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Down South and Up High

>> Sunday, May 29, 2016

Tagaytay is one of the famous vacation places in the Philippines, known for its cold weather, pineapples, and flowers. With just a few hours' drive south, you can escape the Manila heat and bask in the cold breeze coming from the city in the mountains. Plus, you get a great view of the Taal Lake from the mountain-side restaurants in Tagaytay.

I took a daytrip with the parents, my godchild and her dad, and our neighbors to celebrate my parents' wedding anniversary. Since my parents are together almost 24/7, they decided to share the celebration with some close friends. So after some quick morning errands, we all huddled together in the van, and had a lovely roadtrip to the south.

We arrived right in time for lunch and we went to eat one of the dishes that Tagaytay is known for: the wonderful Bulalo. It's a beef stew that is cooked long and good until the shanks are so soft that it falls off the bone. The best part of it is the bone marrow which you scoop and slurp with the oily soup. We ate lunch in gusto with a view of the Taal Volcano.

The view started off foggy and cloudy because the rainy season has started in the country. However, we were fortunate that the skies cleared a few moments after and we were able to take photos of the volcano and its surroundings.

We were supposed to have coffee at Sonya's Garden, which is just a few kilometers away from Josephine Restaurant. Sonya's Garden -- like its name -- is a garden filled with flowers and organic produce, which they serve in their buffet. It also has a bed and breakfast, where guests can stay while being surrounded by nature. Too bad, they don't serve coffee. They only have the set buffet, but since we already ate lunch, we didn't stay long anymore. We just walked around and bought bread to take home.

So much have changed since the last time I visited Tagaytay. It has evolved from the country look into something more modern. Condominiums, malls, and theme parks have emerged here and there. While the development is good for the city income-wise, I think this kind of development is taking away the aesthetic of Tagaytay. I hope they slow down with the construction of buildings and keep the country side look with the colorful flowers and pine trees that Tagaytay is known for.


Last Days of the Fifteen

>> Wednesday, January 13, 2016

It has been a yearly tradition of my relatives from the mother's side to welcome the new year together. However, when my grandmother died, that tradition died along with her. For years now me and my parents spent the New Year's Celebration at home with my cousins from the father's side who lives next door. It's usually midnight dinner followed by jumping and watching fireworks set by our fellow neighbors. Then we'd all go home and shut the windows tight because of the thick smoke coming from the fireworks and the symphony of out of tune karaoke sounds.

It was a surprise that the tradition was brought back this time, when my uncle invited all of us again to spend the New Year together in his beach house. Majority of my mom's siblings were there -- two had other commitments and could not make it -- but it was enough to bring the family together. My other cousins weren't also there because they had families of their own, so again, I was the only 'adult' from my generation.

Besides the usual activities of preparing meals for a huge batch, we spent the time in the ocean. It was a huge relief from me because I did not have the bad vibes from hearing the neighbors blast their speakers and karaoke machines. My ears took a rest for a couple of days. The only con was that the mobile data was so poor, I could not even post a photo on instagram properly. lol I also missed my internet duties (such as the planner post). You win some, you lose some.

We were also able to spread the cheer to the caretakers of the house by letting them join the tradition of 'paagaw.' My uncle would throw bills in the air while the rest of us would scramble to catch money and get the goodies aka the bigger bills. There was one buzzkill though, when a random ice cream vendor saw the fun and squeezed his way in the garden. He caught the PhP 500 bill and just left. WHAT. A. PRICK. I didn't join the paagaw anymore because it was more fun watching them follow the floating bills in a swarm. Wish I took a video though, but I was too busy laughing.

I don't take pictures of the family during our activities because my hands were full. If I wasn't chopping veggies, I was setting the table or clearing it up. I was only able to take pictures when we were lounging by the beach or when we took our pre-breakfast stroll.

The sunset is always painting a pretty picture

My aunt and the sky

Neighbor's dogs Judda and Edward (Dunno which is which, haha) #dogsofmorong

Rain from afar

It didn't fit my lens but the rainbow went over the house, like a perfect half circle with the house right smack in the middle

Hello, 2016!


Project Planner 2016: Patterns

>> Saturday, January 02, 2016

The yearly tradition lives on. The first hello for year 2016 is a planner post.

For this year, I went for the monthly design, rather than a weekly one. My schedule isn't on a daily basis lately so I don't have that much items to list down for the day. I found it a waste of space (and paper because there were some days last year that were blank) so a monthly layout was the best for me. If there would be days that I would be busy and would need a to do list, I'll just stick a note using washi tape.

For the past years, I've always done the usual rectangular shape for the planner. I thought about making a triangular notebook, but wasn't too sure on how to do the layout on the inside pages. Upon searching through the internet, this post on Pinterest became the answer to my "problem." Even if the notebook is of an unusual shape, it would look normal when opened. It was all set, I was going to have a triangular planner.

Step one: Prepare

Paper, cardboard, scissors, cutter, push pins.
Fold, cut, poke holes.

Outline. Write. Line. Thread.

Step two: Assemble

Attach. Thread. Stick.

Step three: Present


Front flap

Card holder details

Monthly Design

It isn't as fancy as the previous planners. I wanted it to be a simple one this year with less details and designs. Or maybe I was just lazy to think. :P


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