27 Things at 27

I thought about this wish list/to-do list last night and I felt that I needed to write this all down. Hopefully, I'll cross some, if not all of the items out by next year!

No such thing as world peace and good health here!

  1. travel more
  2. be a morning person!
  3. read more - Finished 9 books this 2011. More for the next year.
  4. lose weight - I wish the whole world will conspire to stop tempting me with food.
  5. write more - I have a list of things I want to write about, I just need uhhmm.. motivation.
  6. salary increase - so I could do #1
  7. spend more time with Foldie
  8. a new bike
  9. a new compact camera - I love my G10 and I want to give it some company!
  10. take more photos and start taking videos
  11. rappel again! Do the aussie.
  12. climb Amuyao
  13. a tent
  14. avoid sweets and stop drinking milk tea everyday coz that thing is just a fad!
  15. master a dish/dessert
  16. more music nights and listen to a variety of artists
  17. I wish facial hair would forever disappear!!
  18. try yoga
  19. learn the proper way of swimming - swim and not soak in the pool
  20. have more patience -- both in the kitchen and with people
  21. take quick, long walks everyday
  22. give out gifts next Christmas - get the gifts early and don't wait for the Christmas rush because that's what makes me so lazy
  23. clean-up my clutter - a housemaid in 8K β˜Ί  and put all my minimalist readings into use
  24. take time in eating food - Savor the flavor
  25. prints in neat albums - Digital still can't beat the real tangible thing..at least for me.
  26. come to work on time - guilty!
  27. choose to see the good in everything -- the cheesiest!
Here's Jonsi's Go Do for that extra push!
You wish silence, released noise in tremors
You wish, I know it, surrender to summers
We should always know that we can do everything

Go do, you'll know how to
Just let yourself, fall into landslide
Go do, you'll know how to
Just let yourself, give into low tide

The Never-Idle Trip

This is my attempt to recount the details of my 4-day Mindanao and Visayas trip that felt like two weeks.

Due to a(n) (un)fortunate event, Typhoon Biring blew our plane bound to Cagayan de Oro City and landed us in Cebu instead. At Mactan, the crew gave the passengers their options: either disembark at Cebu, wait until the weather clears up then take a ferry to CDO or travel back with them to Manila.  
Back to Manila? No way!
What the crew didn't tell the passengers was, if you'd just go to the CebPac office, they'd gladly book you a Cebu-CDO ticket for free.  
Arriving at Mactan at 6PM on a Friday night was a problem too. There's nothing to see at night, plus nobody wanted another city tour of Cebu the next day. 
We decided to go for a quick trip to Bantayan (though quick is not a word to describe the almost 6hr-bus ride).
At 6PM Friday, from Mactan, we went straight to the bus terminal. Had dinner at one of the bus stops, and by 11PM we were at Hagnaya port.
And here are the "how to keep it cheap" lessons we accidentally learned on that trip, aside of course from the fact that sometimes you've got to hand it to Mother Nature to amuse you with her ways:

Cheap Treat#1:  Sleep where it's free. The first RoRo bound to Sta.Fe leaves at 5AM. What will you do from 11PM-5AM? Sleep of course! But no you don't waste money by sleeping in a pension house for 4 hours. You sleep in the RoRo instead.

So there. We went up the RoRo and were surprised.  We were going to spend the night with other passengers who were stranded for the last two days.  Apparently, the weather was bad a couple of days ago and no one knew if it would be safe enough to sail the next day.
Good thing the waves calmed down.  The ferry made its way and by 6:30AM Saturday, we were in Bantayan.

Cheap Treat#2:  Haggle. Budyong Resort agreed to take all 4 of us in for only PhP 500 because we weren't sleeping anyway. We just needed a shower and a place for our bags.

The plan was to go around Sta. Fe, then be back to catch the 3PM ferry back to Hagnaya Port.  
Sta. Fe shore line - a long stretch of white, sandy beach
Overcast - it was still rainy in the morning
Ogtong Cave
I heard they no longer allow swimming here now πŸ™
At 10PM we were back in Cebu.

Cheap Treat#3Get in touch with relatives in the area. What will you do if you just got back at 10PM with a 4:30AM flight the next day? Hotel? No. Pension house? No. If you've got relatives around the area, ask if you can crash for 4 hours of sleep.

My aunt who lives nearby the airport took us in for the night.

We said hello to the City of Golden Friendship early Sunday morning.
First in the agenda: rafting.
Basic rafting. Bitin. Next time I'm going to get the advanced package!

Cheap Treat#4:  Still involves relatives. Relatives who know you are coming by for a quick trip will most likely invite you and friends for a quick meet-up.  For us, it was my CDO-based aunt who invited us for a sumptuous lunch.

After having lunch and a getting quick shower, we were back on the road to catch the last ferry to Camiguin. 

Cheap Treat#5:  Find a fun bunch of people. We met a group of friends from Cebu who were also going to Camiguin. We agreed to go together, so from 4 people, we were 10. Everything divided by 10 is way cheaper!

Checked in at Seascape Resort. Just because you get to a place at 7PM Sunday doesn't mean you shouldn't go exploring. We spent that Sunday night having dinner and exchanging stories with new friends then capped it off with a swim at Ardent Hot Spring.

Cheap Treat #6:  Talk to the boatman/locals. Ask if someone can cook your meals when you go island hopping.  Chances are it's a lot cheaper than if you ask the resort people to do it for you.

Monday morning. Up early to catch the sunrise and have breakfast at White Island. Breakfast taken cared of by the bankero's wife. 
White Island
With the fun bunch from Cebu
Back at the resort before lunch.  Had a quick rest, and by lunch time, we were back on the motorella for a swimming tour around Camiguin. (Because Camiguin has all sorts of bodies of water and you won't be able to resist taking a dip!)

Seeing the ruins at the Sunken Cemetery
Randy at the Katibawasan Falls
Sto. Nino Cold Springs
Around 5:30PM, the group dropped the 4 of us at the port to catch the last ferry back to CDO while they were all bound to Mantigue Island.
At 7PM, we were back in CDO. It was the only time to that we didn't have any agreed call-time to follow. We met with a couple of friends for dinner, went back to my aunt's place by 11PM, and rode the plane bound to Manila at 6:30AM Tuesday.
9AM Tuesday - Back to work. πŸ™‚
And that's how we did Bantayan-CDO-Camiguin in 4 days.

Total damage: a little less than five thousand pesos and tons of energy.  The 4 of us were all up to it, stealing sleep whenever we can and running all the way to catch all the last trips we took.  In the end, we were a happy and proud group who's luck happened to come with the typhoon.

My goal is to beat this trip on the cheapest category, but hopefully, not as tiring. πŸ˜‰

Late Bloomer

It all started on that trip earlier this year. No one mentioned that we were going around in a bicycle until we got there. Up to that point  I didn't think that knowing how to bike was such an essential skill. The ending? I went around in a carriage which charged 10 times the rent of a bicycle and made me feel like a total wimp.

Back from that trip, I knew I had to learn how to bike.  Luckily, I had a teacher who researched biking for 'advanced' ages! At that time it was his personal goal to teach an adult to bike.

It took three 1-hr sessions, a patient teacher, and a borrowed mountain bike to finally get myself on those two wheels:

First Session - Practice Take-off and Pedal a Few Turns
   It was a grueling and frustrating first session.  I was falling in less than 2 seconds.

Second Session - Find Your Balance
   Got my prized wound on the second session.  Note to self: Wear leggings.

Third Session - Go Freewheeling!
   We found a gently sloping road.  The first trick was to just roll down the slope and use the brakes as      necessary.  Next was to put one foot on the pedal and roll down the slope.  The next thing I knew, I was biking down the slope with both feet on the pedals! 

August 10 was the day I learned to bike here. The closed road in front of HSBC with Aaron's bike, my "training" wheels.
The next few days were spent biking on closed roads, trying to get used to the feel of the two wheels.  Then came the day I was finally given the go signal to bike on the roads and go past the traffic lights! 

After a couple of sessions, it became lonely biking alone.  When one is on the bike, the other one had to walk/jog and we could never get too far.  It was time to get a bike of my own. Good thing a friend told us about a surplus shop where she just bought her bike.  On that Saturday, together with a hipster friend, we got this folding bike which I aptly named Foldie.

Since October, Foldie and I have been out almost every weekend.

I will not bore you with the details of how it felt the first time I went for a night ride or how I bitched everytime a jeepney stopped in front of me or how I felt the first time we got to Magallanes and stopped for shelter when it rained so hard.  I'm just happy that I learned how to bike! Quite a bit late but still, I'm glad I did.

I have big goals in my budding biking career but the one that I want to do the soonest.. go biking in Vietnam! πŸ™‚

PS: This sticker on Foldie sealed the deal.

Switch to bicycle life!