when the (fairy)dust settles

it all started as a harmless little storytelling.

once in a while, i get a kick out of entertaining my niece with stories about fairies and fairy land and how i believe they’re all around us. that they’re just waiting for us to notice that they’re actually there.

“but, janjan, i don’t see them!” protested my niece.

call me one crazy aunt but every time she begs to differ, i suddenly tap into my inner academy award-winning actress.

what i’d do is, i get reaaaally quiet and start looking around as if my eyeballs developed tics. then, very softly, i’d excitedly whisper, “oh look who’s here! it’s my fairy friend, (insert whatever random name that comes to mind)!”

freaky, i know. but it gets her to come around and let her imagination run wild and free. trust me, we could go on and on with stories and scenarios for thirty minutes. more, if we really want to. and i like that.

i love how she sometimes comes up with more bizarre ideas than mine that in the end, instead of me entertaining her with made-up stories on the spot, it’s the other way around.

i love how she keeps me on my toes with her out-of-this-world questions:

“janjan, how can i go to fairy land?” (you hire a unicorn. they’re kind of like taxis, except that they fly. but you need to book a ride in advance, though, ‘coz they get really busy.)

“what if i get lost?” (proceeds to instruct the niece to grab a pencil and a paper so she can draw a map from scratch. based on the details i frantically made up in my head from scratch. complete with map legends. ha! and, oh, fairy land is not without an airport. fairy assistance available upon request on arrival.)

“what do they sell at the fairy market?” (everything! they even sell apples that taste like watermelon; bananas that taste like kiwi; strawberries that taste like orange; grapes that taste like pineapple…)

“but i don’t have any money!” (baby, they don’t use money over there. they only accept marshmallows. fairies are crazy about marshmallows!)

“can i buy a rainbow chick in fairy land?” (of course! they cost 3 marshmallows each.)

and on and on and on and on it goes.

by then, our stories have become more complicated. an intricate web of fantastic fabrication whose silk comfortably cocooned us in our own little world where only she and i can completely understand or relate to.

and so, the crazy aunt that i am, i invited her to the grand fairy bonfire party where she’s a very special guest. went all out into crafting a fairy invite specially for her. painstakingly glued ridiculously tiny glitters on to the card. threw in three vials’ worth of “pixie dust” too as an added effect.

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i asked my sister to take a video of when she opens the box i sent her. adi looks so cute in the background! lol.

that was last month.

tonight, while chatting with aeva over facetime, i suddenly saw how grown up she has already become.

like she doesn’t believe in fairies anymore.

the thought of it breaks my heart.

like, really breaks my heart.


them random photoshoots

the thing with having a photographer boyfriend is that sometimes, you default to being their model. whether you like it or not. because whether they like it or not too, they don’t have much of a choice either. which basically means you’re both pretty much stuck with each other.

you can be a lousy model but there’s really no other way around it but to deal. either you embrace it or go passive-aggressive about it, the latter being my go-to defense mechanism the first few times, silently and grudgingly standing in front of jeff’s beast-looking camera. projecting a picture-perfect impression of the phrase “if looks could kill.”

except that most of the time, i end up looking like an addict. a homicidal one, at that. lol.

but then later on, i kind of started to just go with the flow. like that time we did an impromptu photo shoot in the lounge room while testing his newly-bought lights and flashes.

the secret, i realized, is to not care. at all. the sooner you shed whatever ounce of self-consciousness you have, the easier the shoot goes. to put it more succinctly, the less f*cks you give, the better. true story. haha.

i wasn’t supposed to post these photos but in the process of transferring them to my external hard drive, the thought of them fading into electronic oblivion saddened me. same feeling that i feel about unwritten memories left to gather dust until they turn to powder in the attic of my mind. whatever.

so, yeah, these random photo shoots were so random that one time, jeff just suddenly had the urge to take advantage of the sunny day outside, interrupting my forever chill mode with his type A personality. “it’s a beautiful day,” he said. “come on, let’s do an outdoor shoot.”

the other time, we were waiting for our favorite takeaway pizza.

can’t get any more random that, can you?

p.s. now i understand why models rarely smile. after a while, it does kind of hurt your jaw. at some point, you’re better off without it.

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oh, adi!

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something short of a miracle must have happened inside the boat while crossing cebu strait because by the time we arrived in bohol, jeff and adi were like the best of friends. just a week before, she wouldn’t let him come near her. you should have seen how huge her tears were whenever jeff tried to come close. she looked so adorable! she’s the cutest sukilala ever!

anyhow, it was almost 4pm when we reached the resort. adi slept all throughout the 2-hour van ride but it must have been uncomfortable for her because when we got there, she was cranky. no surprise there.

so when jeff and i came downstairs from our room and found her being suki on the floor, jeff got down on all fours too and mirrored adi’s actions. charmed her into going with him to the beach where a sandbox and a kiddie area was waiting.

the rest, as they say, is history.

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bluewater panglao beach resort, minus the beach. just the pools.

bluewater panglao beach resort

a common theme i noticed among bluewater’s resorts is their use of wood. something that delights my senses because i love the rustic effect. it just adds a certain earthy feel to what would have been a sterile modern place.

as if it’s breathing.

maybe that’s why i love old wooden houses. or maybe it’s because i lived in one for the first 18 or so years in my life that i developed an appreciation for them that comes quite naturally to me. (nevermind the spooky bits.)

anyway, bluewater panglao beach resort felt warm and welcome-y like that. a lot of it had to do with the wooden structures. and, well, who am i kidding? the pool added a real nice finishing touch to the whole view too.

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the second pool wasn’t too bad either. this one was located near the beach. (remember when i said the resort doesn’t really have a nice beach even if it’s a beach resort and all? well, their pools definitely made up for it.)

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aesthetics aside, the best part of the pool that made me enjoy it the most was that you can go for a dip at night and the water doesn’t feel freezing. at all. as a matter of fact, it feels so comfortably warm you wouldn’t wanna get out, at the risk of turning into one happy prune. but, yeah, i think they have a water heater there or something so that was definitely a plus for me.

and for aeva too, most especially. squealing with laughter and recklessly jumping into the water in delight, confident that jeff would catch her each and every time. one time, jeff was being cheeky and deliberately left her paddling on her own for a few seconds.

the moment she resurfaced and got hold of her breathing, she immediately took the chance to reprimand jeff who was already holding her by her armpits: “BAD JEFFY!”

lol. fun times.

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for more non-pool-related post about bluewater panglao beach resort, you can read about it here. cheers!

bluewater panglao beach resort

warning: this, as well as the succeeding, post contains heaps of photos that will make you wanna call in sick just to have the perfect excuse to hop on the next available flight or boat trip to panglao, bohol.

consider yourself warned.

also, if you have to blame somebody for inciting the reckless wanderlust in you, blame jeff. i’m just the messenger. and even i, myself, can’t resist succumbing to the temptation of showcasing all these photos here because they arouse the same feelings in me too.

here we go.

bluewater panglao beach resort

at first glance, bluewater panglao beach resort‘s facade looked rather plain. i was like, “this is it?”

bluewater panglao beach resort

but it wasn’t until i walked in to their lounge area that i realized that the place was actually pretty nice. i was starting to like it.

the super comfortable blue and white striped couch i immediately surrendered to was like a warm hug on a really cool day. except, that it was a really warm day.

and the cold glass of fresh lemongrass iced tea served by the staff was like a cool breeze on a somewhat scorching day. it was so good and oh-so-refreshing! what can i say? i’m a sucker for lemongrass iced tea. too bad it came in a tumber not much bigger than a shot glass. considering the heat, i could’ve downed a whole pitcher right then and there. (even though i was too shy to ask for another one.)

bluewater panglao beach resort

of course we saw and passed by their luxurious-looking swimming pool on our way to our rooms but i’ll get to that later. save the best for last, so they say. for now, here’s a photo of what their typical room looked like.

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can i talk about the bathroom now?

okay, bath tub aside (because i already told you about how much fun my niece, younger sister, and i had goofing around in the tub), let me just gush about how much i adore the genius idea of utilizing natural sunlight to filter through the roof or whatever you engineering buffs call it. the beauty of the light dancing all over the stone walls got me tripping while i stood there enjoying my warm shower.

speaking of shower, the smooth white stones haphazardly placed around the corners where the drainage was provided a very nice touch too. the shower area might be small but those stones would occupy most of your attention the whole time anyway. that is, if your own deeper-than-deep life-changing thoughts won’t.

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if massage is your thing (who doesn’t love a good, long massage?), then they also have outdoor spa services. tempting, but… nah. not because i don’t have the money (i don’t.), but because i think it’s somewhat ridiculous to pay 2k++ pesos for an hour’s worth of massage when you can get it just as good anywhere else for like, 1/10th of the price. #bitter

bluewater panglao beach resort

alright, so their restaurant is lovely to look at, what with the wood accents and all that jazz. their food was really good too. i mean, it must have been good ‘coz i can’t really remember raving over it like i always rave about one my ultimate favorite restaurants ever. must have been so-so.

however, i do remember how courteous the staff were. they were all really nice. bohol’s locals have always been known for their hospitality so it must be that. but then again, i noticed that same genuine courtesy from the staff in the other bluewater resorts in sumilon and maribago too so… maybe they’re really really happy with their jobs?

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you’re probably tired of me singing praises for this resort so let’s get down to the bad side of things to balance both sides of the argument a bit.

the downside?

the resort doesn’t really have a nice shore. the beach is rocky and unlike the ultra-fine, powdery white sand over at alona beach, you wouldn’t really be tempted to wade right in.

but then again, you get this. so my argument is still pretty much lopsided.

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oh, and about that pool (which i feel is the resort’s main feature)… i guess i’ll see you in my next post? =)