Ordinary things that make life extraordinary.

Ordinary things that make life extraordinary.

Category: Travels

Mellow Yellow Monday 044: Clowning around

Greetings from Isdaan (fishpond) Restaurant in Tarlac City (Philippines)!

I actually wrote this a week ago (and was set to autpost) while I was there with my office-mates for a company-sponsored team-building activity. Isdaan is located along the long stretch of Gerona Highway. From outside, you would think it is a big eclectic themed-park or resort. I said eclectic because of the presence of huge statues of monkeys, Buddhas, former Philippine presidents, and a lot more. I don’t know really know what they’re trying to achieve with this mix.

Anyways, as the name suggests, fresh fish are the main attraction at the restaurant. However, other favourite Filipino dishes are also served. In my opinion, I don’t think the food is outstanding – just okay – and the place is so — outlandish. Pardon me but that’s how I felt when I set foot there.

Oh, and there were clowns who entertained us on the day we went there.

Clowns!

See yah, Tito Big!

I’m excited!

My younger brother (who works in Cambodia) is coming home tomorrow. He is actually on a business trip and going to do some work done but decided to come home after his meetings for a quick visit to my parents. He regularly comes home, every quarter, really. His office does all the arrangements for him, including a travel insurance. Years ago, a lot of ordinary travelers (including me) scoff at the idea of getting a travel insurance coverage. Today, however, the attitude has changed as more and more are opting to have one, whether it is for business trip or a holiday. Should I need one when I travel? Yes, I think so, especially for family trips. It covers travelers while on a trip should something happen them.

Nowadays there are so many types of travel insurance that for average travelers like me may  have difficulty in choosing one, let alone select from an online travel insurance sites.  Out of curiosity I checked out an online travel insurance sites and was awed at the sheer number of them. Enter online travel insurance sites like Travel Insurance Direct in Australia. For one, the site’s lay-out is clean and not cluttered. The important topics are on the top portion (navigation bar)To get a quote, visitors have multiple choices to select which country they are traveling to, when, and the age of the traveler – which are presented via dialog boxes in a very straight-forward manner. Then, with another mouse-click you get a quote. What’s more, whether you are traveling as  a group or not or a frequent traveler , the site offers  options to give you more savings. No paperwork and annoying policy advisers to deal with. It does save you time.

I have never bought a travel insurance before but now I agree that it’d be a good idea, especially that getting one is not a major hassle.

What do you think about travel insurance? Do you have one?

Mellow Yellow Monday 030: Baguio sweets

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Goodness, if only I could I would bring all of these home the last time my family had vacation there, lol. These are strawberry products and other sweets made in Baguio City.

Baguio sweets to take home to your sweetie-pies.

These sweet delights are distinctively from Baguio City. You can never leave the city without them, trust me.

Mellow Yellow Monday 023: A pair of yellow birds

After two days of holiday food and merry-making, my head is throbbing and my stomach, errrm, not settled. I think the acid in my stomach is acting up 🙁 I better buy nexium before this condition goes out of hand! I think most people are experiencing this situation. Holiday food – at least in the Philippines – could be very oily, too sweet, and laden with lots of fats and cholesterol. Good thing is that over the counter drugs for acid reflux, high cholesterol, among others, are now available without so much fuss. You can get your medication conveniently. Also with the help of the Internet, these medications are also available online. The other day, while browsing the Internet, I came across the Canada drugs site and was amazed at the convenience it brings to its consumers. You place your order for prescription and non-prescription and generic medications. They also have medications for pets. A lot of people attest to its low price and fast and efficient shipping and services. How good is that? If only we have the same here in the Philippines. Mothers like me could save time and spent it on other household or mommy tasks.

Speaking of tasks… I was on chaperone duty for my son. His school went on a field trip. One of the stops was Zoobic. It’s a zoo in Subic, get it? Lol. Anyways.  birds have always fascinated my son and when we reached the birds section at the zoo, he spent longer time looking at these gorgeous yellow birds:

Aren’t they gorgeous? They’re indeed a crowd-drawer. Plus they are so noisy!

Either they are young parakeets or Amazonian parrots. I forgot now. There was a sign o the cage but I could not remember anymore. Please help  with the info?

It took awhile before my son had enough of these birds. He was asking me lots of questions — questions that are actually feelers that he wants to have birds like these for pets. Of course, the mommy radar is quite strong on this one. I think he is too young to have pets and besides I, for one, don’t like caged birds. I want them to live in their natural habitat. So I asked him to wait till he is big enough {three birthdays more} and see if he still wants to have birds as pets. By then he can decide whether he is able to take care of birds, or any other pets, on his own because MamaGirl doesn’t have extra pair of hands 😀

Signs 010: Signs at the Ocean Adventure Park

Last week, my son’s class went on a field trip. Since it was my day-off I took this opportunity to accompany my son. It was a great move as we both enjoyed the activity together. It was a fun, educational experience for the kids (and parents, alike) at the Ocean Adventure,  it is the only open-water marine park in Southeast Asia located in Subic, Philippines.

Where would you like to go first? So many choices…

The sea lion show was the popular choice of the kids, of course!

Mellow Yellow Monday 019: Looking for fun at Zoocobia Fun Zoo

I have been delinquent again… not enough time and energy to blog after an all-nighter. Sigh! But, as you can see, I try to post whenever I can 🙂

One of the many attractions inside Paradise Ranch in Pampanga

Although there’s not much “wow” factor in this place, my son and niece had fun looking at the animals. It could use more work to have the “wow” and “fun” in Zoocobia.

Signs 008: Climate Change

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One of the last activities I participated in on my last few days as a VSO Volunteer was an awareness campaign on Climate Change in Mombasa. It was a half-day activity that included tree-planting and beach-clean up. Here’s one of the signs that I saw there, it is in English and Swahili languages:

Climate Change sign in Kishwahili I’m not really fluent in Swahili but this is the rough translation:

Elimika Kuhusu Climate Change  – Climate Change Awareness

Mazingira Bora; Maisha Bora  –  Better Environment; Better Life

Basically, this is what the message the sign is trying to convey. If anyone of my colleagues in Kenya is reading this, please I welcome your feedback.

I love the yellow and green combination here. I used to hear my sister say that to get the attention, the yellow color should be used. The black letters with yellow outline also stands out, in my opinion.

A secret no more

I was rummaging through my old files the other night and found some of my pictures in Kenya that I thought were already deleted!

Specially that of matatus – they are common modes of transpo in Kenya and are actually second-hand (or older) mini-vans and/or mini-buses similar to what we have in the Philippines – and these pictures evoke a particular memory while I was in Kenya.

I regularly take a matatu ride, especially when coming from the town to the jumping point to the village where I work. Because these are already used cars, more often than not, they break down in the middle-of-nowhere. See this photo:

stranded and waiting

If we are lucky to have a driver who knows how to fix car problems, we get stranded only for a short time. Otherwise, we painstakingly wait for hours till someone arrives to take a look at the  vehicle. Times like this we wish there are RepairPal Mobile we can call right away for roadside assistance just like what they have in the US.

The drivers are notorious for driving very fast and there was one time that I had the misfortune of riding in one that had an accident. I think the driver was racing against the other matatu to pick up passengers several hundreds of meters away and could not control the vehicle anymore. Even though he stepped on the brakes, it was already too late; the car swerved to the left and rammed against a tree. The front side of the car was badly wrecked, especially the driver’s side… I was sitting next to the driver and my feet got jammed between the car’s floor and the dashboard. Thank God the injury wasn’t serious. I was probably dazed and in shock and came to my senses only when the driver and other passengers pulled me out… oh the pain on my left foot. Up to now I can still remember every detail — about how everything went into a slow motion up to the impact, to being carried away to the nearest clinic.

Anyhoo, without sounding dramatic but also not downplaying what happened, I was not seriously injured. Nothing broken, just twisted ankle, or so they said, no open wounds (thank God!) just bruises and scratches (I instinctively used my bag to cover my face). So anyway, after receiving treatment at the clinic, I and the other passengers were asked to go to the police station  to report the incident. In my mind I was thinking what to say to the driver. In the end, I told him that he should have his vehicle regularly checked even if it’s just a simple brake pads replacement but very important for safety. After formalities at the police station I went home to Lukore with my new “shoes”.

my new shoes Nobody knew what happened except my older sister Sreisaat. We were exchanging sms for days and I told her to keep mum about it.  It was our secret as I – we- could not bear telling our parents then for they would have been at their wits’ end. Of course, my parents now know.

Shadow Shot Sunday 008: Virgin Beach

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Went to Virgin Beach in my hometown of Capiz for my son’s birthday. White sand, blue waters (yellow tint is actually a result of enhanced saturation level after editing), very few people… that’s how we wanted it to be. We had Virgin beach all to ourselves and my son had a blast!

shadows on the beach Love the shadow of the coconut tree… it is as if extending towards my son (left) to give him shade. On the shore and under that comforting shade, we shared a hearty lunch of seafood freshly caught from the same waters and peddled to us by the fishermen.

It was a good day!

Mellow Yellow Monday 008: TinkerBop

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This is my niece, Beebop, goofing around at Paradise Ranch/Zoocobia:

She said with her golden hair and wings she is now TinkerBop, a little fairy in Neverland and Tinkerbell’s bestfriend!

So cute! Look how scrunched her chubby face was – she’s not yet tall enough to reach the spot yet. LOL.

Wordful Wednesday 006: Future jet pilot

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Two weeks ago, we had an opportunity to visit Clark Field in Angeles City. My younger sister’s boyfriend took us all there because it was my mother’s last day of visit in Pampanga.

Clark Field used to be a US air base in the Philippines. Recently it has been transformed into a theme park of sorts. The place is wiiiiiiide and huuuuuuge. There were playgrounds and several choppers, fighter jet planes and anti-aircraft gallery scattered around the area.

My son loves everything about planes and choppers so this was a wonderful time for him to be able to see the “real thing”. He was so excited he wanted to climb aboard this jet:

 

All I know is that children are allowed to climb aboard these aircrafts to have a feel of what is it to be like inside. Unfortunately, there was no one around we could ask. My son was disappointed but still, he wants to be a pilot when he grows up.

That’s great, son, whatever you choose, we will support you.
Now let’s ask your father how much he has saved now for your college education! lol.