Weddings: More Fun in the Philippines

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"Your friends sure love to have beach weddings," remarked one colleague, after I got back from a quick weekend getaway. Indeed, they do. I have four sets of friends who decided to tie the knot in Bohol, alone. But could you blame them, though?


The steady progression that is my high school friends getting hitched one after the other continues, and this time it's Maymay's turn, and there's simply no way I was going to miss it, because it was bound to be... interesting ;p.

Since there were no direct flights from Singapore to Bohol, Anj and I had to take a ferry from Cebu. Thankfully it went without a hiccup - check-in was a breeze thanks to Tiger Air's Direct-to-Gate service; there was the pleasant discovery of the new and improved beauty counters in Changi Airport Duty Free (NARS, Armani, Cle de Peau, and a plethora of other brands that my wallet hates); and we were able to find the pier and get ferry tickets without any problems. And at no point in time did Anj go hangry. ^^

We stayed at South Palms in Panglao, which was also where the wedding was going to be held.


The rates are pricier than I would've liked, but we got upgraded to beach-facing rooms so I can't really complain (although I do wish they had better coffee). I mean, this was literally a few steps away.


The water itself isn't the best for swimming - half of it is teeming with sea urchins and the other half with algal growth. But I've never really been a fan of getting in the water, to be honest, unless it's to see marine life. I just never got the hang of whatever it is you're supposed to do. Frolic about, I guess? And how does one frolic about, exactly? And so the end result is me just standing there, wading in waist-deep water (any deeper and my panic attack button gets triggered), confused and lost and looking out for sharks and whatnot.

Anyway.

I've always found beach weddings to be a test of mental fortitude. So much rests on a variable that is out of anyone's hands - the weather. No matter how much you prepare it could very well be all for naught should nature decide to quite literally rain on your parade.

But Maymay may as well be the universe's favorite child because everything - everything - was perfect.

Not a single drop of rain, and a fairly healthy dose of sunshine.


Sunsets are always a wonderful sight, but this one was glorious.


There was a bit of a disturbance when the power went out for a couple of minutes, but who needs lights when you can watch the moon rise up from the ocean in its full resplendent glory?

We were also first in line in the buffet, and as this has never happened to me before - not once in my entire buffet-queueing life - this wedding shall forever be etched in my memory and I am forever grateful.

The next morning - yes, morning - we ventured out to look for dolphins. There are very few things worth waking up early for, at least for me, and the chance to see wild marine life is one of them. I don't think any of my friends ever believed I would make it in time, but they forget that I once jumped into the open sea, all by myself, off a moving boat, with nothing but a flimsy life jacket and a tremendous amount of trust that the kuya is going to come back for me, in the hopes of getting a glimpse of a whale shark. And that was after six hours of searching with a 5 am call time. This is peanuts.

I wasn't sure what I was expecting to see, really. But it certainly was not dozens upon dozens of dolphins coming from all directions. I may have let out a squeal or twenty.


After taking our fill of dolphin videos (I stopped halfway through because they were coming from everywhere and I got confused), we went snorkelling. I wish I could tell you where, but have I mentioned I was up early that day? Anyway, I think I had a little too much fun because I went home all dark and a wee bit sunburnt. But if that's the price to pay for chasing after an eel and schools of fish then I'd say it's worth it. Life pro tip: fish do not like SkyFlakes. Next time I'm bringing ciabatta stolen from the hotel's breakfast buffet.

Even with all that fish-chasing we still had time left to go to the other side of whatever island we were in and see the turtles! Unfortunately the waves were too strong for my nonexistent swimming skills and I may have had a teeny tiny panic attack. I believe my exact words were, "Kuya, pwede help?" And so he had me hold on to the boat as he dragged it all over the place while Anj and Chelo furiously swim with all their might. Heh. I did see two giant sea turtles which, in Anj's words, "I did not deserve."

Finally we went to this sandbar (again, the name escapes me, and again, early morning). It was, unfortunately, drizzling, but we were welcomed by vendors with buckets and buckets of sea urchin. I've actually never tried uni, it being almost always served raw and all, but at twenty pesos a pop, well, keep it coming! They actually open it "to order" and scoop the flesh right into your palms, with a healthy squirt of vinegar (and a bit of rain water). I don't think it gets any better than that.

By the time we got back to the resort it was getting late. No, actually it was only two in the afternoon. Apparently this was the life of a morning person! So much time to do things! So le boyfriend and I decided to rent a car and go see the rest of Bohol.

First stop: Le Tarsier.
A bit overwhelming, if I'm being honest. I did have unreasonably high expectations, thanks to this:


And instead I got this: equal parts cute and creepy.


Next stop: Chocolate Hills
Did not expect to have to climb a thousand steps, but we did make it to the viewing deck in one piece.


It started raining shortly after we left, so I guess we lucked out a bit on that one. It also signalled the end of my adventures as a morning person. I still have no idea where I got all that energy, but I can tell you that the moment my ass touched the bed that night I was a goner. I do not regret it one bit, though.

Bonus pic: Kate Spade x Keds glitter sneakers, which I finally got my hands feet on thanks to my enabler of a boyfriend ^^

Chasing Planes Day 8: Ja ne! ^^

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So this appeared on my Timehop today.


And that was how I realized it's been an entire year since my Japan trip. Good heavens.



The return trip to reality is never fun, if not utterly depressing. Ours was an early flight, and so I waved goodbye to Japan in a hurry, with bleary eyes and hastily curled hair (how I found the time, I'll never know). Thankfully I managed to keep myself awake for the first leg of the flight (waiting for the food, no doubt), because minutes into it the captain announced that we shall be passing over Mt. Fuji. I could not have imagined a better farewell gift.

Tokyo, to me, remains to be equal parts foreign and familiar. It's never going to be home, but I take immense comfort in knowing I can always drop by and visit. ^^



Bullet Point Mondays

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  • Mondays are for wearing newfangled stuff - to start the week right and all that -  and today that happens to be a blue top (I'm having a love affair with navy at the moment) and black skinny pants. And so the whole day was littered with comments about my white and gold outfit. Heh. (For the record that godforsaken dress was black and blue to me, and everyone else in the office was convinced I was either trolling or completely colorblind). 

  • So I got side-printed keycaps for my mechanical keyboard off ebay, and I installed them today during my lunchbreak and they are awesome. As the name suggests, instead of having the letters printed on top, they're on the side, so from the top they all look blank. Plus there is the advantage of the letters not rubbing off or getting dingy (I've always been able to tell what letters I punch in more often by their change in hue after a few months or so). Very cool.


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Kitchen Misadventures: Air Fryer Adobo

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Ask almost any Filipino and they will tell you that there is no greater adobo than their mother's. Or grandmother's. I am, of course, no different. My lola used to make chicken adobo with premature chicken eggs (i.e. still inside the chicken and devoid of a shell) which sounds weird but it's actually awesome, and one time she made a batch for me to bring to the dorm and I asked my brother, that rotten little twerp, to hold it for all of ten seconds and he ate half of it!!! I'm pretty sure I would've murdered him if my parents weren't around. Even the memory of it makes me furious.

Anyway.

I have yet to replicate the family recipe. Over the holidays I tried asking my mother about it, but she explained that it is best cooked in a palayok (clay pot) over charcoal, with a particular type of vinegar that is of course not commercially available. So I have no choice but to make do with what is available to me.

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Chasing Planes Day 7: My Happy Place

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I've had a particularly harrowing day at work today, so I thought it would be a good idea to blog about the one place in Japan that is guaranteed to make me happy: Sea Paradise.


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