When Yui was still a baby, I had a small notebook that I kept as a “Yui journal” where I write short letters to her. I figured it will be fun for her to read the journal when she grows up. And surely, she did! Few years back, when I found that first notebook while cleaning up, I gave it to her and she loved reading the letters. She even made them her bedtime stories and reads the letters before going to sleep.
Here’s the first entry that I had when she was just five months old:
About a year ago, our batch high school student council president published a poll to set a date for our batch reunion since 2018 marks 20 years after we graduated high school. When I answered the survey, scenes from the movie “Romy and Michelle’s High School Reunion” entered my mind. I wondered how it will feel to go to the reunion and if someone will say, “We invented post-its!”
Fast forward to 2018, our dedicated batchmates who organized the event gathered a hundred or so of our batch for the reunion. It was such a memorable night! 😍
People close to me knows that I prefer commuting to work rather than drive. I’ve spent some number of years driving to and from work but it eventually got the better of me especially with the daily EDSA traffic ranging from bad to forever. I’m an advocate of commuting mainly due to more personal benefits:
- It allows me to work while in transit (read my e-mails and join conference calls) which is one thing that I can’t do if I drive (yes I can join calls but it gets distracting)
- I get some form of exercise. For someone who spend long hours sitting in front of a desk, going up and down the MRT stairs is the closest I can get to a cardio routine.
- One less car to add to EDSA traffic
- Less pollution
- More time for Kdrama, Jdorama and “research”
Two weeks ago, I had an extremely toxic week at work ending it with an unplanned weekend deployment. I wasn’t really looking forward to the coming week but then as I was cleaning up on Sunday night and preparing for the work week, I saw that Yui has written a quote on her little whiteboard that says:
As the saying goes, “Every child is an artist.” If we observe our children, all of them doodles and draws as soon as they learn how to use a pencil or a crayon. Even with a lot of notebooks, sketch pads and loose paper, children would sometimes draw and paint on walls, tables or anything that resembles a canvass. As parents, we would want to encourage our little ones to express themselves through various medium of art.
One of the bonding moments of daddy and Yui is to paint. Apart from enhancing her drawing and painting skills, it is also a way for them to have some quality time. Normally, Yui would start and paint whatever she feels at the moment, then daddy would do the finishing touches. Here are some of the paintings that they have completed so far. Sharing it here for us to be able to look back to in the future and also because I’m amazed at how much she’s better than me at painting LOL!
Her first painting which she calls, “Person Crossing the Street”
Note: this is a late post. As in nag-1st anniversary na ang Batanes trip namin before ko pa ito matapos haha! But as they say, better late than never. This blog post series has been in draft for a looooong time and I feel that I won’t be able to move on in posting my other travels without publishing our Great Batanes Dream. So here goes… Happy New Year! 🙂
Our journey to fulfill The Great Batanes dream started 10 months before our December flight after we nabbed a seat sale via PAL Express. It wasn’t super low at Php 8k but enough to spark us to push through with the trip. Fast forward to 10 months later and after hours of online research and group chat discussions, we were finally ready for our trip last December 8 (2016 haha).
One of the challenges of visiting Batanes is that the weather plays a big factor in your trip. Flights can get cancelled and you get stuck there for days, or it rains when you’re there which makes it difficult to visit the other places. So we were monitoring the weather days before our trip. Although the weather forecast mentioned some rain showers, there was no reported typhoon so we still hoped for the best. The flight is at 6AM with boarding time of 5:30AM. When the boarding time arrived, we were told that the flight is on hold due to bad weather in Basco. After an excruciating 1.5 hours, we were informed that our flight is “definitely cancelled” 😥
Batanes gave me the experience to see not only breathtaking landscapes but also old infrastructures that took me back in time and made me appreciate our country’s diverse culture more. The boat ride to Sabtang is probably the most intense I’ve ever experienced but exploring the island made it all worth it.
On our third day in Batanes, we spent one whole day doing the South Batan Tour. From the homestay, we passed by Paderes, a long wall along the road which is also the surname of the architect who built this. There was an ongoing installation of street lights that time which was proof of the continuous development of the area to cater to the growing tourism.
Our first stop was the Chawa view deck which has the oldest uplifted coral. According to our guide, Chawa came from “kawa”, meaning rock. It’s like a viewing deck built beside this gorgeous coral formation. Even if it’s our third day already, we were still in awe with Batanes. We admired how the turquoise sea water splashed into the corals below and how the sea seems to have a lot of different blue and green colors.
Chawa View Deck
Unlike the South Batan Tour which is a whole day tour, the North Batan tour only takes half a day. We did our North Batan road trip in the afternoon of our Day 4. We met our guide at the Pension Ivatan where we had a hearty lunch of different Ivatan cuisines. Due to its popularity, you need to book a reservation here especially during peak season since the Ivatan platter tend to run out of stock.
Ivatan cuisine at Pension Ivatan
As the Batanes tourism flourished, homestays also became more popular as a cheaper option to hotels. It is also a great way for tourists to get to know the locals and interact with them closer.
When doing our research online, most blogs mentioned either Marfel’s or Nanay Cita as budget lodging options. We decided to book at Palangud Inn a.k.a. Nanay Cita’s homestay. She’s also more commonly called Nana Cita in different online forums and blogs. I contacted Nana Cita via text few months before our trip. She confirmed that there’s available room and didn’t even require any deposit. Despite the limited telecom signal in Basco, we were still able to communicate with her without issues especially when we told her that our flight got cancelled. She adjusted our reservations without any hesitation. Continue reading