bohol: the province that it is

a lot of people probably hold the idea that bohol is all about white sand beaches and modern, quality resorts growing like mushrooms. in panglao, that may be the case.

but the rest of the island is still very provincial, in a sense that it pretty much consists of sleepy old towns and majority of the locals’ source of livelihood is from agriculture. you know, like rice, corn, coconuts, and stuff like that. i remember, on one of my summer visits there, i voluntarily spent a whole afternoon just threshing corn. manually, by hand. blisters and callus aside, it was fun.

what i didn’t get to do, but still kind of always wanna, is to plant rice. and ride on the back of a water buffalo. someday.

but don’t you just love how idyllic the scenery is? it’s like being transported to a place where the hands of the clock have arthritis and the bones in your body age so fast you find yourself moving just as slow too.

or maybe it’s just me?

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west 35

remember that time i pretended to be a sexy librarian and my friends and i went on this road trip?

west 35 eco mountain resort

we actually drove up to west 35 that day, this restaurant high up in the mountains of balamban. i’ve been there once before. it’s not purely a restaurant since they also offer accommodations for their guests and believe me when i say that the rooms were really nice. (we did a quick tour as they were unoccupied then.) with glass-walled bathrooms overlooking the hilly landscape which kind of leaves you wondering if people from below can actually see you doing your business. of course you have the option of using the blinds but, you know, taking a sh*t or a shower while meditating on the scenery must be quite a spiritual experience too.

anyway, if mountain vacations are your kind of high, then you might wanna check them out. they don’t call themselves west 35 eco mountain resort for nothing. i believe they do pickups as well, in case you don’t feel comfortable driving. no dramas.

west 35 eco mountain resort

to be honest, there’s really nothing much to see there once your eyes have had their fill of green mountains galore and your skin have had its share of ample goosebumps from the cool breeze. but your lungs will thank you for the experience of breathing fresh, non-polluted air, though.

so the next best thing to do?

west 35 eco mountain resort

EAT. satisfy your tummy’s craving for nachos or carbonara or whatever dish they offer on their menu (except don’t get the fish fillet thingie. big mistake.) because THE FOOD THERE IS AWESOME! (except for the fish fillet thingie.)

wait, did i just caps lock that?! lol. but yeah, like i said, it’s awesome. so awesome that we had food all over our table and we were all like, “wow, this carbonara so yummy! can somebody pass me some pizza? and maybe some lemonade, too, while you’re at it?”

all traces of our plan to have a bit of a light lunch — gone! what the hell does “light lunch” mean, anyway? that word is as alien as… diet.

we actually ordered more dishes than those shown on the collage. i don’t really take photos of food. that would be roma. grabbing my camera off me and just clicking away while i sit there and gripe, “guys, can we eat now?”

but the nachos, man! i’m thinking about those nachos as we speak and i swear, i just wanna teleport myself back there. like, omigod, nachoooos!!! (spoken with the same intensity as homer’s “mmm… donuts.”)

and the next best thing to do after the next best thing to do? cam-whore, of course.

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everyone is someone’s hero

gen2, girly’s sister, asked what the occasion was when roma and i suddenly asked her if she and her folks could have dinner with us. another one of those impromptu activities that have more chances of happening compared to the thoroughly planned ones.

“nothing. it’s national heroes’ day,” roma joked in reply.

thinking about it now, how very appropriate that the invitation coincided with the commemoration of the valiant efforts of all the filipino men and women who died for the love of our country. yesterday, indeed, was national heroes’ day, after all.

but then again, aren’t we all heroes one way or another? we might not have statues or plaques proclaiming the extraordinary contributions we have silently made to the people around us but that doesn’t make us any less of a hero than those whose names are found in history books. in the end, i guess it’s all about making a difference in other people’s lives. shout out to all the heroes we know — dead or living; famous or otherwise.

this post is for girly and her ultimate hero: her mom. the woman whom she admires for her strength, her sacrifices, her generosity.

“like mother, like daughter,” so they say. because the very things girly sees in her mom, i see in her too. and whether she knows it or not, she’s one of those everyday heroes who might not win battles all the time, but puts up a pretty good fight for the sake of the people she loves. a mdoern-day gabriella silang who may sometimes dabble in sisa roles but is very tandang sora, nonetheless. lol.

thank you for everything, geng. and thank you to your mom and dad, too, for raising such a wonderful, wonderful person we are all proud to have as a friend. schizo love. xoxo

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why i kind of like doing the laundry. and why you should join breeze activbleach’s 1laba day.

here’s a little something you might not know about me. something i never knew about me too until i lived with jeff.

i kind of like doing the laundry.

yep, you read that right. i kind of like doing the laundry. and when i say “kind of,” i mean i secretly look forward to segregating the whites from the colored ones; jeff’s really dirty work clothes from my lightly stained ones. moreover, i am notorious for taking at least 10 minutes at coles laundry aisle sniffing different detergents and fabric softeners to a point where i am already assaulting my nostrils with chemical scents that they retaliate by knocking the rest of my senses dizzy before i finally decide which products to buy. (f*ck it, i’ll take this one.)

up until now, that’s something only jeff knew. it’s not exactly something i wanna go brag about but by disclosing such information here, that leaves the dude with one less dirt on me in case of a future blackmail. (the other “dirt” involves me and my meticulous segregation of household rubbish that the victorian government waste management group might as well use me as their poster child. but that’s another story.)

breeze activbleachright now, i just wanna share with you this upcoming event sponsored by breeze activbleach, wherein moms from all over the country are invited to join 1Laba Day on august 28.

basically, it’sĀ  a simultaneous nationwide event where moms are given the perfect excuse to take a day off from doing the laundry to participate in more exciting activities that breeze has in store for them. because, yes, as nice as it is to smell freshly laundered clothes, moms deserve a break from that too. and i like how breeze has organized this event as a way of celebrating every mother’s hard work and love for her family.

With 1 Laba Day, Breeze aims to wash 1 million stains using Breeze ActivBleach, which removes even the toughest of stains in just one wash. Participating moms can enjoy their ultimate laundry day-off as Breeze treats them to various entertainment activities, while the Breeze Laba Ladies and Laba Machines, sponsored by campaign partners Electrolux, White Westinghouse, Whirpool and LG, will take care of washing their clothes.

So be a part of the Breeze 1 Laba Day event and see for yourself how Breeze with ActivBleach removes 1 million stains in just one wash. Like the official Breeze Facebook page (@BreezePhilippines) and join the online promos to get the chance to win washing machines from partner brands. Consumers can also get free Breeze gift packs for every purchase of an Electrolux, Whirlpool and LG washing machine.Ā 

fancy that. a chance of winning a brand new washing machine! and speaking of washing machines, don’t you just love how they hypnotize you with their perpetual spinning? popit and i trip out on that a lot. (who would’ve known cats subscribe to the machine’s spinning motion as a sedative too?)

this one time — the very first time i did my laundry in australia at this hostel i called home for about 10 weeks — i couldn’t help but relate to the clothes all tangled up in each other; suffocated by the soap suds; twisted all around this way and that. as crazy as this sounds, i actually felt sad for them. in my head, i was like, “it’s okay, guys. i know how you feel.”

that was when i suddenly realized how sad i actually was without me actually knowing it.

point is, aside from washing your dirty clothes, washing machines make pretty good shrinks too. they help you get in touch with your, um, emotions. lol.

and that, my friends, is my self-psychoanalysis of how and why i developed a special relationship with washing machines and with doing the laundry, in general. either that or i’m. just. plain. psycho.

cheers!

hale manna, moalboal

the day was slowly winding down. jeff ticked off “go to badian” from his list. next up was ticking “introduce jeff in person to my whole family for the first time” off mine.

to say i wasn’t nervous would be half a lie. truth is, i was kinda petrified. sure, he’s talked to them on skype already several times before but nothing like them meeting him face to face. because, you know, anything can happen. either that, or i’ve watched far too many meet-the-family thanksgiving romantic comedies that it’s not funny anymore how i’m translating them to real life.

but it was all cool. no dramas.

hale manna, moalboalhale manna, moalboalhale manna, moalboalhale manna, moalboalhale manna, moalboalhale manna, moalboal

in case you’re wondering, we stayed at hale manna in moalboal. a relatively new resort which didn’t really have a shoreline but made up for it in terms of amenities, although a pool is not one of them. but you get free use of their kayaks and life vests and snorkels. they had this floating hut several meters from the shore which was where most of the snorkeling took place. (check out jeff’s video on my previous post!)

one of the things i appreciated about the resort, aside from the staff catering to jeff’s endless mango shake orders, was their barkada room where we all stayed. a huge room with about 6 or 8 beds that can accommodate a whole group of friends or families without having to be separated by walls. and it was a neat and clean bungalow too which came with its own bathroom and toilet. the airconditioning was fantastic. without the blanket that i shared with my sister, it definitely felt like winter in melbourne! (warning: depending on how high or low you like your thermostat to be, “fantastic airconditioning” may or may not be a good thing.)

the little huts and hammocks scattered around the resort property definitely added a nice touch to the whole place too. you can lounge in them while taking in the view, or just simply sleep the day away if that’s your idea of chilling. whatever rocks your boat.

all i’m saying is, i think it’s a pretty nice resort. (and no, this isn’t a sponsored post. i wish!)

but, yeah… =)