Baby Steps to Motherhood

I promised I would hit “Publish” on all my pending drafts posts, however, I would like to take a certain detour just to over/share some already dated news.

I have been oversharing on Facebook and Instagram about my pregnancy the past months, and six months ago, I gave birth to a tiny human. I am still in awe, disbelief even, how I was able to keep a human being inside me. Taking him out to the world is another matter I keep wondering about.

Screenshot (81)

This Instagram post kind of sums it all up. I was fresh from our launch that week and was already having signs of an early delivery. I made sure to visit my doctor that weekend to check on me and my baby. The doctor assured that nothing from those signs were alarming and that I might give birth later that week. However, on the wee hours of Sunday, I started having contractions. It continued throughout the day on a fifteen to thirty minute interval. Monday morning, my water broke. The entire bed was bathed in blood and water.

I was admitted at around five in the morning same day. I can hardly move as the contractions do not seem to end. Nurses even ask a lot of questions and details which, really, can be asked some other time anyway. I never imagined going through so much pain and getting asked how may times a day I change feminine pads when on period. Unbelievable! Hours went on though I barely recognized what time it really was. It felt like forever and all I wanted was to get over everything and let the baby out. I was transferred to the Delivery Room and was given the Epidural Anesthesia. It took away the pain though I hardly felt anything waist down when it was already time for pushing. I was doing the J Breathing Technique hoping I was doing it the right way. After four pushes, baby came out five minutes before nine o’clock in the morning. My husband was there too, holding my hand, all smiles gazing the baby resting on my chest.

By noon I was already in my suite with my tiny human in a bassinet beside me. It was really the first time I caught a good glimpse of him. His face was beaming, as if he was surrounded by a hundred angels. The pain of giving birth and recovery vanished. I was just brimming with pure joy and love.

Six months thereon, I still feel the same. After all the toils of breastfeeding (which deserves a separate story), of sleepless nights, crazy diaper changes, and a whole LOT more; I still look at him lovingly each day and wonder how a person this small can take up so much space in my heart.

Advertisements

Mother’s Day Random Ramblings

Last week, a colleague congratulated me for my first Mother’s Day celebration. I totally forgot about it until tonight that I’ve gone too emotional watching “Mom” videos on my newsfeed. Funny how becoming pre-occupied as a first time mother leave you with remembrances, realizations and emotions at random times (like now while having breaks doing the laundry).

Honestly, I haven’t imagined myself a mother until the moment I got confirmation that I had a tiny human inside. I was not ready, but I guess you’ll never be really ready until you get there. I deemed myself a mother as early as then. After all, I was already nursing and nourishing him. I had to change diet, skip vigorious activities, and even obey weird traditions roughly suggested by the oldies.

Pushing him out to the world is another story. I was never as frightened. I was not only scared for myself, I was scared for him more. But again, when you have no choice but to be courageous, well, you got to be. Imagine my relief when I saw him for the first time lying on my chest.

And motherhood doesn’t end there. Somewhere I’ve read said that real motherhood comes after you leave the hospital and take the baby home. Sure was right! My baby has been around for almost three months and I can no longer count my tears and sighs out of frustration, fear, paranoia, etc. Knowing there’s a lifetime ahead of him, God only knows how much more I need to bear. But I am not complaining, he’s our best gift (cliche, I know), our most terrible weakness (how can you say “no” when he puts up a cute crying face?), and my husband’s replica, only waaay more handsome (if I loved my husband’s annoyingly happy face, how can I not love my son’s?).

You know in art when they put together totally unrelated things to communicate one solid message? That’s how motherhood is like. It’s always a crazy unpredictable mix of emotions – some intense, some so-so. But unlike art which emanates multiple possible meanings, motherhood comes with but one message. It’s always the same every time – Love.

***

Happy Mothers’ Day to all the moms out there, most importantly, to my Mama. Now I know the truth in your rants! Hahaha Sending greetings to my husband’s mother as well, for raising such lovely man.

Props to my boys, too, for this wonderful and exciting journey. I love you both.

Like Yesterday

Feels like it was only yesterday we were both sitting in brown armchairs within an airconditioned room. Feels like it was only yesterday I took courage to kiss you in a gush of alcohol. Feels like it was only yesterday I made you a mixtape of music unknown to you. Feels like it was only yesterday since we knew each other more than mere names and faces in our grade school yearbook. 

Feels like yesterday, only, it was actually six years ago. Feels like yesterday, only, we got a month old little boy. Feels like yesterday, only, I married you four months ago. Feels like yesterday, only, my heart is filled with more inexplicable bliss. 

All my gratefulness for making everyday feel like the first time, even if it was already a thousand yesterdays ago. I love you, Husband.

Two is too much. My heart is full.

Baguio Eats

There’s a certain kind of love that compels me to travel up North every now and then. Must be the weather, must be the food. This post will be focusing on the latter.

As previously mentioned in most of my posts, I have spent but a brief time in Baguio in 2005 during my freshman year in UP. I never actually cared about the good eats then. I relied majorly on cafeteria food, carinderia stalls, fastfood, food my roommates bring back from home, or some food I experimented. It was actually only a few years ago I realized Baguio really does boast of good food finds. Here are a few from my last trip:

Cafe Sabel is the restaurant within Bencab Museum. The restaurant has an artsy interior and a breathtaking view of the Benguet mountains. A cup of coffee would actually suffice (the view was already filling to the soul), but since it was a little past lunch time, I had to order something heavy. I opted for the Tuyo Pasta. I liked that it wasn’t too salty but still flavorful – there was a hint of herb, of cheese, and of tuyo (dried anchovies). It was a tasteful delight to the palette.

IMG_0566

Boyfriend had the chops. It was rather ordinary, if not for the fresh siding.
IMG_0567

Vizco’s Strawberry Shortcake!!! This is something you just can’t miss when in Baguio. Creamy and dreamy, just the right amount of sweetness. I’m so craving now, wish we had Vizco’s here in Manila.
IMG_0634

Oh My Gulay is one of the most popular culinary finds in Baguio. Owned by artist Kidlat Tahimik, it’s a restaurant and a gallery in one – the most beautiful too, methinks. I personally consider this one of the most memorable places in Baguio. Not only have I spent afternoons here after researching for my thesis, I met and had the most sensible tete a tete with artist Willy Magtibay. I believe that conversation persuaded/lead me into actually going to the direction of Artsafter Graduation.

Well, that was too much an introduction! My favorite from Oh My Gulay is their Bulaklak Tempura (Deep Fried Pumpkin Blossoms) but was unfortunately already phased out (WHAAAAT?!) so I opted for this Kabute (Mushroom) Pasta instead. Must be because I was never a fan of purely vegetarian dishes, I felt some “meat” taste lacking in the pasta.
IMG_0638

The Sili Omelette, however, was nice and cheesy. I always loved omelettes and have been used to having omelettes with only veggies so I had no issue with this one. Don’t let it fool you though, it isn’t hot nor spicy.

IMG_0639

OMG’s Clubhouse Sandwich was as fresh as it could be. It didn’t bother me that the egg was substitute for meat. I actually kind of liked it, like it was a healthy breakfast sandwich of some sort. I loved the fruity, sweet, and tangy salad dressing!
IMG_0640

50’s Diner is one of the oldest establishments in Baguio. Best known for its Hollywood themed interiors,you’d see posters of old movies hanging on walls. I just hope the Jukebox still works though! This is also one restaurant that boasts of grand servings so just had to had She. It’s actually a protein plate – with beauty all mixed and mashed up – pork chop, chicken wing, beef sirloin, fish fillet, hotdog, french fries, and mixed vegetables, all golden fried. Taste was nothing spectacular though, or maybe I was already full upon first sighting.
IMG_0681

Boyfriend had the Gambler’s Choice. It was a heavy plate too. It had beef chops, prawns in barbecue sauce, and mixed vegetables. Nothing spectacular again.
IMG_0682

For days, we had breakfast at the Tam-Awan Village Cafe. I was very impressed with how they fused the normal food fare with traditional flavors of the north. For example, their clubhouse sandwich had etag (fermented lean pork) instead of ham and bacon. Taste was more smoky and flavorful.
IMG_0700

As for their omelette, you wouldn’t get butter alone for your toast. They mixed in honey, which is one of Baguio’s best produce, to give a tinge of sweetness to the savory breakfast.

IMG_0703

We also dropped by Hill Station for sugar fix one afternoon. We sampled on their New York Cheesecake, which was smooth and creamy, nothing special though.

IMG_0714

I’ve developed an instant liking though with their Lemon Meringue Bars. It gives the right tang when you’re already having a feeling of “umay” from all the sweetness.

IMG_0715

For the boyfriend’s Birthday Lunch, we opted to just stay in the Village and have a helping of their Cordilleran dishes. Boyfriend chose Pinikpikan, as we missed this during our trip to Sagada a year ago.

Pinikpikan is basically a chicken stew much like tinola, only more savory. Its root word “pikpik” directly translates to “light beating”, a process the chicken undergoes for its preparation. The dish originated from Cordilleran ritual of sacrifice for special occasions.

The Village’s version had thick broth with mostly fleshy parts of the chicken and a few etag strips. Etag’s strong flavor greatly enhanced the broth, lending a smoky and salty flavor to it.

IMG_0717

I had kini-ing. It looks like liempo, yes, but undergoes a rather complicated method of preparation too. Kini-ing is mostly left under the sun to dry, but is smoked only when it rains. These are thinly sliced and possesses a smoky flavor. But do not mistaken this for etag, kini-ing does not undergo fermentation.

IMG_0718

Before we left Baguio, artist friends insisted we try dining at Good Taste. It was kind of hard to find, but if you’re wondering, it’s actually near the bus/jeepney terminal to Sagada. There were a LOT of people when we visited there. It isn’t an upscale restaurant so don’t expect too much.

Good thing though we were a bit observant of what other customers were ordering. The other table, which was only a group of three, ordered fried rice. Thus, a BIG bowl of fried rice was served in a matter of minutes, it would have been good for 8 people. Upon acknowledging the fact that their servings was hefty, we had the rice meals instead.

Boyfriend had Lechon Broccoli. Big serving, big taste. This one did not disappoint. Oh cmon, it’s lechon!

IMG_0752 I had the Beef Curry. From the smell alone, I knew they used a powdered mix. There was nothing to be overly happy about my order, except for the fresh green bell peppers perhaps.

IMG_0753

These are but a few of the many restaurants to dine in Baguio. I might do a better food crawl in the next visits. I need to have my boyfriend sample more food choices from Cafe by the Ruins, Tsokalate de Batirol, the Slaughterhouse, Ketchup Food Community, Sage, Solibao, Chef’s Home, and the list goes on and on.

Thus I assume, this one will be the first of many other Baguio food posts.

Dear Lover, Some Little Thing I Owe You

Dear Lover,

I don’t remember saying “We’d see the entire world together”. Or maybe I did, but entirely forgotten because a few memorable places would actually already do.

Remember when I told you I’m taking you to Baguio? In my head I was actually telling you I’m taking you home. And just a month ago, I did. As promised, we took the midnight bus. We did not have the luxury to recline our seats as we missed the bus we’re supposed to take. I would have wanted to keep the curtains open for you to watch the outside pass us by, but I chose that you take rest instead, for mostly, the ride we took were all freeways in sight.

The sun had already declared its might by the time we arrived. I briefed you of my soon-to-be tendency to point out random places and tell stories of what happened then and there. You let out a small laugh because I have already started right before I warned.

We jetted to Tam-Awan Village after that. We were greeted with a massive wall of graffiti my friends did for the village. It looks brighter and a lot less gruesome than it had been. We were welcomed by my old friends, whom to you are new. But at that moment, I knew you knew what I meant how faces become places and how places become faces. Their sanctuary has also become ours.

11402844_10204335230525711_7844687745588666678_n

1

You insisted we take the trek past the view deck before leaving. You loved how the weather afforded us a sweat-free trek up until the borders of the village. We hopped on to museums – of people and works you knew. Might have been because you met them once, or I acquainted you with them as per stories told then and there. We took the road up to meet the Oble of the North. I roamed the halls I used to roam. Some ten years ago, I was here, without any idea we’d exist here at one point.

11267040_10204655835336072_8019861119506057604_n11144463_10204334824355557_1746919072983258485_n11401392_10204334824795568_5481143417007783669_n10511297_10204655835696081_2527600594826086770_n

2

The night has finally put on its veil just as the rain poured, we sought refuge in a cafe because I promised to give you a taste of the best Strawberry Shortcake. I knew you’d find it not sweet enough, you requested for a slice of Apple pie. We felt we needed something to refresh our palette so we crossed Session Road and headed to an artsy vegetarian restaurant. I know I promised you a glimpse of a lesser known road but equally beautiful as Session, but the weather did not afford us – it was washed white from where we stood. Oh, it was that night you took literally The Magnetic Fields’ The Night You Can’t Remember – deluded with alcohol, you forgot how you wounded up in our room the following morning. And I, of course remembered, how you took a cold shower and jumped to the bottom bunker naked.

10450744_10204334925318081_7022615450546511591_n

The next day was a stroll on Baguio’s scariest. I must say, I am one lucky person – to have someone like you who looks at these kinds of places with utter admiration of beauty and history rather than what they are shallowly known for. I love how you marvel and wonder like a kid presented with an idea that aliens exist or something. And of course, you made the same face when confronted with a plate full of meat and protein. We took a cab home that evening. It was a toil getting one along Session Road, but it was along the trip you admired Baguio’s city lights. You struggled to take a photo from the moving vehicle. I laughed a small laugh and slipped into my mind that image of you in awe of Baguio’s lights.

11665_10204335196284855_1929148670525537772_n1604888_10204335197884895_1451178397857350620_n11407217_10204335196884870_5540681377649772711_n11401058_10204335198164902_2364751913774496760_n11108402_10204655862176743_7304481476584204664_n11407058_10204655862336747_2895013807954794909_n10487204_10204655861536727_6609106382159194728_n

I took you out for touristy things the following day. You knew this was not my forte, I hated to do this actually. We strolled Burnham Park, maybe I just had to lend you stories which unfolded there – afternoons at the playground and some moments affront the lake. We judged a few people because it was what I used to do there. We felt a pull towards SM Baguio, you insisted we watch a movie for sixty pesos. But that was then, two hours spent at the cinema now costs a hundred and fifty. Well, still not bad these days. We stayed a little while at Harrison as we did thrift shopping that evening. It was not really your thing, but I got you sniffing around looking for vintage shirts you could parade and be proud of.

10401866_10204655888777408_6178688838168404259_n 11426044_10204655890817459_6011844778704977087_n 11219454_10204655889977438_5410756209350243915_n

We woke up early the next morning to oblige for everyone’s pasalubong requests. I took you to the outskirts of the wet market – not everyone has ever been to where vegetables from La Trinidad or Sagada is dropped off, not everyone sees how vendors wash their goods onsite, and not everyone knows there’s a fifteen peso kilo of carrots there.

We no longer left the village after that. We strolled back again to the roof deck, but we caught rain. We missed the sunset, which beauty I promised you forevers ago. However, we were presented with a dazed view of the mountains and South China Sea. We stayed there for a little more while, unmindful of the sharp shudders, without need of a coat, a jacket, or a warm cup of coffee. It’s like a cheesy scene in a movie bound to make you cringe and giggle at the same time.

11429800_10204335232125751_4992371416511328048_n1384358_10204335234005798_815376031274195276_n

I thought the trip would be totally over when we set foot at the bus. On the way down Marcos Highway though, you pointed out again how beautiful Baguio’s city lights were and how it kind of reflected the serene night sky. Just when I thought we missed that part on the beginning of our journey, you brought it to me even before it came to an end.

I kind of smiled myself to sleep, knowing those days have been very exhausting, but promising and exciting. We may not have been able to tick off all that was in my Baguio checklist, but I was glad to have brought you to my heart’s home. Now, it’s yours as well.

Love always,

Asteorra

Lanuza Walking Tour

Lanuza they say, is a hidden surfing gem, mostly overshadowed by its northern counterpart, Siargao. In the last few years however, they are marketing the area for tourism. Every November, they hold a music and surfing festival for three days. Curiosity had us cruising for thirty minutes from Parang to Lanuza.

We arrived a little early. We went directly to the surf camp but there was no one to welcome us. We took a look at the beach and the waves were rather tame. Perhaps it was because of the time, like in San Juan, La Union, waves were wilder in the afternoon. So we decided to look around other sites first.

SAM_3951

I made a research prior to this trip and have read good reviews about the Centennial Old White House. It’s a hundred and twelve year old house which showcases antiques and relics. Several blogs have mentioned that this is a municipality museum. Much was our surprise when we arrived there and found out that there were still people living in the house! Apparently, heirs of the house’s original owner still reside there.

They were very warm. Kuya Armando, our tour guide, led us around the house. According to him (and some notes posted around), the structure was built on May 28, 1898 through the help of Chinese artisans. It served as the business residence of then Mayor of Cantilan, Don Gabriel Uriarte Herrera.

SAM_4023

Pottery and earthenwares can be found in random corners of the house.

SAM_3961

Corners of their ceilings were painted of this kind.

SAM_3964

This dragon detail on a jar caught my attention. Chinese artisans, maybe.

SAM_3966

That’s Kuya Armando in a white shirt. The boyfriend (in backpack) was too eager to listen to him, while I took photos of things I found interesting.

This is their living room. That guy in the piano is related to the Herrera family, methinks. He was chatting with them. Also, I remember him playing the piano while we were having the tour.

SAM_3968

Such beautiful piece.

SAM_3969

Works of different media can be found throughout the house. There are paintings, charcoal drawings, carved wooden reliefs.

SAM_3972

I remember old wooden cabinets at home having this kind of details.

SAM_3978

Old gasera(s). My father used to collect these things.

SAM_3980

This globe looks ancient in actual.

SAM_3983

Some other old finds.

SAM_3989

Some other too many old finds.

SAM_3990

Their santo(s). All of these are made of wood and some have already been infested with termites.

The Herreras sponsor holy week and other church activities. They had a locker for dresses of these saints.

SAM_3987

They have a pretty good collection of Chinaware. We have been told that some of these even came from ship wreckages.

SAM_3993

Los Mexicanos. Yes, they do have these puppets hanging on their plants.

SAM_3998

We then proceeded to their garden.

Mama Mary was surrounded with water. She even had another statue praying to her.

SAM_4002

This, they say, is where the Herreras also welcome visitors aside from their sala.

SAM_4005

SAM_4006

Dr. Herrera, Don Gabriel’s grandson I assume, joked that this well’s too old it could pass for a wishing well.

SAM_4018

Then we hopped to Propsero Pichay Sr. Boulevard, still with Kuya Armando. He told stories of people around, like who owns the houses and the resorts at the beachfront, stories of political clans, and gossip like who married who.

It was during this walk we realized that the old political families were the boyfriend’s second to third degree relatives, the Azarcons and Orozcos. They were also former mayors and vice mayors of the municipality.

SAM_4031

I wonder if this is where lifeguards chill during the height of the surfing season.

SAM_4036

Facade of the Orozco house in Lanuza.

SAM_4037

Of course, upon realization that the boyfriend’s related to once political families, we just had to visit the Lanuza Municipal Hall. It was closed at that time, but Kuya Armando being the ultimate tour guide knows the ins and outs of the building. I kid, he knows his way around because he was the assistant and landscapist of Mayor Herrera during his term.

SAM_4038

Blocks away from the municipal hall is the Herrera’s mausoleum.

It was a small structure, more like a chapel, where the family visit their departed relatives. Sometimes, they attend mass here.

SAM_4040

And surprisingly, we found familiar names in the mausoleum: Monteclaros. There were even Orozcos, Azarcons, and Limguangcos. We offered silence and prayers for a while.

It felt like we were walking for hours (well, we actually did). The heat of the sun made us tired.

SAM_4041

We headed back to the white house and ended up at the Herrera’s dining table.

SAM_4042

We thanked them for their very warm hospitality. They even told us to pay them a visit every time we fly to Surigao.

We went back to the surfing area. Unfortunately, the waves weren’t what we expected. It wasn’t the surfing season anyway.

We cruised back to Parang midst the rain. The boyfriend’s spirit did not dampen. He was obviously giddy and ecstatic about knowing people from his extended family. If only he could draft a family genealogy right then and there, he would. He was so amazed by how he found blood ties in far (relatively) and different places.

It may have been a swift and tiring walking tour, but it was all worthwhile, Lanuza. You made my annoyingly happy man a lot happier.

Surigao Del Sur Weekend

My boyfriend and I have been itching for a trip to Surigao for years since he has always told me stories of how beautiful and amazing the place is. Fortunately, we were able to book cheap flights late last year. We traveled to Surigao del Sur last weekend. The province’s biggest town, Cantilan, was having their fiesta. What better way to be meet the boyfriend’s relatives but with a celebration!

Experiences really makes you learn. I kind of expected our flight to be delayed, so I brought company,  J.D. Salinger (for re-reading) and this ipod. I was right, our carrier was forty minutes late this time.

SAM_3708

It was my first time to ride a propeller aircraft so we had to take (stupid) photos inside the plane. It’s a lot smaller than the ones I have flown. It’s a 40 to 42 seater aircraft. And since it’s small, you can really feel the take off, the landing, and the turbulences along the way.

SAM_3720

Finally arrived! I just had to include this photo since we had a similar one from our first travel together.

SAM_3724

After an hour’s travel in the air, we rode a van bound to Cantilan.

Surigao, I believe, is a beautiful place. It is surrounded with cerulean waters and lush green mountains. However, some of these mountains have been reduced to dark red dust due to mining. Even the bodies of water nearby have been contaminated and have already bled red.

SAM_3730

After almost five hours of travel, we’ve finally reached Cantilan!

Here’s the boyfriend’s extended family from his grandfather’s side.

SAM_3732

And another shot from his grandmother’s side.

SAM_3744

Each household served lechon (roasted pig), seafoods, and carabao meat. It was my first time to try the carabao meat, I would have mistaken it for beef.

This is the Monteclaro house, as my boyfriend would call it. This is Tiya Petra and Tiyo Nic’s home.

SAM_3778

I was amazed by Tiya Petra’s greens! She had chilis, lagundi, orchids, ferns, macopa fruits, sponge gourd (patola), cactuses, and other plants around.

SAM_3763

SAM_3764

SAM_3767

SAM_3769

SAM_3772

The beach was just stone’s throw away. It isn’t as beautiful as the beaches of Boracay or Palawan but is promising in its own way. It is more serene, though the waves could get fierce at certain times of the day. It has clear waters, you can actually see your soaked feet midst the dark sand. And a few feet away is the distance between you and fishes.

SAM_3792

We also passed by the cemetery to pay visit to the boyfriend’s ancestors.

SAM_3797

This is Tito Tom’s place. His sari-sari store had everything! From grocery items to hardware finds to gas tanks and unlimited wifi connection/subscription.

SAM_4158

A few blocks away from Tito Tom’s house is the Coraler’s home. The bottom part of the house used to be open and supported by pillars, but since they needed to have a storage for the goods they supply, they needed to have it covered and cemented. Now it also functions as Tito Josue’s pad and office.

SAM_3823

Their house was filled with bougainvilleas of different kinds and colors. They were so beautiful!

SAM_3817

SAM_3818

I loved this small and old poso (water pump) installed in their kitchen. Apparently, it still works!

SAM_3830

What gas ranges? This is one medium of cooking their meals.

SAM_3832

Coconuts

SAM_3859

Corn

SAM_3864

Pineapple

SAM_3862

Pigs (I want the smaller one as pet)

SAM_3933

Most people in Surigao del Sur use their motorcycles as mode of transportation. Unlike in Manila which enforces strict traffic rules, they are kind of lax there. People can ride the motorcycle is threes, fours, and so on without helmets. The boyfriend and I even cruised without license.

4×4’s are also favored in the area, considering the trail you have to go through when traveling, you really need a car that can survive the dirt road. I haven’t seen a single sedan in my entire stay.

Public transportation is also available in the area. There are multicabs, which look like baranggay patrol cars in Manila. Tricycles can also be hired. Their tricycles look like Cagayan de Oro’s motorellas. Their only difference is the number of wheels.

SAM_3873

A photo of the Coraler’s.

SAM_3919

This is the kind of food that always greeted us in the morning. Way to go to a long lovely day.

SAM_3925
There was also a spring nearby. We just had to take a dip (and beer and lechon too).

SAM_4063

The boyfriend kind of arranged a simple family reunion for both sides.

SAM_4097

This is me with the boyfriend’s nephew and nieces.

SAM_4094

We had lunch by the beach.

SAM_4132

Lechon, the star of every meal.

SAM_4129

We witnessed men (and women) fishing. We even tried to help them by pulling the net towards the shore. They caught only a few fishes that day, two buckets of dilis (a variety of small fish, anchovies?). The kids asked five fishes from the fishermen for them to keep. They temporarily put them in a plastic cup.

SAM_4127

Boyfriend enjoyed playing with the kids as they buried him in the sand. He had sunburn after.

SAM_4123

And here I am overly happy.

SAM_4107
It was wonderful, Surigao. I can only promise to be back.

 

P.S. Wait, there’s more! Part 2 (How to Eat in a Town Fiesta) and Part 3 (Lanuza Walking Tour) coming up.

Prelude to a Mixtape: The Beep Beep Song

Dear Mr. Snooze,

It has been months since your birthday, two to be exact. You are twenty six years and two months old today. But I have not given you anything yet, and by anything, I do not mean brand new shoes or spanking new watch or a treat to some fancy restaurant. “Anything” actually means something carefully created for you.

You know when they say it’s the thought that counts? I think it should go beyond the idea of looking for something readily available and acquiring it monetarily. Or maybe it is just my sentimental self which thinks it is more special (or the thought that should really counts is,) when it has been crafted especially for you.

So here goes my prelude to my annual creation/curation that is your Birthday Mix CD. This is not comparable to Starlord’s Awesome Mix Volume 1 and 2, but I guess it is kind of awesome too since it’s all about me and you, or you to me. This year’s mix will not be too mushy as the previous years, as I acknowledged the tides and turns and the mature and realistic (as how you pertain to it) aspect of our relationship. But you see, even how many, how strong, or how high the waves are coming to our direction, we can always swim and surf along because life and love is one big adventure with you. 🙂

I told you you’d be celebrating your birthday a bit longer!

Love,

Asteorra

 

 

The Week I Cried the Most

I used to think days have their own way of turning things upside down and inside out. Interestingly, I never seen a week, a month, or a year that way.

June is one of my favorite months. Birthdays are celebrated here and there, including the boyfriend’s. It’s when you celebrate Independence Day and get free train rides during rush hour. It’s when I allot all my hoarded vacation leaves at work so I could get myself to the beach. Summer’s last hurrah, yes. This time however, the week I thought would be of sheer bliss, turned out otherwise.

Pardon me, I will have to overshare.

  • My boyfriend and I caught The Fault in our Stars in cinemas. I rarely read nowadays since books are forbidden in our workplace but The Fault in our Stars didn’t prevent me in reading and bawling in my cubicle. The movie was how I expected it to be, nothing better compared to the book as some details were left out. I do however shed tears at the scene where Hazel and Isaac were to read their eulogies to Gus. I’m a sucker for beautiful words and I can only imagine how much beautiful yet painful it could be to offer them to one’s existence and absence. Well, at least I no longer gasped for breath in the theater like the girl who sat a seat apart from me.
  • Mocha passed away. We spent several days in Palawan for the boyfriend’s birthday. Before we left, I spoke to our bunnies to behave and not cause headache to my parents. (Though I asked them to make cuter and paawa faces to my sister and parents whenever they want to play outside). We were on the way home from our Underground River trip when we received news that our little baby Mocha passed away that morning. My parents said she had weird bowel movements the day before and was acting drowsy. They thought it was kind of normal since Mocha has the tendency to be passive aggressive at times (you know, lady bunnies). My boyfriend and I cried on the way back to the hotel. Instead of trying out the night life in Puerto Princesa, we spent the night quietly.
Marvelous Mocha, already in full fluff at around 5 months old

Marvelous Mocha, already in full fluff at around 5 months old

  • My iPod drowned. Yes, I cried over that because I get sentimental over photos and videos and memories and lists. Only then have I realized I have a percentage of my life stored in that little dummy thing. Plus, I have Mocha’s and all the other bunnies’ photos there too.
  • My boyfriend and I got into a vehicular accident. I guess I wouldn’t have cried so much for the sake of the accident alone. Well, not until I got a glimpse of my burned leg. We were rushed to the nearest hospital for first aid.  I kept tugging my boyfriend’s arm the entire time they were giving me first aid. I kept asking the nurse what is this and what is that they were applying. I can feel my legs sore then numb then sore again. I never really liked hospitals, mind you, so that was an extra bad memory again. I was on seven days sick leave as the doctors advised that I take rest. On those days, my boyfriend was the one in charge of cleaning the burned area. I cried every time. I bit on shirts and chomped on pillows just to let go of the sting and the pain. I was still a brave girl according to him. I would insist on doing normal things like walking around, playing with pets, and pulling my legs straight when sleeping. I guess I am pretty brave for someone who has low tolerance for pain. I’m no longer posting my leg’s photo because that would be crazy gross oversharing, but it’s already healing.

 

I can still hardly believe that all happened within a week. Well, referring to bullets 2 and 4, the first and third one was just for some extra tear count. Small regrets though, wish I had been there when Mocha was having troubles. I usually have panic attacks so when I see her in a condition that bad, I would have called whoever or have already taken her to the vet.

Also, I would have wanted to turn back time and play the fourth bullet incident in slow motion. However, I am charging this to experience. I will smile and sigh at my battle scars: “Gawd, I’m brave”.

Moments We Did Not Need To Know

I know I promised not to do anything special today, but what can I do? It has been a tradition in this blog to offer something for us on this date.20140319-121928.jpg

You know this photo is but a part of a series we had in Manila. I love this set as we seem oblivious of the heat and dust and smoke and dirt of the city. Our synchronized selves just seemed to be enjoying the moment.

This reminds me of our randomness – of days we suddenly feel like giving in to our food cravings, going places, watching poorly chosen movies, buying things we don’t even need, and talking about weird things that just pops out of our minds.

This reminds me of places we’ve been. You are the only one who can make me jump into a 10-feet murky river, go snorkeling in minimal gear, engage in spelunking even if I am having cramps, and continue trekking though I am already running out of breath. You are the only one who can persuade me to do outrageous and crazy things. You push me beyond what I can do and make me feel good and proud of myself. And I know you will always be doing so in more days and adventures together.

These were moments that existed then without us knowing for certain why or how. It was quite surprising to have these many memories summing up to three awesome years.

I do not know where we will be in the future, or where our years will take us. Let’s just live today as it is and look forward to more years as we always look forward to seeing each other each day.

Iloveyou, my annoyingly happy man.

*Blog title and text on picture lifted from The Paper Kites’ Drifting

**Photo credits to Jenno, editing via Overgram