Tag Archives: holiday

Most Yummilicious taste in the World: Honey

I have a craving for honey, and its curious how it started with Patty’s casual question over the cubicle (that’s our style at work), “eh what do you usually have for breakfast?”

I love it when people ask me breakfast questions. I just think it is so gorgeously sincere! When you ask me about what I’d like for breakfast, is like asking an intimate question to really get to know me, because breakfast is a sacred time for many.

 

For night owls, breakfast is spent in deep knock-out slumber on the bed; a private escape to dreams.

For morning people like me, breakfast is a world of amazing possibilities: milk? cereal? cookies? dunk them in tea? or hot chocolate? maybe bread? maybe bread with butter? and even honey?

 

Honey. Oh boy. When I die, drench me in honey. It is a sure way to get into heaven…

I can’t adequately describe how this sticky chewy, aromatic substance is in so many ways my best mealtime companion. It IS sacred. Sigh. The love goes on.

 

Anyway, the reason why I am writing is this: I just returned from a holiday to India, and I have so many thoughts and feelings inside me.

1. I can’t believe I spent a good 7 days without spam-checking my iPhone. I did it! I was dropped from 3G for a good week, with no good reception and no way of accessing Facebook and whatsapp on the move and it has only done me good. Like SO MUCH good. Gone were the times of checking incessantly for messages that would not be coming in anyway, or mindlessly flicking the screen looking for nothing. Instead, i set my gaze to the beautiful (and sometimes hectic) surroundings, and try to drown myself in all the colors and sounds.

Did you know India is beautiful? Some things I loved were the way cows and little goats frolicked in the sunny streets with no care, like regular pets. I loved the traditional garbs of the Indian women, I loved the occasional spectacular saris and punjabi outfits gracing the streets. I love the street hawkers, and the big juicy fruits they peddled only for a few rupees.

 

2. I enjoyed being free. During my entire trip, the only object I pursued was pleasure. I was completely at leisure to do what I want to do when I want to do it. I could make a choice to stuff myself with masala, or laze out in the sun and contemplate life. I could read, listen to my music, or write in my diary.  I didn’t check my emails, and I didn’t get in touch with anyone who was not around me. I had to make conversations with my travel buddies, and I do so when i felt like it. In the end, we knew each other so much better than we ever could, and the friendships I’ve made in the easy times are things I will cherish forever.

 

3. My senses were invigorated by immense beauty. I had the chance to visit the Big Temple in Thanjavur, the scale of the temple and its beauty awed me. I was in Kodaikanal, and the mountainous scenes, steep cliffs and rocks were so gorgeous. I find myself in love again.

 

 

The funny thing is that to me, no matter now beautiful are the things I see, man made or natural, they all don’t come close to the beauty of relationships. One of the biggest takeaway I have out of my India trip is the message that: live your life to the utmost every single minute.

I don’t mean you have to now rush like a mad thing trying to accomplish something every second. In fact I mean the opposite. I mean that we can try to be at peace with ourselves, and still our mind to concentrate on the present, because each moment is different, and if you are always living in the future or for the past, you are just wasting your time away.

I mean that we should be deeply conscious of our existence and be grateful for that. I mean that each day we can perhaps come closer to understanding ourselves and drawing our full potential, and enjoy the process of growing and learning. We are not perfect, and the last thing to do is to try to be someone else just to be perfect. But how about being the best of me? I think that’s a worthy pursuit for this life.

And ironically as it sounds, I see that the best way to be perfectly us, is to think about others. We have come a full circle back down to relationships. The act of giving something good and pleasing to someone else, so that both parties can share something beautiful, a kind of grace that is invisible and intangible.

I don’t know, but I truly think that we are born to be in relationships with each other. A single person alone is nothing much, what joy can be derived out of enjoying nature’s beauty by oneself? We are all mirrors for each other, what we do to others define ourselves.

What a heavy lessons for such a light-hearted holiday huh! I don’t know what’s gotten to me. My sore throat must be burning up my head. Time to snuggle (:

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A shining light

Happie Neu Ear and belated merry Christmas!!

Live a little, love more, and have lots of blessings.
I wish that you are a light for others, and for yourself,

xoxo,
G

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Tips for a Boracay Escape 2

TIPS FOR A BORA HOLA – how to holiday in boracay. Strictly for guidance only.

#102 – finding a roof over your head in boracay

There are 2 major beaches in Boracay, Bulabog and White Beach. Bulabog is recommended for kitesurfers only, because the beach is very narrow, there are few good resorts, and it is quite bleak and looks like there are no restaurants :\ It is not all that happening, though kite surfers would beg to differ 🙂 It faces the east though, so you can catch a beautiful sunrise there!

White Beach is where the life is. It is separated into 3 zones, Station 1-3.

Feeling-So-Fly staying: Go pick a hotel in station 1! Much more quiet and exclusive, aaand expensive.

Fun and accessible staying: Go pick a hotel in Station 2. Among those I have seen I love Crystal Sand and Red Coconut. Excellent beachfront location (You are right at the beach baby!) and clean and beautiful.

Budget and fun and friendly staying: Pick Lazy Dog! it is nearer to Bulabog beach, but only a 5min walk from Station 2, and the service is really good. So is the furnishing of this B&B resort! Relaxed yet tasteful. Breakfast is not fantastic though. And it pains to say that in general Boracay coffee is not great coffee. I would just stick with a cafe latte from Starbucks!

how i stayed there

Lazy Dog & Crystal Sand, $80 and $110 per room per night respectively. Breakfast included

Use this website to book for great rates and prompt reservation/ enquiry services: www.myboracayguide.com. When Agoda, Asia Rooms and Hotel Rooms show that there are no rooms available, I managed to get rooms via this website.

I loved Lazy Dog furnishing It is so tasteful and laid-back! The service staff is also very friendly. But they are only operational from 8.30am-7pm, so if you are ch ecking in outside this timing, you will likely have to wait to be served.

I loved Crystal Sand breakfast. They provide nice butter and milk (: Oh don’t even order orange juice for breakfast, because it is no juice but simply orange syrup, and quite yucky! Try their local mango pancake which is really nice when fresh from the pan 🙂 Mangoes in Boracay are out-of-the-world tasty, have it whenever you can!

DO note that toilets in Boracay are always clean and neat and equipped with toilet paper 🙂

DO note that they don’t usually provide toiletries in the resorts. you can get them really cheap at D Mall Budget Mart though, so no worries. There are some familiar brands like pantene there.

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Tips for a Boracay Escape 1

I have experienced it personally, and now I am more sure than ever, that Boracay is one of the world’s bestest beach destination to escape to. But because it is such a tough place to get to, I consider it my civic duty to share as much helpful information to realise the dream holidays of many. Feels like santa!

Cheers to free information on the net:

 

TIPS FOR A BORA HOLA – how to holiday in boracay. Strictly for guidance only.

#101 – 3 ways to get to boracay that end up being the same

You will definitely need to take a Caticlan Jetty ferry ride to get into Boracay, unless you feel extravagant enough to fly in on a propeller plane.

How to get to this mysterious Caticlan Jetty?

Route 1: SIN > CEBU > CATICLAN. The most expensive way, as it is expensive to fly into Cebu compared to Manila.

Route 2: SIN > MNL > CATICLAN. The second-most expensive way, as it is expensive to fly into Caticlan compared to Kalibo. However it is the most cost-effective and convenient route.

Route 3: SIN > MNL > KALIBO + VAN. The cheapest way. It is not difficult, just tiring, because of the long van ride you have to endure.

How i got there

Route 3.

SIN > MNL 3.5h, MNL > KLB 45min, KLB > CAT via van 2h. Total travel time: 10-13h.

Why so long? Delays and waiting time and silly travelling time

SIN > MNL, Tiger Airways, $416. MNL > KLB, Zest Air, $130. KLB > CAT, Random van, $10 each way. Ferry ride to Boracay, $5 each way.

I got an expensive ticket to MNL cos 2 days after I bought the $416 ticket the fare went on sale.

For domestic flights you can use to fly zest air or seair, we chose zest air as it had more flight timings. The internal flight to KLB was about $150, while flying to CAT would be $250, so we chose the  cheaper and more inconvenient option.

DO note that the domestic and 3 international terminals in MNL are about 100Pesos a taxi ride from each other. There is no use waiting for inter-terminals shuttles because they never come.

DO note that domestic flights, especially by zest air, are always being delayed. If you are lucky, it is just 1h, but usually it should be about 1.5h delayed.

DO note that the ferry to Boracay operates from 6am-10pm. It is quite flexible actually, if there are still flights and a pack of tourists waiting to go, the ferry will still run.

DO NOT book your domestic flight online. There are so many available flights, if you miss one you can just wait for the next one in an hour. If you book, and miss it, (which is very possible given the delays and traffic condition) you are just going to waste your money.

DO NOT check in bags if possible. This will cause even more delays I think. It is better to travel light, and buy anything you need in Boracay.

 

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GJB: Girls Jump Boracay/ Short Letter from a Filipina Island

BORACAY, 22DEC — We are waiting in the Kalibo airport for our flight to arrive. It is a long wait, but not so tiresome, because I have pretty memories of our stay in Boracay to play out in my mind for amusement. I just took a picture of everyone eagerly facing the magic gates, anticipating the moment they could burst through them!

Sleepiness overwhelms me; I shall stop writing now.

I am so tired already. We are at the Manila airport waiting for our homebound tiger airways flight. Despite my grouchy sticky dirty state, there are several things I want to be grateful for today:

I want to be grateful for the delicious, full breakfast I had. It is positively one of the best ever 🙂 With runny omelette, crispy toast and quality butter, things couldn’t get better; but then I had fresh milk too! My prayers for fresh milk just a day ago was nicely answered.

I am grateful for the ferry ride to Caticlan Jetty being fast and comfortable. Transition from our hotel to Caticlan was almost seamless. We caught a reasonably-priced trishaw the moment we stepped out of Crystal Sand, and easily got our ferry tickets for Caticlan without queuing, and slipped into the ferry within a matter of seconds! A few minutes later the ferry was nice and full and before we knew it we were already chugging away from Boracay.

Bye bye, island of thousand gorgeous sunsets, and beautiful island hopping and lovely sand and sun. I will always remember you, and the brilliant pictures we took together. There are so many more things to experience there, I wish I will have the chance to go there again with Joel!

I am extremely grateful for the fact that our flight from Kalibo to Manila was only delayed by an hour. When we arrived at Manila we had to take a taxi to the international airport, and once again, I am ever glad that we got a great cab driver to bring us on the quickest and cheapest route to Terminal 1! Phew.

I am especially glad that we arrived at the airport in time, and checked-in alright for our homebound flight. I felt that so many things could go wrong throughout the day; for those things that did, and I am still so glad that we still made it here in one piece.

SINGAPORE, 23DEC — and now I am back at home, it is 3am and I am JUST SO GLAD TO SEE THE SILLY FLOWER PRINTS ON MY SILLY BED. I missed you!!!!

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GJB: Girls Jump Boracay/ 2nd Letter from a Filipina Island

BORACAY, 21DEC — We did horse-back riding! It is the last full day we will spend in Boracay, so we signed ourselves up for som galloping fun in the morning. I am half-sad that we were not canoeing in the jungle, half-sad we were not headed for Ariel Point for cliff jumping, half-sad that we did not zorb down a steep hill into the sea, and half-sad we couldn’t do some last bit of snorkeling ):

But cantering on horses is fun too! We were at fairway banks, and two very beautiful pony awaited us at the lobby entrance. Jo & I couldn’t decide who should choose the horse first, so I did, and I picked the velvety black one, Black Jones. he was a spritely one! He loved cantering on fast pace, and is extremely obedient to every command. it was very easy to guide and lead him, to make him run and to ask him to stop. I’m not sure why but I wasn’t scared at all!

it was a scenic golf course route we took, the beautiful view included the sea, rolling greens and lovely picket fences.

My favourite part was at the private beach in fairways. Black Jones galloped across the beach! I love the feel of the smooth rhythm of his body rising and falling, and I was just flowing along. I loved to touch his smooth and clean fur (: And rub his hair (: and tease his ears (: Juan my guide says that he eats carrots and grass and sleeps a lot every day. Black Jones is only 13 years old! Such a pretty pony. It was a special feeling, connecting to the beast that is so beautiful and yet so strong. It was an experience i didn’t think I would get from my Boracay holiday!

Filipinas in Boracay can sell you anything.

 

In mornings: “island hopping, ma’am?”

When you are walking along the beach: “shades, ma’am?”

When you are wearing shades: “hat ma’am?”

When you are wearing a hat: “braid hair, ma’am? Massage ma’am? manicure ma’am?”

In the late afternoon: “sunset sailing ma’am?”

Nighttime: “tomorrow island hopping ma’am?”

 

MY GOODNESS! lols. (:

 

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GJB: Girls Jump Boracay/ Letters from a Filipina Island

And so would you. Trust me.

19DEC, BORACAY — AMAZING DAY. We started off with a delicious bacon breakfast. I almost didn’t make it out of the room for my forgetfulness. I went in and out of the hotel room like seventeen hundred times to get missed breakfast coupons, misplaced cameras and forgotten meds. Joanne called me “fail” so many times today that I lost count. It is her favourite sarcastic word :\

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The day tour was GORGEOUS. We had <font color=pink> JHON RAFT </font> (Note: it is not a misprint) to ourselves for the whole afternoon. The aqua-coloured boat took us from the white beach, to the crystal cove and finally to puka beach. Realised I am a can’t-sit-still monkey, I walked up and down the boat, which was really cool, cos the view is so different and awesome, and it makes you feel like Capt’n Sparrow! My favourite thing to do was to sit at the front deck with my legs hanging loose, and my toes skimming the waters! 🙂

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The crystal cove was <font color=azure>cool.</font> We explored cavernous crystal caves that faced the sea so that gushes of waves slapped hard against the rock walls. The roars of the waves were amplified within the cove. We took some really awesome photos there!

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One of the caves had tunnels we could climb. We kept our heads low while we clamored into the narrow tunnel. I felt slightly claustrophobic thinking about the spiders and many-legged sea creatures hiding in the darkness. I thought about being trapped here and dying slowly as I ran out of air. Scary!

By the way the crystal cove is a lone island in the middle of the sea, and it has an amazing view. There were so many scenic spots were we took pretty shots, but no matter what nothing came close to what the eyes could see. It was vast seas stretched out to the left and to the right with no end.

For the first time i snorkeled. First lesson learnt: corals were painful to step on! I hurt my feet, and Jo too, but she had it worse, because her big toe was bleeding ): At first both of us were like scaredy cats in our life jackets gingerly lowering ourselves to the water. But when I first put our heads underwater I squealed loudly immediately. There were so many fishes!! Shiny ones, dark ones, colorful ones, dull ones. And the corals! They were beautifully swaying with the current! When Jo dipped her head in she shortly came up and squealed too! We just couldn’t believe our eyes. What looked like a clean, clear but lifeless sea was actually teeming with life! Soon I decided that the life sssjacket was more of an obstruction than anything else, and I removed it and jumped in, eager for more. The fishes are so cute. They are so amazingly slippery and fast! I tried to reach out by hand to touch them but I was slow like a turtle while they skimmed away smoothly at the speed of lightningA to evade my clumsy fingers. i felt like a little baby boy who just started learning how to walk. Swimming was for the fishes! Not man.

But still I had a fun time chasing after the slippery folks. I saw a school of cute grey-blue fishes with the most typical fish-shape swimming in schools, and they looked so leisurely. I saw brain-like corals which swayed stately in the water like an important landmark of some sort. I saw small colorful fishes that shot forward so fast that they looked like a colour-blur. As I am typing this in head I feel mildly dizzy, as if I am on the sea. I think I am too tired.

Anyway we had a really fulfilling day. The tour was really cheap and yet so good, I am so thankful for the excellent experience. It didn’t dampen our spirits a single bit when it started to pour like crazy at night, because we had a great day out, fabulous greek dinner and happy photos to remember our trip with.

I will always treasure this!

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