Towards the end of 2013, we moved in our little shack (okay, it's not really little and not really a shack, but it's cute to call it such) in the Philippines. It's been gobbling half of our income for a year and five months now, and has pushed me to the breaking point. Three months on since we spent our first night in it, am still not coping well with this settling down situation although the hubby and I took preparatory measures.
More on that drama some other day.
First day of the year, woke up to a sparsely furnished room. A room that hubby and I can finally call ours. The night before, we were able to celebrate New Year's Eve with my parents after missing the previous two in the Philippines.
Attended Jacob Maentz's The Forgotten Ten Photography Exhibition in Yuchengco Museum. The exhibit showcased a year and a half of Jacob’s documentary work from various indigenous communities around the Philippines.
Impromptu Baguio trip with Melo of www.outoftownblog.com and Julius of www.lakwastserongtsnelas.blogspot.com. Finally entered the Laperal White House, chanced upon the Ifugao Bamboo Carving Art Exhibit there, and luckily met Philippine Bamboo Foundation President Edgardo Manda.
Co-organized a The Linden Suites staycation which I dubbed Pajama Party Wherein We Don't Wear Pajamas for Pinoy travel bloggers. Sabrina of www.justonewayticket.com and Kate of www.adventurouskate.com also joined the Pinoy food pig-out and videoke madness.
Vacationed in Siargao for the first time and was hosted by Buddha's Surf Resort. Celebrated Melo's name day with an island hopping tour. And nope, we didn't surf cause our lazy arses would rather hammock-surf.
Blindly jumped in an exploration semi-conducted by fellow travel blogger Edgar of eazytraveler.com. Destination, Sulu. The night before my flight, my father was confined in a hospital for tests after a mass was found in his brain. I left him with a heavy heart. I left because that's what he wanted. He who passed me the travel bug would rather see me in photos exploring an unfamiliar place, than see me weeping in pain by his side.
Celebrated the hubby's birthday at White Beach, Puerto Galera over authentic Italian pizza and a stunning sunset. Day after, we partied like there's no tomorrow (and like there's no toddler in tow) with two other travel bloggers. Learned the basics of poi dancing whilst inebriated on the same night.
My sister, daughter Luna and I trooped to Mt. Malasimbo for the Malasimbo Music & Arts Fest for the first time. Went mainly for Jose Gonzalez. Mishka Adams was a plus. Eating a P40(!) balut was one of the night's highlights.
Broke out of my blogger shell and agreed to be a "reviewer" for Pop Talk's Third Anniversary Special. The show brought me to Boracay. It was my second visit on the island. Day before the trip, my father was again rushed to the hospital. Apparently, he had a silent stroke. And once again, he let me go while he was confined. He said, "I want to see you on TV again."
The Pop Talk crew encouraged me to face my fear of the deep. After much whining and yapping and almost-sobbing, I dove down a colossal aquarium for an "ocean walk".
From Boracay, went straight to The Circle Hostel in La Union with a bunch of new faces — except for my homegirl Christine of www.jovialwanderer.com. Even though I was feeling under the weather, I tried surfing for the first time, and was able to stand on the board on my first attempt! I was the most surprised of all.
March ended with the beginning of our Cairns-Sydney roadtrip. Found ourselves in a paradisiacal place called The Great Barrier Reef.
Where we are now...
Just finished our 9-day Cairns-Sydney roadtrip yesterday — a journey of about 3,000 kilometers — and we intend to hibernate here in my mum-in-law's house until we leave Australia late April. The season's perfect for swimming in sheets anyway. And for devising our lives for the second quarter, which may include one long haul flight, and a lot more sun-basking — wherein I expect to finally try on the swimmies and kaftans I fished from Zalora.
Huh? What house?