Monday, May 28, 2007

Bora Bora Bora!!!

It was around six in the morning and I was already in the airport. I just hitched with my mom and my sister on their way to my sister's school so I was in the airport already even though my flight was at ten.
I ran out of cheaper seats so I got into first class going to Boracay but on my way back I was going to take the economy class. My ticket was around 7,000 Php all in all. I would still say it's not so bad except that the budget I got for this trip was only 7,500 Php which I already blew on the plane hehe... On the brighter side, I got to spend the next few hours at the Mabuhay Lounge. I liked it that there were Internet terminals but I did not like it that there were only two and were occupied for my rest of my stay there. There were also flowing drinks and buffet that was refilled. I was thinking to myself, "This is the life.". At the same time, I was also wondering how miserable my stay in Bora will be since I am not with my boyfriend. There will be some faculty members there but most of them are with their loved ones. I mean, I did not even have a place to stay yet. I was imagining myself reading a book on the sand... Not so bad but definitely far from what I would love to do.
As I was wondering how my presentation would go and figuring out a way to snatch the cute PhilAm two-year old kid in front of me away from her mom, my phone rang. It was my baby calling me at around nine in the morning. I was surprised (well not that surprised actually) that he was not in the office yet. It was kind of noisy in the background, he told me he was at the airport and that he wanted to see me. He kept on asking me where I was. I told him I already went inside and that I was at the Mabuha Lounge (yes I just had to tell him that). I went out of the lounge, and saw a bald guy (My boyfriend just had his head shaven) and I thought for a while it was him. What was I thinking? Of course he won't be inside Terminal One. I was about to consider going out of the passengers area when I saw a guy in Ducati Oakleys on the phone. It was him!!! I could not believe my eyes. How did he get a ticket to this flight? How was he able to file a leave? I did not care, I was too surprised, to ecstatic to care. It was so sweet of him to do that. Considering that a week before we were having problems and a few days ago we had a big fight. It was mostly me fighting with him. :D
I felt like I was in a movie running towards my boyfriend and we hugged then and there, not caring about the people around us. *sigh* I would love to tell my kids this story! I was not going to be lonely in Boracay after all.
We did not get to ride together on our way to Bora as my ticket was first class and his was economy. I wanted to switch with the person next to him but she was also with a friend. It was alright though because the flight was only around 45 minutes to Kalibo.
From Kalibo, we road a van and paid 200Php per head (this includes the boat ride from Katiklan to Boracay). I think it's a fair price already. The van is faster than the bus by the way so I suggest you take the van if you are planning to go to Bora from Kalibo. It was just great being with him. For one, I had someone to hug and he carried my stuff hehe!
They have created a port for the boats so you no longer land at Station 3, rather you land at a new port and you have to take a tricycle. We took a tricycle and found ourselves looking for a hotel with a woman who greeted us at the Katiklan terminal. She was nice enough to help us find a cheap place, 500 Php per head, with aircon and bathroom, it was clean and not that far from the beach front too. The name of the place is Tan's if I remember correctly.
It was so hot the day we arrived that I fell asleep and then he had to wake me up so we can have lunch and swim. I was so ecstatic to be back. I love Boracay!!!Bora Bora Bora!
Swimming was not that great though because the water was jellyfish infested. Little jellies were all over the place. They couldn't stop me though hehe... I still swam with my boyfriend until it was too dark and too cold. We had dinner at the Mongolian buffet, yum! We ate by the sea and sat on futtons. It was a great experience! To think I could have been there alone... Oh, it would have been miserable!
After eating, we strolled around and checked out the different places. There were a few new resorts. One had hammocks outside its resort and since the place was deserted, we decided to lie on the hammock. I fell asleep haha! :) I did not have to pay for my room after all haha! I could simply sleep on that hammock! We also saw a restaurant where the tables are in a hut and there are to hammocks on each end of the hut. It looked romantic and cozy. we decided to eat dinner there the following day and so we did have dinner at Waling-Waling. Good food and great ambience. We stayed there until morning I think.
We also loved the shake in one of the cafes there but I already forgot their name, it's at Station 2 near Boracay Regency.
When we got to the Kalibo airport, we asked around about the Sampaguita Farm and it turned out that the Farm is just a few minutes from the airport. When we got to the place, it was no farm at all, it was an amusement park. A Precious Moments amusement park. This place was featured in Rated K before. It held a collection of Precious Moments dolls and they sold them too. I got one for my sister.
When we got back, we had lunch at RP and we were on our way back home.
Thank you baby for the wonderful memories and for surprising me yet again! It was a beautiful surprise. Thank you very much!
And thanks to the Philippine Computing Science Congress, I got there with minimal expense since I presented a paper. I loved the venue. Hope next time I can submit again! :)

My Valentine

My baby picked me from the condo with no flowers in hand. While in the car, amidst the traffic, he asked where I wanted to go. Wheels in my head started turning, "Why doesn't he know where we are going?". I distinctly remember him saying months before that we would spend it at Barbara's a cozy, romantic restaurant in front of San Agustin Church.
A few minutes later, in front of San Agustin was where we were parked. I was thrilled that he remembered! The night was beautiful, there was a couple playing on the piano. It was a five course set meal. The food was great and the ambience is unbeatable. There was even a three piece string ensemble that plays for each table. You can request any song you like. they did not know how to play the newer songs but I love the song Moonriver by Sinatra so I requested that. It was sooh romantic!If you want a nice sit down dinner that is romantic, I'll recommend Barbara's any day. The place is near and the food great!
Thanks baby for the romantic evening that you planned! I had a grand time as always! I love snuggling up to you and being with you! Can't wait for our next Valentine's Day!

Cebu City

Five days after my spa experience I was on my way to Cebu for the first time. I went to the airport with a colleague. Our flight was on Cebu Pacific and yes... as in my flight from Cagayan de Oro, it was delayed. I can't recall if I mentioned it here but during our flight to Manila from Cagayan de Oro, during our boarding time an announcement was made, "Ladies and Gentlemen, the plane of the flight going to Manila is still in Manila.". Reason: the runway was being repaired and so the planes had to taxi to the runways in Terminal 1 alongside the international planes. Can the flight be more delayed than that?
Apparently, yes. Our delay took two hours. The delay of the flight of our colleague was 6 hours and yes, in the same carrier. They did not state the reason. Just a word of caution, if you are trying to catch a meeting or a conference on the same day, you have to take another carrier.
Not counting the delayed flights of Cebu Pacific, our stay in Cebu was fine. We stayed at a hotel near University of Cebu called GV Tower. The rooms in this hotel are... surprise... Pink! the hotel was alright if you switch off the lights so you do not see the pink background. There are nice paintings along the walls though. Or maybe my judgement has been tremendously altered since my visit to Europe. Really, I have seen horrible accommodations from rooms that have sheets that were not changed to shower rooms that are as big as a phone booth and these are purportedly three-star hotels! Boy, did I miss the Philippines!
The location was near the Sto. Nino Church. We were also able to have dinner at the famous AA. Their grilled food there is great although I was a bit disappointed taht they did not offer the roasted whole cow anymore. The iced tea was also great! I also got to eat a rice delicacy but did not really like it much. On our second night, we had dinner at Tequila Joe's. At that time i did not know that I was in the presence of a dancer hehe... Had I known I would have insisted to party. Anyway, at that time, I also got to share about a confusion that I had and it was at this time that all became very clear to me. I am very grateful for that night because it was a time I have thought so clearly. I thank those ears who willingly listened. The following morning, we were able to get some pasalubongs like danggit and dried mangoes and of course, my ever favorite squid rings!!!
I extended my 2 day stay at Cebu for another extra day so we can go to the beach. I was hoping to go to Bantayan Island but it was too far. Too far that Bohol is actually closer than Bantayan and to think Bantayan is still part of Cebu! We could not go to Bohol because it was already late in the day. We decided to scout for a beach near the airport instead. The beach was not that great unfortunately. The beach is called Hadsan. Not that great really. The beach is manmade, the cove too small and the seaweeds were everywhere but if you walk to the far out part of the sea then everything becomes more clear. There are a lot of fishes and corals. I think Hadsan is really known as a diving spot than a beach. I even got to witness some fishermen fishing using a sharp metal stick (I know, how technical, hey I'm no fisherman)!
After a few hours in the water, we had to wash up already so we are sure not to miss our flight. Fortunately, our flight home was not that delayed and all in all our stay was great!
My boyfriend picked me up from the airport and then we proceeded to Sto. Nino de Paz parish so we can hear mass. As we were hearing mass, a miracle happened. It did not seem much of a miracle at that time but now I think of it that way. It saved us. It's not quite how I planned to do it, but it was enough for me in retrospect. I am just glad that we talked about it and we were able to fix things. It did not happen instantly, but one step at a time. Thank you baby for being patient and for trying so hard to make this work.
In case you are wondering, we are now as happy as ever! :)