Who we are...

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Friends who crossed the line of friendship to discover that we can love more than we thought we can. Brought together by God and have discovered along the way that there is a deeper reason why we are together. Our mission is not to be done individually,but together. This site contains our past and our journey to the future..a sharing of emotions, feelings, thoughts, dreams, fears -- all about our adventures in life.

Thursday, November 4, 2010

Wear who you are!

(Reposting from my multiply)

Finally, the one that got our hearts desire =) It is the simplest of things that just fires up creativity and now it has been translated to something that can be shared.

I AM! Shirts are more than just your statement shirts because they describe how you what, what you are, your status, what you have been, where you've been -- in a few words. We really don't need to cramp up your shirts to show who you are or how you feel. The simpler, the better. And the best part is, you can come up with your own designs (minimum of five shirts) and translate your ideas to something wearable.

First batch of designs will be available on November 8, 2010. New designs will be posted every two weeks and advance orders can be done once photos have been posted.

Game na! Wear who you are =)

Saturday, October 30, 2010

Trick or treat!

Zye got both trick and treat. The trick: he was struck with the insanely widespread virus in our neighborhood--the oh so 'red eyes' (yeah, like it was so timely for halloween). The treat: Tito Cocoy got some really good toys (c/o the twins) which got Zye all hyped up :) matched with havaianas and a rubber shoes that fit perfectly. (The beauty of being petite haha!) Thanks Tito Cocoy and Tita Owie for remembering Zye :) and thanks to Edric and Yohan's fast growth which became the source of blessings. Hooray!!!!

Thursday, October 28, 2010

Good shot

I would want my kid to pursue the things that would make him happy. And seeing how he totally gets crazy over shooting a ball, I'd say he's got a pretty good shot on being a basketball star. This photo has 'MVP' written all over it. (am I a stage mom or what?)

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Big boy

It is amazing, really, how time flies so fast. This is our three year old boy who, in this very photo, looks as if he is a school boy already. Got to enjoy every bit of his childhood.

hello technology

So basically this actually is just a way to test if my efforts to have my phone linked with my online journal will work. Hopefully this works out and I am one happy lady!

Holler once this gets through!

Wednesday, June 30, 2010


Our pet name for Zye is "Bubba". For the time that he is still learning how to pronounce words well, I'd like to list down what he has translated in his own language. Thus, I call it "Bubbacabulary" =)
(By the way, I am spelling the words the way he pronounces it)
dijuice = Jesus
Papatch = Spongebob
Momok = Moo - moo
Tutay = showtime
O-leyt = chocolate
Lalap = laptop
Pansit = any kind of noodle
Janoyd = John Lloyd
Amol = Elmo
Digo = Ligo (bath)
Babrush = toothbrush
Aski = Kick Buttowski
Ani = Barney
Liliw = Kili-kili (armpit)

Tuesday, June 29, 2010

Father's day -- a week after

My dad came home after almost four months from his last vacation and of course we were all present as he arrived. Since it was a week after father's day, we decided to just do a post celebration for him. It was a simple, cozy family dinner at the Emerald Garden Restaurant in Manila.

We had a table reserved for us which was a good thing because the place was packed at 7PM as if it was lunch time. Most of the customers were Chinese families which is a given since Emerald Garden is a Chinese restaurant. We sat around a traditional round table setting with tea served as we browse at the menu.

Mamu, Zye and Daduds

We got the Hot and Sour soup to give warmth to our stomach -- or at least have something to start with while our other food choices are being cooked. Unluckily for us, the soup got served after they bought in the Yang Chow fried rice, Sizzling fish fillet and Brocolli.

(Above) Sizzling Fish Fillet

(Above) Yang Chow Fried Rice

(Above- from lower left clockwise) Our Post-Father's day Chinese feast: Hot & Sour soup, Yang Chow, Sizzling Fish fillet, Brocolli, Squid and Beef in Oyster Sauce (Crispy chicken with Lemon sauce still missing)

Inspite of the not-so-nice reception of this one girl (who was forver holding this menu or folder), the service of the waiters were fair enough. The Hot & Sour soup was great, the Yang chow was gigantic. The sizzling fish fillet was savory and was really served sizzling. The Crispy chicken with lemon sauce was a so-so. (I'm still a fan of Big Buddha's Lemon chicken). The beef that we got was not a blockbuster either. The squid was fantastic.

I'd say that for the servings and the number of dishes we got, our bill of Php2000 was reasonable enough. We even had some to take home some of the left overs. Would we go back to Emerald Garden? Yeah, why not.

(From left clockwise): Zye, Verna, Dingdong, Jown, Mamu, Daduds, Owie, Cocoy

Emerald Garden

Roxas1170, Roxas Blvd.Ermita, Manila

Phone Number: 523-8510

Roadtrip 2010: The Banaue -Sagada experience (part 3)

Part 3 of a series.

April 3, 2010
Day 3: Batad day

We were excited for this day because we are on the path to finding a great waterfalls. They said that it was going to be a 45-minute trek going to the falls and that we do not need to worry since there is a pathway good enough to walk on.

The thing is it was about a 2-hour drive going to the start of the trek. And it was literally a ride going up the mountains. It was a long, bumpy ride. When we got at the site, we rented out walking sticks at 10 pesos each. They said we were gonna need it along the way. The whole group came -- including our baby boy Zye. We wouldn't want him to miss that falls.

The start of the trailHalf way there? Not yet! But the view was great.
The trail was loooong! Honestly, it wasn't a 45-minute walk. From the start of the trail up to this stop ( picture below) it must have been a whopping 1 hour already! And we were only half way there.
A quite difficult trail. The walking stick was indeed needed. Yes, we walked across the terraces..literally. Where is the falls? Somewhere else. This is PITSTOP TWO.
So after more than an hour we finally were done walking across the rice terraces only to find out that there is yet another hour to reach the falls. SERIOUSLY!!! That was too much for most of the oldies. But we didn't come all the way to not see that intriguing falls. So the four cavers (Me, hubby, Nikki and Renna) along with my FIL and MIL went on. The picture above is a bird's eyeview of the trail going to the falls. This was over looking the trail at the first stop from PITSTOP TWO. It wasn't the greatest sight to see. It was quite a dangerous trail most especially if it rains.
At last!!!! The falls is real!!! We saw it, we came, we conquered. It was perfect! The sound of rushing water was great to wipe out all complains we had. Still a few more to go to finally reach the swimming area of the falls.I think we spent just about 30-45 minutes at the falls because we still had to walk back again. Uugh! I honestly did not want to walk anymore. But there was no easy way going back. We did not even change clothes. We just let ourselves dry up while walking and when we got back at PITSTOP TWO we were dry as El Nino. At about 12NN everyone was walking back again across the rice terraces under the scorching sun. Struggling is the word. When we got to PITSTOP ONE, we were famished. Finally, lunch! Our lunch was also an experience. No, not the food. But the food server. He did not like getting orders all at the same time, you have to wait for him to finish one thing before asking for something else, and the best thing? He had us computing for what we ate and gave us tip for doing so. Funny!

A small "falls" which also is a swimming spot free for all. Our last photo opportunity after our Batad experience.
We got back to Banaue at around 5:30PM. At around 7PM we were off the road again going back to Manila. Still tired but smiling from the great adventure we just had. Our road trip for 2010 was a blast! We can't wait for the next trip.

Some great tips if you are going to Banaue-Sagada:
1. Spend one day in Banaue, overnight stay in Sagada, and overnight stay in Batad to fully enjoy the trip. That's roughly about 4-5 days of well spent nature trip.
2. Make sure to bring camera -- whatever you have bring it.
3. Leave only footsteps. Don't litter.
4. Essentials for the Batad falls trekking: Water, towel, extra shirt, walking stick, candy, energy bar, sunblock
5. Wear comfortable clothes when you go caving. If you are physically fit, the interconnecting cave is much more fun.

Roadtrip 2010: The Banaue-Sagada Experience (part 2)

Part 2 of a series.
April 2, 2010
Day 2: Sagada day

At 5AM the group was busy preparing to go already. We were off to an early start so that we can go back early as well and make sure that we don't get caught in Sagada come night time. At around 5:30AM, we were already driving away from Banaue. It was another long drive going to Sagada. Roughly around 3 hours from Banaue if my memory serves me right (which includes the stops we had for picture taking). I think that the roadtrip from Banaue to Sagada is not measured in miles but in the number of mountains that you are gonna be crossing.

After 30 minutes of driving, we saw a tower from way up the mountains and so my in-laws told us, when we get there we are half-way near Sagada. And it was like --- what the?! Seriously. Because we saw ourselves getting near the tower. Until we saw ourselves having a stop over at THE tower. And darn, it was freezing up there

After sipping coffee, we headed back on the road. And stopped again at the sight of a village of rice terraces.
After another hour or so,we finally saw the sign: Welcome to Sagada

Just along the road before going to Sagada proper, we took a hard stop We saw the famous hanging coffins which really looked like amazing big stones. Of course, this was another photo opportunity.

Breakfast was first. Before doing so, we registered first for the Sagada Caving exerience, just the four of us: Me, hubby, Nikki and Renna. The oldies had to wait or else the caving may take the whole day. Of course, that's exaggerating it. After the registration, we got to a basement of some sort for breakfast. Nothing fancy but the red rice was an experience. Now, off to the cave! We stopped at the registration center to look for our guide. Oskie was the one guide assigned to us.

Pictures first at the entrance of the cave. While Oskie lights up the lamp, we surveyed what's in store for us. Dark, cold. But there were a lot of people so it wasn't too scary.

The caving experience was nice. It was a matter of knowing how to follow instructions basically. I can sum it up in three parts: The "smelly" part, the "watery" part and the "climb". I'll let the pictures speak for itself and leave you with your imagination. Over-all it was worth the experience.

The cavers: (from left - clockwise) Renna, Dingdong, Nikki, Jown

It took us around an hour and a half to finish the caving as we got to have enough proof that we did it. After that we took a shower, changed clothes then off to see Sagada. We tried going to a "small falls" but the path is not too nice. The little twigs that fell off made the soil too slippery so we went a few hills down and got pictures of the green rice terraces then we went to what Oskie referred to as a water cave. Funny thing was, there was no water due to El Nino. We drove home after that, wanting to be back in Banaue before it gets dark.

The group in the "underground water" tunnel -- without the water!

We had a feast of binagoongan, chubby cheesedogs, green manggo, and tilapia for dinner. Then we helped ourselves for some videoke. Tomorrow, we go to Batad falls in the morning and straight home the next day.


Monday, June 28, 2010

Confessions of a misis - part 2

A continutation of my confessions. Feel free to read and comment on it. Share this journey with me.

Confessions of a misis - part 2

It is not necessary to have grand gestures (though sometimes such have a more lasting effect) all the time. It is more practical to plant small, sweet gestures daily that will build to a bigger picture of really knowing how to take care of your husband. So the TLC part of marriage is but essential to always have the person's attention -- watching out the next sweet move that you are planning. Remember, your husband is like your eldest kid. No matter how old he gets, he would always want "mommy" to take care of him in any way possible.


And with that word I must add as a prefix "NEVER ENDING".

I guess any relationship needs as much patience to make it work. Personally, I think the saying "Patience is a virtue" is an understatement. Once you get married, patience cultivates into a lifestyle of its own. I mean, you agree to be with someone whom you may actually be so meant to be with to find out everyday that there are so many things to his living habits that you just can't understand. Don't get me wrong. My husband did not turn out to be a monster or anything but let's face it, you and your partner were not raised by the same parents in the same household. There are things he has been so used to doing just the same as you. The good news is, it doesn't really need to clash. Thus, the word compromise was born. You have to meet halfway and make it a win-win situation for both of you. Easy? Most of the times it can get really crazy. For example, my husband turns on the light wherever he goes and never turns it off. I, on the other hand, have been used to putting the lights off immediately after using it. The result? I end up tracing his steps to make sure the lights are all turned off once he leaves a room. Nice? Not really. It took quite some time for that reality to sink into my brain. But it is a learning experience for both of us. I have learned to stretch my patience. He learned to turn off the lights -- at least tries hard to remember doing it. =)


I do not like togue (sprouts) the same way he doesn't like monggo. I don't eat bopis. He is not really into cakes. He only likes Cheese flavored ice cream. I love ice cream. He sleeps whenever reading. I am quite fond of books. He is terrible in remembering lyrics. I can write my own 1001 song compilation.

Everything mentioned above is now a thing of the past. Now what I like, he likes. What he likes, I like too. Not even just to please the other but I guess being married opens you up to the possibilities of things. And from there, you learn that you need to take everything as an adventure, live your life to the fullest and just experiment. My husband and I believe that our marriage is an adventure of a lifetime. You just got to take the plunge to taste and see the goodness that the world can offer.

To be continued.

Sunday, June 27, 2010

Confessions of a misis

I found it more appropriate to post this on my personal blog. I felt it was more of my personal reflection though it speaks of my family life. Feel free to read and comment on it. Share this journey with me.

Saturday, June 26, 2010

Confessions of a misis - part 1


That's the number of days that I have been married, according to our wedding announcer counter.

1274 days after our blissful exchange of "I do's", 1274 nights of sleeping in the arms of this hunk whose charm has swept the feet of so many "wannabes" but was head over heels in love with me. (This is my blog. I have every right to say what I wanna say.)

Amazing how the days simply pass by. Numbers can really help you figure out what your life has been. It can reflect what you have not yet accomplished and it will prove how you have unwittingly surpassed all the tomorrows that did not look too bright yesterday.

On that premise, allow me to evaluate myself on how I have been as a misis (Filipino of Mrs. i.e. wife). I honestly hope that as the number of our married days increases, this blog can remind me of what I should continue doing, what I should improve and of course what I should stop doing at all.

I must say that this is an ultimate requirement once you have sworn yourself to misishood. Husbands are meant to be spoiled -- in the nicest essence of the word. I mean they are the main providers of the household. Even if the misis is working, the responsibility of bringing enough money to provide for the househould lies in the hands of the father. So as a misis, I have to exert a little extra effort in pampering my husband. Below are some of the things that I remember doing for my better half on top of the regular cooking, cleaning, washing stuff that misis are often branded with:

- Back massage (Use scented oils to make it more special)
- Spice up our meals by making a fancy dinner table (Plating is the key)
- Prepare the things that he needs for work the night before
- Tidy up his closet
- Shine his shoes (Most especially when you know he has a big day ahead)
- Send him a text message saying "May God bless your work and your day! I love you"
- Slip a short note in his wallet
- Prepare him a good lunch
- Offer coffee after his meal (He loves this especially while just capping the night off)
- Give him a kiss while sleeping (Honestly, mu husband does this more =D )
- Give him a foot spa
- Cover him with blanket and hug him tight during cold nights
- Pray well for him always
- cook up surprises especially during his birthday
- when he is driving on a terrible pay day Friday night, give him a good hug while you are stuck in traffic.

*To be continued*
(NOTE: If you would like to add your own list, please feel free to leave your comments so I can add it up somewhere in between my confession series. Thank you!)

Thursday, June 24, 2010



We set standards
Somewhere along the way
Tumbling towards believable truth
We perceive things
only to find out accidentally
That we were deceived
Is it our thinking
That constructs us with certainty
Convicted this is the path
Blinded today
Then opening your eyes tomorrow
To learn that you were wrong.
The only truth is that of Him.
He is the only epitome of goodness.

Don't let your heart overrule your soul

~ jown~
random thoughts
June 24,2010


Sent from my iPod

Tuesday, June 22, 2010

Milk Please?

Zye was still sleeping when I went to the bathroom. I knew that he has in deep sleep because my husband kissed him goodbye before leaving the house but he did not move a bit.

When I was almost done with my bath, I heard sobs of a little boy. I wasn't quite sure until I heard him saying repeatedly the word mommy. After a few seconds, the voice sounded clearer and someone was attempting to open the bathroom door. I wrapped the towel and hurriedly reached for the door. As it openned I saw Zye crying and saying, "Mommy, milk" in the most "kawawawa" face.

Apparently, he was crying for milk and neither the yaya nor my mom heard him. He was crying but cried even harder when his yaya gave the milk, probably communicating that he's a bit mad nobody heard him. Poor kiddo.

Good thing that "Wonder pets" was on TV. He stopped crying and just finished his milk while watching Ming-Ming. Hooray for the wonder pets!


I am still
Breathing heavily
as I showered my skin with pinches
feeling numbness
The cold air enveloped me

I am still
Thoughts are whirling
my soul seems to have wandered
I await for my luck
Again, I am breathing heavily,
Closed my eyes...

Tic, Tac,
Tic, Tac,
I survived.

reminiscing my one time BP rise.
created June 22, 2010 -

In Christ Alone by Brian Littrell

In Christ alone will I glory
Though I could pride myself in battles won
For I’ve been blessed beyond measure
And by His strength alone I’ll overcome
Oh, I could stop and count successes like diamonds in my hands
But those trophies could not equal to the grace by which I stand

In Christ alone
I place my trust
And find my glory in the power of the cross
In every victoryLet it be said of me
My source of strength
My source of hope
Is Christ alone

In Christ alone do I glory
For only by His grace I am redeemed
For only His tender mercy
Could reach beyond my weakness to my need
And now I seek no greater honor in just to know Him more
And to count my gains but losses to the glory of my Lord

Bittersweet truth

I can only imagine to what extent anger can lead a person. The worst thing is that some don't even know why they are angry. Really, is it because you do not agree with what the person has done? Is it right to judge a person as you base it on your own standard? If so then I dare say that you have condemned the person and have not given him the chance to be sorry for what he has done and have refused him of his right to walk in better judgement moving forward.

As I see now how a simple disagreement can lead a blinded heart to anger and how anger can be fully capitalized to become bitter. No explanation will be worth it. A person who has been wrapped up in his been wrapped up in his "own disappointments" will never open up himself to any idea except that which agrees with his. Yes, it is his disappointments that makes him angry. It is now about the object of his anger. The only reason for anger to become full blown is when you try to reconcile other person's wrong doings with what you want. Much to an angry person's dismay, other people's faults will never be reconciled to how you run your life. His faults are not yours so much so that your faults are not his. You are the one responsible for your action as other people are responsible for theirs.

Will there be a solution? Of course. Forgiveness. It is the only thing bigger than our emotions to actually learn to see beyond what has happened. Your forgiveness is not synonymous to your belief. Surprisingly, one can actually forgive and forget without meaning to compromise what he stands for. How can this happen? Simple. You are not judge people. If we remember that, we would know the secret to having a peaceful life.

I'll say it again, in such instances, wisdom is the only thing we will ever need.

Sunday, June 20, 2010

The man in our lives

"A good father is one of the most unsung, unpraised, unnoticed, and yet one of the most valuable assets in our society." -- Billy Graham, Christian Evangelist

I agree with what Billy Graham said. Fathers are usually behind the scene. They speak less frequently but has the final say on things. They work hard to provide for his family but is not so visible in the household unlike moms who are all over the place once we get home. In today's society, a father's presence is unseen as their need to provide well drives them to another country, a thousand miles from their family.

And so as this day ends, I'd like to give a blog page to my unsung heroes: my top three fathers in this world.

DADUDS: The great provider, the giver, my king.

My ultimate, true-blooded, birth father. My sister and I call him daddy. Due to a time in our life when I was about 4 years old, life was really financially hard for us. Dad gambled the need to be with us so that he can give us a better future. So we grew up with tons of love letters (email was not a thing of our generation), narrating to him what happened in school, how we are, what we are busy with. He goes home every two years and we splurge into going to all the great places with our father. He is a great poet. We have seen his letters to mom and they were truly romantic. He is quite a fighter in the sense that he will fight for what is right. Yet he doesn't base what he is fighting for on pure emotions. He always thinks things thru. He doesn't see people on how they look, or on their status in life. He sees their heart and their motives. He believes in the goodness of people. And I loved him for that. I guess that's where my tolerance for people came from. He prays everyday : for our family, for our individual success. Loving, faithful, a man of faith, wise. My dad, Cel.
Daduds, Zye and Mamu

DHE: My soulmate, the love of my life, my prince.

The guy who hated me during the first time we met. The guy who became my friend after he has overcome his first impression of me. The guy whom I married after four years of wonderful friendship, amazing food trips and a lot of movies (three times a week of movies for the record). As I have said, he is a complete package. And when we decided to become parents, he was with me every step of the way: from pregnancy to hospitalization to giving birth to changing diapers -- well you get the picture. A man with a soft heart but with strong beliefs. His love for me and Zye sometimes pushes him to worry too much. But I adore that about him. He was God's instrument to me so that my faith can be rooted to the truth. My bestfriend, my lover, my happily ever after. My husband, Dingdong.

Dhe, Zye and Mhe

DADSKI. Supportive, a spiritual adviser, my legal father.

No. I was not adopted. He is my legal father because he is my father-in-law. I am blessed to belong to a family who is almost like a mirror of our family in almost everything. And with that, I am happy that I got an additional father figure to pray and wish us well. He manages to pull-out of hard situations and be able to deliver a good preaching out of it. A basketball addict just like my husband that even at his age (more than 50 years old; I'm not telling the exact age) he still gets into a game with his boys. He goes for the good of the family and the good for the church and has lived a life as a good testimony of his faith. A coach and my favorite preacher. My father-in-law, Galo.

Dadski, Zye and Mamski



***Honoring all the fathers in the world. For your dedication to each of your families.***

Thursday, June 17, 2010

Not my idea -- at all!

Zye, hugging his vitamins =)

He posed saying : "Mommy,usap...tawag..smile"

Posing as Ironman.

Zye: "Mommy, obot. Ilaw."

Then raises his hand and shifts his face on a serious face.

(Sort of) heartbreaking

There comes a time in a parent's life when your kid starts manifesting signs that they do things, in their own liking just to disobey you.

Yes, I dare say that a young age of 2 and a half years old our son is able to break "rules". You may begin to wonder how I can boldly claim that our kid has that ability. Is he of high IQ? Is he specially capable of following instructions to the dot? He's none of that. Inspite of his very keen observant eye, he is your average kid in most areas. But his ability to observe, grasp and immediately immitate actions is a true indication that he understands things. He can already assess whether I'd get mad or if what he would do will catch my attention. Thus it truly breaks my heart when you see that at some point in time, when our son will have the ability to really decide on his own, he may do things that is not to our liking.

And I say -- he may. He just might. But then my husband and I pray hard that he won't. We hope that the values we have taught will not go to waste, the love we shower him with would be enough to overcome any pressures he will encounter and the faith that we practice will give him the courage to always choose right from wrong.

It is not any easy path. But my spirit soars up knowing that all things work together for good to them that truly love the Lord.

Monday, June 14, 2010

Road trip 2010: The Banaue-Sagada experience

Two weeks before April 1, 2010:

The search
Since my in-laws have been to Banaue, we already had a place in mind.I called Manong Noel of Hiwang Native Inn to reserve ourselve a placegood for 9 adults and 1 toddler. Unfortunately (though it became afortunate event too) there weren't any vacant huts for the coming holyweek. Crap! Where are we suppose to go now? Found the guts to ask Manong Noel if he can refer us to a place. After an hour, somebody texted me offering their lodge. I don't have a clue where it is, some bathrooms apparently had leaks but were usable, the place didn't have an official name because they normally just offer it to friends or friends of friends. I've tried texting other lodge/inn/hotel (mostly found from web search) but opted for the one the Manong Noel referred simply because they don't even ask for any reservation fee. So I confirmed with Dianne, the contact person for the lodge, the time and day of our arrival. She agreed to meet us at the hall of justice of Banaue. We got three rooms, each room at Php800/night good for 3 persons (With Toilet/Bathroom). Php200 for every an additional bed. There were 9 of us plus our son so three rooms were enough for our accommodation. Several days after, I asked Dianne if we can do our own cooking and she said that they'll do something about it since the main kitchen is only for the caretakers. We also have the option to just order for food if in case we get too tired to prepare one.

March 31, 2010
The "getting there" part

Since we were bringing two vehicles, we decided to meet-up at a gasoline station near Makro Cubao. Excited probably, Dingdong wasn't able to catch a nap after work and we decided to leave our house early with the anticipation of heavy traffic due to the long weekend (Long weekend = out-of-town trips). It was a 9 hour drive from Manila to Banaue, having just one main stop over for coffee. The road was quite a curve at times, a little steep, mostly a little dark. I'm glad that Zye wasn't really a headache during the whole trip. He was awake for the first two hours and slept his heart out until we reached our stop over. He slept again a few minutes after we hit the road.

Coffee stop
April 1, 2010
Entering Banaue

Our official time of arrival in Banaue: 6:45 AM. Took some time taking photos of the vast mountaneous area. Wish it wasn't El Nino so that the scenery would have been much greener. But the cool, crisp air and just the thought of nature at its best was enough to capture us. After some group shots, I sent Dianne a message that we were in Banaue already. At around 7:15AM we were already at the Hall of Justice, taking turns in having our pictures taken. This petite, young lady approached me and I immediately asked if she was Dianne. She apologized that the place was still getting cleaned up but we can drive there already. The group hurriedly hopped back in the vans and off we go to our accommodation.

Normally when you say lodge, you wouldn't really expect as much. I mean, it is probably a decent place to spend the night in but that's just about it. When we got to the lodge, it was a three-story building, more inclined to look like a house of a wealthy person rather than a lodge. The reception area at the first floor was nice and cozy. We got to the third floor where 5 rooms were located and so is a dining hall that is overlooking a great view of rice terraces. Yes! It was an amazing sight! Imagine the rays of the sun trying to sneak a peak amidst the morning fog over the man-made rice terraces -- and having this backdrop while having your morning coffee. Loved it! We were "wowed" on how nice the lodge was. There was a refrigerator that can be used, they have coffee (for free) if in case you don't have your own, and they have set-up a stove for our use as well as a make-shift waterhose at the second floor which we can use for washing our dishes. Cool. Dianne, her cousin and brothers were sooooo accommodating (yes, had to put more "o" for emphasis). When the rooms were all cleaned, we headed to our room assignments. Each room had its own toilet/bathroom , a queen size bed, a wooden closet, a table and a mirror. Each of the rooms were given their own water heater too so that means no cold showers for us! The rooms were not airconditioned nor did it have any electric fans. But it was cool enough to still have a good night sleep and though there were those flying insects at night (mostly drawn to the light), it was surprising that we did not experience any mosquito bites.

The dining hall overlooking Banaue mountains and terraces

Settling at the dining hall

Terrace outside the dining hall -- overlooking a great scenery!

Room invasion: one of the rooms we reserved (still with a magnificent view)

Day 1: Banaue day

Everyone was tired from the 9-hour trip. So after eating breakfast, we all dozed off. We woke up at around 12NN. We then discussed our itinerary and asked Dianne for suggestions on where the nice tourist spots are. She enumerated a few and we had to do computations on how long it will take us to go there. We needed to maximize our stay and had to plan well. Since half of the day was almost over, we decided to just visit nearby places: Banaue veiw deck and Hiwang native inn. It was ther perfect excuse to have all sorts of pictures taken. We specifically enjoyed being at Hiwang and how it felt like you were nearing the heavens, overseeing the earth, while voices of a praise and worship team echo. It was perfect. Got back at the lodge at around 6PM. We just ordered food and headed off early to bed that night because the next day was Sagada day.

At the view deck

At Hiwang

The native huts of Banaue

Having fun at Hiwang

View of Banaue at the hills of Hiwang