Category Archives: Trips

The Cycling Chronicles: Biker Buddies


As I mentioned in my previous post, me and 2 other officemates have become bike enthusiasts as part of our wellness program in the office. So here are some snippets of what happened last May 11, 2013.

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Meeting Trauma Survivors (from Typhoon Pablo)


My hometown is well-known for its “typhoon-free” slogans and promotions.  In all my years of living here, I can honestly attest to that.  I’ve only experienced storms and typhoons in Cebu (during my vacation when I was around 8 years old),  in Manila (it was Milenyo or International name Xangsane that hit the Philippines while I was still working there – which I just thought was strong winds and harsh rains since I wasn’t used to storms), and in Bohol (I think it was Ofel – international name Son-Tinh that had me and my travel partner stranded in going to Bohol).

So when the alert was raised that Pablo (international name BOPHA) was entering our region’s area of responsibility, a sense of foreboding came over me.  I was reminded of a conversation I had with my dad before that storms are slowly changing their paths and it won’t be soon before long that the Davao region would be greatly affected.

Well my dad was no Nostradamus of his time, but his words rang truth as seen by the wake of Pablo.  I think it was the first time that schools declared “No classes” due to a storm.  And for my hometown, it was signal #2.  A couple of my officemates missed their flight to Manila for a seminar because all flights were cancelled as well.  All school activities were suspended or cancelled to keep people safe during such a time.

Although Davao wasn’t too affected, our neighboring provinces weren’t spared.  News of the devastation of the storm were plastered in news.  Families were greatly affected, livelihood such as banana and coconut farming were washed over, even fishermen weren’t spared since a lot of people didn’t want to buy their goods for fear that their captured fishes were able to eat human flesh. (morbid actually.)

It was around December 3-5, 2012 that the typhoon made its presence known to the Davao Region.  A first as most locals can remember thus people weren’t totally prepared on what would happen.  December 5, an invitation to extend our help to the affected areas were given to our office and I for one willingly confirmed my desire.  However, instead of a 2-day outreach, a change in schedule landed me on a 1 day outreach (for Psychosocial Debriefing) to one of the provinces that were hit – Caraga.

To explain better, here are some photos for you to see:

Raring to go

Raring to go

We left around 6am to start our 5-hour travel to Caraga.  I wasn’t able to take photos of the banana and coconut fields but along the road, you could clearly see how strong the winds were manifested by the bowing of the trees towards the direction we were heading.  The mountains that were once full of proud lines of trees, were now barren as if a greater being was playing pick-up sticks using the coconut trees for sticks.

When we reached Caraga’s Poblacion, the site that greeted us was very disarming.  Houses with no roofs, muddied roads, logs and debris around every corner.

Strong winds

Collapse of roofing from a new building in Caraga

Houses hit by Pablo

Houses hit by Pablo

Packed inside the evacuation center

Packed inside the evacuation center

According to our leader, Caraga was the fastest in responding to all the alerts and were even able to evacuate the local residents (especially those along the shoreline) and house them in their designated evacuation center.  Aside from that, they were proactively thinking of other designated evacuation centers should the first one collapse.

The Office that made the evacuation possible - saving lives of many residents

The Office that made the evacuation possible – saving lives of many residents

Relief Goods for Distribution

Relief Goods for Distribution

Going over details gathered

Going over details gathered

An overview of the shoreline in Caraga

An overview of the shoreline in Caraga

Residents could still remember how the events unfolded during those days that Pablo enraged the province.  Thankfully, they are still able to move past what has transpired and are currently moving forward in reclaiming their lives and livelihood.

Getting Together

Getting Together

What came washing ashore

What came washing ashore

Life still goes on

Life still goes on

After our sojourn at the Poblacion, we went to the broken bridge that highly affected the transportation of relief goods to more affected areas such as Baganga, Cateel, and Boston Davao Oriental.

The bridge leading to Baganga, Davao Oriental

The bridge leading to Baganga, Davao Oriental

Making ends meet

Making ends meet

Pile-up

Pile-up

Crossing Over

Crossing Over

This DPWH worker has been working for 24 hours in pulling across the line for travelling the river via man-made raft.  Some of our companions helped him in pulling while we were there.

Pull for safety

Pull for safety

Until now, relief operations are still ongoing all over the city (and perhaps even the country) to continuously aid the Pablo survivors.  Hopefully I can still come along to assist in another session of debriefing in the areas that experienced tropical storm Bopha.

Let us extend a helping hand to the survivors and make this Christmas season more meaningful.

Adventures in Bohol


It seems like I’m at the blogging stage of delayed-posting patterns.  So before the month of November passes, I intend to share a few memorable events that have happened so far.

I am extremely grateful of my workplace in allowing me to have the opportunity in visiting one of the most famous regions in our country – Bohol – to attend a seminar for skills and knowledge enhancements.

After being initially stranded in Cebu on our arrival and on the better part of the travel, we decided to make the best out of it in getting some rest and for sightseeing.

My travel partner

Here are some pictures from Fort San Pedro near the pier.

Cebu Sight-Seeing instead

Lovin’…

Fort San Pedro

Relics

I just admire the Cebuanos in retaining the beauty of these relics.  It was like taking a page out of history itself.

Next stop, Magellan’s Cross.

Magellan’s cross

We had dinner at Ayala then I met up with one of my closest friends.  My “utol” (bro).  Wherein he treated me for dinner (I forgot the name of the restaurant).

Met up with my “tol”

After the late night get together, me and my travel partner woke up early for our early trip to Bohol.  As the danger signal was not yet lifted by the coast guard, we were stranded once again.

Still stranded…

It was around 11 o’clock when vessels were finally given the go signal to travel across the seas.  Thankfully, the rebooking ticket I got was for that trip.  So, all we had to worry about were the slapping of the waves on our boat and the boredom brought by the long trip.

just docked!

We arrived late in the afternoon thus missing the first day of the workshop.  So we had our late lunch (around 4pm!) at Payag.  The restaurant was themed with chicken.  So it would be safe to say that their specialty was chicken.

The Payag!

As tourists, we rushed to the places we could still visit.  First stop, having our pictures taken at the man-made forest.  It was a road lined with thousands (and more) trees.

Man-made forest fun

We still got to visit the famous Chocolate Hills of Bohol before they closed shop for the night.

The Chocolate Hills of Bohol

Heading back, we stopped over at the Shiphaus.  A house/museum modeled to look like a ship.

Shiphaus experience

Before calling it a night, we went to the oldest church in the PhilippinesBaclayon Church.

Baclayon Church

It was at that night when the relics of Fr. Pio of Pietrelcina were open for viewing in its visit in the Philippines.  As an added treat, one particular post outside Baclayon Church seemed to show the face of the famous saint. According to locals, the image wasn’t man-made but came about due to the many years of the Church has been standing.

Fr. Pio “natural” mural

Day 2 in Bohol.

Finally got to the venue.  According to the organizers, a lot of participants were stranded due to the storm that came by for the past days.

Welcome latecomers

Our last day in Bohol gave us the opportunity to go around the island for a little bit.

The house we stayed at

The blood compact site.

Blood compact site

Back to the Baclayon Church and their museum.  (Sorry, no photos inside since picture-taking weren’t allowed).

Behind Baclayon church

Another “natural” mural of the Madonna and child

Can you see it in the morning?

Next was our visit to the smallest primate in the world.  The Tarsier in Loboc.  Too bad we couldn’t hold them anymore.  So these are the closest photos I could get.

cutie

reaching out… to you

Went ziplining!

speeding via zipline

Last stop before our trip back to Cebu, Panglao Island.  I know my photos may not seem too appealing but I’d rather you get to visit the place personally.  You wouldn’t regret it!

solo photo in Panglao

a thousand and one reasons to return

I’ll return… someday.

a picture of beauty and serenity

Here’s the sign of my promise!

sealing a promise

We arrived in Cebu around 9pm.  Good thing I already reserved our hotel room.  Since it was a newly established hotel, It was expected that the rooms and amenities were up-to-date.  And they didn’t fail!  The rooms really looked clean and very new!  I would highly recommend Escario Hotel for travelers.  The rates weren’ too heavy for our pockets too.

Escario Hotel in Cebu

Still at Escario Hotel

The Escario Hotel was located in a compound that had a number of restaurants as tenants.  One of which is the famous Zubuchon.  Since it was a place that wasn’t in Davao, we had our brunch at Zubochon.  I swear, if you didn’t need to watch out for your weight, you’d end up eating a LOT.  They also had a few “souvenir” treats that you could purchase (marmalades, pork skins or chicharon, and even their famous organic lechon).  Here below are some photos from our Zubuchon breakfast.

Zubuchon!

Yummy!

marmalades!

ready to eat

lechon!

just delectable

assorted seaweed salad

So that about wraps up my Bohol trip (and Cebu sidetrip).  Hopefully I can go back and visit soon!  How about you guys?  Any places you want to visit anytime soon?

By the way, I’m posting this one on the day that I started to write about it. 🙂

Patriotism. It’s More Fun In The Philippines


I think each person is innately patriotic to their own native land.   Regardless when one thinks that it’s always been the same ol’ same old… there is always a sense of mystery – something new and renewed – around every corner awaiting to be discovered.

No matter how adventurous a person may be, in his or her lifetime, the world is such a dynamic place with inhabitants constantly adapting to the changes and challenges that gets dictated by circumstance.

Thus, it was simply AMAZING being able to witness the teaser launch of Davao Region’s It’s More Fun In The Philippines video last March 31, 2012 during the Earth Hour 2012 celebration in Davao.  And frankly speaking,  I’ve been scouring the whole world wide web just to watch it again.  Thankfully, after 2weeks, I stumbled upon this website.

So I’m sharing this with you.

Some places I’ve already been to.  Others – nearby places – are places I never expected held so much appeal to local and foreign tourism.

Davao Region.

Patriotism.  Tourism.

I’ts more FUN in the Philippines!

A Break From Work


Has it been more than a month already since my last post?  Gosh… I’ve been SO BUSY at work and other stuff that I haven’t been able to just sit down and blog.  In fact, I’m still a bit tired from a business trip to Iligan City (about a 12-hour bus ride from my hometown) to attend a Job Fair last April 2 -4.  My mind is still stressed out from the nonstop interviews and long travel alone.  Thankfully it’s Holy Week so I get to take a few days break before returning to work.

It was my first time in traveling to Iligan City.  And being alone during travels wasn’t exactly safe.  But needing an adventure and break from the office, I was willing to go (and besides, it was the company’s expense).  Just to be sure though, I checked with the bus line if there were any trips on Holy Thursday.  It wouldn’t do me any good if I got stranded there during my long weekend (plus I’d hate to miss my mom’s birthday!).   After the assurance from the bus company that there would still be trips returning to Davao, I proceeded with my preparations.  And since my mobile line wasn’t on an unlimited data plan, I checked for any available daily unlimited plans my service provider offered.  Luckily there was!  So all I needed to do was register (depending on my preferred number of days) and I was all set.  Since my phone has tethering as well, it worked on my advantage in bouncing my mobile signal via wifi, enabling my iTouch to get its signal.  Thank you techie-ness.  For Sun Cellular subscribers, click here for the details.

 Just to be extra sure that I wouldn’t get totally lost (and know exactly where I was along the trip), I utilized my iTouch map for my convenience.  Below you will find that there are 2 routes in getting to Iligan.  In terms of distance, the first route would have been the faster way (the one I took) especially if you had your own car, but due to road repairs along the highways it still took quite a long time in getting to my destination.

via BUDA route

via Butuan route

Job Fair

It was the first job fair I participated in with my new Company and it has been 2 years since the last one I attended with my previous employer.  I was half-expecting to be bored to death but I was literally deluged with a number of fresh graduates eagerly applying with our company.  Their eager faces, skeletal resumes, and idealistic responses during their one-on-one interview with me was quite endearing… bringing me back to days that I was also a part of that crowd.

fresh from their graduation celebration the day before

How I wish it were so simple.

Anyway, with all the applicants I have gathered for pending hiring and pooling, I’m excited how their lives would turn if hired with our company.  More work for me.

SIGH.

Joining the bandwagon in bringing home specialties from places traveled, I brought home Iligan’s well-known Cheding’s Peanuts.  Too bad though mom’s not allowed to eat TOO MUCH nuts (it’s her favorite!).

Cheding's Peanuts

My job schedule has been very hectic lately.  The constant turnovers from one of our companies are quite difficult to handle and I myself becoming like duck’s feet underwater trying to stay afloat.  I had to be responsible in retrenching and terminating a number of employees in another company.  Seeing people cry over the loss of their means of income is very DRAINING to say the least!  I just want to get rid of the negative vibes I get when I have to confront the displaced employees.  Sometimes I get to thinking that I chose the right course but the WRONG career.  Speaking of which, I was planning on taking up post-graduate studies.  But with how my boss is, I doubt I’ll be able to pursue it.  Sure I’ve discussed it with him but he keeps thinking that I’ll be leaving my work unattended.  Regardless of the justifications I’ve made, I sense that I’m not going anyway with that conversation.

Darn.

Anyway, we’ll see  in the coming days.

By the way, here are a few photos I took during my bus ride going to and from Iligan.

Dancing at Disco Revolution


I love dancing.

Dancing, however, doesn’t agree with my body coordination.  In every chance I get for group dancing presentations, I go into a state of “mind-is-willing-but-body-not-cooperating” status.  As a [frustrated] musician, I know how to follow the beat.  And yes, my body feels the beat.  But to express it in dance?  I end up feeling awkward and clumsy.  Must be my figure, but seeing other people “bulkier” than me dance gracefully, proves that assumption wrong.

In my high school and college life, I’ve never gone to dances or discos.  Well… not to dance anyway, but to meet up with friends and observe.  I am always in awe of the ladies who can gyrate and writhe their bodies to the music without looking ridiculous.  Even the guys have their own dance moves that seem comfortable and easy enough.

Flash forward to the present and still the same feeling remains.  Even during our Christmas Party last December 17, no matter how I wanted to dance and “show-off” my nonexistent moves to bag a prize, my body was just plain STIFF!

An officemate of mine commented that I wasn’t into dancing and was more into basketball.  Cause she noticed me shun away during the dance showdown.  Honestly, yes!  But at least I knew how to play basketball.  Put me up against all girls in the office and I’d win hands down (not bragging) in basketball.  And she further commented  “That may be so.  But not all girls play basketball.”  In short, I ended up feeling more dejected.

I’ve always analyzed the why of my dancing inadequacy.  And in a nutshell: I couldn’t let myself LET GO.  Letting go to my inhibitions, letting go for the thrill of the moment… surrendering to the inevitable whether to be praised or ridiculed…

Until last night.

As far as dancing goes, last night was a first.  A few of my colleagues went out last night to attend a celebration/birthday party and afterwards, we went off to have our own bonding sessions.  The place we ended up going?  To a secluded disco bar: Disco Revolution (Formerly Salambat).

Joy knew the owner.  And we were just shooting off the side if we could get in for free.  And we did!  Since there was only one other group/pair as customers, we had the place to ourselves.  Joy and Leo started dancing (seeing that they were the two BETTER dancers hands-down).  I knew Joy danced pretty well, but what impressed and delighted me most was Leo’s dancing.  His moves were plain and simple but he had that charisma in him to really pull you to dance!  His dancing, although a bit sexy but didn’t seem malicious at all.  In fact, Joy, Elmer and I had a blast laughing and dancing.

Yes, I actually danced!  After a few inhibiting moments and prodding from Leo and Elmer, I started listening to the beat with my body.  Awkward at first but getting there.

Since our last night out was just our little secret, we’re looking forward to more bonding sessions.  Hopefully my dancing will improve!

Merry Christmas!

A BFF-ful Weekend Adventure


One of my bff (Toffee) was in town during the last weekend of September.  This vacation was a spur-of-the-moment plan a few months back.  Good thing she was able to get a seat sale from Cebu Pacific.  So did one of her colleagues.

Anyway, a week before her arrival, I was already thinking what our plans would be for bff Rai’s birthday.  But since Rai “initially” planned celebrating her day with her family (since it was a Sunday), I didn’t press the issue anymore.  Instead, we decided to push through with our swimming adventure at Villa de Mercedes with her older sis MM, and first-time-in-Davao visitor Nina.

For a brief overview of my weekend, I’m marking it in days (sharing a few photos as well):

Friday (September 30, 2011)

Aya [Charles] and I was already set to go out with a couple of our workmates for a little RnR and get-together.  Since Toffee was around, I asked her to join us.  The videoke session with the guys was a FUN experience.  Getting to see their more “rowdy” side made it more fun to get to know them altogether.  I was even able to prod one of our officemates (Joy) to catch up with us.  And I made a new discovery!  Joy can sure carry out a tune!.  Note to self: Must volunteer her for the Christmas party program. LOL.

After the 3 or 4 hours of singing, we decided to call it a night (since Aya and I still had an inventory to attend to the next day.  So we said goodbye to our colleagues.  So that left the 3 (aya, achi, and me) of us.  Feeling a bit uppity, I asked them to eat Durian.  (Which I ended up eating all to myself!  Thank you aya for finishing of the LAST fruit for me).

Saturday (October 1, 2011)

Inventory day.  Imagine sleeping only for a couple of hours then waking up to get to the office early.  Lucky for aya, we just had to pick him up along the way to the farm.  Sheesh!  Talk about ZOMBIE-MODE.  LOL.  So off we went to our work.  Good thing we finished early.  I could catch a few Zzz’s before heading off to our basketball game that night.  UNFORTUNATELY, my brain had other plans.  I couldn’t even get a nap.  So instead of sleeping, I decided to meet up with achi instead at the mall.  Figured since she’d be watching my game, better go there together.  And what luck!  Raisa was also coming along.

After purchasing food to eat, we took a taxi to Woodridge so I could prep up.  Along the way, we were finally able to convince the birthday girl to come with us the next day.  Since her family celebration was for lunch, it left plenty of time to spare in the afternoon.  And as an added bonus?  Our godsons got to have permission to come along.  Perfect!

I love having my bffs there during my games.  I get to have a boost of confidence in playing.  Though at times I can’t concentrate.  Too much publicity.  LOL.  But I’m truly happy they’re there.

My AVID fans

Yup! My teammates are guys..

Although we lost.  I’m happy I was able to score a couple of 3 pointers.  (Show-off!)  My lack of sleep was slowly seeping in during the game.  And the lack of players wasn’t helping though.  Anyway, winning (or losing) didn’t matter.  I was just glad I could sweat off a couple of pounds from my system every once in a while.  Here’s to next year’s league! 🙂

Up next, dinner.  Since we all ate a heavy late afternoon snacks, we skipped the dinner plans at Lyndon’s and went off to Barrio Bistro to grab their buy 1 take 1 pizza instead.  If you remember, I posted about Barrio Bistro a few weeks ago.  Check it out here.  So off we went!  We ordered their All Cheese Pizza and another Pizza (I forgot what it was called) and waited for it to be served while catching up with each other’s life.  In addition, we had a small “exchange gift” moment too.

My bffs

Tangled (Our gifts)

Sunday (October 2, 2011):

BFF Raisa’s birthday!!! Villa de Mercedes Swimming day!!!

Being the “planner” of the group, I still had one main problem for our activity.  Transportation.

Just a little sidenote and background about Villa de Mercedes.  VDM is an exclusive subdivision located at Catigan, Toril 585 ft. above sea level.  When I say exclusive, I mean ELITE.  The homeowners don’t just allow walk-in guests and use their clubhouse… particularly their infinity pool.  That’s what discovered upon visiting VDM the first time.  I was looking for a venue for our Christmas party when I remember VDM (courtesy of my former classmate who posted a few of her photos here.  I didn’t get her words then when she said you needed an agent to get in).  So when I was at their coffee shop, the barista explained that you needed to be a homeowner, or invited by one, OR have an agent to “sponsor” your visit.  She then pointed me a brochure postcard indicating their “Agent For the Day” whom I could contact to be invited.

So flash forward. I already coordinated with the agent a few days ago but transportation was a last-minute problem.  So when I informed the agent just to confirm our invite, she called me up to ask for other details.  When we got to the point about the transportation (and lack thereof), she offered to drive my group instead.  Yes!  Problem solved!  After meeting up with my bffs, my godsons, and meeting achi’s officemate Nina, we waited for Ms. Agent to pick us up.

The ride was quite pleasant and Ms. Agent was very open in sharing about Villa de Mercedes.  Acting out as a tour guide, she happily gave information about each subdivision phase, from the main entrance… to the lots… the features… the amenities… and the overall briefing of its “ELITE-ness”.  Impressive!

Finally, we were dropped off at the coffee shop to take a breathtaking view of the pool.  After the final words, we went off to change and finally try out their ionized pool.

[For more information about Villa de Mercedes, I saw this site to share with you.]

Breathtaking. And the view wasn't bad too. LOL

The coffee shop up above..

Bffs and Godsons

Light snacks

Nice

After having our fill of swimming, we were ready to go and have dinner.  Ms. Malou toured as to their “Kubo” area wherein visitors could eat the foods we brought along (since bringing in of foods at the clubhouse and pool area was prohibited).  Good thing our godsons brought snacks for us to share with and munch on.

Happiness!

We did our perfunctory jumpshot (though I only posted mine. LOL)  So Ms. Malou dropped us of at SM.  Achi bought a couple of treats to bring back to Manila which we dropped off at their house then we went to…. LYNDON’S (remember by blog about them here?) with ate MM.

Ready to Order!

Our shared Dinner

Baked Scallops

Can I just say that the reaction of Nina was priceless when she took that first forkful of spareribs!  Utter bliss!

Next stop?  Eating durian! However, we got a BIT sidetracked when we passed by Margie’s Bakeshop and remembered we didn’t have a cake for the birthday girl.  So here it is!

Mini-cake shared by 5 ladies

To cap the day off (well… for me though since the four other girls were going to have a massage after), we went off to FINALLY have our Durian.  Durian is one of the fruit specialties in Davao.  With a smell like hell (so they say.  Personally, I find the smell appetizing) but tastes like heaven.  For Nina, it was a new experience and I was glad we were there to boost her into taking that first bite.

Durian! Arancillo variety

 Well, that’s all I can share for now!  Hope you enjoyed reading!  I’m looking forward to my next adventure. 🙂

Adventures in Mining


As a first project, [Aya] Charles and I went off to our first journey as HR colleagues to our mining areas.  After a few negotiations with our boss and setting up a gameplan (so to speak) for our project, our trip/visit was finally approved.

I scheduled our trip to coincide with the celebration at one mine site (so that food was bountiful… SNEAKY! LOL).  So early morning of September 7, we were on our way to Tagum City (our transfer point for our more “off-road” transportation).  So I’m going to share a few photos I took along the way.

A couple of hours away from the site

Mining Mountains

risky roads...

Our first stop (our host for our overnight stay) was at our processing plant.  We got there around 11:00AM.  So me and Aya started going through the motions of our workplan.  We started out with our orientation, then cascade, a few Q&A moments until we stopped to take our lunch.  Since we were celebrating as well, our host had their share of the lechon (roasted pig).

Lechon!! (Roasted Pig)

After lunch, we continued where we left off.  Then after all that needed to be discussed, we went into a grand tour of the area and it was great to be able to piece together each persons’ functions into the big picture.  It made our project more clear.  Since we were staying for the night at the plant, we took the liberty in heading out (accompanied by one of the big bosses) to one mine site which we passed on the way up.  We didn’t stray too long though since roads were very treacherous and the night was slowly creeping in.  Our designated driver would be having a challenging uphill drive if we stayed out too late.

Mountains by Night

So after returning to our host area, my partner and I went to go exploring around the plant and get the pulse of things as well as go to the departments we didn’t get to go to earlier.  Then dinner came, and Aya and I were gearing for a late night discussion and review preparation.  Aside from that, I also had to prepare a few contracts for new hires.   The mountain atmosphere blanketed us with a steady lull of inactivity.  And the cold mountain breeze was very soothing especially for me – a city slicker.  The cold water was a little too much for me to bear though.  Imagine ICE COLD.  And that was just from the TAP!  I dreading thinking how I’d be able to take a bath the next day since we had to leave early to go to our next site!  Sheesh!

I survived though.  Thankfully, they offered to heat up water for me to mix with the ICE COLD water.  I just had to speed up taking a bath to get it over with.  We left Wendy (since we traveled with one of our office mates who also had an “assignment” to work on at the plant) for the day and told her we’d have her picked up when we reach our last site.  It was quite refreshing not to have her tag along.  At least we’d get to focus on our agenda with the sites we visit.

Aya and I decided to divide and conquer our work activities to finish off early.  Glad we did since our second area had much to cover and a lot of them were raising their concerns too.  Lunchtime came and I got to have a taste of the extract from a sea urchin.  I forgot what it was called but if I remember right, the local term was “swaki“.  A protein-rich serving.

Uhm... What road?

Then finally, a few minutes after having lunch, we proceeded to our final area.  The baby of all mines.  So the same deal, divide and conquer to be able to finish in just a few hours.  We were looking forward to entering the tunnel too.  I’ve gone spelunking once a few years back, but this one was different.  And what’s cool is that (as per the Mining Operations Manager), I’m the first female who has ever been in the deepest mining tunnel (I forgot how many kilometers below level though).

Main line

The main line.  One of the foundations of the tunnel.

Stone's Sweat

Water droplets within the cave.  Too bad my camera couldn’t take great shots.  But if you were there, you’d be amazed by how these droplets are just hanging there.  And with just the right amount of light hitting them, they seem like precious stones peeking through the depths of the earth.

Odd Woman Out. 🙂

Yup! Odd person out!  And loving it! LOL!

Mine Buggy: Madmax

This baby buggy was just fabricated but it packs a wallop in traveling to and from the tunnel.  And it travels around the mountain roads as well!

Birds in Caves

This last photo is one of the amazing things I’ve seen inside a cave.  Birds.  Not just one, but a few couple scattered near the entrance of the cave.  The locals call it “Sayaw-sayaw“.  Sorry I couldn’t find it’s more familiar term though.  If you guys have any idea, It’ll be much appreciated.

It was raining when we finally emerged from the tunnel and since our hosts didn’t find it safe for us to travel still (in retrospect I think it had something to do with security measures as well… to mislead would-be “disturbances”).  So we had dinner at LV, and after our meal we were clear to go.

The return trip was quite long.  Good thing there were no more transfer of transportation but our travel using our “Beijing” was long and tiring.  Five to six hours sitting inside a bumpy revamped military jeep would make you sore in a few places in your body.  But thankfully, the trip back  was uneventful (sans the bumpy ride).  And the  travel to Tagum City then Davao was pretty boring (had to stay awake though to keep the driver company).

All in all, it was a one-of-a-kind work experience.  I would love to travel back there again.  We got to achieve our goal in gathering needed data to continue our review, at least now the names I list down each has a face that goes with it, orientations and cascades conducted were received well, and we’ve established good rapport with the people that I rarely see in the City.

The best part?  Hearing great comments and appreciation that our visit boosted employee morale.

Success!!!

Now on to the nitty-gritty part.  But decision’s not up to me on that part.  I just hope our proposal gets accepted!

Hope you guys enjoyed reading (and looking at the pictures).

Forest Hill RnR


It’s back-to-work Wednesday and it wasn’t a wee bit stressful for me.  Should I be worried?  Maybe it’s just the calm before the storm.  Anyway, no big deal.  I’m feeling quite optimistic about work as of the moment.  I guess it’s good that our boss is in town.  I get to discuss a number of things with him and he seems willing to listen.  (Yey for me!)  And he seems to take my side with the possible changes/adjustments along the way.  Still not looking forward to having a new HR Manager though.  But I’ll live.

I’m still reeling from the long weekend though.  It’s been quite some time since I’ve enjoyed lounging around and taking it easy.  “Chillaxing” as one of my friends would say.  My eyes are a bit tired though.  Probably from all the swimming I’ve done yesterday.  I’ve gotten a shade darker but nothing so noticeable.  Thankfully.  The best part?  No muscle pains!  Quite amazing really.  I usually end up with a sore an lethargic body after spending a day in the pool.  But then again, it technically wasn’t a whole day activity.  One of my officemates invited me and some of our colleagues to go to Forest Hill yesterday.  A sort of last hurrah for the long weekend.  Turns out, it was only me and one of our maintenance staff who were available.

Our sweet hosts

Kuya Don's Humba..

Grilled Chops

Grilled Fish

 

Spaghetti!!!

Kinilaw!

It didn’t matter though.  The food was bountiful and the ride was free.  I just had to bring my stuff and pay for my entrance and everything else was set.  The trip to Forest Hill was a bit long.  And the sun was shining ever so brightly… communing with the celebration.  But I love road trips.  And even the harsh rays of the sun couldn’t put a damper on my spirit.

Forest Hill

The last time I went to Forest Hill was 1o-11 years ago.  When we got there, the improvements that have occurred over the years were worth applauding.  For one, they’ve expanded their area.  Another, they added a kiddie pool complete with mini slides, fountains, and showers that all the kids and the kids at heart would love.

Kiddie Area

After taking in the changes of the place, it was time to spread out our food.  It really pays to know people who are good in cooking.  The food ate Berlie and kuya Don prepared for us was just perfect for a day out in the pool.  And for a party of 5 kids and 6 adults, the amount of servings was more than enough not only for lunch but for an early dinner too.

With the week starting out at such a positive note, I’m pumped up with enough happy thoughts to look forward to the challenges to come.  But before that, better get some shut eye.

Good night everyone!

Food Trip Friday: ???


Two Fridays have passed since I posted about our last dinner date at Krua Thai.  And it has been two Fridays since that I haven’t eaten out on a new (or unfamiliar) restaurant.  I was kind of hoping that yesterday would have been different.  Due to certain “preset” appointments by the others, I ended up going home for dinner instead.

I feel quite ashamed though.  Just when I was about to have planned topics (at least during Fridays!), I ended with null. *sob*  Anyway, just to get into the theme, I’ll be talking about food still for my “Food Trip Friday” Series.  Since I got home early (and the meals I ate earlier on that day was far from satisfying, but it was healthy though), my mom cooked dinner for me and her guest.  The menu?  Well nothing fancy.  Mom opted to cook misua and I went out to buy some street food (since our home was located near a school).  What in particular?  They called it “Patatas Twister” a variation of the famous “Twistix” that’s currently the rave in some prominent malls in Davao.

Patatas Twister

When I got home, the rice was almost cooked so I chowed on my patatas first.  Dinner was satisfying with a mixture of bittersweet memories flashing back.  You see, my dad was our official house cook.  And aside from his many other specialties, his talent includes making plain food recipes into delectable surprise dishes.  That includes misua dishes.

*SIGH*

I guess nothing beats home-cooked meals after all especially coming from a hard day’s work.

Till next food trip adventure!

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