Saturday, July 28, 2012

101 Things I Certainly Enjoyed: No. 9 - Celebrating My 27th Birthday in Pearl Farm Resort

I had been wondering how was it like celebrating my birthday out of your base yet still your dearest ones are with you. And then came the opportunity to bring the whole family to Davao last December 13 to 15 of 2011. Thanks to Cebu Pacific's promo fares. I considered that as their advance gift to me.

After staying for a night in a hotel in Davao, we headed the next day to Marina Bay Port for our transfer to a much coveted stay in one of the famous resorts in Samal Island - Pearl Farm Resort.

The views are scenic and the beach though sands are artificial was the main attraction. Not to mention the buffet lunch included in the package. See photos.

Truly, my 27th birthday last year was memorable because it was spent with lifetime memories shared together by loved ones in a tranquil paradise of Pearl Farm Resort. 

My Inang Yaya Is A Balikbayan

Last August 2011 my inang yaya was able to visit her home town Culaba, Biliran with me for the first time in 23 years. I was with her 23 years ago when she last visited the place. I was just 3 years old then but my memories of the place, people and events are still vivid. One memorable incident was when I fell off the bed in the middle of my sleep! :))

It was I think on February 2011 when I booked our flight to Tacloban. Thanks to Cebu Pacific's Piso fare! Would you believe that our return ticket (MNL-Tacloban-MNL) was only 534 Pesos? Yes! And that's for 2 already.

She was so happy when I informed her of our scheduled flight. She was longing to visit her relatives there for a long time. Another reason of our visit and probably the main one was her late registration of birth to her municipality. Since she was turning 60 then, I want her to travel and tag along with me in some of my trips abroad. Thus, a passport is necessary. First step to getting one is an NSO-certified birth certificate. Having said that, we were really obliged to come to the town where she was born (for live birth late registration).

Came August 10, 2011 we headed to NAIA Terminal 3 for an early flight enroute to Tacloban. We arrived Tacloban at around 7AM and headed to the terminal going to Biliran.

The trip to Biliran from Tacloban would eat 5 hours of your time. Not to mention that transportation service to her home town has schedules. We weren't informed that the earliest trip was 10AM. We were at the terminal before 8AM. Patiently, we waited. We left the terminal past 10AM.

During our trip, we witnessed the great views of nature. There were lots of coconut trees. Not to mention the 2 gory dead men we saw along the way. May they rest in peace.

We arrived at her home town at around 3PM. We headed to her cousin's house and waited until she arrived from her teaching job. As soon as she came and freshened up, she toured us around. The first stop was inang yaya's elementary school. I must say that there were pretty much renovations and changes occurred since our last vist. Talking about 23 years!!!!

Culaba Elementary School: where Inang yaya attended and finished her primary schooling. 

Not too distant from the school was the location of Culaba Municipal Hall. This was where she filed her late registration form.

Staircase of Culaba Municipal Hall

NSO Local official getting info and verifying inang yaya's requirements

Inang yaya was filling up the application form

Weeee! It's finally signed. Ready for transmittal to NSO Main.

After our main mission was accomplished, we thought that it was time to meet the rest of her relatives. Off we went straight to Odette's house where fortunately one of her cousins was celebrating her birthday. It was normal for them to drink tuba almost everyday. That's their local beer. And as expected, tuba was present during the celebration.

Inang yaya with her relatives.

Come following day we went back to Tacloban and stayed at one of her cousin's house. Took a short nap and headed to the airport for Manila-bound flight.

It was too short a trip. As mentioned, sole purpose was to register her in her hometown for her passport. Last May 2012, she was booked for a retun flight to Tacloban to attend her relative's wedding. Unfortunately, her doctor and I did not allow her to travel for she suffered from mild stroke last February 2012.

As of this writing, my Inang Yaya is scheduled for a passport application. next week Weeee! We are both going to Singapore on September 1, 2012. My dream of bringing her abroad is not so distant anymore. It gets nearer and nearer.

My family couldn't get any luckier for having such loyal of a yaya like her. No. She is not just my yaya. She is my nanay. She is my Inang Yaya. I feel that what i do for her right now is not enough to be of equal to what she has done for my family most specially for me.

My inang yaya will be a balikbayan again. Right after we come back from Singapore.

My Memories of Bali

Bali! Oh Bali! How can I forget thee? I couldn't believe up to this very moment that I had set foot and saw the wonders of this Land of Gods. Truly, Bali is one place I shall not forget too soon.

Wishnu Park

I had always been excited about touring around this island since I booked my flight. I started reading blogs and forum so as to have ideas on whereabouts and must sees in Bali. However, it was kinda laborious to sip through all the facts and come up with a solid plan. Thank God my colleagues in Batam, Indonesia were also going to Bali for a vacation on the same date of my arrival. Talking about luck!

From Left: Richard, Made Jordan, Murih's two kids, yours truly and Irfan Fauzie
It was Mas Made Jordan and Mas Irfan Fauzie who made our 4-day Bali tour worthwhile and sulit. For the duration, we got to visit 11 best destinations Bali could offer. These two guys were crazy and nuts! We were laughing the whole time. Also, exchanged cultures and traditions of our mother lands. Good to know that Indonesian and Filipino are so alike. Hence, we clicked. I will be forever grateful to you both.

I got to experience Balinese and Hindu culture, rituals and I liked their nasi goreng. I have to commend their local people for being nationalist in every sense of the word. They are so proud of their culture. That I think is the secret weapon of Bali. The showcase of their cultural heritage is their selling point. Tourism at its finest.

Traditional Balinese dance.

The famous Nasi Goreng. Yummy indeed.
Our stay in Bali was capped by water sports activities. Just so you know it was in Bali that I first tried jet skiing. And I fell in love with it! Thank you Pak Murih for the so many treats. By the way it was his birthday then.

It was my first time to do jet skiing and I fell in love with it. Couldnt way to do it again!

It was also in Bali that I experienced sunset again for the longest time.

It was one perfect sunset - still vivid in my memory.
Aside from the awesome experiences, food, people, gifts, fun and adventure, it was the friendship blossomed among my Hindu and Muslim Indonesian mas, pak and bu that filled my memories in Bali.

Dream Land Beach. It has just opened. Far better than Kuta beach.

Folks, what are your Bali memories?