Monthly Archives: August 2013

Week 5: The Last Of The Adventures In The Philippines

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The first day of our last week in the Philippines started off by the pool, it was a bit too cloudy to tan though. After taking the couple to the airport for their honeymoon our friend Ralph took us out for pizza at S n’ R, its the equivalent to our Costco except they have the best pizza around!
Afterwards Ralph took us sightseeing, first we went to see the statue of Lapu Lapu.

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Lapu Lapu was the man who killed Magellan, the Spanish invader’s leader in 1521.

After that we went to see Magellan’s cross in old Cebu.

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We also explored this super old church that was right beside the cross.

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We had a lot f fun getting out of the condo and doing some sightseeing.

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We decided to go for coffee at ‘Off Roads’ and use their Wifi as it has out of order at the condo for a day. We tried to contact Paul and Pam to make plans for dinner, since we couldn’t get a hold of them we dropped in on them at their hotel, the Marco Polo.  They were not interest in going out that night so Bobby, Natasha, Remy and my self took a cab to Mr. A’s all by our selves!

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It was a beautiful full moon night.
On the way home the taxi driver took us to the wrong place but we eventually made it home, again all by our selves, we were so proud!
While we were out we found out that the couple’s honeymoon was cancelled! Due to the storms that were hitting Manila, the airport had so many backed up flights that they would not be able to fly to Thailand until Friday. By then it would be too late as the groom has to be back at work. So the couple would be coming home later that night : (

We didn’t do much on Thursday…we had made plans to go to plantation bay for the day but because the couple was coming home we had to cancel : ( We did end up making plans to have a farewell party on Saturday night at the condo so once the couple recovered from their disaster honeymoon we went to the gym to invite the boys and then shopping for much needed party supplies! You have no idea how excited I was to be having a farewell party and see all our new friends one last time before we have to leave!
Also, I have had to use my first responder skills since the wedding to wrap up Derek’s ankle every day, as it is still very swollen and bruised.

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Friday we were invited to hang out with Paul and Pam by the pool at the Marco Polo.

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Unfortunately Natasha was not feeling well so she stayed home, I had some very special plans with Ralph so I did not go either. Instead I got to go on my first ever motorcycle ride!

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It was so much fun!! The experience was nothing like driving around in a car, there was the added risks of course, but it has made me want to learn how to drive one, maybe one day…
Afterwards… we went out for coffee, I had a really good time, then Ralph dropped me off at the hotel where I joined the gang. We had lunch at the buffet but we ended up eating mostly from the dessert bar…

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Later in the night Paul and Pam came to the condo and stayed the night, generously giving their room at the hotel to the couple so that they could have a Plan B Honey Moon. We ended up watching some movies including some scary ones.

Waking up Saturday morning I had so much energy and excitement for our party…but we weren’t really doing any thing all day so I decided to go to the gym with Ralph. It felt SO good to be back in a gym! Even after being away from the gym for 2 months I was still able to get a really good jog in, it was also super hot in the gym so I sweated a lot! The boys were super nice to me and got me my very first boxing lesson!

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I wasn’t really good at it but it was a lot of fun and its an incredibly good work out, I was completely drained after that. Back at home we relaxed for a bit before getting ready for the party…

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We started off the good times with drinking and card games, there was some shenanigans of looking people out on the balcony, which led to some injuries…

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And the hosts of the party (Bobby and my self) even put on a show of impersonations of all our new friends, which was a big hit! It was a great night, we had a lot of fun, and for some it was our last chance to hang out with these amazing people! I also found out that one of the bartenders had rescued my flip flops from Sugar Beach and he brought them back to me that night!

The couple stayed at the Marco Polo for most of Sunday so we decided to go on an adventure by our selves, we took a taxi to the Taoist Temple in Cebu, then we wandered the mall and did some shopping.

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While we were out my flip flops broke! After our grand reunion… I guess it wasn’t meant to be…

Soon enough Monday rolled around, our last full day in Cebu. We spent the day packing up, we ended up having 5 carry on bags and 5 checked bags between 3 of us which totaled just under 80kg!!

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For dinner we went to Mr. A’s one last time but this time with Paul and Pam. After dinner Bobby, Remy and my self went out for coffee with Ralph and Vard. We took our coffee up to Tops, a beautiful lookout point on a mountain, it was a bit cooler up there but nothing we couldn’t handle! As always we had a lot of fun and overall goofy-ness.

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It was a great way to spend our last night, though some party poopers wanted to actually get sleep before our flight so we had to eventually go back to the condo, I really didn’t want that night to end…I really didn’t want any of it to end.

Tuesday was difficult, after breakfast Ralph picked us up from the condo to take us to the airport. There were a lot of tears and sad goodbyes, and one really nice goodbye…
Our first flight was to Manila and was an hour long, then we had a 2 hour layover in Manila. In Manila we quickly had some lunch and purchased food for our next flight which was to Osaka and 5 hours long, during that time our airline wont serve us food and drinks so we had to be prepared.
Once we landed in Osaka we converted our left over Pesos into Yen and had to figure out how we would get all our bags from one airport to the hotel. It turns out that there is a direct limousine bus from Kansaii Airport to Itami Airport (where our hotel was), and the best part was that because we had arrived in one airport and departed from the other we got to take the bus for free! This was such a relief as I though we would have to some how take the subway with all those bags…
I think the best idea I had while planning this trip was to stay at the Osaka Air terminal Hotel during our layover. We got there at about 10:30pm and our next flight wasn’t until 8am. It was sooo nice to sleep in a bed for one night between all our travel.

 

This hotel was super nice! It was really clean, had all the amenities, had all sorts of toiletries for us, the staff was fantastic and overall some where I would recommend!

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The next morning our flight was at 8am, I thought we had gotten to the airport early enough but we almost missed our flight because check in took so long! We managed to skip some lines because I talked to security and they rushed us through, we jogged to our gate and ended up making it in time, there was a few people that got on after us but not many! This was a one hour flight to Tokyo. Once in Tokyo we had a 9 hour lay over. In that time we decided to leave the airport, take the train to Narita, the town 10mins outside the airport, and wander around. We wandered the area around the train station until we found a map of the city. Because every one was hungry we decided to skip the touristy temples, shrines and parks and instead go to the mall. The mall was on the other side of the city and a great deal to far to walk so we decided to take the bus. At first I didn’t think I would be able to navigate which bus to take, Narita being a small town did not have many signs in English but we managed to find a direct bus to the mall and it was only aprox 15 min ride. We wandered the mall until we found the food court, then had lunch.

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We decided for our last meal in Japan it had to be some thing non-western. My curry udon was delicious! After wandering the mall to waste time we headed to the Starbucks right by the bus stop so we could enjoy coffee in a relaxing spot until we had to take the bus back to the train station, to take the train back to the airport. This was an awesome was to spend a long day-time layover, and it was good to get some exercise before having to sit on the airplane for so long.
Our next flight was to Vancouver and almost 9 hours long. The plane was completely full and I didn’t get to sit with my sisters. At first I kept my self entertained but near the end I got really restless.
In Vancouver we had a 4 hour layover but by the time we got our bags and went through immigration and customs we didnt have all that long to wait. The unfortunate part is that during the layover I washed my face and changed outfits, while I did this I took off my bracelet I had gotten in Japan and forgot it on the counter in the washroom! I was so focused on getting home…It makes me sad, but there isn’t much I can do about it now.

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^ Remy and I in Vancouver airport (after I lost my bracelet)

Our last flight was to Winnipeg and took about 3 hours, when we arrived our friend Madison, my mom (biological), step dad and brother were all there to greet us!

It has been a fantastic adventure, even after all these blogs I cant find the words to convey how special and spectacular the summer of 2013 has been for me. I studied abroad in a country where I knew very little of the language, met some great people, made friends with even greater people, learned how to use a map and navigate on my own, lived the life of an actual college student, survived on my own (sort of), I learned a lot about what it means to be a community and a lot about my self (I know that sounds cliche), I had a great summer crush, lived the life of a party animal, and in general had a lot of ‘firsts’. I know I will never forget the adventures I went on, or the people I had them with. I am sad that this chapter has to end but I cherish it even more for that, I made the most out of every moment, stepped outside my comfort zone and I did things I would normally be to shy to do. I want to thank every one that was apart of this growth and those who supported me because with out you I wouldn’t have been able to do it!

There are as many kinds of journeys as there are people, and every trip is uniquely one’s own, this is why the conversation on travel is an interesting and never ending one.

Thank you and take care until the next of – Trivalent Risks

 


Week 4: Adventures In The Phillippines And The Wedding

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Alrighty here we go again…

Wednesday mom’s brother and his wife arrived, we brought them back to the condo and hung out for a bit before taking them to their hotel. They were very exhausted from their trip so they didn’t stay long. For dinner Derek (the fiance) made ribs and they are now my new favorite rib recipe, which we have acquired for our collection. After dinner we packed our bags for the wedding and watched a movie before bed.

First thing Thursday morning we were up and packing the van for the 3 hour drive to the port, we aimed to make it there for the 9:30 ferry. In the van we had Howell as our driver and we had Natasha, Remy, Bobby, Vard and myself as passengers. In the car we had Ralph as a driver and our mom, Derek, mom’s brother Paul and his wife Pam as passengers. When we arrived we found out the 9:30 ferry is only for passengers not vehicles so we had to wait an hour for the next one. The car however stayed in the city until the bank opened at 9am to withdraw money to pay for the wedding, they ended up being just on time for the last vehicle ferry of the day.
Once we got to Bantayan we checked into our hotel for the wedding, La Breanna, and got settled.
The four of us ‘kids’ (Natasha, Remy, Bobby, my self) were in one room with two single beds, the hotel had to add cots for us. In the room across the hall was ‘the boys’ room with Ralph, Vard, Howell, and Yus. Above them was ‘the couple’s’ room and above us was Paul and Pam’s room. AImage

All the rooms had a kitchenette and small sitting area, the bathrooms had a weird design where the shower was not a separate part of the bathroom so when you did shower EVERYTHING in the washroom got wet.
Later we met up with the people who took the car at a restaurant for lunch. After that we headed over to Sugar Beach, the location of the wedding,

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We explored the beach while some last minute wedding preparations took place. For dinner we headed to a nice little restaurant on the beach called Tristan’s, they make really good pizza! Back at the hotel we witnessed one of what was to be many power outages then some of the boys, Remy and my self stayed up and had a few drinks.

Friday morning started off with our mom being really stressed and was bit mad we had drank the rum the night before (to be fair we only had half of the bottle…). We had breakfast at a restaurant called ‘H n’ R’ this restaurant became our usual breakfast spot. After breakfast we went back to Sugar Beach where we hired a boat to take us to Virgin Island.

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On the islands we went swimming, tanned, and had some lunch. Although some of us didn’t eat much as we only had fish… Some people went snorkeling and found a sea snake

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And a bunch of starfish

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A few of us went exploring down the shore of the island and found piles and piles of sea shells, we took a few as souvenirs.
After getting back to the hotel we all showered and got ready for dinner, we went to a restaurant called Blue Bar. The ‘kids’ had to sit at the ‘kids table’ but we ordered alcoholic beverages which got us a bit tipsy so we had more fun then the ‘adults’.

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We had decided to share a 4 person lasagna but it wasn’t enough food for us and because there were more wedding preparations to be done they didn’t want to wait for us to order more food. On the way back to the hotel we stopped and bought a bunch of junk food and back at the hotel we continued the drinking. We had a few more power outages and a ‘water outage’ then we helped with the making of the marinade for tomorrow night’s BBQ. Later in the night we got some bad news: The best-man would not be attending the wedding, to avoid a crises they selected a new best-man and asked Bobby to step in as one of the groomsmen!

Saturday: After breakfast at the usual place the boys (including the new groosman Bobby) were sent off to the market for last minute items. The plan was to head to the dress maker’s (La La’s) shop to get last minute fittings and an out fit made for Bobby. We had to take the van to ferry the guests arriving at the port to their room’s at Sugar Beach. During this time La La showed up at La Breanna and did the fittings right at our hotel! After the fittings were done we were told we had to pack our things we would need for the day, including what we needed for the rehearsal dinner, then we headed to Sugar Beach for the rest of the day. We didn’t really know what was going on or why we needed to be at the beach so early because we found out the bride was napping in her air-conditioned room while we waited thinking that they were taking care of wedding stuff. No one had told us we had access to food at Sugar Beach so we didn’t end up eating any thing between breakfast and the rehearsal dinner. During the time we had on the beach we just watched the set up crew get ready for the party

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Every thing was very disorganized so we attempted to help but eventually gave up on that task and just hung out with the bartenders for a bit.
The rehearsal party started very behind schedule and we didn’t actually rehearse. We were also supposed to have a dance lesson as the bridal party had to perform a dance for their entrance at the reception, but that never happened…
Before dinner started us ‘kids’ got a few drinks at the bar, since we hadn’t eaten much all day they hit us a bit hard. After dinner there was a drag show, then some odd wedding games that we got suckered into playing, the game was some thing like partnered 20 questions. Once the games were finished the bartenders had a flare bar tending show, they put on a really good show!.
After all that the DJ started his music and the party started! DJ Gran was fantastic, probably the best DJ I have heard, this made for a really awesome party. To sum up the party we drank A LOT (more than I ever have before), we danced A LOT, made some new friends, and overall had a good time. the weird thing though was that the people here like to dance in these big dancing circles where one person goes into the center to show off their ‘moves’, this was awkward for us but with all the drinks we had each of us ended up going into the middle.
Near the end of the night some people started trickling away and there wasn’t many people dancing, then our mom insisted we leave with her so we headed back to the hotel. Back at our room we decided to stay up for a while to drink as much water as we could before bed, during this time I decided, in my inebriated state, that it was a good idea to go for a walk out side. Remy came with me as chaperone, she wouldn’t let me pull a prank on the boys…I wanted to take the dress mannequin that was left at the hotel and put it on the boys patio so when they opened the curtain in the morning it would be standing there. Despite the amount I drank I didn’t get sick but poor Natasha ended up throwing up a lot that night.

The Day Of The Wedding:
Started off with breakfast at the usual place, but eating was difficult this morning with the hangover or still being drunk, I’m not sure. Back at the hotel we finally had our dance rehearsal, then it was showers, hair, make up, wardrobe for every one. For some reason our room was designated the dressing room for all the ladies, and it quickly got really crowded.

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With all those people in one room plus the camera crew recording every thing it was super warm even with the AC full blast. And because the make up artists were not used to working on Caucasian skin tones they put on really dark foundation on us, I have tanned a lot it wasn’t too noticeable on me but it was a little funny looking on Natasha and Remy. Once I was finished getting ready I hung out in the boys room until it was time for the photo shoot as it was a lot cooler in their room. At one point I was asked to play medic as the groom-to-be had sprained his ankle at the party the night before and could barely walk on it. Thankfully I had a small medical bag with me and I was able to tape his ankle, this gave him enough support to be able to walk on it and dance for the couples first dance!

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After the photo shoot we were shipped off to Sugar Beach for the ceremony but things were very disorganized and started late, most likely because we didn’t actually rehearse at the rehearsal dinner and party.

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Eventually the couple were wed!!
To start off the reception we had to perform our dance…which was a horrible nightmare, no one remembered the dance, especially me… After dinner there was a bunch of weird wedding games, and Bobby had a lovely speech. We got Ralph to quickly take us back to the hotel so we could change for the party. We got back just in time for the fireworks display! Yes! There was a fireworks display!

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Once DJ Gran started up his music we hit up Charlie and Ran for drinks and we set a goal for the night: break up the circle dancing! To do this we enlisted the help of our new friends and when we saw people watching from the side lines we would surround them and bring them out to the dance floor. Bobby was the life of the party with his amazing dance skills and every one had an amazing time! Late in the night our mom told us we had to leave again even though the party was still going. I really wanted to stay longer!! back at the hotel we stayed up for a while to drink more water, in our drunken state we ended up bugging the boys for a while, had more fun in our room, then headed to bed.

Then came Monday morning…on second thought lets not talk about Monday at all…
The day started off with a rude awakening from our mom banging on our door and shaking it…great way to start the day. We hobbled out of bed with our war wounds and head aches and went for the usual breakfast, I ended up only having coffee.
Back at the hotel we had to pack every thing up, eventually I realized I lost my shoes at the party the night before. Howell took me down to the beach to look for them but they were gone : (
We tried to get on the 12:30 ferry but it was full so we had lunch and hopped on the 1:30 ferry. The ride was not enjoyable as it was really wavy and I got a bit sea sick, the three hour drive home was no better. We got caught in rush hour traffic so we didn’t end getting home until 6 or 7pm. I ended up staying up pretty late talking to a bunch of people I met at the party.

As for Tuesday we ended up lounging around the condo for the entire day. We have concluded that a bunch of must have got food poisoning and we think it might have been from the catering food. Way later in the day we went for dinner at the Blue Bar & Grill at the Marco Polo hotel, it was super fancy and nice.

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I didn’t get a lot of photos of the wedding due to being a part of the entourage, but don’t worry there will be plenty of photos I just need to borrow them from the others!
We have one week left before we finally head home, its going to be a busy week!


Adventures In The Phillipines Week 3

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Here we are again for another week!

Wednesday the whole family went to the hypermarket to do much needed grocery shopping. Afterwards the fiance wanted to get a massage, Remy and I accompanied him. We ended up going to three different locations because they were all busy, but we eventually found one that could take us with out an appointment. It was a lot cheaper then compared to massages back home, and the staff was all registered in their trade. Later in the evening we drove up a hill side (or maybe it was a mountain?) and had dinner at Mr.A’s, this was a cool place to have dinner as it overlooked the city, we ate dinner watching all the lights of the city. Oh and we found this really weird looking bug, you have most likely heard of stick insects but have you heard of leaf insects??

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We didn’t really do any thing on Thursday, I waited with great excitement for Friday, because on Friday Bobby arrives! (one of my best friends who moved to Toronto).
One thing, the fiance is a professional cook, and usually makes our dinners…so yummie. We are trying to put together a collection of all the recipes he makes that we want to bring back with us, it sure would spice up our meals back home.

When Friday finally rolled around I was so excited I woke up early so I could be ready to pick Bobby up from the airport. My excitement was put on hold when I found out the airline he was one double booked his flight from Manila to Cebu and he had volunteered to take the next flight in. It wasn’t a big deal because it was only an hour later then originally planned…until we got to the airport and found out his flight was delayed an hour more…eventually we got him, brought him to the condo and started showing him around. We didn’t go out any where but we made plans for an overnight trip to the beach! Bobby tried his best to stay up to adjust to the new time zone but ended up taking a nap and going to bed earlier then planned.

Our plan for Saturday was to drive out to Alcoy after the fiance finished his class. We brought along our escort Ralph and one of our mom’s other friends Vard, we took two cars; one car was my mom and her fiance, myself and Bobby, the other car held Ralph, Vard, Natasha, and Remy. I REALLY wish I had gotten in the other car…it was three hours of backseat driving from my mom, and her awful music. Driving here is scary as heck, I’m pretty sure there are no driving rules…you just go and don’t hit things…well we did end up hitting some thing…as it got dark it was getting harder to see the numerous bikes and trikes on the road as there were no street lights. When overtaking a trike we accidentally hit the bike’s handle bars with our side-view mirror, we stopped long enough to see if they were ‘ok’ and kept going. I prayed that we would arrive at our destination very soon…
Sure enough we did, we stopped at a beach front resort, but they only had one room. Because we didn’t want to risk being out on the road we decided to cram 8 people into one room…it was a nice cottage-like building with big doors you could open up to the patio that overlooked the ocean, it had two beds, and a large sitting area. The resort added a whole bunch of cots for us so no one had to sleep on the floor.

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When we got our room we sat on the patio and ate the rice and chicken we picked up from a local market. The rice was called ‘hanging rice’ because it it wrapped up in these woven triangle shapes made from coconut leaves, and the chicken was a ‘native’ chicken with the most delicious flavor, that flavor that I have waited for ever since I left the Philippines two years ago…it was awesome.
After dinner we went and explored the beach, I really wanted to go swimming but was advised against it as when its dark you cant see the jelly fish. So instead of risking it we sat on the patio, had drinks, and hung out. The fun ended when we decided it was time to sleep, I got stuck on a cot which was the most uncomfortable sleep of my life! This made three nights in a row that I couldn’t sleep, it felt like I layed awake for hours, then it got really cold in the room because of the AC which made it harder to sleep. For a time I considered crawling into bed with Natasha and Remy, but before I mustered the energy to move I must have fallen asleep. The next thing I remember was waking up at some awful time of the morning because no one had closed the curtains and the sun was rising.

First thing Sunday morning we had breakfast then it was time for the beach!

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The beach had these huts you could rent for the day, we didn’t need one as the resort let us use our room until 2pm.

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^ The boys.

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^ The white people.

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^ The couple.

After some fun in the water I got my tan on, it only took an hour in the cloudless sun and I am about 2-3 shades darker, Yay!
The tide came in around noon so we headed upstairs, every one showered, packed up, then we had lunch before having to head back to the city. For what ever reason this resort had their very own monkey…

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I don’t much like monkeys but I felt bad for this one, its living conditions were less then comfortable.
For the ride home I made sure to be in the other car, such a peaceful ride home…The rest of the night we relaxed and recovered from our vacation.

Monday there was many errands to run for the wedding, though because the car could only hold so many Natasha, Remy, and my self stayed home. I was content staying home, we watched movies through out the day and in general were very lazy! Bobby went with the group since he had not seen a lot of the city yet, they had to pick up alcohol for the bar for both Saturday and Sunday, paper plates and plastic cups, white undergarments for the groomsmen, and some other items common for a Filipino wedding. Our mom made some spicy chilli for dinner, while she was cooking she sent us off to “Off Roads” for coffee. It is a really nice place to have an iced coffee, sitting on the rooftop patio, enjoying the view and breeze!

Finally Today (Tuesday) we started the day slowly, then we got ready to go out and do more wedding errands. Today’s errands were more enjoyable, we got our nails done and did some shopping while our mom and her fiance got their hair cut and colored.I picked up a new butterfly for my collection, awesome! Our sister Remy put up a fuss about having to go out and get  her nails done so we left her behind, good thing to as there was no room in the car! Before heading home we had dinner at ‘BigBy’s’ I had a delicious fruit/cheese/walnut salad and for dessert we all shared the ‘Titanic Treat”!

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Needless to say 5 people were not able to finish this, but the nice staff packed it up and we took it home, you can take any thing home in the Philippines!

And that’s all for week three. Until next time.


Week 2: Adventures In The Philippines

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I suppose it’s been awhile since I’ve written an update…A little bit more happened this week, compared to last week, but not much.

Its not very interesting but Wednesday and Thursday I spent a lot of time ‘trying’ to write my paper, to be honest most of the days were spent procrastinating from writing. I can waste a lot of time playing games on my iPhone…

On Friday we had to run some banking errands, our mom’s system of paying for things here is less then ideal: since her bank card is from North America she can only take out money through an ATM, the ATM however only allows withdraws from foreign cards in quantities less than $250 per transaction and a max of 3 transactions per day, and charges any where from $4-7 in transaction fees each time. The major problem is that she is trying to pay for a wedding which has a lot of big ticket payments, luckily my two sisters each have an account linked to hers so she can transfer money to their account (free of charge) then they can also make three withdrawals. For a total of 9 transactions a day, $36-63 in transaction fees, and a total of $2,250 in cash  : S
After all the banking we stopped at a road side fruit stand and picked up a bunch of fruit including ones I have never heard of before.

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^ This is purple mangosteen.

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I don’t actually recall what this one was.

We also stopped at a strip mall not to far from the condo and got manicures! It is really cheap to get any type of salon services here, and they are all registered technicians in their trade. After that we stopped to have lunch at a place that served Mexican food (I think). I had this delicious chili-cheese-fry-look-alike.

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Before our food had arrived our mom had a wedding planning emergency, she had to fax a document somewhere before they closed and if she didn’t get it done before the weekend they wouldn’t be able to get the wedding permit (or some thing). So she had to go back to the condo right away, she left us with money for a taxi and left us there! I wanted to be terrified but I knew I would have to be the one to get the three of us home so I calmly sipped my overly strong mango margarita and let the alcohol calm my nerves. It turned out not so bad, I asked the waitress where the taxi stand was but instead she waved over a security guard who called one for us and waited with us until it arrived. Giving the directions were a little difficult what with the language barrier but it was only a 5 min drive away and we made it safe and sound and not kid-napped. Later that evening we all packed up our bags as the next day we would be leaving before 6am for a road trip.

To start off Saturday we got up around 5am to be ready to leave by 6, I was told I had up until 6 to get ready but our mom decided we had to leave early. This made me forget to grab things like my laptop to finish my paper with, my book to have some thing to do for the 4 hours it would take to get there and again…no coffee.
First we had to pick up her fiance from the airport, but we were 45mins early (Yeah, I really didnt have time to make a coffee…), The Mactan airport doesnt allow people in to the airport with out boarding passes so when you are picking people up you are only allowed to drive by and stop for a short time, so we had to wait some where else for those 45mins.
Then it was off to Bantayan! …but first a three hour car ride, with no bathroom breaks (because the bathrooms that were available you had to pay for and were all dirty and I was more willing to just wait…good thing I didn’t have that coffee), then an hour ferry ride.
While we were waiting for the ferry, some people started using our reflective tinted windows as mirrors…while we were inside…watching them…it was kind of awkward, like do I some how let them know I’m inside or?

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Yeah…we took pictures of them, heeheehee.

Once on the other side we went to find a place to stay for the weekend. We decided on Kota Beach, this was our first time here but not our mom’s, it was rather inexpensive, and because its the off season for tourism we got to choose if we would rather beach front or not…why did they bother asking? I was so excited for the weekend when I saw our ‘room’

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Natasha, Remy, and I got a cabin all to our selves. I was even more excited when I saw our view.

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We were a little disappointed with the amenities inside the cottages how ever, mostly the bathroom to be specific, there was only toilet paper provided, the bathroom door didn’t close never mind lock…and the shower was…scary. We hadn’t brought things like shampoo or soap, so for the next three days we would just have to be smelly.
We were pretty exhausted from the trip so after lunch at the resort we took a nap shortly after arriving, to our surprise our nap lasted several hours, we woke up just in time for dinner. For dinner we went off the resort to a different resorts restaurant, afterwards our whole group hung out at the bar, we had brought our own drinks, mixes and snacks and the bar didn’t seem to have a problem with it, except due to the lack of guests they closed up at 9pm and turned the lights off on us…their only paying guests and they turned the lights out on us…

The next morning we again left the resort for breakfast, then some of us went swimming while others went giant-hermit crab hunting.

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Before lunch the pastor stopped by and confirmed some details, after lunch we all had to pile into the van to see Lala the dress maker/wedding planner for a dress fitting, though our dresses hadn’t been made yet and the bride-to-be didn’t try on her dress, so it wasn’t much of a dress fitting, they confirmed some more details that should have already been taken care of by now, then it was off to have a food tasting of the caterer. When we arrived at their home we found out they hadn’t actually received the menu so what we taste tested wasn’t even the food that we would be having on the wedding…nothing about that day made sense.

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We got to go to a locals house!

Once we were finished there we drove around for hours trying to find a bank machine that wasn’t off line, accepted North American cards, and that still had cash to dispense…then we had to confirm with the resort we would be staying at on the wedding proper. By the time we got back to our resort it was almost 6:30pm…the whole beautiful day gone. THEN there was a test run of the make up…I got a little carried away with the natural eye lash glue that the make up artist had brought.

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Apparently the sap from this tree works just like eye lash glue, since they didn’t need the whole branch I ‘tested’ it out.
After dinner Natasha and I sat on the beach and watched the lightning storm that was on the horizon.

The next morning (Monday) we had to get all our things packed and ready to leave by 10am, we had just enough time to grab some thing to eat before leaving. With all the running around we didn’t even get a full day on the beautiful beach : (
Then it was back on the ferry, which took longer this time, and a three hour drive back to the city.
When we got in I had a bunch of coffee and actually finished my paper! I even had time left over to enjoy the evening (Today was the final day to hand it in, yikes!). Now I am officially frinished the course, and I dont have any more responsibilities until I am back in Canada!

I honestly can’t remember if we did any thing on Tuesday which probably means I spent some time by the pool and relaxed all day.

Some things to note, as I like to keep this an honest account of my trip, things are not perfect in paradise, the happy couple is not always happy, I hope its just wedding stress, they seem to be in arguments all the time and are never happy with each other. They also seem to think they are some how entitled to be obnoxious because one of them is Caucasian and has money perhaps? They constantly play their music on speakers way to loud, ridicule wait staff just because they asked for some thing to be repeated, and in general they seem to think the world revolves around them and any one that gets in the way is just an inconvenience. It gets to the point that I don’t want to be associated with them and tarnish what reputation I might have left. I try to keep my mouth shut though (which some of you will know just how difficult that is for me) as they are the ones paying for my accommodations etc.
Couples who argue and fight about your problems (instead of having an honest conversation about what is bothering you) maybe you need to rethink your approach or your relationship, or do it behind closed doors, no one wants to see it.

And with that, see you next week.