life of a cuddlebit

my random ramblings


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the long awaited retreat

So the retreat still pushed through (in a different venue), even if it is delayed we managed to learn a lot from our speaker Bro. Raymund Sanchez. Our main verse was Matthew 6:33.

FTF

Brother Raymund Sanchez

Brother Raymund Sanchez

He talked to us about the importance of placing God first, and even gave us a shining example in the person of Mr Samuel Truett Cathy of the Chick-fil-A fame.

If you have the time, read Samuel Truett Cathy’s story. It is very inspiring. 

I’m very thankful for the opportunity to attend a camp. I learned a new perspective in life, made new friends and get to know some of my friends better. Also, a refreshing break from city life.

Hotel Kimberly Tagaytay

Hotel Kimberly Tagaytay

We only stayed overnight at Hotel Kimberly Tagaytay. A nice cozy place that also has a mini farm with cute animals!

I kept on going back to look at the owl. Also marveling at how amazing God’s creations are.

hotel kimberly farm animals

Hotel Kimberly’s Farm Animals From top left Hotel Kimberly farm signage, left bottom a brown owl, top right a herd of sheep or ram, bottom middle rabbit, bottom right a family of ducks

The Hotel also sells their plants. So before going back to Manila, I brought two plants.

herbs for sale

herbs for sale

A mint plant and a bird eye chili/cayenne plant (locally known as siling labuyo). I plan to grow them for future use. A potted herb garden is also something want to have so, I have to start somewhere.

The mint was brought for 60php as a replacement for my chocolate mint plant given to me by my sister that was destroyed by the last typhoon. Hopefully this would grow big enough to supply mint leaves for our tea. On the other hand I have the chili that we got for 150php a bit pricier, but it already has tiny green chilies. A bit of time they would turn red and will be ready to harvest.

I plan to use it for creating the ubiquitous soysauce-chili dimsum dip.

 

*All my reviews, opinions, and other stuff expressed here are my own and based on my own experience. My retreat is kindly sponsored by Sis Aileen.

Hotel Kimberly is at Amadeo Road, Barangay Kaybagal North, Crisanto M. De Los Reyes Ave, Tagaytay, 4120 Kabite

 

But seek ye first the kingdom of God, and his righteousness; and all these things shall be added unto you. – Matthew 6:33

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I don’t feel like celebrating Christmas this year

Bah Hambug. I might as well be the scrooge or the grinch.

scrooge500

I have always loved Christmas. But as I grow up I sort of hate it.

I mean, before as a kid Christmas is a time of great joy! Opening presents, vacation, good food and playing with other kids.  I look forward to it every year.

But now, I have this fear of Christmas. Really. 

I fear seeing my cousins/aunts/uncles.  (Because of all the comparisons and side comments that I will have to endure on that day and after. And that I have to put up a front with them. )

I  get paranoid looking for presents. (I might not have enough, or the recipient would not like/fit what I got. )

I dread the stress that comes with planning the holidays. (Every time I am part of the planning for the holiday festivities, I tend to be too obsessive compulsive.)

Might as well  go to a far flung cave and hibernate.

And with the recent Yolanda/Haiyan tragedy. I don’t feel comfortable celebrating Christmas right now.

 

But, don’t get me wrong. I still love Christmas for the fact that God sent us our Savior Jesus Christ. Its just that at this time, It doesn’t seem to be the focal point anymore. Christmas has become about commercialism. (With all the santa, reindeer, elves, penguins and presents decked on all the store window display…) Sigh. 

 

“My idea of Christmas, whether old-fashioned or modern, is very simple: loving others. Come to think of it, why do we have to wait for Christmas to do that?” ― Bob Hope

 


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choosing joy

I am currently stuck in a lot of work. That I neglect my blog, fail to see my friends and just hit the sack when I get home. I barely have time for myself.

Skipped going to the dentist to get my braces adjusted, even forgot to see my dermatologist!

Every night, I go check Facebook just to be in the know about what is happening in my circle of friends and somehow I cannot relate. Its like I’m trapped in an alternate world where all I see is other people’s blessings. I see their happy faces, travel pictures, family outings, new bags, nice clothes, shiny cars and the latest dose of gossip (who is with whom, who is seen in where…etc.).  I then think about how badly I want a vacation, daydream about leaving and travelling… that always ends with I wish I have more money. Then I get sad.

But, this time my self pitying was halted by a pop up chat message from an old friend.

It says:  Sorry for disturbing your evening but, can I please ask for help? I will be blunt. I am jobless for more than a year, I can barely keep up with my living expenses I need a job. please help.

Bam! Instant reality check.

While I was busy complaining that I am buried in a pile of work, my friend desperately prays for work.

I was appalled at my behavior and quickly thanked God for the daily blessings I receive.

Then proceeded to look at the net for some leads that could fit my friend. After a while some of my friends found something for the friend in need.

joy

There is a lot to be thankful for.

Thank God for everyday blessings and carry on a positive attitude.


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painting the target

Hello! I am just dropping by, I still have a lot to do!!! (what’s new?!)

after my dermatologist cleaning/treatment session/work day, I feel like this.

Pincushion

A painted target for everyone. >_<

My skin is dotted with a few little scabs here and there, making me a bit conscious. Apparently I need to be exfoliating on summer season since sebaceous glands are more active (produces more oil, that produces breakouts) and the skin can take exfoliating on summer season since it has more oil. But no exfoliating on cold season because the skin doesn’t have enough oil, and stripping the oil away can lead to dryness/itchiness and irritation then lastly breakouts.  *I was like, woah! I did not know that* Then went off to spend most of my wallets’ contents on spf 60 to hide my moody-pasty-freckly skin out of the sun.

 

At work there is still more to be done.

I want a vacation. but sadly I have no time and extra money to spend.

Oh me, oh life.


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A summer by the sea

Laiya, Batangas

I have always loved summer, simply because I love swimming. I have been swimming since I was a kid, but always on swimming pools and water parks. I have never been to the beach. Embarrassing I know.  But its true, for my 27 years on this planet I have never been to the beach, I have always wanted  to go see the waves and sand that I only see in pictures.

But this summer, Kei and I made a plan to go to the beach. after looking for nearby beaches/resorts online, we decided to go to  Laiya, Batangas.

Map of Batangas City

Map of Batangas City

From Manila to the city proper of Lipa, Batangas is around 2 1/2 hours to 3 hours away; depending on the time/season of visit.  From Lipa, we traveled for almost 2 hours  to arrive at Laiya, then another 30 or so minutes to the edge of the Laiya area where the beach strip is located. 

There are a lot of beach resorts in the Laiya beach strip, and as luck would have it, we picked out the last beach in the Laiya strip! (talk about being remote!)

We set out from Manila at around 8:00 am and arrived at around 1:30 pm in the beach. The travel was tedious and sweaty! I am guessing it was one of the hottest summer days in the Philippines, but then again maybe I could be over reacting since I am usually enclosed in an air conditioned room. After a lot of complaining and hands that hurt from fanning to cool myself, we have arrived at the La Luz Beach Resort!

la luz banner

la luz banner

It was as I thought it was. Clear blue waters, waves, wind and warm sand. Paradise!

I was extremely happy to be on the beach!

the beach

the beach

We immediately went to eat lunch and headed to the shower to get changed. Applied some sunblock and off to the waters!

off to the waters!

off to the waters!

The water was cool and the sand was grainy, the waves are very much active,  the sloshing sounds felt very relaxing to my ears.  All I can think of was finally, finally! I get to experience being in the beach! I alternated on submerging myself in the water and lying around/sitting in the shoreline waiting for the waves to lap at my back.  At that moment, all the sweltering summer heat seemed alright for me.

Then we took some random beach photos to capture the experience.

beach collage

beach collage

After a while, we decided to walk around the beach and look for shells and sea glass to take home as keepsakes. Ventured out till the rocky part of the beach.

the rocky part of the beach

the rocky part of the beach

There were shells, but most of them were cracked, or too tiny. In the end I settled for these.

beach finds

beach finds

(But sadly I did not get to take home the green sea glass and the piece of coral. Some one must have picked it up when I left them in our cabana.)

We then bummed a bit before we prepared to leave.

being beach bums

being beach bums

As the lull of the waves calmed down and the day comes to a close, I was sad to say bye to the beach.

parting shot

parting shot

With sea salt in my stringy, windblown hair, we hurried back home.

So long for now, till we meet again.


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holy week break

Today is Holy Monday, the official start of the Holy week.

Since I filed for  a leave a day early, the day after tomorrow is the start of my holy week holiday.

In the Philippines it starts on Holy Thursday march 27, 2013; and as of the moment I am still stuck in the office counting down hours.

Listening to my summer inspired songs from the acoustic guitar duo Depapepe (デパペペ) they really get me to a relaxing, happy, vacation ready mood instantly. (check out their summer parade album)

photo from 101fundraising.org

photo from 101fundraising.org

As of this year’s holy week break I am planning to go on a short day trip to the beach and probably bum around and catch up on sleep on these few days of rest. Or go to nearby places I haven’t been to  or the usual pool I go to on holy week vacation.

Still undecided as to what my plans are but I can wing it.

*Enjoy the rest days but do not forget to reflect and remember what the Lenten season is all about.