Last week I turned a year older, and decided to spend it in Manila for a change.
Weeks in advanced we had most of it planned out, we were going to see friends we havent seen in a while, celebrate with family and of course go on a date night.
We havent been to the capital in a while because of work and extra curricular here in Legazpi. Additionally people have been telling us that the heat in the city has been unbearable due to El Nino experienced all over the country. (We've been lucky here in Legazpi that there are occasional showers, plus being by the sea cools down the concrete jungle a few degrees.) Which is why we havent been to Manila since February. But 2 months away makes you miss the lights, the food and the glamour that you cant quite find in provincial living.
Arrival in Manila was delayed due to air traffic congestion in NAIA. What's new right? But that didnt wane the excitement. We were finally in the capital and excited to get the festivities started!
First stop was an overnight stay in Batangas with Hubby's childhood friends-- some of which were here on vacation from Australia. This meant good company and good food! REALLY GOOD FOOD. We left the traffic behind and it only took us 3 hours drive time to reach Batangas -- with a food stop in Sta. Rosa of course. Upon arrival, we unloaded the cars and headed straight for the beach! Additionally, got a surprise for dinner when they brought out the most delicious moist chocolate cake for me to blow!! The kiddies had to participate of course. :)
Too bad we could only stay one night, but we needed to head back right a way to catch the 8PM showing of Les Miserables. I have been really excited to watch this musical for a very long time because of song favorites like ON MY OWN which I've practically memorized. Also, Les Mis holds a special place in my heart ever since I played Marius Pontmercy in a Grade 6 reproduction. The predominantly Australian cast brought the story to life and left me at the edge of my seat! Rachelle Ann Go (a Filipina) was extraordinary as Fantine!! If you havent yet, please do catch the production in Solaire-- I think they even extended the run because of public clamor.
You cant forget family when talking about Birthdays. Being married has only doubled the people I call family, which also means double the food, partying and cake eating! During the actual day, April 17, I rose up early to attend Sunday mass and was even lucky to be able to have confession and a special blessing from the priest. After which we headed directly to Lola's house for lunch with the hubby's side of the family. We didnt go there empty handed-- I brought one container of my family's special Bacalao Recipe using fish that Hubby salted himself. It was quite a hit with people going not just for one serving but for 2 sometimes 3 servings!! I had to call my lolo, from whom I got the recipe, to tell him the good news-- everyone LOVED it!
Dinner was spent with my family-- which also meant more eating!! We trooped on over to D'Marks a local Itallian restaurant which we grew up on. As kids, it was a special occasion if we could eat in D'Marks, we would have pasta, pizza and their chicken croquettas! The menu wasnt any different this time around: we had 2 pizzas, 3 pastas and 2 orders of the chicken croquettas. Quite a lot to feed 8 hungry tummies. hihi Cake was super delicious too, the cake blowing was shared between us April celebrants namely my bro, his girlfriend and me. hahaha
Before heading back, my last "party" was a reunion with college friends: Lunch with Jocel and Dinner with Mgt Eco blockmates. We had a lot of catching up to do because two of my friends are newly engaged, one is in a new relationship, etc. Haha Too bad I didnt get to take photos of my lunch date so you'll just have to make do with the dinner photos. For dinner our cravings lead us to CYMA for good Med food where we ordered Hummus, seafood platter and their humongous MEAT PLATTER. These catch ups must be repeated soon. hahaha
So yes, turning a year older is awesome. Being blessed with a great family and good friends is all a girl could ask for really. :)
Thank you to all those who greeted me, made me feel really really special! :)
Christmas time is usually the opportunity many take to have reunions and reminisce about the past while making memories for the future.
Living 45mins away (by plane) has made me want to spend extra time with friends Ive made here in Manila. Which is why I scheduled a lunch reunion with my gal pals from my corporate ex life.
Geli Lauren Kei and I met in the management trainee program of a bank..we all came from the same college, had similar work habits and really bonded throughout the 2 year stint. ever since graudation we would either travel together, hang out or have a meal.
this time around it was lunch at Yabu. too bad though Kei couldn't make it, being based in Singapore now. (we missed u!!)
time apart hasnt diminished the kwentuhan! lunch went by so fast with all the stories thrown back and forth. Geli is taking her masters. Lauren (and her husband) are improving and growing their business.
so many has happened since we first met way back 2009. and yet we are as giggly as ever ( maybe more so!).
reunions are the best!!
I have always loved Magallanes church and it was my dream place to get married.
the charm of the place hit me again when we attended mass this morning. the natural lighting really makes the church so vibrant and festive!!
this really takes me back home. christmas in manila will forever remind me of family and tradition.
This morning was dedicated to the young and young at heart.
JCI Daraga with a host of other organizations joined the first ever Albay Youth Caravan which was held today in the Albay Astrodome. I personally saw many of our partner organizations such as the Philippine Army, Navy and Air Force. And the astrodome was jam-packed with kids from all over the province.
This was first conceptualized because there has been rising incidents of adolescent pregnancy and school delinquency. To curb this trend, the youth caravan aimed to provide seminars ranging from proper nutrition to anti bullying in order to equip the kids and train them to make smarter choices.
We of course brought along our WADWATS Anti-bullying campaign which Suzette facilitated. Unfortunately I was no longer in the area when they were giving this talk, but photos from the event showed a very attentive audience. I hope they were able to take home a lot of valuable things.
It is truly inspiring to see a convergence of stakeholders really focusing on the needs of children. Many do not realize it but if we neglect their needs we are contributing to a decline in our society-- thus our future.
Who is sab_adventures?
I have always wanted to write. This will now be a creative outlet-- home to all my arts and crafts. So feel free to browse around my everyday adventures.