children at heart without Disneyland on your itinerary? Thus, Disney was the first thing we did among the usual tourist attractions.
We had fun although the hubby’s and my arms felt like they had intense workouts because the toddler wouldn’t like to walk for the duration of the trip. Or if she did, she would wander away without any care of getting lost in a place where English is not a universal language. We thought that strollers for rent inside the park would be the answer to our prayers but no! Mischa got in the contraption and started wailing 5 minutes into it. So there went my HK$60. Our bags rode the thing instead. Oh well.
Anyway despite the obvious exhaustion, mostly from lack of sleep from the night before, and carrying Mischa and her stuff, Disneyland is Disneyland. It brought out the kids in us, with special emphasis on this mommy. Too bad we didn’t get to visit many of the attractions inside but it was as fun as it could get. Most of all, the fireworks display to cap the night was the most fabulous I’ve seen so far.
p.s. Didn’t buy any stuff inside the stores however cute they were. The prices were unbelievable.
I did promise that I would be writing a longer post about our trip to Hongkong in the last week of January. Needless to say, it’s been a couple of weeks and I haven’t followed up on it because of, guess what, work. I’m not making excuses, I was, and will continue to be swamped with work until God knows when. I just managed to sneak in one blog post in that period.
So anyway, back to the point at hand, as we have tons of photos (partida pa yan, naglowbat ang cam namin), I think I will be sorting them out by groups and do a series of posts about our trip.
To start off, I am dedicating this post to my dearest Mama. As I have kindly mentioned here, my parents do not have any ounce of desire to see the world. Or at least they show no signs of it. They are perfectly content to stay in their little corner. The most they would travel for is see their granddaughter. And so they did. This is the first time my mom ever set foot outside the Philippines. Make that out of Luzon. The farthest she’s ever been to, I think, is Baguio. And that was during their honeymoon in ’72 and when our family took a trip when I was 10. My dad, on the other hand, was an OFW who worked as an administrative aide at the King Fahad Hospital in Riyadh in the mid-80s so he went back and forth the Philippines and Saudi Arabia.
So here is Mama on her first adventure woohoo!
The flight was delayed by about two hours and since it was way past midnight, the rest of us were plain dog tired. She, however, remained up and alert, not because she was excited, but because she was continuously praying the rosary. Hay, my mother!
We were here over the weekend!
I will endeavor to write a more lengthy post about our fabulous but tiring trip. Obviously, with a kid and two seniors in tow, we were hard pressed to put up with their needs while keeping heads cool. This being our first ever family holiday (my parents have to be the most unadventurous people on earth), it went by with glitches of course. What can one expect from six differing individuals with varied interests and needs? But it was memorable to say the least. I just love it everytime my Mischa is wowed by the sights her pretty eyes laid eyes on.