Happy place

The other weekend, my unico was fortunate enough to have been  invited to another College Weekend experience. Whereas last time he went to a University in Abu Dhabi, this time, he flew to Singapore.

It was an activity-filled weekend for him in another country. By himself, without nagging parents. What an adventure.

Unlike the first College Weekend that he had a month ago, this time I was not as anxious seeing him off. Perhaps it’s because Singapore is just four hours away, and he’ll be gone for just three days, anyway.

We dropped him off at the airport early Friday morning…

image

Saying goodbye…

image

Needless to say, I am already preparing myself mentally and emotionally for the time  when my son will leave for college for good.

It is inevitable. We have known this will happen… that he will study in another country. This has always been our plan for him, and his dream for himself. And given the opportunities that he has been blessed with, we know that this is also God’s great plan, as well.

But I guess no matter how much you prepare yourself, there will always be a feeling of loneliness that looms over, knowing that your child will be far away from you. As excited as I am with what the future holds for him, I still cannot help but be anxious, as well. Classic case of sepanx (separation anxiety).

The house was awfully quiet that weekend that he was away. Worse, I barely heard from him the whole time he was in Singapore!

At first I thought that maybe something was wrong with my phone’s signal, or with our internet connection at home. Eventually I realized — and got to accept– that he was busy. It was an eventful weekend… And he was having fun.

I also realized that it would have been more difficult for me if he kept texting and telling me that he was homesick, or that he was unhappy. I would rather that he was busy and enjoying… Even without us.

Letting go is not as hard when you know your child is excited, not unhappy, and is unafraid.

***

Alas, Sunday evening came.  We were back at the airport, this time to pick him up.

It was a rainy late Sunday evening, but the airport was still buzzing with activity. A lot of families were picking up their loved ones.

As our car was lined up in traffic along the Arrival area driveway, a thought came to me…

To people or families with loved ones abroad, THIS IS the happiest place on earth.

Because truly, nothing beats the joy and happiness one feels when you see your loved one coming out of that Arrival area.

Being reunited with someone you love = priceless. ❤️

image

Okay, so he probably doesn’t look so happy… Let’s blame the hour and a half flight delay. It’s one thirty in the morning, so I’m cutting him some slack. 😉

❤️❤️❤️

Photos are all mine 😊

Advertisements

Macau memories and selfies Part 1

Macau

Off to Macau…

“Vacation, all I ever wanted… vacation, had to get away…”

That ’80s song from The Go-go’s just keeps playing in my head as I type this blog. Don’t we all crave for that vacation… Two or three days of being away from home, traveling to a different place, seeing new things, meeting new people, eating different food… leaving behind the daily routine. Such bliss!

I was blessed enough to spend four days in Macau with the family last week.  It was really a spur of the moment thing — Thank you, mother dear for being generous and for making the trip possible. ❤

It was a tiring trip, really. There were mishaps along the way. But in the end, the memories we made and we brought home with us were worth every aching muscle. 

I will let the pictures tell the story… (I added some notes, too. I’m a writer, of course I have to have notes…) 😉

***

Macau Moments, Day 1

We left on a Friday. The flight was supposed to be at 1:20pm… Lo and behold, we boarded the plane, well, around 1:20pm. It was okay, though. There were six of us in the group (Dad, mom, brother, my hubby, son and yours truly), so we pretty much just entertained ourselves during the wait — meaning we got something to eat while waiting.

We finally boarded… then we were off!

1

my hand must have moved

Of course I had to take selfies while on the plane! I just loved the lighting. That photo is filter-free!! Happy to look relaxed 30,000 feet above the ground! 🙂

2

selfie-shmelfie

Did I say I loved the natural light??

***

So we got to Hotel Sofitel around 6:00pm, checked in, went to the rooms, fixed our things, settled down a bit, then decided to start exploring downtown Macau by 7:30pm.

The universe had a different plan, though. It rained. Welcome showers and breeze. We couldn’t go out just yet. So we just decided to have dinner first at the hotel.

3

First dinner in Macau

Our first dinner was a feast! Though on a perennial diet like me, my mom is not one who scrimps when it comes to food, so with her consent, we ordered away. Our first dinner pretty much felt like, well, the last supper. Like I said, it felt like a feast. Everything was delicious, too.

What made our meal more enjoyable was the fact that our servers were fellow Filipinos. They were truly so welcoming and courteous.  They made sure that we were well taken care of (we even got dessert and fruit platter on the house).  How blessed are we?! 

After that sumptuous dinner, we knew we had to walk the calories off. The rain had stopped, the air was cool. Perfect time for walking.

First stop: Largo do Senado (Senado Square). Approximately 15 minutes away from the hotel.

4

where’s papa??

5

too lazy to line up

The street behind us is a popular pictorial spot, reminiscent of the crooked, winding road in San Francisco, though much shorter. It was really pretty to look at, especially at night with all the lights on. But there was a line so we couldn’t take a photo on the actual street… so this was the best that I could do. (My mom’s so pretty, huh?! Thanks mom for the genes…❤ )

Second stop: Ruins of St. Paul. Approximately 5 mins. from where we were. 10 mins if you walk leisurely. 15-20 mins. if you stop by the shops that were around (Bossini, Giordano, Baleno, Sasa, etc. etc.)

And so we walked, enjoyed the cobblestones and the old structures. We walked until we reached two diverging alleys. Do we turn left or right? Surely the Ruins is not that far now.

We chose to turn right. Walked some more. Still no road leading to our destination. We checked our GPS (courtesy of the hotel phone that we were allowed to bring around). Hmm. GPS showed a route — 15 more minutes. What?! Thought the place was so near?

We trusted GPS… and ended up walking farther than where we were supposed to go.  15 mins later, we were still walking, huffing and puffing. Okay, so we were lost. We were walking towards the main road and not towards the Ruins. Thank you GPS for recalibrating.

And then just as we were about to cross an alley, we came across an angel! Another Filipino who lived there, and who was out for a jog. He must have sensed that we were lost… asked where we were headed, and very nicely offered to bring us to our destination. Bless your soul, mister!! 

After about an eternity of walking  — yep, it pretty much felt like an eternity — and climbing a gazillion steps… We finally, FINALLY reached the top. 

6

Made it! Yey!

Behind me is what they call the Ruins of St.Paul’s, former site of Church of St. Paul. 

I stood in front of the large (and I mean large) spotlights lighting up the facade of the church… Perfect spot for a selfie, with disheveled hair and all. My face has never been fairer. Too bad I only took like one-fourth of the structure. Oh well. 

The group rested for about half an hour. Tried to get our bearings before heading back to the hotel. Eventually we found out that we were, indeed, 5mins away from Largo de Senado. Sigh. 

Was back at the hotel by 11:00pm. End of Day 1.

***

Let me stop here first. I still get exhausted just remembering that long walk to forever, I mean, to the Ruins.  

Watch out for Days 2, 3 and 4. Maybe next time I will just let the pictures do the storytelling… 😉

— B   ❤

*****

credits: photos used were mostly mine ❤

#travels #adventure #familytime #Macau

 

Friendship, South of France

Today was errands day.

My agenda for the day included: Picking up Les Miserables tickets (done! so excited!); Do the groceries, buy food for the family (bought more than necessary… but then, what else is new?!); Get son’s picture from the photo shop; Pay some bills (some?!); Buy salad for lunch (perpetual diet but keeps cheating with dessert)…  And the list went on.

Walking at the mall, on my way to the supermarket, I bumped into an old friend, Elle — someone I haven’t seen in a long time. Continue reading

Sky Ranch, sunset and selfie

I went to Tagaytay with family and friends over the weekend for a much, much needed vacation. Sometimes, a weekend getaway is just what one needs to recharge.

We spent Saturday afternoon at Sky Ranch, a small theme park overlooking Taal.  The main attractions were a zipline, a really big ferris wheel, a Viking ride (it’s like a boat that swings back and forth like a pendulum, going higher and higher with every swing)… there were small rides for little kids, and of course there were horses for those who wanted to go horseback riding.  But to me the best attraction of all was the breathtaking view of Taal volcano…

Take a look at this awesome sight!

This was supposed to be a selfie...

This was supposed to be a selfie…

If I am not mistaken, Taal Volcano is considered to be the smallest volcano in the world.  According to Wikipedia, Taal Volcano is a complex volcano, and is the second most active volcano in the Philippines.  Taal Volcano and Lake are located in the province of Batangas, a province south of Manila.  It is best viewed from Tagaytay ridge, and Sky Ranch provides a really nice viewing deck.

Sharing a few more photos that I took while at Sky Ranch…

I just love watching the setting of the sun.

day turning into night

day turning into night

One can’t help but marvel at the beauty of God’s creations.

The next picture, on the other hand, shows something man-made.   But it is awesome, just the same.

Sky Eye

Sky Eye

The light on this really big ferris wheel changes colors.

Now it's blue

Now it’s blue

Now it's white... i think...

Now it’s white… and blue…

I didn’t try out any of the rides — I’m not into ferris wheels much… the zipline looked quite scary (I feel too old… and yes, I’m a chicken)…   I didn’t like the Viking ride because I was afraid someone might puke while I’m up there — which will surely make me vomit, as well (unfortunately, someone does vomit at each turn).

I just strolled around, enjoyed the view,  watched the sunset, chatted with friends, took pictures, savored the cool breeze… Ah, the simple joys of life.

And of course I can’t help but take this last picture….

Selfie in the dark...

Selfie in the dark…

It was a fun Saturday afternoon spent with friends and loved ones.

Life is good.

*****

Sources:
Notes on Taal from Wikipedia
Photos from my iPhone 🙂

 

Snapshots

On our first afternoon together in Hongkong…

Nephew #2 :  Ninang, do you have candy?

Fairy Godmother Me:  Yes…

Nephew #2 : (with googly eyes and syrupy sweet smile) Can you give me?

Nephew #1 : (coming from nowhere)  Can I have also?

Fairy Godmother Me:  Uhm, okay.  Under one condition… you have to pose for the camera so the three of us will have a nice picture together.  Stay still.

N1 and N2 nodded, both looking so angelic.

*click*

Picture #1

FGM:  Oh, I think my hand moved.  Nephew #1, what are you doing to your brother?  Let’s try it one more time.  Nice smile everyone.

Nephew #1 : Aren’t we done yet??

*click*

Picture #2

FGM:  Nephew #2, stop moving around!  Nephew #1, smile please.  Please?!

Both angelic looking nephews nodded again.

FGM:  Okay, here it goes again… Say Mint!!!

N1 & N2: MINT!!!

*click*

Picture #3

FGM: Waaah!! We just took half of my face!! 

N1 & N2 laughing like it was the funniest thing on earth.

FGM:  And N2, STOP moving please… Okay  1, 2… say mint again… Mint!!!

N1: You’re funny!!

N2: Why do I have to say mint?

*click*

Picture #4

N2: Can I see, can I see??

N1: Can we go now?!

FGM:  Aaargh… One nice picture. Just. One. Why. is. it. sooo. hard??

N1 and N2 both smiled their syrupy sweet smiles…

N2: Can I have my mint now?

N1: Yeah, can we have our mint?

FGM:  Can you two just give me a hug instead??

Talk about having authority.  Epic fail.

**********

photos via my very own GE Digicam, taken Oct. 31, 2012 in HK.