My Birthday Getaway (Part 3 of 3) – Overnight and Swimming at Sun City, Laguna

With a very enjoyable day at the scenic and misty Tagaytay we are obliged to give this getaway a perfect closing.

“A hot spring swim will be a soothing follow up from that Tagaytay rain” hubby said. “Wow brilliant idea” I said in silence while smiling in agreement with hubby.  We scouted several hot spring resorts in Pansol and Los Banos Laguna area where there are several choices but we can’t find an ideal one.  We’re a bit choosy because we have a tot in tow.  Some more scoutings and we chanced upon this resort – Sun City!

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View of Mt. Makiling from Sun City Resort just before sunset100_2255

Out of the many hot springs that hubby and I have been into in the past, this is our first time in Sun City. The place looks peaceful and kid friendly - ideal for a family, couple and group getaway.  The entrance fee to the resort is affordable. Entrance for two people is free if you will pay an overnight stay in a couple’s room.
  
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The room rates are affordable also.  We paid less than PhP 1,000.00 (US$25.00) only for a 12 hours stay.  We rented a couple room that is accessible from the pools.   It is an air conditioned room with television and a small dining/tea table set.  The room is very neat including the bath room. 

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However, I noticed that the pools are not well maintained.  There are several chip tiles that I considered as not safe or may cause injury to the swimming kids.  I also think that it needs some polishing.

Good thing that there are some bunch of families who spend overnight swimming also.  It made the place not too deserted and and yet not too crowded.  Resort visitors can bring their own food and a grilling stove is provided you just need to bring your own charcoal.  They charged corkage fee for alcoholic beverages.  You can also order food from them.  We had our dinner along the highway so we ordered ready snacks, chips and beverages.  The price are also reasonable compared to other resorts.

Night swimming at Sun City’s adult pools
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A communion with nature in the misty and scenic Tagaytay, a nice dinner in a “Binalot” restaurant along the highway, a night swimming and a peaceful overnight at Sun City Pansol Laguna with some beers and chips with hubby while the little tot enjoyed swimming plus a sound and peaceful sleep out of the city and far away from people and gadgets and  then a McDonalds breakfast on the way back home.   Aaaah what a getaway!  I feel super re-charged and ready to face my stressful real world again! Back to the jungle!

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For the complete series of this post you may want to check :
 Disclaimer: This is not a paid post
Sun City Resort is located at National Highway, Pansol, 4027 Laguna Philippines. You can find all other information and resort rates from their Facebook page.

This Post Belongs to The Miami Heat

I won’t give any game details it’s all over the news and the web.  This is no game analysis too I’m not a sports critic.  I’m just a HUGE fan of the team Miami Heat, its Fil-am head coach Erik Spoelstra and of course of Lebron James.  So just sending my HUGE CONGRATULATIONS to the NBA 2013 CHAMPION! Love you guys! And of course to all my fellow Miami Heat fans – we won!

2013 NBA Champs

KingJames!

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About this post title “This Post Belongs to The Miami Heat”, I need to give credit to where I got the idea - from Erik Spoelstra’s twitter profile that say’s “This decade belongs to Erik Spoelstra + Miami Heat” and I so agree! Cheers!

By the way, one statement that I always apply to my attitude also came from one of my favorite athlete:

“You can’t control what people say about you, what people think about you,
you just have to be true to yourself.”
~Lebron James~




Photo credits: Google images

Technorati: K27W9TSPFHN5

Sunday Poem and Photograph: What Makes a Father

God took the strength of a mountain,
The majestry of a tree,
The warmth of a summer sun,
The calm of a quiet sea,
The generous soul of nature,
The comforting arm of night,
The wisdom of the ages,
The power of the eagle’s flight,
The joy of a morning in spring ,
The faith of a mustard seed,
The patience of eternity,
The depth of a family need,
Then God combined these qualities,
When there was nothing more to add,
He knew His masterpiece was complete,
And so, He called it… Father
~Author Unknown~
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The photograph is taken a week ago just before the summer ends with my hubby and kids.  It was a surprise treat from the man of the house - another unplanned summer escapade where we had so much fun, fun, fun!

Happy Father’s Day to you all GREAT FATHERS in the world!

Photo Talk: An Independence Day 2013 Special Post

Last year 2012 I made an Independence Day special post where I took you on a tour Inside the Home of General Emilio Aguinaldo.  I mentioned from that post that I am hoping to share more photos I took during my trip to the ancestral mansion of General Emilio Aguinaldo where the declaration happened in 1898.

Today June 12, 2013 the Philippines is celebrating the 115th year of Independence.  I chose this as the most fitting time to share the other photos through this photo talk.  Since the previous post is more on what’s inside the home of General Aguinaldo, let me share some shots taken OUTSIDE the mansion.

But first THANK YOU to Google for today’s doodle!

Google Phil Independence 2013 - Copy

The next two photos are my latest shots of the house taken only on March of this year while I’m doing my Vicita Iglesia in the area of Cavite Philippines.  These two photos were taken while I’m on a speeding vehicle.

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The next set of photos were taken together with the set of photos from my last year’s post.  They are all taken OUTSIDE the house.

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THE HOUSE OF AGUINALDO
1849
This house is built in the year 1849.  This is also the house where General Emilio Aguinaldo was born on March 22, 1869.  In the balcony facing the main road is where General Aguinaldo declared the Philippine Independence on June 12, 1898.  This house was endorse to the Philippine government in dedication to those who fought for independence.  General Emilio Aguinaldo is buried here on February 16, 1964.

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A meaningful Independence Day to my fellow Filipinos!

“We can not free ourselves unless we move forward united in a single desire.”
~ General Emilio Aguinaldo~

My Birthday Getaway (Part 2 of 3) - Back Packing in Tagaytay

Tagaytay  - one of my most favorite place.  I love the location, climate, misty scenery and best of all the serenity.
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I had countless trips to Tagaytay. On different occasions and with different set of friends but this one is the most memorable.  It’s the perfect answer to the peacefulness that I was looking for during that time that I am so burnt out. The climate was perfect when we arrived at the most common destination in Tagaytay - the Picnic Grove.

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Tagaytay The City of Tagaytay is a component city in the province of Cavite, Philippines. It is one of the country's most popular tourist destinations because of outstanding scenery and cooler climate provided by its high altitude. It has a high standard of living. Tagaytay overlooks Taal Lake in Batangas and provides one of the iconic views of the Philippines, the view of Taal Volcano Island in the middle of the lake. It is relatively close to the capital city of Manila, only 55 km (34 mi) away via Aguinaldo Highway.  The southern and eastern portions of Tagaytay City are covered by hills and mountains which is generally forests and open grasslands.Tagaytay City's subtropical-like climate is characterized by relatively low temperature, low humidity and abundant rainfall. The City is endowed with a cool and invigorating climate with an average temperature of 22.7 °C (72.9 °F). With its high elevation, the city could be misty at times and is relatively cooler during the months of December, January and February. The Filipino word tagaytay means ridge, in this case volcanic ridge. (Source: Wikipedia)

We had no particular plan on we're going to do when we headed to Tagaytay. We just put on essential things on our back packs - overnight clothing, basic phones and no gadgets except for camera.  We have no plans as well of what we are going to do there.  So what we did was we strolled, communed with nature and enjoyed the beauty and serenity of the place. 
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Food is not a problem because there are lots of food stall in Tagaytay.  We grabbed anything that we feel like eating and walked around and enjoy the nature again.  We settled to one of the cottages when we need to eat and went back strolling again.

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Good thing that the little tot I was with is more excited than I am, exploring the place by foot unmindful of the muddy grounds that we were trekking.  She’s not  even complaining on the up and down hills that we were climbing.  Hmn… she definitely got my adventurous and spontaneous blood. 

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It rained! Instead of feeling disappointed I smiled. Just the way I want it – a drizzle while communing with nature never fails to bring a smile on my face. You might think that I’m crazy but sometimes I love to taste the rain. I don’t do this in the city. But when the Guy up there sends me some drizzle while I’m on this kind of place, I look up, open my mouth and taste the rain.

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The stairs/trek leading down to the lower part of the grove with a better view of the lake and volcano.

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I wanted to do try zip line but my hubby is not keen on the idea – not on my birthday he said.  He also reasoned “What if something went wrong on the zip line?”  He said that it would be difficult to handle an accident with a tot tagging along with him.  Well that's some practical reasoning to consider so I cancelled the idea.

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Since it is Monday the Picnic Grove is not too crowded.  There were some bunch of tourists who were exploring at the same time with us.  I can hear lots of “ohs” and “ahs” from the tourists while enjoying the views.

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Image00013 Taal Volcano’s “Binintiang Malaki” cinder cone as seen from our location in the Picnic Grove.
  This photo is mine and I am fascinated to see a similar photo in Wikipedia where I got the information about the cinder.

Image00020 Breathtaking view of Taal Lake and Volcano from Tagaytay’s Picnic Grove
 Image00019 Enjoying the breath taking view from our location

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The rain also caused us to cancel the plan for the little tot to do horse back riding. It doesn't matter though because we enjoyed just strolling and trekking down and up the grove.

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The little tot enjoying the souvenir stalls.

We had a great and wonderful day in Tagaytay.  Now the question was where are we going to spend the night. I had a quick online check of Tagaytay hotels the night before the trip but I did not make any reservation because we can not decide where to stay.  Along the way we drove through some hotels that I saw online and was a bit shock with the overnight rates when we inquired at the front desk.  It was far more expensive that the publish rates.  Thinking again that getting accommodation during weekdays is easy so we decided to deal about it later.

We considered staying overnight on one of the cottages at the Picnic Grove but we changed our mind later   because we noticed that there were no other people staying there.  We left the picnic grove and drove out of Tagaytay still undecided where are we heading too.  But one thing is certain though – we wanted “Binalot” for dinner and we will definitely find one along the way.

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For the complete series of this post you may want to check:

My Birthday Getaway (Part 1 of 3) – Escape from Reality

Did you ever come to a point when you are overly stress and that the only thing you wanted to do is to vanish?  Well not literally vanish and it requires an extra super power anyway.  So let me just say that I wanted to temporarily disappear.  And that’s what I did some few years back during my birthday.

I was so burnt out and overly stressed back then juggling from a double job, wife hood and mother hood.  Well the double job was not intentional.  I was quitting from an old job and was planning to be a full time mother and wife.  However while I’m in the process of resigning from my long time job, an online/‘Work From Home” (WFH) job offer came.  I grabbed the opportunity because I was thinking then that I might get bored with the sudden resignation from regular job.

But things did not work the way I expected.  My company could not find a suitable replacement for my position resulting to my resignation taking longer than usual.  Not only longer but the longest I should say. What happened was that I’m still reporting to my supposed-to-be-ex-job while working online plus wife hood and motherhood and they are all FULL TIME!   Back then if you ask me what was the date I will not be able to provide you the the correct answer.  Aside that I am working 24/7, I am also working in different time zones – Manila time and the US/Canada time. When somebody wakes me up and tells me the time, I would automatically asked “AM or PM?”  Jeez!

I was eating a lot and my sleep was irregularl which are both unhealthy.  My body is not used to such life style.  Prior to that period I was doing regular exercise.  With that kind of load I can’t spare some time for fitness activities.  In just a short period of time I gained weight.  I am a picture perfect example of a burnt out person.

And because I was so caught up with my hectic schedule I also avoid going out for fun. When my birthday month came, my husband kept asking me “What is your plan on your birthday, our friends are asking?”  My answer was always “Dunno”.  The truth was that I  really don’t feel like celebrating during that time.  I don’t feel like I can entertain people and I also don’t feel like being entertained.  It was like if you ask me what birthday gift I want to have my answer would be rest, sleep, peace and the likes.  You can not blame me for feeling that way.  I have two mobile phones from two different providers which are ringing like 24/7 for my office job then I’m online at home 24/7.  Though my WFH job is for 8 hours a day only.  I was on a flexible schedule and being online 24/7 is helpful to my kind of job.  The consequence is that I also feels like I’m talking to people 24/7 be it on phone or online.  And the worst part is that I am working at home where I'm supposed to be resting and relaxing.  During that time the idea of home visitors is not very pleasing to me because it's either that they will catch me on work time or rest time.  And I don't want to be disturbed on both times.

Now did I mention that I have LOTS of friends?  Friends that are so thoughtful and sweet to the point that they show up to our door step on my birthday with or without a party (or invitation lol).  Sometimes some are just dropping by to simply greet me or surprise me.  Some just to drop off a gift and some are to ambush me to an instant party that you can not say no!   That is apart from the SMS and calls, online and social media greetings.

Then one Saturday that hubby was looking on a calendar near the dining table where I was eating in a zombie-like-mode (lol), he pointed to me that day after tomorrow is already my birthday.  It falls on a Monday (Sunday in US/Canada).  Hubby suggested that if I really want to have a break and a HUGE peace of mind we should go out of town. That would be his gift to me.  I automatically said yes then followed by my usual “what about the kids they have school?” What about the reservation?  What about my works and your work?  In which he automatically said “Relax, we have the Sunday to work things out.” And he asked me if I want to leave on Sunday night or early Monday morning.  I chose Sunday night thinking that when I wake up on my birthday I am already away from my overly stress world.  That’s how desperate I was to have a temporary peace of mind.

Leaving on Sunday night did not work.  Let me see if I can share the reason on the next two parts.  Early Monday morning, 15th of March my birthday, we put on our back pack and head out to an unplanned road trip.  Our goal is to wherever our back packs will bring us to.  One thing that my husband made sure of before I close my back pack is that MY LAPTOP IS NOT COMING ALONG ON THIS TRIP!

First stop – THANKSGIVING.
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St. Joseph Parish Church/Las Piñas Bamboo Organ Church
  Want to guess where our back pack brought us?
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For the complete series of this posts you may want t check:

Sunday Poem and Photograph: The Songs Unsung

Deep in the heart of me
are the songs unsung
As the pearls in the deepest sea
must remain unstrung

All that my wild heart sings
I may not feel
It is a bird that wings
To heaven and hell

For heights and depths there be
I have no tongue
Deep in the heart of me
are the songs – unsung

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Remember my post Tomorrow is Not Promised? I was digging the box where I got that article again and found this poem printed in a bond paper.  There was a prologue that says:
Bits and pieces from my very own “Young Mind Collection”, some are original some are not.  Not sure what was the feeling or mood when it was written… just bits and pieces.  Here’s a piece I found from my old scrap book which is covered with my stamp collection and is dated December 1985.
I was wondering why this particular piece is printed in a bond paper.  Then I realized I printed it from my “FRIENDSTER” blog and the “Young Mind Collection” that I was referring to was a category from that blog of mine.  But what I can’t recall is where did I get this poem and I don’t remember writing it myself either.   I found it both funny and amusing to find a piece of my thoughts back in Friendster days.

By the way, the photograph is taken from a beach in Guimaras Island.

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