Wedding Godparents At Our 30s? What do you think?


While we were one of maybe not too many who selected our wedding Godparents by the friendship and level of comfort back in 2015, I never thought we would have the same position this year. It is truly an honor to mark our 7th year of marriage by becoming wedding Godparents together. Grateful to the Sabordos for the honor. Praying for God’s guidance all the way!

Per Kasal.com, the typical Filipino wedding is characterized by the long line-up of ninongs and ninangs or the godparents. Their names appear in the invitation under the heading “principal sponsors.” According to Rita Neri’s The Essential Wedding Workbook for the Filipina, “ninongs and ninangs are senior men and women, preferably married, who are either family members or close friends of the couple’s parents.”

I have put emphasis on SENIOR because that’s what we obviously lack although we were not friends with the couple’s parents too but the couple. I truly admire the couple for breaking norms as well. When we decided for our “Principal Sponsors” in 2015, we were in a bind. There was a lengthy discussion how I preferred not to have anyone who would only be there because of their status. I wanted our principal sponsor to be couple we can reach out if we really need help on our marriage. For me, that’s what Godparenting should be. Despite the weirdness of having to ask 2 of our couple friends and 1 couple from our relatives who were young to be principal sponsors, we did.

7 years from that stepping out of the normal wedding norms, I just realized the benefit of what we have done. Godparenting a wedding should be done with care and not be tied with age.

For us, aside from the comfort preference, I don’t really have people who were my parent’s close friends. Now that I’m thinking about this, I can’t help but fast forward 25 years into the future when my 3 year old toddler will get to have the same choice. I will not pressure her into marriage of course, this is just hypothetical if she decides. It would be actually nice if one if not all of her wedding Godparents are her Christening’s Godparents too. But then again, it’s all up to Unyara to decide. Thinking about things like these makes me want to time travel. I’m very fascinated with growing old and spending it with the same people that I have now.

Godparenting a wedding on your 30s, compared to having it on your 60s does have some weirdness to it but not quite. It truly is an honor to be considered one. I’m truly blessed. Having it on our 7th wedding anniversary year make it more special as 7 is my favorite number.

7 might be short in marriage years but the hardwork to keep a marriage alive for 2 different people who are polar opposites in so many ways is worth noting. We may not have the age but the experience, I think we have a little. When we have God, the little things that we have will become big in His hands. If God is with us, then all is well even this Godparenting too. Right? What do you think?

We Got Covid in January 2022 (It’s Not What We Expect)


Here’s why:

  1. After 99 weeks of Pandemic, we thought we know what to do when Covid will hit us. However, we were still very clueless on what to do first.
  2. “What to expect when you’re covid positive in Philippines” returns generic results. As a person who learns from experience, I wanted to read testimonies from individuals who had covid. There was none or I didn’t searched enough.
  3. There was nothing written on the expectations for people who will be quarantined because of RT PCR positive result. I was expecting a long manual from LGU.
  4. We thought we have to inform the LGU on our own. We didn’t. We were surprised representative from DOH and LGU visited us on January 28, 3 days after my RT PCR test at a hospital in Cebu City. We didn’t received the result from the hospital itself. Weird.

That’s just some that stood out on the process. However, we were amazed by the experience as a whole. It’s nothing like what we imagined it would be. There’s maybe a big difference from having Covid in 2022 than having it in the previous years.

Contrary to what we thought, being infected with Covid in 2022 was not as bad. We assumed worst. Grateful to God for the favors all throughout. Praying that it would be the same for others too.

There’s no way of telling the type of Covid that we had but we assumed it’s probably the Omicron variant. It affected the entire household, which consisted of 3 adults (2 are vaccinated) and a 3-year-old toddler.

Below is a timeline of our experience. Note that we started our self-imposed isolation on January 18, as soon as we felt that something was up.

  • January 18 (Tue) – I had sore throat, 39+ fever, chills & fatigue. I took a sick leave reluctantly as my body feels really heavy.
  • January 19 (Wed) – my fever was gone, cough and cold followed. Husband develops symptoms same with mine – sore throat, 39+ fever, chills & fatigue. Husband took a sick leave while I resumed with my work. Both of us have been working from home since March 2020.
  • January 20 (Thu) – cough & colds for both of us. Toddler and house help didn’t have symptoms yet.
  • January 21 (Fri) – I had a telemedicine checkup to be sure, as I am immune compromised having Psoriasis. The doctor suggested an RT PCR test to be taken.
  • January 22 (Sat) – toddler had fever the whole day. Managed it with a child approved paracetamol. Monitored her temperature, as well as oxygen thru oximeter.
  • January 23 (Sun) – toddler fever was gone. Had a telemedicine checkup to be sure as toddler has a congenital PDA (Patent Ductus Arteriosus).
  • January 24 (Mon) – house help had fever. Managed it with paracetamol, liquids and whole day rest. Family went out to have RT PCR test. Testing queue was long. Found out later that the LOA was for a different branch of the hospital. Decided to postpone and do it early the next day.
  • January 25 (Tue) – husband and I have cough still. Toddler and house help didn’t develop cough. My RT PCR test pushed through. We were the only one on the queue for the drive thru testing. Was advised that the results will be 5 to 7 days after. Surprised by the relatively long waiting time for the results but since it was just for peace of mind purpose, it was inconsequential.
  • January 26-27 (Wed & Thu) – Coughing still.
  • January 28 (Fri) – At around 6PM, we had unexpected visitors from DOH and LGU informing us that we have to be quarantined. Our details were collected. They advised us to be in quarantine until February 5, which is 10 days after my RT PCR test. We were given LGU contact number for grocery support and other questions. So far we haven’t reached out to them as we felt we’re sufficiently stocked.
  • January 29 (Sat) – At around 6PM, we were visited by LGU personnel again. They brought us a sack full of supplies and 2 10L mineral water. We were very touched by the gesture. When we opened it, there were groceries: 25kg+ rice, canned goods, noodles, biscuits, oil, coffee & toiletries. We were wondering if this is standard procedure. We felt very cared and blessed. Thank you so much Brgy Tipolo and Mandaue LGU. We received text info from at least 3 different teams to monitor our progress too. Awesome!!!
  • January 30 (Sun) – Today, our cough is completely gone. We received a text asking fo more details for the medical certificate. Since yesterday, we also started sending our temperature at 8AM and 8PM.

We still have 5 days until our last day of quarantine on Saturday, February 5. While we still don’t know of all the steps that will be done to make sure we are Covid free, we are at peace. To be cared like this is something that we didn’t expect. Having Covid has a bad feels until now! We still fear covid of course and don’t want to go through this all over again but knowing how our LGU cared for those who are sick is just heartwarming. Because of our experience, we realized that, there might be hope in the Philippines after all. And as a member of the regular tax paying population of the Philippines, we felt that our taxes has been used wisely. 😀

The Leechy Trek to Tinagong Dagat in Mt. Mandalagan, Negros Occidental Day 2/2


The morning in Tinagong Dagat was cold but dry. When we slept last night, there was a canopy of stars but I half expected the rain still. Thanks God, the ground was only wet from the morning dew. Yay!!!

Look how happy I was with these lights. 🙂

Dry Morning in Tinagong Dagat

We plan to wake up at 5 AM but the cold morning was just too nice to be wasted. At 6 AM, the camp was finally awake. The early risers were already preparing breakfast so we took our time cam-whoring and cleaning up our tents. It was our last cooking schedule so there were a lot to cook. As soon as I was free doing my personal stuffs, I volunteered to cook the eggs – scrambled ala Kring.

Photo ops with the breakfast squad.

Cooking and breaking up camp in progress…

I never cook at home but when trekking, I cook if given the chance. Haha! But I try not to. I like to wash the dishes more. 😀

Breakfast Time

It took us about 2 hours to get ready for breakfast. The sun had already shone brightly on our part of the camp so we moved to the shady area. After, eating and cleaning up, we continued breaking up the camp and was ready to go by around 9.

Bye Bye Tinagong Dagat

After the photo ops, we left the camp at 9:30 AM after prayer with no warm up still. Descent is my favorite part of the trek but I wasn’t prepared with the almost 30 minutes uphill trek at the start. I was out of breath when we reached the top but the guide’s assurance that the next parts will be down hills restored my energy.

Tribu Iskwatters & Friends

And the husband is back to his jumping spree!

Down to the Dam

There were hard parts in going down that it’s hard to imagine if we trekked it uphill. I was especially fascinated in the dam part of the descent. Following the dam canal was both fun and dangerous. When the guide told us that it’s gonna be an hour way following the dam, I was excited.

When we stopped at the river at the start of the dam, the husband borrowed a powerbank to continue his GPS to record the trail. Instead of waiting, I went ahead thinking there would be a space where I could wait for him. Unfortunately, beyond the river was the canal trail. There wasn’t any space for waiting. As I was concentrating on my steps balancing over the canal, I kept thinking of the husband. It would have been awesome if he was with me. I regretted why I went ahead.

Hello Civ!!!

As I was about to cross a dead creek, I heard the husband calling my name. Relief washed over me. Yes, I’m brave and all but I’m braver when I’m with Migo. It was a sweet reunion and my energy was replenished. I suddenly had the energy to take pictures again. 🙂

Found my lucky charmer back. 😀 Adik lang. Low energy dayon if di magsunod ug lakaw. Hahaha

We continued the trek after a quick stop at a low lying dam canal where I wet my hair. After around 30-45 minutes, we were out of the forest at 1:30 PM. Yay! Civilization at last!!!

The Wait, the Ruins and Home Sweet Home

While waiting for our ride, we had snacks. To freshen up, I plan to just change clothes but one of our trekmates mentioned that we could actually take a bath at a nearby house for free. Yay! I wasted no time and got ready for the bath as I feel really icky for trekking on my period. T_T

Feeling fresh and free!!!

Everyone got busy chilling on the wait. 2 of our trekmates went to check Campuestohan. If not for my period, I would have gone swimming with them too. Maybe next time.

At around 3 PM, our ride arrived. But before leaving, we walked to the entrance of Campuestohan to have our souvenir pic.

Talaba for Late Lunch

I have been craving Talaba for the longest time but the husband wouldn’t drive me to Liloan. There wasn’t any fresh talaba restaurant in Cebu that I know of too. Sad, sad story but thankfully, we were able to visit Mercy’s Talabahan before proceeding to our side trip – The Ruins. A bowlful of Talaba is only Php 50 to my amazement. I really had my fill and even wanted to add but the husband forbade me as he thought I had more than enough. Huhu!

The Ruins

Our last stop was the Ruins so we were once again carrying our  big packs as we checked it out. Good thing, it wasn’t that big and despite the number of people, we were still able to find a place to chill. There wasn’t really much to do at The Ruins but there are tons of places to take pictures. The views are very instagrammable.

This guy’s so in love with me gurl!!! ❤

DIY photo ops around the ruins!

The Ride Back Home

At 7 PM, we left the Ruins and rode a trike to Ceres Terminal where we waited for our ride back to Cebu at 9 PM. The bus was via Tabuelan. As the bus left the terminal, there was happiness in my heart. It was another awesome experience for the books. Just thankful for Tribu Iskwatters for the company. Looking forward to more treks with them.

And…I don’t mind going back to Tinagong Dagat as we missed the Solfatara. 😀 Besides, we’ve trekked the other 2 mountains in Negros twice so it’s only fair to climb Mt. Mandalagan again. Right?

Thank you so much for your time. I hope you had fun reading as much as I enjoyed writing. I might have missed some details but I’m leaving it out for you to discover. 🙂




Reasons Why You Should Re-Trek


Just last weekend, the Negros trilogy was finally complete when we experienced the leech-infested forest ascent to Tinagong Dagat. There are 3 popular mountains in Negros Island: Canlaon, Cuernos De Negros or Talinis and Mandalagan or Tinagong Dagat that are trekking must climbs.

While writing the adventure in Mt. Mandalagan, I realized that 2 of the mountains were trekked twice. Talinis in 2012 and then last Feb. Canlaon was last 2015 and then 2012. If it was just me, I wouldn’t want to go back. Once is enough and there’s still a lot of mountains to go so I’d want every major climbs to be different. But after 2 double takes, I realized that trekking a mountain twice is not all that bad.

Reasons Why You Should Re-Trek

  1. Every trekking experience is different. No trek is ever the same. 
    (2012) We missed Lake Yagumyum on our re-trek since we start at a different trail. It was raining when we started but the re-trek in 2017 was very humid.
    Entry point: Brgy. Bediao, Dauin | Exit point: Brgy. Apolong, Valencia City

    (2017) After lunch at Nug-as Rancho. We weren’t able to pass here in 2012.
    Entry point: Brgy. Malongcay Dacu, Dauin | Exit point: Brgy. Apolong, Valencia City
  2. You have the avenue to connect to more trekking friends. 
    (2012) Team BRB with only 3 girls.

    (2017) Team NCR Trekkers with 5 girls already! Hurray! More women trekkers please. By this time, the 2 girls I was with in 2012 is now busy with motherhood. Wondering how many of these women will be with us if there’s a re-trek years from now? Hehe
  3. You will be be able to check whether age has made you better in trekking or not.
    (2017) At Rancho camp but this time, it is part of the itinerary. In 2012, we were forced to camp here.

    (2012) Enjoying the Twin Lake after the emergency camp.
  4. Chance to experience a different trail and/or different weather conditions.
    (2012) A foggy Canlaon slopes. We weren’t able to summit due to heavy rains.

    (2015) A super clear view of Canlaon – super blessed after all the fogginess on our 1st trek.
  5. Trekking is not about how many peaks you’ve been to. It is about the experiences that you have accumulated in the journey.
    (2012) We walk away from the peak on the same path in 2015 but it still feels like I’ve been trekking on it for the first time.

    (2015) Now a pink rain cover for me. 🙂 Haha!
  6. The 2nd trek can be less strenuous because you now have a rough estimate of the distances. 
    (2012) Rainy Canlaon!!!

    (2015) Answered prayers!!!
  7. The more major treks you have regardless of the location are training ground for a bigger goal – say Guiting-Guiting or Mantalingajan or maybe, Everest. The more you do long distance and multi-day trek, the more you are equipped for more difficult trails.

That’s our 7 reasons why we re-trek. How about you? Do you want to re-trek? What are your reasons for re-trekking or not? Let us know of your re-trekking experience too in the comment below. 🙂

The Leechy Trek to Tinagong Dagat in Mt. Mandalagan, Negros Occidental Day 0/2


So What Do You Think is The Story of How I Ended My Hiatus?

LEECH, no pre-climbs and the threat of menstrual cramps were 3 of my major concerns in trekking Mt. Mandalagan. Yet despite the reservations, my will is bigger than my fears. We already missed Mandalagan in 2013 because I was on a company trip in USA and the then-boyfie-now-husband didn’t want to go without the annoying me. Sweet! So without further ado when the opportunity presents itself, I shared it to the husband. Since I received Christ, being a good and submissive wife has become a goal. Nowadays, unlike before, instead of deciding on my own right away, I consult my husband (aka Migo) first.

Migo has been wanting to resume trekking for a while but I have been too busy with other things. Our company trekking club went to Tres Marias on the Freedom long weekend but he understood that I needed to rest and recuperate now that the events at work has come to an end. He had fully supported my June hiatus, the social media sabbatical and my desire to pursue Jesus in his own ways.

So when he expressed the desire to join the trek to Mandalagan, I agreed despite my fears. Thanks to a good friend for sharing the info and to another friend who responded positively to our interest.

So the story of how I ended up going to Mandalagan despite my hiatus is a love story. People trek mountains for different reasons. As for me, it has always been love. My love for adventure and my love to my oh so awesome husband who empowers me to face my fears – this time, LEECHES in Mandalagan.

Will get to them leeches later but first…let me take you back to…

Day 0 Friday

The plan was to meet at North Bus Terminal at 3:30PM so we took a leave to prepare. We plan to pack earlier but as usual, we ended up cramming and even forgot to charge our powerbanks which makes the husband very uncomfortable.

Since the bus leaves at 6PM, we decided to leave the house at 4PM to charge some more. But that too wasn’t enough. It led to the husband’s comical search for power outlets every place we went. This has been our mishap last trek too. I hope this wouldn’t happen again. Must add in the list.

Somebody is happy upon seeing the charging station at North Bus Terminal.

We were the last ones to arrive at 5PM. We didn’t really know who we are going with but when I saw 3 other familiar faces, I felt at peace. I don’t really mind trekking with strangers but there’s comfort in familiarity. Unlike before, I didn’t went into full mode chatterbox, which happens rather often lately. Nowadays, I find it more appealing to just wait for people to talk to me than do the reaching out first. I still love connecting to new people but now with reservations. I don’t want to come off as a show-off and a braggart which was mostly tied to friendly and extroverted people. 😦 But the change was not really about how people will see me, I have been over that already, it’s because of my desire to learn how to listen more than talking. Jesus values listening more than talking so I’m trying my best to learn the art of observing and listening first before opening my mouth. It was only when the bus left that I asked for the names of those that I met for the first time.

The trip to Toledo City took more than 2.5 hours. Migo dozed off while I spent my time writing on my personal blog. I expected it to be posted before the signal went off at Naga but the words just kept on coming. Thankfully, it was done just before the bus stopped at Toledo port.

After receiving our ticket and terminal fee, we were told to be at the ferry by 9PM. Since it was already 8:45, we all agreed to buy takeout at Mcdo. We were at the ferry by 9PM uncomfortably munching on our takeouts and somewhat regretting why we didn’t buy burger instead. The seat numbers weren’t followed so we ended up taking the bench next to the trash can and too close together. Pfft!

Hello San Carlos City

The ferry ride took almost 2 hours. Because I didn’t want to drain my phone, I decided to sleep but the seat was very uncomfortable so I only managed to dozed a little. We arrived in San Carlos City at 11:15 PM. 15 minutes after, we went back to the bus and it departed to Bacolod City.

Bacolod City First Timers

This was our 3rd trek in Negros Island. When we trekked in Mt. Canlaon, we arrived in San Carlos City and then Canlaon City. For Mt. Talinis, we arrived in Dumaguete City.

Day 1 Saturday

I was quite surprised with Bacolod especially the big and airport feels Ceres Bus Terminal. We arrived at the old Terminal at 2AM. We waited for our other companions and then rode a tryke to Ceres Bus Terminal where we catch a short rest before the terminal operation resumes at 5AM.

To The Jump-Off in Patag, Silay City

The bus terminal was awake at 5AM. After washing our face and enduring the cold at the airconditioned comfort room, we were ready for the next stop: Silay City. We arrived in Poblacion, Silay at 6AM after 30 minutes of travel from Bacolod City. We settled and had breakfast at #HugotSizzlers.

Patag is still an hour away from Poblacion. To save the fare, instead of hiring a private vehicle, we utilized the commuter jeepney instead. We only pay for Php45 for the trip but we had to wait 45 minutes for the jeepney to be filled.

The Hospital, Patag (Jump-Off)

The jeepney left at 8:15. By 9:15, we were at the hospital where we got our guides. We haggled to only have 1 guide as 2 of our companions were from Negros and they are quite familiar with the trail. Unfortunately, the tourism insisted that we should have 2.

Compared to other guide fees which was mostly Php500/day, Tinagong Dagat guide fee was Php750/day. We were already uneasy by the guide fees more so when they asked us to pay for the entrance fee, we were baffled why we had to pay when we only went their to get guides but they insist that we should pay. T_T

We thought that was our only “pay” trouble. We thought wrong. Stay tuned on the next post as we finally start our trek and leave the Hospital but before ending this post, let me tell you a story about the hospital.

About the Hospital. Back in 2013, I remembered one of our hiking friends told us that the hospital was kind of haunted. I was especially excited to see it. To my surprise, the hospital was now turned into rooms for the guests who want to swim at the pool beside it. Hehe! No more ghost feels for me. Lol

An Overnight Trek to Tinagong Dagat in Mt. Mandalagan via Patag – Campuestohan Traverse


See below the ITINERARY AND EXPENSES, story to follow.

ITINERARY AND EXPENSES

Day 0
Permit/Fax: Php300

The Adventurers before leaving the camp.

Roll Call (from Left):
Harold, Pete, Kathy, Alfred, Rhea, Kring, July, RJ, Jill, Van, Carl, Andoy, Shie, Guide 1, Guide 2, Gil

17:00 North Bus Terminal
– Be early to secure a seat.
17:50 Departure to Toledo
– Fare/Pax: Php375 via Ceres (w/ CR)
20:30 Toledo City
20:45 Get off the bus
– Told to be back at 9PM so we just bought take out at Mcdo.
21:00 At the Ferry
21:30 Departure to San Carlos City
– Ticket and terminal fee was provided by the Ceres conductor before leaving the bus. Things were left at the bus too.
23:15 Arrival in San Carlos City
23:30 At the bus, departure to Bacolod

Day 1

02:00 Bacolod Old Terminal
02:45 To Ceres Northbound Terminal
– Fare/Pax: Php30 via tryke
03:00 At Terminal
– Sleep until 5:00 AM (Preps)
05:30 To Silay
– Fare/Pax: Php16 via Ceres Bus
06:00 Poblacion Silay City
– Breakfast @ #Hugot Sizzlers
– Wait for Alfred. Permit was forgotten.
– CR breaks
– Buy lunch pack at Mercado.
07:30 At jeep to Patag (Commute)
– Fare/Pax: Php45 via passenger jeepney
– Waiting for other passengers
08:15 Jeep Departure
09:15 Hospital – Tourism
– Guide Fee: Php750/day
– Guide Fee/Pax: Php250
– Entrance: Php10
12:00 Lunch
13:00 Platform
16:30 Tinagong Dagat
18:00 Dinner Preps
20:00 Dinner
20:30 Socials
22:00 Lights Off

Day 2

05:00 Wake up call
06:00 Breakfast Preps, Break Camp
08:30 Breakfast
09:30 Left Tinagong Dagat
13:00 Campuestohan
– Food Share/Pax: Php87
15:00 ETD to Bacolod
16:00 ETA in Mercy’s Talabahan, Bacolod
16:30 ETD to Ruins
– Fare/Pax: Php150
17:00 The Ruins
– Entrance/Pax: Php100
19:00 ETD to Ceres Terminal
– Fare/Pax: Php25 via Tryke
– Dinner
– Fare/Pax: Php410 from Bacolod to North Bus via Escalante – Tabuelan
21:00 ETD to Ferry
23:30 ETA Ferry Port
– Fare/Pax: Php130
00:00 ETD to Tabuelan Port
03:00 ETD to North Bus Terminal
05:30 Home Sweet Home

EXPENSES
Permit/Fax: Php300 paid 1 to 2 weeks before the trek
Fare/Pax: Php375 from North Bus to Bacolod City via Ceres (w/ CR)
Fare/Pax: Php30 from Bacolod Bus Stop to Ceres Terminal via tryke
Fare/Pax: Php16 from Ceres Terminal to Silay City via Ceres Bus
Fare/Pax: Php45 from Silay City to jump-off in Patag
Guide Fee/Pax: Php250 paid at Hospital
Entrance Hospital: Php10 paid at Hospital
Food Share/Pax: Php87 group food sharing (Day 1 Dinner, Day 2 Breakfast, Lunch)
Fare/Pax: Php150 from Campuestohan to The Ruins
Entrance/Pax: Php100 The Ruins
Fare/Pax: Php25 via Tryke from The Ruins to Ceres Terminal
Fare/Pax: Php410 from Bacolod to North Bus via Escalante – Tabuelan
Fare/Pax: Php130 Ferry from Escalante to Tabuelan
TREK TOTAL: Php1928

Additionals:
Day 0 Dinner Php100
Day 1 Breakfast Php50
Day 1 Pack Lunch Php50
Day 2 Snacks Php100
Day 2 Late Lunch Php150
Day 2 Dinner Php50
ADDITIONALS TOTAL: Php500

GRAND TOTAL: Php2500 (total estimated max budget. Just bring Php3000)

GUIDE DETAILS (Guide is provided by Tourism office on the day in Hospital, Patag, Silay City)
Note: 1 guide per 10 pax, in excess mandatory add 1 guide
– Guide Fee: Php750/day/pax

H(e)aven in Hagnaya, Cebu


I’ve lived in Cebu all my life and have once aimed to visit each municipalities and cities and enjoy what they have to offer. Been to quite a handful but not in the north. If I were to choose, south is always the place to go. Yet last holy week for 3 days starting the Holy Thursday until Black Saturday, I was enjoying a little piece of h(e)aven in the north.

Hagnaya Beach Resort in Hagnaya, Cebu was the venue of the successful Citichurch’s Recharge Camp 2017. The resort is nice but below are reasons why you should add and checkout Hagnaya Resort for team building and summer getaway:

  • The place is huge with lots of amenities for team building activities like basketball, pingpong and billiards. With over 250+ participants, the resort was still surprisingly spacious.

  • The place is pretty and picture perfect. Upon entering the gates, the first view that you will see is the well-manicured park with 4 huge animal replicas surrounding the fountain. Across the park is the social hall that can accomodate maybe 200-500 seated guests. Walking toward the sea from the gate, you will pass by the pool, rooms and then the restaurant. There are about 20+ rooms in different sizes.

  • Beyond the restaurant where Recharge camp 2017 meals were served is a long stretch of baywalk – the perfect spot for sunrise and photo ops.

  • It is kid-friendly. Overlooking the baywalk is a mini-park with swings and seesaws that will make children happy and adult alike.

  • The food is awesome. The camp meals were served in buffet and not once did I feel unsatisfied.

So that’s the main reasons why you should check the resort plus if you are like me who fancies sleeping in the tent, they have a space for camping too. Who wouldn’t fall for that?

Aside from being recharged by the camp activities, the place has recharged me too even if I wasn’t able to swim. Walking in the baywalk at sunrise is the best part of staying in the resort. 🙂

So what are you waiting for? It’s summer friends. It’s the perfect time to getaway. When you do, put Hagnaya Resort on top of the list. You won’t regret it!!!

While at it, you could also check my learnings at the recently concluded recharge camp. It’s really not bad to enjoy but it’s more rewarding to enjoy with God’s presence. Hurray!!!

Cheering for your perfect escape,
Kring

One Trip and Tons of Fun in Moalboal, Cebu


We were on a self-imposed hiatus since our trip from Indochina from August 20 to September 1, 2016. The wife has been struggling with a lot of things and with it the desire to pursue wanders and adventures were put on hold. But since the start of the year, she realized that she was overdoing everything and was putting unwanted dent to our awesome life. 

Last weekend, we kicked off our wanders on a joy ride to Moalboal, a 5-hour drive to the South of Cebu with our 2 guy friends aboard #Punky, our 2-month old baby Celerio. It was a trip with tons of fun other than the beach.

The Itinerary 

Day 1:
08:00 Meetup
09:30 ETD to Moalboal
12:00 Lunch stop at Metro Carcar
13:30 Resume drive to Moalboal
15:30 ETA Nanay Terry’s
16:30 Magic Karaoke
17:00 Kite Flying
17:30 Dinner Preps
18:30 Dinner
19:30 Night Swimming
20:30 S’mores-ping Time
21:00 Board Games
02:00 Lights Off

Day 2:
07:30 Breakfast Preps
08:30 Kite Flying, Swimming
11:30 Going Home Preps
12:45 ETD to Moalboal Market
13:00 Lunch at Moalboal Market
15:00 Mantayupan Falls Barili
16:00 Milk Station Barili
19:00 ETA Cebu City

Where We Stayed:

Nanay Terry’s 09103618540 
Php 2000
Airconditioned room good for 4

What I like about staying at Nanay Terry’s is that it was at the laid back part of Bas Dako. You will still need to walk to the public beach which makes Nanay Terry’s front beach less crowded. 

What We Did?

  1. Karaoke on the car – it was so timely that the husband was able to discover “Magic Karaoke” – a bluetooth mic and speaker.

2. Kite flying – we bought Octi before our trip to Indochina but was only able to fly her once at SRP where we were told that we need to get a permit to fly. Haha! But only after we were done flying her. Lol When we return from our trip, we scouted other places to fly her but failed. 

3. Banana  bed lounging

4. S’mores-phing – melting the marshmallows and putting in between hersheys and grahams crackers.

5. Photo Ops

It was a fun-filled weekend and a learning one too since we were able to produce our first ever #Xiaomi #Yi recorded videos. Haha! The wife compiled the videos while the husband did the final editing.

It was a gloomy Saturday but we were blessed with a sunny Sunday. It was an awesome come back indeed from our almost 4 months of break from wanders.

Till our next escape!!! But first, let us know what you think of the #CarpoolKaraoke, #BananaBed and #KiteFlying. Have you tried any of them? It’s awesome right?

3 Days in Vang Vieng, Laos (Day 7-9/11)


The plan was to leave Vientiane at 6 AM but we found a 9:30 AM bus schedule. We welcomed the change since we’ve been waking very early the passing days.

We woke up a little late than usual and had our breakfast at the Karenderia near Singsanti’s. By 9:00 AM, we were already in front of Capitol Residence waiting for pick-up. After 15 minutes of waiting, we were worried why our pick-up didn’t show up. The husband asked me to call the ticketing. They assured us that the pick-up will be there in 10 minutes. Another 10 minutes passed, still nothing. The husband pushed to call again but I hesitated because it might seem too pushy. After a while the tuktuk came and we relaxed a little. We picked up 2 more along the way.

Bottom right pic is Migo standing in front of our accommodation in Vientiane. The rest are pics from our breakfast - the street opposite the karenderia, the karenderia and our food!
Bottom right pic is Migo standing in front of our accommodation in Vientiane. The rest are pics from our breakfast – the street opposite the karenderia, the karenderia and our food!

Bus to Vang Vieng

The travel to Vang Vieng is about 4 hours. When we got to the bus, it was already filled so the husband and I were forced to seat apart. On the way, the husband was sound asleep while I blogged about our day in Vientiane.

Journey to Vang Vieng from Vientiane!
Journey to Vang Vieng from Vientiane! Migo & Miga wearing the new couple shirt bought at Vientiane night market.

Hello Vang Vieng!

When we arrived, most of the tourist left the bus station immediately on board a van while we waited for our host to pick us up. After a while a pick-up arrived. Without asking, we went with the other group. It turned out, that wasn’t our pick-up. Haha! When our host called, we told her we rode on the wrong pick-up. Nouth arrived in a while.

I picked Nouth’s place because it had awesome ambiance. True to the pics, it made me feel like we were on a honeymoon. We’ll talk more about the place we’ve stayed in 6 cities on a separate blog soon. Stay tuned.

Our quaint accommodation with our friendly host, Nouth!
Our quaint accommodation Lao Valhalla with our friendly host, Nouth!

Vang Vieng Day 1

After settling, we slept and explored Vang Vieng. We borrowed a bike and took our first pic of Vang Vieng’s mountains. Then went to the riverside looking for the view on bright side’s pic. We saw bridges but none matches what we saw in the picture. It was about sunset so we decided to just let it go since what we were seeing was just as beautiful.

Migo tuning the bike for our first stroll!

The riverside view with the power of timer! :D
The riverside view with the power of timer! 😀

 

Life in Vang Vieng, Laos! We were welcome with the rainbow promise. 🙂

When we had our fill, we walked to find a good place to eat. We had dinner then went back to the guest house and stayed at the common area. After a while, other guests arrived. We had the chance to get to know them. Hema and Alex from Spain, then Lara from UK. We bid goodbye around 11:30 PM since we had an early call-time for the half day tour.

Miga’s favorite setup to eat. 🙂

Vang Vieng Day 2
We woke up around 8 AM. Had breakfast and by 9 AM, we were ready for our half-day tour. One other guest who also stayed at Lao Valhalla joined us. On the way to the drop off we exchanged infos. When we arrived on our tour service, 3 more joined.

Our group of 6 composed of 4 nationalities: Chinese, Koreans, Laotian and us. The tour started at a trek to the start of a multi-stop zipline. The 1st stop was around 10-15 minutes walk from the common area where our Laotian guide waited while preparing our lunch.

It took us around an hour to finish all the stops. While enjoying the ride, you get to enjoy the view on the top of each platform too. At the last ride, I was famished.

Lunch were served and after we went tubing into a cave. We laid down on our tube and then pull ourselves into the cave.

The tubing was extreme. I was concerned with pulling myself that I fail to enjoy the view inside. I was afraid of being left out too. The husband said his arms were sore ’cause of the tubing. Luckily, mine didn’t because I pushed to stay close to the only other girl in the group – Yang, the Chinese. Unfortunately, we weren’t able to take a photo, besides it’s pitch dark inside the cave. I’m claustrophobic so that was kind of hard for me.

We rested for a while and then went into the last stop of our half day tour – the Elephant Cave. Yang and the 3 Korean guys Yong, Jang & Kim have full day tours. We went back to our cab and traveled back to the start of their 10K kayaking. As they were oriented, I’m feeling grateful that we opt to miss it. When they left with their kayaks, our service drop us back to Namsong Bridge.

While our tour-friends are busy paddling the 10K back to city center, the husband and I went to rent a motorbike for our trek!

Motorbiking and Trekking in Vang Vieng
When we bike to the city center on our first day, our bike act up. As the husband tried fixing, a guy approached us and walked the bike. We were surprised. In my head ran bad thoughts again but as we got nearer, we saw the same bikes. We assumed he must be Nouth’s friend – the owner of the bike. He gave us a new bike and fixed what we used. While at it, we saw his motorcycles for rent too.

On the way to Nouth’s place after our half day tour doing zip line, tubing and caving, we were dropped by the tour service at Namsong Bridge. As we passed by Nouth’s friend’s place, we decided to rent a motorbike. In Vang Vieng, there are no public transportation. To go places, you have to bike or motorbike on your own. Since we planned to trek, we needed a motorbike to go there.

The husband chose the manual motorbikes first but after 2 tries, he opted for the automatic ones which were rented at a higher price. We took the motorbike home and rested for a while before leaving for our next activity of the day – trekking in Vang Vieng (will make a separate post for details).

After the trek, we went back to the city center again and as planned tried massage after dinner. Our very 1st massage since birth. Haha! It was an amazing experience. Can’t wait to try other massage since we just had a Lao traditional massage. We went back to the house past midnight already so we decided to retire.

Vang Vieng Day 3 – Blue Lagoon and Off to Bangkok, Thailand

From my research, I only find a 10AM bus sked but when we bought a ticket on our 1st day, there was a 1:30 PM trip bound to Bangkok already. It added us an extra half day in Vang Vieng and crunched our travel time to night.

We spent the extra hours swimming at Blue Lagoon despite the rain. By 1 pm, we were ready to go. We bid goodbye to Nouth. Yang was scheduled to leave too. Nouth drop us at the end of Namsong bridge. We walked to the other side and waited for our bus pickup.

While waiting, the husband bought lunch and mango shake. Unfortunately, he wasn’t able to enjoy it since I toppled the table and dropped the mango shake. I was stunned for a while, thinking he would lashed out at me. But just like always, his patience and tolerance for my carelessness is noteworthy. Thank you Lord for husbands like Migo. 🙂

Then we were off to our journey back to Vientiane then finally to the friendship bridge where an agent of Soutchai Travel assisted us. He bought our terminal fee then instructed us to ride the bus to the other side. When we arrive in the border of Thailand, another agent from Soutchai Travel helped us get our night bus ticket. When we were settled at the bus station, he bade us goodbye. As it was still 7 pm, we had an hour to ourselves since the bus is scheduled to arrive at 8:00 PM. The husband and I didn’t waste our time and bought food and a Thai sim card. The 7/11 staff was very kind enough to set-up our sim. It was much easier than our experience at Laos. 🙂

The story about how we were awed (or naihas) with the night bus to Bangkok is up next. Stay tuned. Hopefully, I can blog this weekend. I’m just so excited to be done with the personal blogging so that I could finally start my non-meish blogging and do a cleanup.  I’m afraid that if I did the non-meish stuffs first, I would forget the personal details. It’s just doesn’t  feel right to forgot my first love.  LOL

A Crazy Travel from HCMC, Vietnam to Vientiane, Laos (Day 5/11)

Yip. You read it right. It was a van, not a bus. And we were quite surprised as well. But they speak no English, how else would we know what’s going on. The husband kept asking if the van would take us all the way to Vientiane. I had no idea. The husband asked if I still have the ticket. The ticket was collected by the tuktuk driver. Whoah. We had no proof. I bet the husband was ultra-worried at that point because I was. But I kept my cool and the belief that we are favored. God is with us so who could be against us?


Missing Vietnam would have been easier on our itinerary and pocket but this wouldn’t have been called IndoChina sampler had we missed it. No regrets though. The travel was surprisingly comfortable and fun. No schedule hiccups and we were able to jump from city to city and country to country smoothly. Thanks to God, to our imposed discipline and to all the strangers who helped us along the way. Being in foreign countries with different languages and only a handful can speak and understand English was hard but we made it through. It turned out, the first step was only the hardest. Everything that followed was easier than we thought it could be.

First Leg: Bus from HCMC to Phnom Penh

The info on the net was limited. We were supposed to ride Giant Ibis transport since that was the only bus company who had a kick-ass site and good reputation on my research. What happened was, we never rode a Giant Ibis bus. From Siem Reap to Phnom Penh, we rode Cambodia Angkor Express Co. Ltd night bus. Lesung, the staff in Khmere’s Place in Siem Reap booked it for us instead of Giant Ibis because it has tuktuk pick-up. Giant Ibis had none.

How to Laos?

Phnom Penh(PP) was the crucial part of our leg. It was our decision point. From PP, no night bus for HCMC but it has a bus going to Vientiane, Laos. But going to HCMC will cost us half a day of travel. Going back will cost us another. Yet there was no way we will miss Vietnam. IndoChina trip wouldn’t be complete without it.

We had 7 itineraries for this trip. The only difference is the travel across countries. The hardest leg was going to Laos from HCMC (Saigon). My 1st choice was to travel from Saigon to Hanoi by train, then bus to Luang Prabang, Laos. The husband thought it was crazy. It is crazy but I was pumped with the idea of being in a train for 24 hours. I was concern with the day travel between PP and Saigon also. The husband asked me to re-consider and try plotting the bus route. When I did, I realized that it was actually the shorter route. Going to Hanoi takes 24 hours and the bus from Hanoi to Luang is another 24+ hours while the bus route will only take us exactly 24 hours.

We had a plan but of course we didn’t know if the bus schedule on the net were updated. Thankfully and by God’s grace, He led us to Mr. Dara who took us to Sun Leang ticketing office in Phnom Phen. At Sun Leang, we were able to book the tickets to and from Saigon then the longest leg from PP to Vientiane, Laos. The owners at Sun Leang were very kind. The schedule I found on the net from HCMC to PP was at 8:30 AM and 12:30 PM only, luckily there was a last trip at 4 PM. With the new departure of 4 PM, instead of just doing the city tour in HCMC, we were able to visit Cu Chi Tunnel. It was a stretch and somewhat scary because the tour ends at 2:30 PM. If something had gone wrong, we’d be missing both our bus back to PP and the leg to Vientiane. It would have cost us 160 USD of money and tons of regrets too. Good thing, we were blessed. Not only did the tour went well, we met some awesome people on the tour too. Awesome God indeed!!!

Goodbye Saigon

The tour ended as scheduled. We had enough time to eat before the bus leaves at 4 PM. We ate at Subway. While we were waiting for our food, the husband noticed the other diner. He remembered seeing him at Sun Leang ticketing office. He’s the same guy indeed. We chatted for a while until it was time to go but not without adding each other in Facebook first. We wished him safe travels with his new baby – a motorbike then took a photo.

When we checked-in at our transit hotel in PP near Sun Leang, I saw Luna’s post with his bike. Thankful that he too has arrived safely just as we did.

Goodbye Phnom Penh

Sun Leang’s owner told me to call him when we return from HCMC but I forgot about it. Not minding it much too since we didn’t have a phone to call him. When we arrived at the bus station, we were at a stand still again. Our departure to Vientiane is still at 4 AM. We find it costly to checked-in at a hotel since we would be staying for hours only. But we were tired. The next leg of travel was the longest. We needed the extra boost. The tuktuk took us to a hostel near Sun Leang. At that time, I thought it was the bus station. But it was actually the ticketing office. Haha!

We left the hostel at 4:00 AM. Our schedule is at 4:30 AM. The tuktuk told us to go to the end of the road. When I almost reached it, I felt a little dejavu. It was only then that I realized that we are not going to a bus station but to the ticketing office, and the karenderia where we had our first meal in PP was right across Sun Leang. Lol Toast to being meh. Haha!

After my realizations, fear took over. Why were we brought here? Now what? When we approached Sun Leang, a tuktuk driver asked if we wanted a ride. We said no and told him we wanted to go to Sun Leang bus station. Drown in misery, I didn’t noticed him calling somebody. After a while, the ticketing office opened and the owner was surprised to see us. He asked why I didn’t call. Ohhh me.

When I realized that the tuktuk driver had called him to notify we were outside, I turned around. I didn’t noticed him leaving. We were not able to express our gratitude but may he be blessed for his kindness. Being helped without asking is just amazing. Thank God for people like him.

We waited for a while then our pick-up arrived. We bid goodbye to the owner and felt at peace. Bus and transport schedule is everything on this crazy trip so every time we are scheduled to hop on, we are always on our toes until we reached the bus. Haha!

Van to Stung Streng, Cambodia

Yip. You read it right. It was a van, not a bus. And we were quite surprised as well. But they speak no English, how else would we know what’s going on. The husband kept asking if the van would take us all the way to Vientiane. I had no idea. The husband asked if I still have the ticket. The ticket was collected by the tuktuk driver. Whoah. We had no proof. I bet the husband was ultra-worried at that point because I was. But I kept my cool and the belief that we are favored. God is with us so who could be against us?

We were 12 on the VIP Van. There was only 1 that looks like a tourist but he looks a little scary so we felt on our own. There were numerous stops along the way. At one stop, I excused myself to pee. It was then that I noticed that I was the only woman on the van. Negativity washed over me a little but I shrugged it. Thinking of negative things will only invite real danger.

When we had our breakfast stop at 9 AM after traveling for 4 hours, I had a good look at our fellow passengers. They didn’t look that scary at all. When we went back to the van, I felt more at ease until we noticed them leaving the van one at a time at around 11 AM. What’s happening again? o_O

It turned out the last stop of our VIP van is Stung Streng. Once there, our driver dropped us at a local place, talked to the owner and notify him of our destination. After some calls, our VIP van left. We were not told what to do next but as I got the hint, I asked the owner what time is the next ride. But I asked a little late. We’ve been wating for around 30 minutes already. There was no time to eat lunch.

Another Van to Pakse, Laos

The van this time is slightly bigger with around 15 passengers. There were 2 elderly women who I think knew some of the passengers since they kept talking. The other tourist from the previous van turned out not very tourist after all since he knew how to communicate with them. From our little time waiting in Stung Streng, I realized that he too has difficulty speaking in English.

DCIM108GOPRO
DCIM108GOPRO

Before we left Stung Streng, I asked the owner if this van will take us all the way to Vientiane. He said no and told me that we will take the night bus to Vientiane. The driver will give us the ticket. I was totally in awe and felt that it was another God-given surprise. Not taking the bus was actually nice since we were able to experience a bit of local atmosphere.

Crossing the border to Laos

After an hour of travel from Stung Streng, we reached the border.
When we cross to Vietnam from Cambodia, our passports were collected by the bus staff. We didn’t have to do anything but lined up to collect our passport after it was stamped.

This time, we did it by ourselves. We went together with the locals. Wrote our name in the arrival and departure cards and lined up to have our passport stamped. As I was writing our name, I noticed people giving their passport with money in it. I actually thought it was bribe. Haha!

Unlike the crossing to Vietnam where we didn’t pay anything, we paid 2 USD on exit and 2 again on entrance. So the money with the passport is actually that payment. Lol

After the exit, we walk to the  border entrance of Laos. An officer hand us an arrival card. I thought badly again but nothing happened. And as I was waiting for our passport, negative thoughts ran on my head and again, nothing happened. Now that I was recalling it, I felt a little disappointed with myself for even thinking negative things. I’ve read so much and must have been corrupted by the bad stories. Tsk. I’m just glad everything went by smoothly and even surpassed our expectations. God truly is the best.

Hello Laos!

At around 3 PM, we stopped at a local store. They must have noticed my look and signed a hand to the mouth. And as we went outside, one of the passengers mentioned Pacquiao. The husband was quick to answer. They all laughed.

We waited with them at the store not really knowing what they ordered. We were at the table with the 2 elderly women. When the order arrived, it was then that they signed if we wanted some. It was noodles. We ordered just 1 in case we wouldn’t like the taste. It was yummy. Our first taste of Lao noodles. Yay!!!

There were vegetables served with the noodles. When I pointed on it,  1 of the elderly woman, showed me how it was eaten. She took a string beans and dipped it at a gray paste. I copied her and realized that the paste taste like salted fish. It must have been salted fish paste. I loved it. I ate everything on our bowl.

We stayed at the store for almost an hour. When it was time to pay, it was then that we realized we didn’t have Laotian kip. The driver paid in our behalf and we gave him our money.

Welcome to Pakse, Laos

We traveled for another 1+ hour and around 5:30 PM, we arrived in Pakse. The driver bought us a ticket and hand it to us. After a while he left. The husband and I went to explore Pakse. Our first stop was the ATM.

Pakse was not what I imagined it would be. From my researched, it seemed like a so-so town but it was not. It had the feels of Helen in Georgia minus the tourists. The streets were well-planned. We especially loved Cafe Parisienne right across the bus station.

On our itinerary, we were supposed to arrive in Pakse at 7 PM. We didn’t know that it had ATMs too. We wasted no time and withdrew without planning how much. We automatically choose the same amount in VND. When the husband checked his currency app, he was surprised at the amount. We have withdrawn way too much. 2M in KIP is so much bigger than 2M in VND. Lol

After the initial currency shock, we roam around to look for a store that sells Laotian SIM card. We went into a mall, found none. We saw one outside but it was almost closing. They were in a hurry so we weren’t entertained.

Like in Hongkong, asking anyone is not a good choice since most don’t understand you. When I saw a kind looking elderly woman, I tried asking then pointing at my phone. She understood it immediately and directed us.

The husband bought a Laotian sim for internet. I bought a sim for call/text. Laos will be our longest stop so buying a sim is a good decision.

Unfortunately, using a sim in Laos is not as straightforward. It has to be registered first. The store owner run through the process with us. When we left her store, the husband had internet while I have my call/text. We stayed for around 30 minutes just to have them up and running.

After buying our sim, we went back to Cafe Parisien and have our dinner. We went back to the bus station at around 7:30 PM. The bus would not accept pasengers by then.

While we waited, 4 of the passengers from our van to pakse saw us. I was surprised to know they are actually university students studying in Laos. They are all taking different courses: IT, Architecture, Civil Engineering and Business Ad. I was quite suprised they could talk English too. They were just shy to talk to us in the van. 😀

The  Night Bus from Pakse to Vientiane

This was our 2nd night bus but compared to that of Siem to Phnom, this was wayyy better. The bus has two floors. We were on last bed on the 1st floor.  It even had a toilet. The beds are spacious and comfortable too. After some regular update, I dozed off. Woke up around 6 AM. We arrived in Vientiane around 7 AM of our 6th day.

So how was our all-day, all-night of travel? It was surprisingly fun and not uneventful at all. We were able to experience it the non-bus way. We were thankful of having had the chance to experience it the way we did. 🙂 And very grateful to the strangers that extended their kindness and stories to us.

Here’s our expense and itinerary of our 5th day

04:30 ETD to Stung Treng (via van)
09:00 Breakfast Stop
12:00 ETA in Stung Treng
12:30 ETD to Pakse (via van)
13:45 Cam-Lao Border (4 USD/Pax)
14:15 Resume Trip
15:30 Noodle Stop
16:00 Resume Trip
17:00 Pakse
20:30 ETD to Vientiane

Expenses in USD:
Breakfast 2.5 USD
Immigration 8 USD
Noodles 2.5 USD
Kip 1 USD
Sub-Total: 14 USD
Remaining @ PP: 206
Untraceable: 26
Total: 40 USD
in PHP: 1,854
Remaining USD: 166 (Migo 91, Miga 75)

Expenses in KIP:
Starting Money: 2M KIP
Sim Migo 30K
Sim Miga 20K
Dinner 120k
Snax 19k
Bus Station to City Center 60K
Total: 249k
in PHP: 1,423.38
Kip remaining: 1.8M

Grand Total in PHP: 3277.38

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great life ahead:-)

"Hope deferred makes the heart sick, but a longing fulfilled is a tree of life." - Proverbs 13:12 NCV

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