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Sunday, June 12, 2011

Celebrating Freedom Thru Outreach

Today is the 12th of June 2011, it's the 113th anniversary of the Philippine Independence. Mabuhay my fellow Filipinos!

I have no plans for this day until recently.

Surprisingly, this day turned out to be a great one to spend with a bunch of wonderful CS'ers. Archie, one of the CS Manila moderators has organised a charity event together with Marthe, a CS'er from Belgium. We spent a day at Tahanan Sta.Luisa, teaching, playing and interacting with the girls. It was such a humbling experience.

There were games, art and drawing session, dancing and puppet making.

I was really glad to have been able to do this kind of activity with CS Manila!

Backtracking to one year ago, around June month as well was the time we went up the mountains of Pula to help build a playground for kids. I now reminisce the time we experienced all the adventures and fun interaction we had with the kids of Pula. These kids deserve more!

Really thankful I've been part of these events...and so much looking forward to doing more of these in the not so distant future! :D

More info about Tahanan Sta.Luisa is found here!

PS: Photos grabbed from Floyd and Kate! :)

Friday, June 3, 2011

Round the World Dream

I'm one of those people who aspires to travel around the world. It probably has the biggest tick box in my bucket list, though I don't have a formal list as yet. I'm sure it wasn't easy to prepare and do this kind of journey. Aside from the budget, the visa would probably be a great part of planning an RTW, especially for myself being Filipino and that most countries would require me a visa, except probably in most parts in Asia.

I was greatly interested to attend the talk of Ms. Lilliane of Wanderlass. Unfortunately, I was running late and was only able to catch the Q&A part and a talk about CouchSurfing by CS Manila Ambassador Ronnie. I wish the Wanderlass a great journey and hopefully she'll be able to do another talk when she gets back from her RTW trip! It would really be an inspiring talk for sure.

On a happier note, last Thursday I was so surprised to see an email from KLM!

Message reads: "Wherever your feet takes you...just think positive"

I no longer remember when I joined this contest. I wasn't even hopeful I'd win! But I was sure the message I placed on that entry means so much to me. It reads: "Wherever your feet takes you...just think positive". That message really sums up my universal idea of ALWAYS thinking positive. And it definitely works, I tell you.

Thanks so much KLM! I'm fervently hoping I would be able to fly on this plane! Like what I said, if I can't travel around the world myself, my PHOTO and Message will do it for me thru this delft blue tile on a KLM Plane!

Wet & Wonderful Summer Ending @ Nagsasa Cove

What a great way to make for a summer ender but a camping trip at Nagsasa Cove. With a week of anticipated typhoon hitting parts of Luzon, I was one of those praying hard that the typhoon doesn't hit at all and just disappear like dust! If I could only perfect the sun dance! So yeah, I've been actually monitoring the weather for one week...

I had barely enough sleep before the trip brought about by my cramming to prepare my things. It was last minute preparation because I was still waiting for the final call that the trip is actually happening and no storm signals will ruin it! Thursday before the trip, and we did have the Go, sweet!

This time, I have borrowed a tent from a fellow CouchSurfer unlike my first time I shared a tent with Abby (also a CS'er).

All set and ready, on the morning of the 28th May, I've left the house a few minutes past 2am. I took a cab to Victory Liner Bus Terminal in Caloocan. I've arrived just in time and met the rest of the group waiting for boarding.

We boarded the 5am bus. We were supposed to catch the 4am but it was almost full so we sufficed with the next scheduled bus.

Photo credit: Ed - EAZY Traveller

Three hours to Zambales went by. I think I slept for a while. We stopped over once, and it was cool, I can see the sun is up!

As we inched closer to San Antonio, drops of water began pouring! And it was raining! What happened to the bright sunshine that greeted us a few minutes ago? It was like a joke but we're already there anyways so there's no stopping us!

We took a tricycle from San Antonio to Pundaquit. The first batch of the group then proceed to take the boat to Nagsasa. The group had to split since the boat only accommodates 15 people this time. Myself, Cath and Abby had to stay back and wait for the rest of second batch who stopped by the market to get our food.

A few minutes of waiting they arrived and we are all set to take our boat to Nagsasa finally. It was drizzling a bit and waves along the shore seems a little daunting. I didn't care that much, all I wanted was to go and finally reach Nagsasa!

Photo credit: Cath  of SeekingFelicity

We head to the boat and sailed for an hour. There were crazy waves along the way but I mustered enough strength to tell myself that we will be able to reach Nagsasa in no time. The views would have been perfect along the way if not for the continuous rain.

We finally reached the land and the rest of the group greeted us. Some tents have already been pitched. Unfortunately, the rain hasn't stopped as yet. We were all drenched in rain as we get off the boat and while pitching our tent.

The group started preparing for lunch as well. Everyone was cool to help out. An hour passed and everyone was happily digging on the food. We've got fish and adobo filling our tummies.

Photo credits: Aileen, Floyd, Ed

After lunch and cleaning up our mess, the group then head to the beach to swim in the rain! Lots of stuff happened, funny mostly, definitely a great time!

By dawn, some have started preparing for dinner. Our dinner was terrific! Grilled pork chops, beef steak and salted eggs made us crave for more.

Later that night, a bonfire has been set-up next to the hut. Time to relax, drink and lose ourselves? Haha I won't go into details but yeah, another interesting night for each and everyone.

I wasn't quite sure what time I went to sleep, but I definitely say, I didn't sleep much! It began to rain hard around 3am and unfortunately water got inside our tents. I was too lazy to get up even if little water is wetting my arms, back and feet. Took me a few more minutes and I realised I was able to sleep too. I think I woke up around 6am. I've been hearing some noises out of our tent already so went out to check. Looks like breakfast was ready by the time I woke up. I had a stick of hotdog and coffee.

The sun was starting to shine. Great! We had a bit of time to take photos around Nagsasa. Beautiful! I think Nagsasa is my favourite over Anawangin. I would like to go back if I get the chance. Again, I wasn't able to hike up the mountains.

Photo Credit (pic on the right): Brenda of Intrepid Globe Trotter 

After cleaning up ourselves we are bound to leave and go back to Manila. Another boat ride to Pundaquit and bus to Olongapo. Then another bus to drop us off to city.

I got home tired but with a happy heart and realised...summer is now over! At least summer ended with a big bang! :D

I would have to thank my CS Manila community. Everything was taken cared of. Each had to share 1,800 for food, transpo and other miscellaneous. Totally worth it! And as always, a great time to spend with a bunch fun loving peeps! Til our next camping trip...Magalawa? :)