I am back in Abu Dhabi from another whirlwind trip in the Philippines. All in all it has been a productive trip since I was able to accomplish the major to dos. Without mention of the serious stuff, we bagged in a handful of experiences:
*Tried the three ziplines in Dahilayan Park in Bukidnon, including the 840 meters ‘superman’ style ziplining. I almost chickened out but I am glad I did it. Even the youngest (little J) and oldest (my parents) tried it with smiles.
*The sweet 16 (a pineapple breed) satisfaction from a harvest in Del Monte’s plantation.
*The serenity, sunrise, sands and volcanoes of Camiguin.
*White water rafting in Cagayan de Oro.
*Back to the rained Southern Luzon from the sunny South of the Philippines, we had to ride a banca to get to a particular bank’s branch for a certain transaction. It was a joyful experience especially to a rain and flood-deprived person like me since I am based in the UAE.
*Days of laughter and tears of joy rolled into one whether it was during the clan’s outing or random chit chat at home.
*Quick meet ups with friends, as well as my inaanaks (godchildren) whom I owe a lot.
*A random beso-beso (cheek to cheek greeting) with my gradeschool teacher who did not fail to recognize me from the crowd, of unexpected time and place, after decades of not seeing each other. Our dear teachers have impressive memories and instincts!
*Of course, the Pinoy food. There is no better place to eat Filipino food but in the Philippines! Did you know that I even tabulated my meals and random eats through my mobile? But my food diary did not sustain it for so long because my chronicling cannot keep up with my eating. Hahaha.
I hope that all of you are also happy and in great shape wherever you are. To my Muslim readers, belated Eid Mubarak. I hope you enjoyed the Eid celebrations.
PS. I apologize to those whom I failed to meet up. I am slowly catching up in this category but we are getting there.
(Clockwise: Churches of Saint Francis, Saint George, of the Assumption, Saint Anne)
We are still cheered in thoughts about our last minute decision of traveling to Penang despite the ifs and buts (like staying there for only a few days). It is a long story, but yes, we spent the Holy Week in this island prominent for its representation of East and West (claimed to be one of the 10 islands that one should explore before he dies). Although after a short stay, it marked more on me as “one of my weakest spots” (read: food heaven).
I lost count of all the important personalities (the most recent was Queen Elizabeth) and intent whirlwind visitors who made Sheikh Zayed Grand Mosque a must-see and experience in their UAE trip. Hence, when I finally saw it in person I cannot believe that it took me four years (yay! I’m soon celebrating another Abu-versary) to experience the charm and validate on my own the record-breaking details of THE mosque.
August 23, September 23… two of my preceding posts were logged coincidentally on a 23rd. I never thought that I can be absent from blogosphere that long. Anyway, I’m sort of affirming, as the title of this post says, “to pick things up” including the bloghopping part soon. I realized that my attempts the past months were not enough. While things are overwhelming at work and off work, it’s in a nice way and I’m doing really well. I just sometimes wish that we can freeze a moment and/or have more than 24 hours in a day. I’m probably one of the happiest people with this long break brought by Eid celebrations because I finally had the chance to catch up on sleep and savour few hours of lazy days (*points to the specific lyrics of Bruno Mars’ song*).
I have a handful of pending posts, i.e. not even in draft form, the memories are just all written in my head and heart. I don’t know if I should deal with those on a first in, first out (FIFO) or last in, first out (LIFO) basis. Randomness is good at certain times!
- My closest aunt stayed with us during her almost 2-month visit to UAE. We shed a gallon of tears that day we brought her to the airport. We got to re-visit and visit new places in the UAE as we showed her around. Having her with us was an enriching experience for so many reasons. It took us some time to be back to normalcy since every bit of things reminded of her. My mother is probably visiting us next year so we must get used to bittersweet farewells.
- Tasted a camelcinno (that’s cappuccino with camel milk) for the first time!
- Another first – wore sheila and abaya (UAE’s national dress for women) when we visited Sheikh Zayed Grand Mosque.
- Screamed at Ferarri World.
- Had my second godchild (yehey to ninanghood!) in the UAE
- Started setting up our Christmas tree (the bokeh below).
- Got our buy 1, take 1 (many thanks to a friend!) F1 tickets. After-race performers from November 11 to 13 will be Britney Spears, Incubus, The Cult, and Sir Paul McCartney. It’s been a year since the Kanye West, Linkin Park and Prince high.
- Winello, our kittycat, has reached his manhood’s “maturity” and was neutered (i.e. testes removed) last month. After the surgery, he was required to wear a cone for several days to prevent him from licking and scratching the wounds. We got a note from the vet that literally reads as “he’s a good boy (*insert smiley*)” during the operation. We’d like to think that our cat is too gentleman for a nagbibinata (sexually matured) because he didn’t bother us with all those known mischievousness of a maturing cat. However, we noticed that he became a little moody (probably would like to court an equally ‘mature’ ladycat). He is back to his normal angelic self.
Just a little sad though I can’t sing “I’ll Be Home For Christmas This Year” concept-wise due to work commitments. I have so far gotten over this fact; I can only be grateful that I had several Christmasses at the Christmas island the past years and even had whirlwind trips back home twice a year for certain occasions. While Christmas is best spent in the Philippines, but it (and any occasion) is nevertheless, also best spent with people we love most wherever we are. Ahem, I have just had an early drama. Forgive me, heehee.
Thanks to everyone who continuously knocked and left messages and comments while the blogger in me was away. I did miss everyone and I earnestly hope to catch up soon!