Ordinary things that make life extraordinary.

Ordinary things that make life extraordinary.

Category: Travels

Wordless Wednesday: Volunteering in Kenya

Six years ago, I went to Kenya for a one year stint as a VSO Volunteer.
It changed my perspectives completely.

Farmers meeting in Lukore.

Now I am back in my country, the Philippines, and I am still working in the development field. My experiences in Kenya have made me a better development worker and prompted me to work even harder for the advancement of the farmers, with particular interest with women.


Monday Mellow Yellows and Signs: Merry Ati-atihan

Ati-atihan Festival 2016
A street-dancer garbed in colorful costume holds their tribe’s sign for everyone to see. Taken during this year’s Ati-atihan Festival in Kalibo, Aklan.

The texts on the sign:

KABOG (the name of tribe, meaning “bats” in English)
Kalibo, Ati-Atihan

Kalibo, Aklan

This picture takes me back to the road trip we had in January. My husband, I, and sisters-in-law, with their husbands in agreement, made a last minute decision of going to Kalibo, Aklan to join in the Ati-Atihan celebration. So I gathered my sons and two nieces who expressed interest in going as well and embarked on a three-hour ride to Kalibo, the capital of Aklan.

It was a fun event even with kids in tow! It was mighty hot walking around as revelers, watching the street-dancing and other activities,  but, we were prepared with sunblock, water, and food especially for the kids.  The kids were troopers — they were walking (as the streets are full of merry-makers) and only complained when they got hungry or needing to use the toilet.

We spent the night in one of my sister-in-law’s place. Everybody squeezed in the one-bedroom house. We had a big dinner where everyone pitched in and the hosts also provided beer for the adults. As if we weren’t tired from all the walking and dancing,  we spent most of the night talking and laughing while the kids were busy playing with computer games. It’s rare when we have occasions of bonding like this but whenever we have the opportunity, we always grab it. How about in your family, how often do you get together with your families?

Monday Mellow Yellows

Monday Mellow Yellows: Plastic chairs

I’m currently traveling back home after attending a five-day project planning workshop in Tacloban City.

As some of you may know, Tacloban was massively devastated by last year’s Typhoon Yolanda (international name: Haiyan). From my hometown of Roxas City, I took a bus that would take me to Iloilo City. There, I took a plane to Cebu City. After arriving in Cebu City, I then boarded a boat to Ormoc, then a bus to reach Tacloban. All in one day. I arrived in Tacloban tired and famished and ready to call it a day.

It was a great day for traveling – the skies were clear and the sea so calm. While waiting for our boat to Ormoc, I noticed that there were only a few passengers; the waiting lounge was sparsely populated.

yellow chairs at the Cebu City port

Where have all the passengers gone? Probably not too keen to travel as, after the most recent Typhoon Ruby’s visit (international name: Hagupit) in the Visayas region, another LPA (Low Pressure Area) was sighted along the Visayas-Mindanao area.

Monday Mellow Yellows

Signs, signs: Self-service?

I’m coming back to Signs, signs meme again as I think I have lots of signs that need posting here. It’s just finding the time to post, that’s all.

Anyways, I was in Iloilo City two months ago for a training. For those who do not know, Iloilo City is one of the highly-urbanized cities in the Philippines, and the capital of Iloilo province. Iloilo City is a two-hours bus-ride away from my hometown, Roxas City, in the province of Capiz. Anyhoo, the training was conducted at a mid-range hotel, and it’s also where we (participants) stayed.

In one of the coffee breaks, I dashed to the loo only to be surprised at the sign waiting for me.

toilet sign

I was puzzled at the sign in the beginning – the “self-service” part, lol. It was only later on when I realized what it meant!


Monday Mellow Yellows 062: Parrots

Saw this statue of a pair of parrots with yellow crown at Isdaan sa Gerona Restaurant in Gerona, Tarlac.

monday mellow yellows parrots

They are really pretty birds. The real ones, I  mean.

Monday Mellow Yellows

Monday Mellow Yellows 059: Taxicabs

Seen through the glass walls of the airport is the skyline of Metropolitan Manila.

monday mellow yellows manila skyline

The yellow cars on the right side of the photo looked like a fleet of yellow taxi cabs. I might be wrong, considering my distance from the said area.

Monday Mellow Yellows

Monday Mellow Yellows 056: Angry birds

Is it just me or the week has gone slowly?

Oh well, please excuse this pregnant mama. I kinda felt like the days went by ever so slowly last week. It’s like waiting forever for Monday to come so I can post my Monday Mellow Yellows entry. So here it is:

monday mellow yellows angry birds

This Angry Birds statues are located inside one of the popular restaurants in Tarlac. I don’t exactly get it why they have Angry Birds in the restaurant. Sure it’s popular to kids but what does it exactly do? For picture purposes?

Add to that, they also have statues of the past Philippine presidents, particularly Cory Aquino and Joseph Estrada, in the restaurant garden. And not the usual standing statues, mind you. They are seated on benches around the restaurant. I kind of find it spooky. It just feels weird.

Monday Mellow Yellows

Monday Mellow Yellows 054: Seasonal fruits

I’m posting early this week coz I know I will be very busy in the coming weeks. We are on our toes as a new management (and owners) have taken over the company where I’m currently working. Each employee are being evaluated whether they remain in the company, or be let go. I hope I don’t get get into the latter category 🙁

Anyways, my entry this week is a snap I took while strolling at the city centro (center).

monday mellow yellows

I always make sure I get to see the city while on vacation before going back to Pampanga again. Very nice to see old, familiar places and faces and keeping up with them. In one of those strolls, I passed by Arturo Store along Taft Street and reminisced the old times. My, it has changed a lot.

Next door to Arturo is Sunny Store, another old timer, and surprising enduring up to these days. Across the store is a strip of fruit stalls, including my cousin’s. And these are some of the yummy fruits that are sold at my cousin’s stall. They sell mostly imported fruits, those considered as “expensive fruits”, depending on the season. Apples, grapes, pears, tangerines and some local ones like pomelos, mangoes, etc. They also sell foodstuff like banana chips, peanut brittle, watermelon seeds, and many others. They are best as pasalubong, or a homecoming gift, which is a Filipino tradition.

Monday Mellow Yellows

Monday Mellow Yellows 051: Hi-ho, hi-ho!

Still at the San Antonio Resorts in Brgy. Baybay in Roxas City…

I was surprised at how nice is the children’s playground there. Filled with the usual see-saws, slides, monkeybars and swings, it is large enough for kids to play and run around. There are lots of trees and flowering plants, and the grass are wonderfully trimmed. There are benches/chairs, too, that you’d normally see in parks where the oldies can relax, read a book or watch the kids and while away the time. There also pockets of areas like this, where you see duwendes (dwarves or gnomes) that don’t look spooky at all.

monday mellow yellows gnomes
The kids – Joshua, Beebop and Chappi – lovingly named these gnomes after them!

After the initial chaos of assigning which one is whom, they all agreed that the gnome with the green hat is Joshua,  the one in yellow, on the left, is Beebop, and on the right is Chappi.

And the three began singing … hi-ho, hi-ho.. it’s off to work we go…

Monday Mellow Yellows

Mellow Yellow Monday 048: Yellow beak

Just saying the Angry Bird fascination has not yet waned. Here is the little boy with his red Angry Bird headgear with a yellow beak:

apad mellow yellow monday angry bird
Joshua, Chappi, Grandma with the yellow-beaked Angry Bird at the airport.

Here is the little boy with his little cousin, Chappi, at the airport. This was the day we flew back to Manila. Behind them is their Grandma, my mother. The little boy is holding back his tears when I took this photo. He didn’t want to let go of Chappi and Grandma coz he said he’d be missing them when we go back to Pampanga.

Happy New Year my dear blogging friends!

Mellow Yellow Monday 045: Colorful hammocks

Somewhere in this pile lies a yellow hammock.
Can you see it?

Which color do you like best?