Wednesday, 22 April 2009

Alexus' milestones and time to shop

Alexus' Milestones

1st month - Smiles and recognizes his name
2nd month - opens and closes his hand on separate occasions
3rd month - laughs out loud and eats his feet
4th month - turns over on his own

Alexus will be turning 5 months tomorrow and I'm proud to say that he's advance for his age. He can already crawl like a snake and lifts his upper body using his two arms - what a strong boy. Now, we can't leave him on the rocking bassinet or "duyan" not even on the bed alone because he can move from one place to another in a flash. We already have a playpen but this is still being used by his elder brothers. I'm considering buying him a convertible crib/bed so he can move around without me worrying. There are plenty of Nursery Furniture on the internet but I found a shopping paradise for babies and toddlers where I have lots of choices. The site also provides buying guide and comparison on different kinds of cribs. What's amazing is that it shows you the price range, perfect for budget-conscious mothers like me.

Most of Alexus' newborn clothes are now small for him, sometimes he looks like Winnie the Pooh. I guess it's also a good time to change his wardrobe. I wonder if we can move to Canada this Spring so I can already buy him spring clothes.

Monday, 20 April 2009

Survivor Caramoan (Day 2)

We woke up early for another day of adventure. From Paniman, our boat took us to Cotivas Islands in front is Guinohoan Island. On our way, we saw Bag-ing Island and more rock formation.
We then went to Manlawi Island also called Sandbar Island. We love it here because of the fine sand and we were in the middle of the sea but it's only knee deep. We stayed here for almost 3 hours because the boatman left us to look for fresh catch for our lunch. We took that opportunity to pose like FHM girls. Lia took great shots pang FHM talaga. Boats come and go but we remained in the island. I got my sunburn there but it's all worth it. We were laughing so hard when one tourist (let's call him Kuya Vest) who jumped off the boat with his life vest still on. Imagine the sandbar is only ankle deep. One of his companions from the other boat shouted at him to remove the vest but he remarked "bka magka-tidal wave" hahaha. We already started worrying because we were the only ones left and our boat was nowhere to be found. We were jumping when we saw kuya Flor but they didn't bring any fish for us. We ate Century Tuna instead at Basud (Part of Lahuy Island) where we met Kuya Vest and company. After eating, we pose again using the Survivor props as our background. Bakawan trees provided shade for us and this was also our relief station. We call this island our Pupu Island, so guess why we named it so, hehehe. Our boatman reminded us that we will go to Tabgon because the weather is great for climbing, it was not too hot and so off to our next adventure.




On our way to Tabgon Island, we can already see the Shrine of Our Lady of Peace and it looked like it's going to take hours before we reach the top. Our boatman said that natives can go with us as guide but since we didn't have money, we chose to do it on our own. We arrived at the foot of the Shrine of our Lady of Peace and just looking at the steps going up, we already felt tired. It took us 526 steps, lots of will and perseverance to see the spectacular view of Caramoan on top. We took one step at a time, taking a deep breath and enjoying the fresh air. Good thing, the weather cooperated with us, the scorching heat could have made our trip more difficult. We rested in between 100 steps, drink the water we brought and took pictures. The view from the halfway point was already awesome. It became more inspiring to finish when we already hear praise songs being played. When we reached the top, well almost, i could not move on to the Grotto which has a few more steps. Ivy and I just rested at the foot of the Grotto and took the time to pray and appreciate God's creation. We can see Caramoan islands from where we are. Amazing!




Our Caramoan Survivor adventure has not ended, we headed back to Paniman Bay for our Umang Cave Trekking. On our way to the other end of Paniman, we met Survivor Israel staff and our guide Kuya Marlon showed us some of the venues where the Survivor challenges were being held. Too bad, we didn't have evidence we've been to these places because our cameras' batteries have worn off. Last picture we had for that day was before we sailed to the Manapot River near the entrance of Gota Village going to the mouth of Umang Cave.

Going to Umang Cave was one of our memorable challenges. Its entrance is about 30 feet above sea level so that meant hiking and braving the rocks again. I took all the guts to be able to finish this challenge. It was not as difficult as the trails in Matukad so we were able to climb in no time. We were speechless at the sight of the cathedral, comparable to what I've seen in St. Paul's Subterranean in Palawan, the difference is you need not ride a boat in an underground river to see such. The natural light coming in from the entrance showcases the stalactites and stalagmites. Awesome! It is cool inside, there are few bats and there's a certain smell that made us feel jittery. Going down was more challenging as I realized it was steep and when you look down, you'll think you fall off the mountain. At the foot of the entrance to the cave, there are more Survivor props. We can just imagine what the challengers did there.

The boat ride going back was now peaceful and we enjoyed talking to our boatmen who were paddling to reach our destination. We trek the stretch of Paniman Beach for new discoveries and our search for a filling but affordable dinner was a success. We found the by the bay resto near Tinago Inn and ordered fresh Adobong Pusit sa Gata, Pritong Maya-maya with the Bicol's fare Laing for our last supper in Caramoan. We were so full and tired that we hit the sack earlier. What a day!

Saturday, 18 April 2009

Survivor Caramoan - our Camsur Adventure (Day 1)

This is the first time I was away from my family since I got married. Consider this A Girls Only weekend (except for Lani who can't go without Jeric who turned out to be our photographer). Survivor Caramoan because of the many challenges we have gone thru and going there is already a challenge. After we land in Naga Airport via Cebu Pacific, we looked for a cheap ride going to the terminal of passenger vans going to Sabang port. We found Kuya Jun's tricycle and we were able to haggle. Our van left in Naga at past 8:00 am. We arrived in Sabang port at 10:00 am and the boat going to Guijalo port was about to leave and just waiting for us before we headed towards the sea. It was another 2-hour boat ride, sometimes there are rough waves but it was tolerable. Good thing, the scenes (mountain ranges and islets) were refreshing. While in the boat, we met Mang Anton who shared tips where to go, stay and eat in Caramoan. We were surprised because he asked the boatman to give us discount because we were seated at the rear end of the boat so our original boatride fee of 120 became 100 pesos. Mang Anton also looked for a tricycle going to Centro, he even brought us to Lutong Bahay where we took our lunch. Bicolanos are really warm people. The tricycle driver - Mang Islaw who took us to Paniman Bay also recommended a boatman to take us to the islands.

We arrived in La Playa Resort and Camping Grounds and we were happy with what we saw - our tiny Bahay Kubo. We checked in, fix our things, rested for a while then we're off again to the islands. This is the start of our adventure. Our itinerary didn't include Gota Beach because Survivor Israel is still ongoing but we were surprised that Tayak Island and Sabitang Laya were off limits too. We got excited when Lani found out we can go to Pitogo. We were too eager to go, some of us were not able to put on sunblock hahaha. We were awestruck at the sight of rock islands and the rock formations going to the Gota area. But we were more amazed at the sight of the two islands - Matukad and Lajos. We first went to Lajos Island because it was deserted that time. We took great photo opportunities before we soak ourselves into the cool water. We love the rock formation and white sand beach. I've read somewhere that this was 2 islands joined together and later became a great island. This was sometimes called Bichara Island because the Bichara family owns the island. We enjoyed the sea, sand and sun. Our first stop was already a hit.



LAHOS on the other side



When boats started arriving, we decided to transfer to the other island - Matukad. This was another big hit. I love the sand here, mala-espasol-fine. This is where you can view a lagoon after rock climbing - another adventure which I thought I could muster but I failed after the first try, my younger and stronger companions braved the rocks and succeeded. The lagoon with one fish was considered to be enchanted. We lingered a little longer in this island because we had one side to ourselves. We climbed the other rock and posed. Ivy couldn't help but bring a handful of the espasol sand. It was already 4:30 pm and so we told the boatman to take us to the next island - Pitogo. We were disappointed because he said we cannot go there anymore because it's too far and it will be dark soon. We mentioned other islands and he declined all our requests because according to him, it's either too far, or off limits because Survivor is shooting there. I was already getting pissed good thing he took us to the neighboring island - Kabonotan. Nothing spectacular here but I love these rock formations here:


On our way back, we passed by Honongan Cove. There are high-end Cabanas here where celebrities stay. We missed the following islands - Sabitang Laya, Pitogo, Tayak with Talib Lagoon, Tinago on this trip which was recommended by other blogs but it's okay since we started late and some of this islands are exclusively for Survivor. We had dinner at the resort and stayed in our kubo until we ran out of girl talk. I felt like I'm a teenager attending a Slumber Party hahaha.

Monday, 13 April 2009

"We love New York" blurb book is out

My second book "We love New York" is hot off the press. Finally, I was able to finish my 80-page travel photobook. You may want to check it out >> click here. Next thing to do is to look for blurb coupons to avail discount.

Next projects: Bohol and Palawan Travel Photobooks

Sunday, 12 April 2009

My precious sons

The shortlived vacation is over but I enjoyed every minute of it. I can now foresee how my life would be when we're already in Canada. I'll be a full-time mom to my three boys, my precious sons. I know it would be challenging but I'm sure I'll survive. Imagine how my heart melts each time I see scenes like this:

Saturday, 11 April 2009

My best friend (and every woman’s) – Jewelry

I admit I’m not adorned with lots of jewelry but I like them a lot, in fact they’re my best friend (I turn to them when I’m lonely hahaha). What’s amazing is that even if I don’t have them with me (yet), my eyes feast on them. I found an online jewelry store where I see a wide array of jewelry, from rings (includes engagement), bracelets, necklaces, earrings and pendants - A perfect source for jewelry gifts and gift ideas for any occasion. This site provides different jewelry categories and guarantees best quality and service. Each category shows more choices upon selection. The ring category gave me a large collection of rings to choose from including their unique diamond rings which are my favorite. The site also has a large assortment of gemstone rings including ruby, amethyst, sapphire and opal for those interested with their birthstones. Those who are getting married, or asking someone to marry will find their promise rings and wedding rings distinctive and special for their loved one. What’s wonderful is that there is a clearance center for any of these categories for those on the look out for affordable jewelry like me. Those who are looking for but don’t have a particular jewelry in mind may be guided by the search feature which allows to shop by product type, by stone, or by price. Shopping is secured and delivery is free for orders over $150. All orders arrive at your doorstep as a gift because it comes in a rich red gift box with a white bow – a treat for jewelry lovers like me. Wishing to have mine soon (*wink)

Monday, 6 April 2009

Spongebob weekend

I saw the Meet and Greet Spongebob poster in SM last Friday and it was an opportunity for us to go malling again. Like other meet and greet, we were asked to buy the character items and it's a good thing it didn't ask for a minimum amount unlike the Mickey Mouse (asking for a disney item worth 300 minimum each). I bought 2 acid-free dimensional stickers for my scrapbooking and a hanky to have that photo opps. Anyway, since we arrived at 5:00 pm and the show starts again at 6:00, we went to Toy Kingdom and Storyland and hopped into the Train for a tour around the mall. Before the show started, there was a color Spongebob game and a question and answer on the Nickelodeon show. Aloysius knew the answer to every question but hesitant to raise his hand because he said he was too shy to come up the stage and tell his name....waaaahhh kanino kaya nagmana ito? His brother Kyle was the opposite, too hyper and eager to join the games when he is not yet allowed (most of the contestants were aged 5-7). He cried and only stopped when I let him go up the stage at the side. when Spongebop and Patrick showed up the stage, crowd cheered, children including mine became excited and were happy to meet these two characters. Kyle said that he was overwhelmed when he saw Spongebob up close. I brought the camera with me but due to excitement, the shots were not clear, good thing the official photographer captured these shots:

Friday, 3 April 2009

Moving out of shit

Haay, I've been busy with work lately and almost forgot to update my blog. I just wished I had devoted my time in paidblogging na lang instead of letting myself be a victim of office politics (you know, not participating in the "you scratch my back, i scratch yours", or "eating somebody else shit and stepping on somebody to eat this shit to be on top"). What's annoying is that that somebody just squeeze in the creative juices from me and uses that for himself. The nerve to be asking me to reply to the messages with his signature GRRR. Is the corporate world really like that? I should have known. I thought the clause 6.2.2 applies to this company, yeah right but the true competent people are there already covered with shit. Anyway, I just wish I can get out of this shit soon and move on.