Holy Week 2014

30 April 2014

Holy Week 2014 was spent in a serene place. Usually, my family and I would join the bunch of beach goers. But since it's been very hot and crowded in the city itself, we thought of just letting everyone else leave Manila as we enjoy a peaceful city for once. My husband was still working Holy Wednesday. Come Maundy Thursday, we stayed at our place the whole day spent some quiet time. Good Friday, we left our condo early in the morning and went to my parents' house in Rizal.

My parents' home is situated away from the main road and is surrounded with trees. The neighborhood itself is very quiet. It is the perfect place to have some quiet time and it is our favorite location for a quick getaway. As a matter of fact, some friends of my mom would stay overnight just to find some peace. They will stay in the guest room which has a balcony that overlooks this view.
During our 2 nights/ 3 days stay at my parents', we really did nothing with respect to the whole occasion. Our practice/ tradition every Holy Week remained. We spent the free time contemplating on our lives, the things we have done to serve as inspiration to others, the cross we carry to improve our way of living and spirituality and mistakes that might have caused hurt to others as well. It wasn't easy spending 3 days not being able to touch a single gadget though, but it was a good form of abstinence for me.

When Easter came, it was truly a time to rejoice. Compared to the past celebrations we had, we prepared simple dishes this year. My dad was on a business trip, so it also felt like something was missing during our Easter celebration.
Anyway, the Easter Egg Hunt continued. As always, my parents would prepare Easter eggs with money in it, then they'll hide it around the house. Our job is to find these eggs. Aside from the kids, this year, the adults were included (ang saya!) I got a total of 300++php same with my husband and kids. It was fun searching together as a family. We really worked it!

The Artists Village

22 April 2014

Location: Dicasalarin Brgy. Zabali Baler, Aurora

For the past visits I made, I was amazed by the people of Baler as skilled and naturally born craftsmen. Baler is able to keep its natural state and it flourishes thru the people who are very passionate about their cultural heritage. Dicasalarin is not only a beach destination. This enchanting place was built for artists seeking for inspiration.
Going to the cove, you will find your way towards the Ifugao Houses. This part of Dicasalarin can also be a place to spend some quiet time.
 Ifugao Village
From the beach, we went to the Artists' Village which is a few minutes away. I enjoyed our walk towards the Longhouse. It was refreshing and relaxing, the path way is surrounded by trees.

The Longhouse
View from the Longhouse
The Longhouse is an open structure. It's a refreshing place to be in. The Longhouse caters to artists who wants to find themselves deeper with their crafts.

This place can serve as a retreat house as well. 

It, being surrounded by trees, streams and total silence, the Longhouse inspired me and my friends. Usually, we take group pictures or we explore the place. But during our stay at the Longhouse, we were scattered around. One was at the top floor staring at the mountain... Another was sitting on a log in front of the house. As for me and my family, we took the time to appreciate art some more and introduced it to our kids once again.

In connection, we met one of the artists of Baler (for their privacy I will not mention any names). As we were told by our host, they're brothers who are known in town. One of them painted for Kris Aquino when Baler was featured on her show. Some of their paintings are also displayed at the famous Costa Pacifica.
Our friend Rach who also loves to paint was very happy to have met one of them. She was able to get some tips on painting and advices as a painter.

Dicasalarin met its purpose to inspire people. If you want to find peace or just be one with nature, this is the place to visit

Dicasalarin Cove Baler

Location: Brgy. Zabali Baler, Aurora

I have a lot to touch with this entry. Not only because Dicasalarin is known for its lighthouse, crystal waters and fine white sand, but it was also developed into a peaceful place for nature wanderers. We failed to visit Dicasalarin Cove during our 2011 trip to Baler. That's why with the recent trip we made to Baler for 2014, our host made sure that we experience Dicasalarin.
Dicasalarin Lighthouse
Secluded beach destination
Blue- green waters
Swimming was not allowed at the time of our visit. The waves were pretty high and the current---powerful. But the vastness of the cove/ beach area Dicasalarin was inviting.  we still went for a dip but we stayed by the shoreline with the kids to feel the cold ocean splash at our feet and just enough to freshen up. Dicasalarin made me feel that I was some place else. A beach outside the country, something like Hawaii. .

Next: The Artists' Village

Celebrating National Flip- Flops Day with Havaianas

11 April 2014

The last sale I enjoyed from All Flip Flops was way back in 2009 Havaianas Mother's Day Sale 2009. There came a point in my life when I owned 5 pairs of Havaianas. So I stopped buying and dealt with whatever I have during that time. The moment the last pair from my old collection broke down, I immediately went to the nearest All Flip Flops store and bought a new pair. That was when my love for Havaianas Slim started.
I learned about this event through the Facebook page of Havaianas Philippines. It's summer and even if I still have a nice pair of Havaianas Slim in use, thought it would be great to experience this one- day sale. Around 10am, my husband drove me to a nearby mall (it was his treat) and there I enjoyed browsing again through piles of colorful flip- flops.

First thing I asked for was the pair of Havaianas Slim Tropical displayed at the window. Sadly, it was the last pair and it wasn't in my size. So I went for the usual Havaianas Slim but chose pastel this time. To be on the safe side, I always buy flip-flops in shades that I can pair with almost everything. It's a good thing I was at the store early, I was able to look around properly and I was able to fit the pairs I chose without rushing. There weren't much people when I got there, but as I wait for my turn to pay at the cashier, people started coming in.
Being one of the early birds, and with the purchase I made, I was gifted with this cool Havaianas necklace. It perfectly matched the cut- offs I was wearing. I so love summer... and Havaianas makes everything complete!

Clean Havaianas At Home 

Hidden Paradise Along Dicasalarin

09 April 2014

Who will ever think that the image above has a hidden paradise, beautiful and breathtaking---
---as this, as we go closer to Dicasalarin Cove in Baler. 

During our recent trip to Baler, Dicasalarin Cove was one of the highlights of our tour. They say, few can gain access to this enchanting place. Let's just say that we were blessed that the nice people of Dicasalarin opened their doors to us for a private tour. It took us about 20 minutes from the Baler town proper to reach the cove itself. Along the way, we were greeted by the majestic view of the Pacific.
I took the time that day and pondered on the blessing poured over at my family that moment. I was one with nature again. 
The sight of the blue sky and the ocean was amazing. These images are not enough to describe it's beauty. You have to be there to feel the wind, see the green scenery and blue sky, hear the waves roar and appreciate God's gift which is just hours away from the chaotic city living.

My Doodle Kid

My eldest son has been a doodle person ever since. He practically grew up with a doodle pad at his side all the time. Most of our visit at the bookstore has always been about sketch pads, white boards, crayons write and wipe materials. As a mom, I still have one thing I want for my child to have. You see, my son draws a lot and he can do it anywhere he wants to. In my mommy bag, I have arts and crafts materials that I carry anywhere we go.
As I was browsing online, I found some remarkable items that I know will give my son a more colorful approach on arts. I particularly love the doodle bag. With it, he can bring along more materials.
There will be more choices for him. And since he can carry the bag, great responsibility follows.

1. He needs to look after his things/ his own bag.
2. He needs to pack his materials in his bag right away after drawing.
3. He needs to take care of his own things.

Online shopping is really fun. But it can be more exciting and easier with vouchers and discount coupons click here.

You can also have the doodle bag personalized. 

Thinking of Baler this Summer?

03 April 2014

A couple of days ago, I found out that someone I know went to Baler, Aurora over the weekend. I was shocked when that person said he didn't find Baler appealing and that he didn't enjoy his stay. In connection with that, just this evening, I was browsing thru my news feed on Facebook when I noticed that a lot from my contacts list are planning for a 2-day visit in Baler. I wanted to comment or advice these people, but then again, I don't want to spoil their evening. So here it is, the reason I made this post is to give light on what to expect on a 2-day trip to Baler, Aurora. 

To each his own, I know. I just feel it's unfair to say that you didn't enjoy Baler when you only stayed for 1 1/2 days. Okay, make that 2 days. It's sad to hear something unpleasant about a beautiful destination.

There's a lot to take into consideration.

Travel Time, Mode of Transportation, Road Hazards:

In my previous posts I mentioned that the road trip to Baler, Aurora via Pantabangan will take about 5-6 hours. Yeah traveling time is much shorter than going to Baguio. But please take note that to be able to reach Baler, you'll have to go up, cross and go down the Sierra Madre mountain. Travel time may be short, but... it is going to be quite a trip, a bit bumpy, and get a good driver by the way, the travel alone is going to be a challenge.

Going To Baler

A Place To Stay:

In every vacation we all make, we choose what's going to be the most comfortable for us. In Baler, there's a lot of inns to choose from and they're all clean. If it's a short stay, might as well go for the nicer ones. I suggest Costa Pacifica. At least a place where you can rest well, rejuvenate after an exhausting day.

Tour: This is when it gets all tiring, doing everything in one day.

In Baler, you don't just swim. You explore, hike, trek, dive, surf and even walk your way to the nearest tourist spot.

But if you are still considering, here are some tips: If you don't have a car. In Baler, there's this so- called "Tricycle Tour" accredited by the Dept. of Tourism, it will take you to nearby tourist spots. Some inns and hotels "as I was told" during our last visit offer tour packages with comfortable transportation. The people of Aurora are very friendly, please don't hesitate to ask.

Please do surf, embrace the waves. 

For the past visits we made to Baler, it has always been a 4-day stay and yet even with the hotspots we've been to, it feels like we left a lot in Baler untouched.  Given this, what more if you will only go for a 2 -day stay.

Anyway, it all boils down with proper planning, research and a huge amount of time in order to enjoy and make any vacation/ experience worth remembering.  I'm sure, you're going to love Baler and it is going to be worth the trip.

Soon on this Blog: More of Baler

My Feet On The Sand

It's freedom. 
It's being one with nature. 
It's hope. 
It's surreal.
It's fun.
Each is a new discovery. 
It's feels amazingly good. 
It's a chance to be thankful and grateful to have lived at that very moment.
This is one of the ways how I make each moment memorable.
I want to live
I want to run through the jungle
The wind in my hair and the sand at my feet

The Animal Song: Savage Garden