Now, this post is two weeks late because the event happened two Sundays ago on Mother’s Day. We didn’t spend it with our moms though – Alfred and I took Esban to the Ninoy Aquino Parks and Wildlife for a photo shoot.
Believe it or not, Alfred has never been to Wild Life before. I can’t believe that they didn’t go there on a field trip when he was in grade school? I’ve been there so many times, but that was long ago. I realized then though that I confused some of my Wild Life memories with days spent at the old Nayong Pilipino.
It was a fun day, but I would have been a happier trooper had it not been soooo hot! Even with the dense trees protecting us from the direct heat of the sun, I was still sweating like a pig! I was frustrated by many of my photos too, I just couldn’t make it work. Alfred says it’s because I lacked sleep (I came straight from work, and with only two hours of sleep from the night before because that was the day after the BDP class) and was already irritable. I think he was just trying not to make me feel bad.
We started later than we had planned so we decided to have Liempo Boy for lunch first, before finally heading to our final destination for the afternoon.
Waiting for lunch to be served@Liempo Boy
Upon entering the park grounds, we were welcomed by this rubber tree. We told Esban what it was, and encouraged him to go ahead and pose in front of it. Little did I know that this tree’s brothers and sisters were going to have an even bigger role for the day!
Can you see him? Right there in the middle… Here’s a closer look at his wacky face:
Still can't see his face? Click on the image for a larger view
Okay, I’m testing the WP-SV Gallery Plugin that I just installed. The previews are smaller than what I want them to be, but please go ahead and click on the link at the bottom of the box to see a larger view of the pictures in each gallery.
[svgallery name=”Rubber tree very pretty”]
I’ve always been fascinated by root systems, so these did not escape me:
Now, Alfred told E that Lastikman got his powers from a rubber tree . Now, I preferred the alien version myself, but Esban’s imagination was definitely stirred by what he was hearing. Here he was looking for a cozy nook to simulate how Lastikman must have been trapped inside a rubber tree!
Fine, he doesn’t look trapped, he’s really just enjoying himself. But you know what he really wanted to try? Swing from tree to tree a la Tarzan! We were laughing so hard the whole time. We were sweating, not because it was hot, but because we were having so much fun already!
[svgallery name=”Like Tarzan”]
He enjoyed swinging so much that he refused to go home without stopping by another tree and have another go at it. Problem was, we couldn’t find the one that had vines that would suit his purpose! In the end, he agreed to leave because he was tired, and he had somewhere else that he needed to be at.
We took photos of the birds and monkeys too. I’ll share those at a later post, this took way loooonger than I had anticipated. Thanks for sticking it out till the end 🙂
It’s day 1 of our 15 day trial with Sky Broadband. It’s hi-speed Internet cable. I was subscribed to this maybe two years ago but we decided to switch to PLDT DSL because of the savings we’d get for it (since it’s bundled with the phone service). But their service has been so disappointing, so in two weeks or less we’ll make a decision to finally get rid of it or else just endure the inconsistent service we’ve received.
So far – I love it! My downloads are done in two or three minutes at a time. Sweet! 🙂
I thought I’d be at the mall today, shopping for slippers and some supplies for our Baler trip. I guess it’s a blessing too that we didn’t go, or else I would have had to practice a lot of self restraint while passing through the section for women’s shoes. I certainly do not need a new pair, but when I see beautiful comfy footwear, I just can’t help it sometimes 🙂
Every week it’s all the same. I wake up on a Tuesday morning and think about the many reasons why I don’t want to go to work. Work isn’t until tonight, but my mind is filled with things I’d rather do than sleep in the afternoon to wake up in the evening and report for my first day at work for the week. Ugh.
I am so tired of complaining. So tired of just going through the motions. Yet every week (or is it everyday?), I complain. Yet every week I also resolve to stop complaining, and to give my job my very best. I do give my 98% to the job, but I still can’t help complaining about a regular job keeping my away from other things I’d rather do. I know everyone has those kind of days, but for me it’s an everyday thing. A constant struggle. And it’s just not healthy.
And today, Alfred isn’t around to cheer me up. He isn’t here to tell me why I should go to work. Or, why I shouldn’t.
Yesterday, while reading PS I Love You, I remembered something that Alfred said awhile back. He doesn’t want to grow old. He’s not afraid of getting old, he just doesn’t want to reach the stage where someone will have to take care of him full time. He doesn’t want to grow old enough to be needing incontinence supplies, if you know what I mean.
I saw an ad on the papers yesterday about a short course on baking in one of the culinary schools here. I forgot to read up on it yesterday so I just did today. My heart fell when I saw the tag price – 38000 pesos. I don’t have that money and I don’t want to ask for a loan from my parents because I have an outstanding loan with my brother for the condo improvements. A loan that I have currently no means to pay for. Ugh. I hope they schedule another batch for that class a few months from now. Maybe by then I’d be able to put together some money.
Speaking of money…
I’ve noticed that money’s been tight for me lately. It doesn’t have anything to do with the financial crunch that the whole world is experiencing. At work, team managers receive an incentive based on their team performance and we look forward to this every month. Since I moved accounts though, it’s like I’ve been robbed of that incentive. With my former account, I always get it and it was more than enough to reward my top agents and cover the payment for my housing loan. Now, it’s barely enough to buy treats for my team. That sucks. If I was still getting that incentive every month, I’d be so confident to ask my dad to loan me the money for the baking class and to promise to pay it back within the year. But I don’t.
Okay, this has really turned out to be a very negative post so let me end with something different…
Earth Hour is happening again on March 28th, 8:30 PM local time.
I’ll make sure we do this at home. And I’ll talk to my cousins and my grandpa so they’ll switch off their lights too.
I just don’t know how feasible this is going to be at work. Our peak hours are at night, and I am not sure management will agree to switch off the main floor lights even for just an hour. Our PC monitors will still be running anyway, and that generates enough light for me. Haha.
I also uploaded some pictures at DigitalMe, go check ’em out 🙂 I wonder when I’ll be able to catch up posting for my Project 365 at the rate I’m going. haha
Be sure to read parts one and two of our Bohol vacation before proceeding to read this post 😉
Seventh Stop: The Loboc River Cruise
I have been on this cruise twice before but there were some new things on this visit.
1 – The Tourism Complex is new and was constructed, if I remember hearing from Janny correctly, two years ago. The rafts dock on the opposite side of the river and it looks better now too. There are also souvenir shops in the complex, and a children’s center. I didn’t get to see what was in the children’s center/hall though.
2 – We noticed flood lights and lampposts lining the length of the river. Those were definitely not there four years ago. Apparently, there are cruises at night too. Next time I’d love to check that out. It must be beautiful.
3 – There are at least two rafts along the river where locals sing and dance for tourists. They don’t ask for a fee but they do welcome donations. There are a lot of women there, ranging from highschool girls to mothers and even gradmothers. There are some men too. One of the rafts I think showcase the women playing banduria. Those seem to be fundraising projects by their barangays (local government unit).
The river cruise and all-you-can-eat lunch costs 300 pesos per person. I particularly liked the steamed fish that they served. A musician goes on board too, his repertoire includes folk songs, oldies and pop. Towards the end of the cruise, on the way back, a hat would be passed around for the singer.
The water, the color of chocolate during our visit, is normally of a lovely blue green color. It rained hard the night before and it stirred the mud at the bottom of the river, turning it to this color. It was still lovely nonetheless.
The wind blew ever so lightly that day and it was soothing, and calming too.
The photo above is a view of the Loboc Church, the second oldest in the island, from across the dock. The photo next to it is of the same church. Notice the bridge this time? This unfinished bridge has been a fixture in Loboc for some time already. It was a government project foolishly executed because the bridge was constructed where it would hit the church itself. The people refused to have this part of the church taken down to make way for this bridge. It is said that it was constructed as a ruse to have the front of the church excavated to look for the hidden treasure said to be there.
Today there is a much smaller bridge a few meters away that serves the purpose that this big one was supposedly intended for.
There’s a museum in the church but we didn’t visit anymore. We did go inside the church to pray a bit though. Since this is the hometown of the famed Loboc Children’s Choir, I wanted to check if I could get their CD here, but I didn’t get to do that. The Choir performed for us during the conference we had in Tagbilaran four years ago. They were very good.
Here are other shots of the cruise:
The last two photos were of the rafts I mentioned earlier. There’s two of them but we only stopped for this one. There was a boy from our cruise who went down and happily danced with the performers. My camera phone wasn’t powerful enough to capture his happy dance though. Here’s another boy who was generous with his donation, he actually came back to give more:
Oops, I am going to be late for work. Sorry to cut this short. I hope you enjoyed the cruise with us!
Bohol is an island province in the Visayas; it is the tenth largest island in the country. There’s a map here to give you an idea of where in the Philippines Bohol is situated.
This is my third time in Bohol, the last visit being four years ago. Yes I’ve seen the sites before, but it doesn’t cease to amaze me. The last trip out of Bohol was a bitter one, I received news of my grandmother’s passing while waiting for our delayed flight home. Sad though that time was, it is not difficult to disassociate that memory from the rest of the island. This trip is also made special by the company I have.
Prior to coming here, I had already looked for arrangements for the tour. I knew we couldn’t just take public transportation and give it a go on our own. No, no, no. Dao Diamond was willing to arrange the tour for us for PhP3,000.00 on their lovely red van. My friend Joy was able to give me the name of the driver/tour guide that took them around the last time she was there with family.
I contacted Janny and I was thrilled that he gave me a price that’s lower than what Dao had quoted. Still, I didn’t confirm because it was still about two weeks away when I first got in touch with him. Nearer to the tour date though, he contacted me again to confirm and even said that I can ask for a discount. What a great guy, he did give us a big discount!
I totally recommend him, he was not on our faces during the tour, he would actually let you just do your own thing and let you take your time. He’s a bit on the shy side though but he will answer any questions you may have. We managed to snap a photo of him before he took us to the airport (with sidetrips, of course).
Driver/Tour guide: Janny Joy Betarmos 09216328668
First stop: the Blood Compact park. The sculpture is by National Artist, and proud Boholanon, Napoleon Abueva – Daddy Abueva to us. Haha. No, we are not related to him but my former boss, Ate Amihan, is his daughter and we’ve had dinner many times in their Quezon City home. Oh, we’ve always enjoyed those haven’t we? Joy and I have taken to calling him and his wife, Daddy and Mommy Abueva (although we call them Sir and Ma’am when we’re in their actual presence, to show respect).
But I digress. The Blood Compact monument is situated in a very picturesque spot. You have an unobstructed view of the sea and that side of the Bohol Island. It’s a breathtaking first stop.
They don’t collect any fees on this monument.
Second stop: Meet the Tarsiers! In my previous visits, I got to see the Tarsiers along Loboc River. With the new tourist complex they have in Loboc, the shops in the former docking area for the balsa no longer house the Tarsiers.
This time around, we stopped right by the highway, to a small shack. Inside were eleven Tarsiers, with the youngest being just eight months. There is no entrance fee, but they do have donation boxes – for Tarsier feeding. There are also a few stalls selling souvenir items (Tarsier bags, purses, key chains, magnets, etc).
You are reminded not to use flash when you take pictures of the little primates, they could go blind if you do. They have big eyes, but very small pupils. They are nocturnal so they don’t move much during the day.
Tourists are not allowed to touch the little creatures and I don’t see any reason really to do so. But we were there early and no one else was around so the young man caring for the Tarsiers offered to put one of his babies on our hands/shoulders. I wasn’t brave enough though so I was content to see how happy Alfred was to experience that. Hehe. Oh and the boy also let us feed one of the tarsiers!
Third stop: Chocolate Hills, Carmen peak. There are two peaks that tourists can visit: Carmen and Sagbayan Peak. The latter is in another part of the island so we didn’t go there. That was the peak we visited four years ago though. Carmen Peak is still what I’d prefer of the two.
As soon as we arrived at the development, we realized that we were both stupid – we hadn’t recharged the camera batteries! So we settled on using my camera phone for the rest of the tour and we had to pay top buck for four photos at this majestic spot. We weren’t going to let the camera incident ruin the trip though, and we still have photos to show for it, the beauty and fun of the experience isn’t just stuck in our memories. Hah!
Don’t ask me how many steps those were, I didn’t count. There’s a memorial/peace bell at the top that you’re supposed to ring when you’re there, Alfred, in his excitement, didn’t even see it!
Here’s a tip, aside from making sure your camera is fully charged, or that you have a backup camera in hand, it is wise to bring a USB drive too. There are photographers on the peak that take your photos and print them out for a fee (highway robbery, haha) but they won’t mind saving the other shots you didn’t pick on your USB drive. I’m sure that if you ask nicely, they’d take more photos for you on their lovely DSLRs or even your own point and shoot.
Sorry these pics don’t particularly look awesome, I just took a picture of the prints.
Fourth stop: Butterfly Conservation – Hmm, I forgot the name of the place, Simply Butterflies was it?
For an entrance fee of 20 pesos, there’s a guide that will go around the garden with you, and tell you all about the butterflies, moths and other small creatures that can be found there. He even showed us the garlic plant, which really smells like garlic. It apparently has a lovely purple flower but they weren’t in bloom at the time. I took a number of pictures there but I’ll post those some other time 🙂
Fifth Stop: Bilar Man-Made Forest – According to Janny, the Mahogany trees lining this highway were planted decades ago at the same time that the road was constructed. The idea was to prevent landslides. Weren’t they wise? They should have thought of planting trees in every highway they build across the country!
Sixth Stop: Hanging Bridge – Okay, there is nothing very special to this bridge, as far as I’m concerned. This is a bridge that residents use everyday but it crosses the picturesque river. It’s made of different materials including suspension wire and bamboo. We chickened out of crossing it all the way though. We hadn’t thought it was worth is if we were only to see shops on the other side, and then have to endure the walk back. Haha!
The river isn’t normally of this color, it is usually green but it had rained very hard the night before and that kinda ruined everything. Not! Though this isn’t in Loboc town anymore , this river apparently joins the Loboc River.
My Internet connection goes all loopy every Saturday at noon – without fail (damn you PLDT DSL !) and that is what’s happening now. I’ll publish this post until this stop and continue on with the rest next time. Hang tight, the best stop of the tour has yet to be shown 🙂
This evening , I attempted to fuse plastic. The first one wasn’t good – some parts did not fuse at all.
I stopped, then checked out the tutorial at EtsyLabs again (that I already looked at several times about two months ago). By the looks of it, and as I recalled the video tutorial I also watched last week, I did what the tutorials called for.
An hour later, I tried it again but with just six layers and more flimsy plastic bags. I also turned up the temperature of the iron. This time, it actually looked like it was fusing well, but the iron may have been a little too hot. There were holes, and I actually saw the thing shrink. I managed to cut a piece of it that will be usable for what I intend to make, but on its own I think the material is not as sturdy as what I would have wanted.
That really got me frustrated. I was looking forward to making something this weekend and I really thought it would just be simple. I’ll leave the third, and hopefully successful attempt for tomorrow.
Did you see the Olympics’ closing ceremony? It was amazing!