Back from an event-filled vacation. Pictures to come later. A re-cap:
May 27 - Friday
3am Took a 4-hour drive from Iloilo City to Caticlan, Kalibo inside Revo with 5 kids, 4 adults and me -not quite a kid, not quite an adult hehehe. With luggage, it's like packing 20 people inside a volkswagen.
7am Arrived at Caticlan, a bit cramped but in good spirits. After securing RoRo (Roll-in, Roll-Out boats for cars and passengers) tickets, took 30-minute boat ride across bay to Boracay for a breakfast, quick swim, lunch, shower, sleep, shopping.
3pm Island-hopped back to Caticlan to board the Roro (Nephew pronounces it Row Row) boat. Bummed around at port for awhile.
6:30pm Left Caticlan for a 5-hour ride to Roxas, Mindoro. Saw dolphins - two of them - jumping beside our boat for a short period. Love the stars in the night sky but couldn't get much sleep because of uncomfortable chairs.
11:30pm Arrived at Roxas, Mindoro and drove for two hours to Calapan, Mindoro for boat ride to Luzon. Kids sleepy but entertained with nephew's rendition of Sponge-Bob Square Pants the Movie - complete with sound effects and singing.
May 28 - Saturday
1:30am Arrived first at Calapan after imagined 'Amazing Race' with ABS-CBN car, several big buses who took the same Roro from Caticlan. Boarded another Roro boat to Batangas City. Estimated time of travel - two hours. Slept on deck chair with stars and darkness. Wished Viking could see the view.
3:30am Met Ver, our driver at the Batangas port and scrunged some more to make room. Drove to Eagle's Point Resort in Batangas. Long winding roads. Dark and very tired. Arrived at 5:30am only to be informed that reserved room will not be available till 11am. Slept at car for 1 and a half hours before we were ushered to a temporary room. With no dinner and no breakfast or coffee, everyone was grumpy. Was revived with bath and breakfast at Jollibee - in another town (Breakfast at Eagle's point was P300 per head - not in budget! LOL) . Went swimming in resort pool. Took pictures of butterflies, turtles, eagles, splashing water. Had nice dinner at resort restaurant overlooking breath-taking view, because it was my brother's birthday. Slept late.
May 29 - Sunday
7am Had free breakfast at resort. After game of billiards, packed bags and left for Tagaytay. Saw mountain quarrying. Feel sorry for nature.
12:30pm Arrived at rented house, had lunch with brother priest and brother#3 with family. Bonded. Laughed. Grilled fish and squids. mmmmmm. Don't you just loved Filipino families? Bribed 4-year old niece for kiss with Piyaya. She took the piyaya but no kiss.
2:30pm Went to Taal Lake to take boat ride to Taal volcano. When we got there, had to ride a white horse (Yey! My first!) on very steep trail to get to top of volcano to have a good view of the crater. Got on top first despite inexperience with my horse Shara (Had a guide who rode with me up there). Saw boiling water, sulfur, smoke coming out of crater holes, crows flying. Was expecting for water to open and out comes a rocket like in those James Bond movies. Nice. Except for trash left by local vendors. Tsk tsk tsk. Went down the same way.
6:30pm Attended mass at Our Lady of Lourdes Church. Amazed that they use a computer screen to show hymn lyrics. hehehe. was even more amazed to see pictures of Deacons shown to public announcing their ordination soon on same screen. Wondered if you decide to get married there, would they show your pictures too? Hmmm. Picture must be good if they get to be shown in that size. hehehe.
8:30pm Arrived rented house. Dinner. Tried to bribe niece for a kiss. did not suceed. More bonding with family. Fell asleep watching Binibini Pilipinas on TV.
May 30 - Monday
9am Left Tagaytay to go around this park, I forgot the name. Took more pictures of Taal Volcano, did a bit of shopping.
12nn Went around mall while waiting for Enchanted Kingdom to open.
2pm Entered Enchanted Kingdom and rode almost all the rides with kids LOL - felt like a kid too. All rides were tame except for the Anchors away ship that swings at 180 degree angles for two minutes. I was ready to puke. And I had my eyes closed on the jungle Log Jam. But I loved the other rides. Took the rapids two times and got really wet. Had to sit on towel on the ride home.
6pm - Drove to Pasig City where we stayed at my Brother#3's house. Had dinner. Bonded yet again. Tried to bribe niece affections but all I got was a loud "FINE!". LOL
May 31 - Tuesday
8:30am Drove to Makati to check kids into fancy hotel. Sister-in-law lost her ID so we had to wait around a lot but that was fine.
12:30pm Entered ABS-CBN on passes to view Wowowee. Hid at the back and made fun of people's reactions. Hid behind people everytime camera passes our way. Was not a fan and realized I didn't know half of the 'celebrities' present there. But glad to get the chance to see a live TV show. Went around the studio and ate lunch in one of the restuarants there. My nieces would point at this star and that star but I didn't recognize any. I ought to watch more local TV.
4:30pm Went shopping at Greenhills but didn't buy anything. Had dinner there.
6:30pm Dropped the kids at the hotel and with Ver, drove the car to the airport to pick up youngest brother flying in from Iloilo with girlfriend. Drove brother's gf to Pasay and arrived Pasig at 11:30pm for rest.
June 1 - Wednesday
9:30am Said goodbye to niece - still no kiss. Commutted to Megamall to buy pasalubong with youngest brother and Dad. Niece called cellphone to apologize for being mean and say i love you! and Umwah! (Sigh! Almost didn't make it). Had lunch there. Dad got lost. Good thing they gave him a new cellphone. Brother #3 picked us up at drove to Robinson's Galleria for coffee and more window-shopping. Was picked up by sister-in-law there. Started to drive to Batangas for home at 4:30pm. Left Dad and brothers at mall.
6:30pm Arrived at Batangas port. Said goodbye to Ver. Boarded Roro boat and got good seats. was able to lie down and stretch legs for the whole trip.
8:30pm Arrived at Mindoro. Rushed to Roxas, Mindoro to try to catch 12mn trip to Caticlan. Overtook several buses and felt pressured with the rush. Arrived at 11:30pm only to find 12mn trip is fully booked. Slept at the car for a few hours.
June 2 - Thursday
3am Rode the Roro to Caticlan. Paid extra Php550 to sleep in private room, on carpeted floor, so kids can get some sleep. (smirk) Nothing is free. Had a good sleep but missed the sunrise.
7am Arrived at Caticlan. Drove to Kalibo for breakfast. Listened to nephew sing. Priceless.
12:30pm Arrived home. Showered. Slept.
Sigh. I missed my bed.