NYE 2012: Away from home



Growing up in a very family-oriented society like the Philippines, I make sure every year that I’ll be joining my family in the new year’s eve and that no member will be missing simply because there’s a belief that it will mirror the whole year and I definitely don’t want to be away from them the whole year! Haha. Aside from that, we have our annual family reunion-bingo and we always look forward to it but this year, I spent the year-end-new-year away from home for the first time. It was not as miserable as I imagined to be, maybe because it was just a trip and when I went back home, I still felt the holiday feeling. 



It was totally a different new year’s eve, a totally different feeling. I spent the remaining days of 2011 with Taku and his friends and welcomed 2012 with good food, beautiful sea and music, fireworks, wine and amazing friendships! 




I thought I was over the happy thoughts already but when I’ve seen the photos in my files again, I couldn’t stop thanking God for the guy who always try to make everything better than the last time. (For the record, it was better cause I didn’t spend the holidays in the hospital which I used to do for the past 3 years!)


Oops! The beautiful restaurant is Breeze at Samaya Villa in Seminyak, Bali, Indonesia. I think it’s nice to stay in their villas next time. Haha. Hmm..

Actually, after the countdown, dancing, and fireworks, we continued the celebration as if we’re in ‘Hangover’ (it’s nice to hangout with guys with all these crazy stuffs) and went to the nearest 711 where we met an Australian (is she?) girl who was so cool, lovely and wasted, she’s down here: 


then we rode the motorcycles which are like a taxi (yes, since it was so traffic and we want to experience those motorbikes which Indonesia has a lot!!!, we opted to ride with them instead of a cab):


…rode going to the villa! Then the party continued in the 2-bedroom beautiful villa with awesome bath tubs in a huge I’d-love-to-have-it toilet, a nice swimming pool, and a cool interior design (It was in Vinly Villas)…

and on the first day of the year, everyone loves hangover!!!

(From the Philippines, I comfortably flew to Singapore via Cebu Pacific Air and flew to Bali via Air Asia)
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I got my sanity back!

 
 
We just celebrated our first anniversary last month and we decided to push through with our long-term plan to visit the majestic Palawan. Taku was sweet when he convinced me to push through with this trip to refresh my “system” since I’ve been through a lot weeks before that trip. Thanks to him, I got my sanity back. 🙂
 
Palawan is very beautiful and this amazing experience made me say what everybody’s saying, “It’s more fun in the Philippines!” (The Dept. of Tourism’s tagline is really working, huh?) When I first visited Coron, I stayed in El Rio y Mar and that was a very amazing and serene escape for me but this time, we stayed in their sister resort, Club Paradise, which exceeded our expectations. You may opt to have a tranquil escape from the city (since they just have TV and wifi in their clubhouse) in this island or try out the unlimited things and trips that they offer. But the part that I enjoyed the most was the intimate moment with the sun, waves, a pen and my notebook, a good book and Amoretto Sour. Plus we met a wonderful couple who were in their honeymoon (It was really nice meeting you Irene & Raine!).
 
Since we were so hooked with video editing that time, we tried to do the storytelling through video and here’s the teaser (haha):

And here’s the whole Palawan experience:
 

 
Enjoy the sun and the sand this summer!

Please visit http://hoywherewewere.tumblr.com/ for more. 🙂

(We flew to Busuanga via Air Philippines and flew back to Manila via Cebu Pacific Air)

Cipika Cipiki

 
It was my first time to travel abroad. It wasn’t the first time to sleep in bus station and airport but it was my first time to meet such a wonderful man with a wonderful song (which I don’t understand. Haha).
 
I’ve been asking my Indonesian friends about this but they couldn’t figure out what was I singing so here is the lyrics and the video (which I finally found in my old files) and please, please let me know the whole version:
Sayang sayang, chowoku sayang.
Aku salalu sayang
Satu hari lima kali
Kachup, kaningmu laki…
Satu hari lima kali
Kachup, kaningmu laki..”

 

As far as I can remember “aku” is “ako” in Filipino and “me” in English, Satu is “isa” and “one” in English and “kaningmu” is “alalahanin” or “remember.” Is it right?
 
I wonder if this good man who taught me how to ride Bajaj, how to go to Gambir station and how to say “Aku mamili pirdana SL. Terima Kasih” (Filipino translation: “Pabili ako ng SL na sim card. Maraming salamat po.” English Translation: “I want to buy SL Sim Card. Thank you”) just made up this whole song.

(I flew to Jakarta via Cebu Pacific Air.)

It’s been a year, buddy!


I had a happy accident about a year ago and it proved that everything is perfect in its own time. I still smile upon the thought of the first question, “Do you like Japanese food?” 

Until now, he makes sure that I’m very well fed.

I found a buddy (that supports me in pursuing what I love), partner and best friend. 
This was our 2011 (the last part of the video, I couldn’t think of anything interesting to say . haha) and we’re looking forward for more places, people and culture to love and discover in the years to come! 



NOTE: I used to edit videos a lot when I was in college but yesterday, I was very much inspired by the videos made by Rick Mereki then I tried to incorporate all the photos of our trips last year (which was so hard for there are thousands!). 


You should watch MOVE, LEARN AND EAT, and be inspired too!

Bali, for the first time.

It’s Christmas and after a couple of weeks, a new year will begin. I grew up always making sure that I’m with the whole family on the first day of the year because that will be the reflection of the whole year- if I’m not with them, I’ll not be with them the whole year, that’s what they say. But this coming new year, for the first time, I’ll not be with my family, moreover, I’ll be in Bali.


I went to Bali last month to attend the Southeast Asian Bloggers Conference and had a glimpse of how rich the culture is and how beautiful the people are.


For me, Bali in Indonesia is as beautiful as Boracay in the Philippines. The difference is just, Boracay is more commercial, Bali is more cultural and maybe, the “sand” and the “bikes.

Beer, book and beach always go together.

Below is one of the most photographed places in Bali, I guess. But before you get to see this very beautiful place, you have to make friends with the monkeys all over the temple of Uluwatu which comes from different sizes and age so you have to be mindful about your little things like bags, sunglasses and even necklace! (I kept my necklace since I was scared to lose it again and I don’t like Taku to look for a new one over again.) 


Uluwatu is such a serene and beautiful place, a very good place for reflection but just like any sacred place, please try to be mindful of what you’re wearing. Well, just in case you’re in a “beach” mode and wearing shorts, linens are available in the entrance for you to cover your legs!

I like this part of GWK Cultural Park- Lotus Pond. It’s so vast and green, I can look at it for the whole day!

GWK (Garuda Wisnu Kencana) Cultural Park is a good stop when you visit Bali. There, you’ll see the Garuda Wisnu Kencana statue that will be standing 150 meters tall with wings span 64 meters across.


According to GWK, the statue is picturing Lord Wisnu, as the source of wisdom, riding on the back of the mythical bird Garuda as the manifestation of conscience toward Amerta, the perennial goodness and it is made from more than 4000 tons of copper and brass. The statue and its pedestal will be surrounded by more than 240 hectares cultural park which was once an abandoned and unproductive limestone quarry. GWK Cultural Park is intended to educate, especially the young generations about the importance of preserving and cultivating world’s cultural heritage.


 As of the moment, the statue of Wisnu, the statue of Garuda, and the hands of Wisnu have been placed temporarily in three different plazas within the park. 


You may refer to the photo below to let your imagination fly on how big the statue is going to be once it has been put altogether.

Left to right: Statue of Lord Wisnu, Garuda, miniature of how it’ll look like after completion.


One of my favorites in Bali is the Balinese dancer. 

How they move their hips, hands and even their eyes are fabulous plus their colorful costume! The music is also very wonderful and reminds me of the “Singkil” dance in the Mindanao, southern part of the Philippines which I think both dances influenced each other because of their location. Remember, Indonesia have lots of Durian just like our beloved Mindanao. I would be grateful to learn a few steps of their dances, especially the “eye” movements. Awesome!

Balinese dancer at GWK


Of course, I love eating, no one can change it. But of course, Indonesian dishes are so spicy! You have to be ready to have water beside you. Haha. But I think I can eat Nasi Goreng the whole week!


A few reminders to have a wonderful uninterrupted exploration and vacation, please listen to me cause I didn’t learn the last time I visited Indonesia and forgot about adapter. 

Philippines uses the flat one but Indonesia uses the rounded one.


Watch your step! Most of the people in Bali are Hindus which makes the place more interesting aside from the beautiful places to go and see. 

Always be careful when walking cause you might step on one of their offerings- a basket or container filled with flowers or rice which is called “canang sari.” It is basically a ritual of giving back what the gods has given and in Balinese perspective, giving back or offering is the best way to maintain the relationships between the people and the spirits and it is believed that it will appease the spirit and will bring prosperity and good health to the people.
Offerings in shops
I almost stepped on this offering in Kuta Beach.
Offerings in sidewalks.
One of my memorable experience in Bali is the “blessing” or the prayer. I was astonished with the amount of water thrown to us and the grains of rice that was put in my forehead. Surprisingly, I felt renewed.  
the start of the prayer.
Cheers for good life!
I have attempted to drink Bintang twice during the trip but I guess, it’s reserved for the next visit! Most of them agreed that Laos beer is the best (I’ll try it soon!) but I hope that this one can beat the best Philippine beer: San Miguel (which I doubt! Haha)


Taku sent me a chat message when I was there saying that “Bali sunset is dangerous” only to keep me away from seeing it because we’ll be back soon. Sunset is always one of the best moments in trips and I’ll definitely catch more of the Bali sunsets soon, now with him.

I’ll be back for more, Bali! See you in a few days!

(From the Philippines, I comfortably flew to Kuala Lumpur via Cebu Pacific Air and flew to Bali via Air Asia)