0

My first official party planning.

After a mad rush from my Sydney flight to try to get into a flight to Manila, I started my one week planning for my son’s 6th birthday. This meant the world to me because it was my first time to actually be there during my son’s birthday. Sigh. Just one of those 3rd-world parents dilemma.

I felt like Bridezilla all over again, picking on little things and becoming a monster at the last minutes. Oooops. Sorry. But it was all worth it even with a massive financial hemorrhage in a matter of ten days. Tsktsk. My son loved his party. His little guests had tons of fun. My relatives and friends came over. It was a success. It was more than a success that our Kuya Fin told me “Mommy, I want to have more than one birthday party in a year.” Wow. That’s going to hurt my pockets. Hahah!

As a school tradition, we hosted a “feeding” in his classroom where the birthday celebrator treats his classmates for a delightful snack.

January 11, 2013. A day before his birthday.

The loyal nannies of Yugster. Nanay Mimang, the lady on the left has been with our family for more than thirty years. If that's not enough for a proof of true loyalty, all of her kids are names after me and my siblings.

The loyal nannies of Yugster. Nanay Mimang, the lady on the left has been with our family for more than thirty years. If that’s not enough for a proof of true loyalty, all of her kids are names after me and my siblings.

Feeding time at Kuya Fin a. k. a. Kuya Fin’s classroom.

DSC_0013

page2

Kuya’s classmates enjoying their little snack.

DSC_0018

Kuya’s bubbly bestfriend, Nico, who actually requested to have his photo taken. I asked Buyog, “Is Nico good in class, baby?” To which he replied, “He is not very good in Math but he is friendly.” Hahah. Kids can be ruthlessly truthful.

DSC_0015

THE PREPARATION

The birthday boy ribbon and the coloring book that I personalized and bound painstakingly.

The birthday boy ribbon and the coloring book that I personalized and bound painstakingly.

DSC_0718

The birthday boy opening his outfits for the day.

DSC_0027

page

My two baby boys

My two baby boys

My D-day coorinator/ the ultimate housewife of Dapitan.

My D-day coorinator/ the ultimate housewife of Dapitan.

DSC_0102

Bithday banners by Little Crafts.

Bithday banners by Little Crafts.

Mommy Dardar's little helper.

Mommy Dardar’s little helper.

148960_10151353025093839_1515943606_n

Must-haves at the kids' table.

Must-haves at the kids’ table.

A lot more things to do.

A lot more things to do.

Team Kuya Phoenix.

Team Kuya Phoenix.

Tita Bubblegum's project--the birthday board.

Tita Bubblegum’s project–the birthday board.

DSC_0073

God's birthday greeting to Kuya Phoenix.

God’s birthday greeting to Kuya Phoenix.

Tadaaah!

DSC_0105

DSC_0427

DSC_0412-horz

THE SNACK BAR

Water bottles with name tags for the kids. I used colored paper, a black cartolina and chalk to make the personalized labels.

Water bottles with name tags for the kids. I used colored paper, a black cartolina and chalk to make the personalized labels.

I thought painted clay pots filled with candies and coins were more fun than the pinata.

I thought painted clay pots filled with candies and coins were more fun than the pinata.

THE CAKE

The super moist chocolate birthday cake which was not super moist or moist even. The Shadow Hedgehog did not even manage to stand and eventually melted apart into three pieces before the blowing of the candles. We had to stake it with toothpicks just to keep the legs together with its body.

The super moist chocolate birthday cake which was not super moist or moist even. The Shadow Hedgehog did not even manage to stand and eventually melted apart into three pieces before the blowing of the candles. We had to stake it with toothpicks just to keep the legs together with its body.

DSC_0202

DSC_0094

THE SWEETS

Cupcakes, gourmet jellybeans, egg sandwiches, peanut butter sandwiches, M&Ms, Reese’s, cotton candies, etc.

DSC_0114

DSC_0207

DSC_0231

DSC_0232

DSC_0305

DSC_0152

DSC_0148

DSC_0095

537287_10151353029848839_724005834_n

306672_10151353024673839_1016060867_n

THE CUTEST VISITORS

DSC_0166

DSC_0132

Maรกm Christine, the party host.

Maรกm Christine, the party host.

Our litte visitor from Norway, Kiva Viktoria.

Our litte visitor from Norway, Kiva Viktoria.

Haven't seen each other for, I think, five years.

Haven’t seen each other for, I think, five years.

Windy's husband and daughter came to party.

Windy’s husband and daughter came to party.

Our sweet Kuya Finn.

Our sweet Kuya Finn.

Xoxo from JD to you.

Xoxo from JD to you.

The cutest little teeth ever.

The cutest little teeth ever.

Scene at the kids'table.

Scene at the kids’table.

DSC_0216

DSC_0254

DSC_0256

DSC_0392

DSC_0257

DSC_0260

START OF THE PROGRAM

Message from the parents. I am scared of the microphone so thank you Ric for saving me.

Message from the parents. I am scared of the microphone so thank you Ric for saving me.

DSC_0319

HAPPY BIRTHDAY, OUR KUYA YUGZ.

DSC_0328

DSC_0335

May you wish will come true, Anak.

May you wish will come true, Anak.

Our loving Kuya caring for his younger cousin.

Our loving Kuya caring for his younger cousin.

Fresh from the pool.

Fresh from the pool.

THE LECHON IS READY! AND THEY ARE READY FOR THE LECHON. ๐Ÿ™‚

23408_4794831183149_901670709_n

24444_4794834663236_879588371_n

395416_4794835063246_1039870131_n

396156_4794832063171_1636848670_n

DSC_0358

DSC_0369

DSC_0379

DSC_0381

DSC_0430-horz

DSC_0437

DSC_0438

DSC_0442

DSC_0447

DSC_0448

DSC_0474

DSC_0475

DSC_0479

DSC_0512

DSC_0514

DSC_0521

THE PHILIPPINE VERSION OF PIร‘ATA—THE CLAY POT, FILLED WITH MANY GOODIES.

DSC_0524

DSC_0525

DSC_0526

DSC_0529

DSC_0533

DSC_0535

DSC_0543

DSC_0554

DSC_0563

DSC_0564

DSC_0566

DSC_0568

DSC_0571-horz

DSC_0578

DSC_0583

DSC_0599-horz

DSC_0604

DSC_0609

DSC_0610

DSC_0616

DSC_0618

DSC_0622

DSC_0632

DSC_0638

DSC_0642

DSC_0644

DSC_0645

DSC_0646

DSC_0647

DSC_0649

DSC_0651

DSC_0653

DSC_0656

DSC_0667-horz

DSC_0673

DSC_0677

DSC_0683

DSC_0698

DSC_0701

THE DAY AFTER

We would like to thank all of our friends and families for coming over and celebrating the day with us. All the wonderful presents and warm presence are very much appreciated.

_DSC2321_3(1)

156309_4794840343378_2145256564_n

264132_4794836743288_1296349744_n

296865_4794837663311_630534157_n

304935_4794824182974_321508506_n

379349_4794845343503_881025375_n

398072_4794837423305_116458388_n

486010_4794839263351_492951906_n

543837_4794837103297_839148701_n

582737_4794841383404_1032419303_n

735000_4794848263576_1670852643_n

DSC_0726

DSC_0728

DSC_0779

0

Luzon with the boys.

For me, a 20-day vacation leave comes as rare as a blue moon. The only time I was officially allowed to get was during my wedding day. To allow me more time to prepare, I suppose. So you see how hard one has to try to get it. One actually has to kill to get it! A gruesome murder later, surprise suprise! I got it this! Hahah! So with every living breath of me, with every thread of my muscle and with every beat of my heart, I swore with all that I can to enjoy this vacation to the fullest. That was very easy. I spent it with my two most favorite boys in the world.

Our last family getaway felt like eons ago. Our little Yugix was very little then. Little enough for him to wear anything that I put on him. Now is a different story. Every changing time is a mighty struggle because what he wears does not depend on what Mommy likes anymore. It depends on Justin Bieber.

My little family in Hong Kong and Macau.

Time to add new photos in our family holiday album.

We checked in at The Resorts World on the first day. Kuya Yugix loved the hotel at first sight. He said it was the biggest hotel in the whole wide world. ๐Ÿ™‚ I loved it too. Especially Ric’s grandmother who was having a ball at the casino.

Someone misses Mommy Lalang so badly.

With Kuya Phillip.

The Paras brothers and baby girl, Anika.

This is how you babysit two kids at the same time.

This is how you babysit three kids.

A few days later, had a short stint at Party Pilipinas–as an audience. Thanks to our dear friend Jeff for getting me and my husband in. It got boring around halfway into the show. There were too many newcomers that we could not identify 70% of the artists. The only time I was starstrucked was that brief moment when Jolina Magdangal sat beside me and talked to me. She looked like a life-sized doll that I wanna play dress up with. I would have taken her home with me if I could. Then I would keep her in a box inside my glass drawer. Hehehe.

P. S. Marian Rivera was an eye candy without a doubt.

Jeff and husband

After the show, I dragged the boys to the mall and got myself a new tattoo. It is a four leaf clover for a daily dose of good luck. ๐Ÿ™‚

JULY 2

Husband’s birthday.

Woke him up so he could blow his 30th birthday cake candles. I love these photos. I am a lucky woman to be in a relationship with these two boys ๐Ÿ™‚

A birthday dinner date later in the evening. ย Happy birthday to you too, Papa Recto.

The giant burger of Yugix.

The giant iced tea of Kuya Yugix.

Justin Bieber a.k.a. Manny Pacquiao’s hairstyle. Same same so just choose.

JULY 3

Haircut before Tita Lan’s wedding day.ย Justin Bieber’s hair a.ka. Manny Pacquiao’s hair was gone. And he hated me for it. He said he looked like a rock with little grass growing on it. What a very original description! Sorry baby boy. ๐Ÿ™‚

You will notice in the later photos that he was always covering his head with a hoodie. Yep, blame it on the haircut.

JULY 4

And the fun begins.

Even in the midst of a brewing typhoon in Luzon, the clouds parted to give us a little sunshine. Lucky? Very. Special? I’d like to think so. ๐Ÿ™‚ Thank you, dear God.

Unfortunately, our first day did not make a great start. We missed our flight to Naga City due to the infamous Manila traffic jam. We had to wait for a few more hours to get to the next booking.

Hours and bad moods later, here we are at the CamSur Water Sports Complex (CWC). We took a cab from the airport to the CWC. We learned later on that CWC offers free shuttle bus service from the airport to the resort every 30 minutes.

With dad.

With mom.

Our sweet little home for a night. Our log cabin looked really neat, cozy, unusual, spacious enough and our money well-spent. I was surprised and floored. Even the other types of accommodations looked very interesting. They have trailer parks and various cottages. Any choice is a good choice when it comes to CWC, I have to say.

World’s cutest bat.

Yugix: “Mommy, let’s call out.”

Me: Huh? What do you mean by call out?

Yugix: I mean when we call them to order food. Me: Ah. You mean room service.

And that is one of the reasons why I need to work extra hard.

Looking for what we came here for–the water.

The trailer house accommodation.

The water park for the pro, so this was not the one for us.

Yes, this was for me. But not yet. This time was to satisfy the need for some speed.

The little boy was so ready. Scared, but nonetheless ready.

Keep looking…

Nope. Those are cows.

Yes, finally found them! It was quite a walk. Wakeboarding fee with equipments for an hour was I think 250 pesos. Not bad at all. In fact, it was very cheap! The instructor is inclusive with the rental.

Hunny’s turn. I was feeling a little chicken. I was never a sports-minded girl for like EVER. I only played chess in high school. I tried swimming too. But I only made a fool out of myself most of the time.

Mr. Paras in action. Woohoo!

Someone was very proud of himself.

When it started to grow dark, the rest of the resort guests walked back to their cottages. I finally found the courage to put the wakeboards on.

Not bad! A pat on your back girl. ๐Ÿ™‚

Just because not falling face down into the water was not enough…

So I did it with one hand. ๐Ÿ™‚

I was a happy traveling bee.

For some strange reason, this adorable little boy is scared of anything that may involve falling. I had to use my mommy card to coerce him to get into the wakeboard with the instructor.

He was scared beyond his wits at first, but after one smooth round, he told me, “I want to do it again.”

Kisses for being so brave, young man.

Then comes dinner. We enjoyed everything that we ordered from this resort. Hunny’s favorite was the Pasta Alfredo.

The most abused Gucci wallet in the world.

Time for a good night’s sleep. The next day is going to be a long day.

The little big boy.

A quick shower before going to bed. Five years from now, please don’t hate me for posting this photo online. ๐Ÿ™‚

Fresh mommy.

A quick photo session before calling it a night.

JULY 5

Good morning! Our baby lost his first tooth!

This photo of my boys is priceless. And you can clearly see how comfortable the bed was by the look on their faces. They were in bed heaven! โค

Say good bye to the front tooth.

“Calling out” for breakfast.

Feeling comfortable for the first time to have my photos taken without makeup on my face.

Natural light is the best light.

Our little visitors in the morning.

It was such a shame that we were having so much fun yet we had to leave too soon. But Mayon Volcano was the next stop, so it couldn’t be so bad.

A free shuttle bus from CamSur Water Complex took us to the public market in Naga where we took a van to the city of Legazpi. It took us around one hour and less than two hundred pesos per person. By the time we arrived in Legazpi, ย it was raining like there was no tomorrow. There was not a shadow of a taxi anywhere. The only way to find our hotel was by a motorcycle. Our hotel, which was Oriental’s Jasmine Hotel, was not very far from where the van dropped us off. It was about 15 minutes for maybe 200 pesos. The drivers were not familiar of the hotel’s name, though. It was more known of its old name during Marcos’ time. Too bad, as for the hotel’s old name, my memory never fails to fail me again this time. If it is going to help, the Queen of Spain stayed in this hotel during her brief visit this year.

Finally, here we are. I was instantly impressed by its pristine white and spacious lobby. The scent of jasmine floating in the air. The not so friendly wet welcome of the rain roaring from all directions inside that vulnerable carriage of the motorcab was totally out the window.

Our very inviting bed!

It was past lunchtime when we arrived. Expectedly, the boys were very hungry. The restaurant on the ground floor did not disappoint. I believed my taste buds were most pleased in this restaurant than in any restaurants in the Philippines that I have been to.

These boys could eat a carabao right now.

Nothing beats enjoying a hot cappuccino on a cool, typhoon season while waiting for a big lunch fresh from the chef’s kitchen.

The FOOD. I had a creamy pumpkin and carrot soup for appetiser and I think a Pad Thai for the main course. My husband had a spicy lechon kawali something. Everything was yum, even my baby’s humongous sandwich platter.

We only caught a glimpse of the ghost of the Mayon behind the fog. I was still very excited, though! I know she would show herself to us, eventually. A little patience can go a long way. ๐Ÿ™‚

I knew it! There she is.

Extended our lunch by the viewing deck with espresso and sweets to enjoy her beauty even more. Every minute I spent gushing at sheer perfection.

“Mayon is the most beautiful mountain that I have ever seen, the world-renowned Fujiyama of Japan (Mt. Fuiji) sinking into perfect insignificance by comparison. ย – British travel-writer A. Henry Savage Landor. ”

Even after erupting for more than 50 times in the past four centuries, its beauty remains timeless. I wish I could say the same for myself 30 years from now.

It’s time to explore the town. That’s our little jet setter right there. Will never say no to an out of town expedition.

The beautiful lady is playing coy again.

A series of family photographs.

Bought some really cheap mountain orchids for our dear mothers before we left. We only paid for 50 pesos to 100 pesos per plant. I think it was a steal.

Now is time to go.

Beautiful lady, I really wish to see you again.

A short pit stop. What’s a vacation without pasalubongs, right?

Back at the hotel, it was SNOOZE time.

The only thing that rivaled the beauty of the Mayon are these adorable photos of my two boys.

JULY 6

Then came morning. Had breakfast buffet at the hotel. It was really tasty, though not as much as most breakfast buffets in hotels.

Watermelons and sampaguita plants growing by our room deck. A hotel stay can’t get any sweeter than that.

My husband can attest to how much I hated the cold, but the chance to dip my toes or more in the infity pool with the Mayon in the background was too good to pass up. My son, of course, was more than happy to get himself wet.

Time to leave again. It was really tiring to have to pack up and leave every day. But whenever I get another chance, I will do it again!

A very interesting row of toilet cubicles en route to the airport.

While waiting for our plane.

Blind massage at the airport.

JULY 8

Paula’s wedding in Capas.

Auntie Fely and I

Paras Family

JULY 9

Back in Mindanao.

Just because I couldn’t get too much holiday…

A surprise wedding vows renewal for my parents in Paradise.

Loving the au natural look. Makeup free and edit free.

One week later…

At NAIA Terminal 1. Time to make some money so I can spend some more.

A quick call to our beloved Yugix before the flight. See you soon, baby love. Loving you always and missing you everyday, Mommy and daddy.

โค The END.

8

Birthday greetings.

In honor of my Queen friend Valerie, I am posting this blog when I should be sleeping to get enough rest before my flight later. That’s how much I love you, girlfriend!

Happy happy happy birdday, Inday Val. We may be broke more often than we want to, but you know we had some of the best nights of our lives. Whatever life throws upon you, the only trick is, keep breathing. ๐Ÿ™‚ Kisses and hugs on your birthday!

PART 1: THE DAY VAL & DOY SPILLED THE REAL DEAL. That night, we all learned that alcohol will make you feel that it is okay to make your secrets not secret anymore. LOL.

BALUT (STEAMED DUCK EMBRYO) TIME @ THE BOULEVARD

WHERE TO NEXT? CHIP’N BY THE SEA…KNOCKING ON A CHEAP MOTEL ROOM WITH FUNNY NOISES. ๐Ÿ™‚

WHEN ALCOHOL WAS NO LONGER GOOD ENOUGH…OFF TO THE BEACH!

PARENTAL ADVISORY MAY BE NEEDED IN THE NEXT SERIES OF PHOTOGRAPHS.

THE DAY AFTER. Met Inday Rai at the airport. Tsk. You missed so much!

PART II. A FEW YEARS BACK. THE DAY VAL BECAME A MAN FOR FIVE SECONDS.

It was the usual nightout. Dinner. Clubbing. Then more.

Val’s dates.

Val’s jolog moment.

AFTER PARTY. Chismisan in the corner.

AFTER THE AFTER PARTY. Crashing into Val’s sister’s room.

AND OF COURSE THAT NIGHT WE CRASHED INTO AILEEN DALUGDUG’S 18TH BRITHDAY, ATE HER FOOD, STRUTTED ON HER RUNWAY AND TOOK OFF WITHOUT GOODBYES. ๐Ÿ˜€

As far as I can see it, we are far from being mediocre, you and I. Well done! :)))