Dienstag, 14. Juli 2009

BORACAY '08-'09

Boracay is perhaps the number one tourist destination in the Philippines. Having been there for 10 days, I can understand why. I was never a fan of this beach. It is known for its parties and foreigners and expensive restaurants, not exactly a vacation target for someone like me with my previous income. I was more a fan, and still is, of Bantayan. It's quiet in Bantayan, for some maybe even too quiet. But I like it. Plus, with all its beauty, the place is relatively inexpensive. But anyway, the plan to spend New Year in Boracay materialized sometime in April 2008 when I was in Germany on a Schengen Visa. And just like that, Karsten applied for his vacation leaves from work, September I started booking tickets and hotel rooms and then 10 beautiful days in Boracay!

2 very close friends: Jimmy Uy and Gail Canton joined us there. On New Year's Eve, Danie stayed up until 10 minuted before the fireworks started, a mere 2 meters away from us. Jimmy gave us the sweetest gift (since he is also a godparent): he carried Danie for almost an hour while Karsten and I relaxed for a while! He made it possible for Karsten and I to kiss as we met 2009! Cheesy as it may be, it was the first New Year we spent together so it was a bit special.

The gist of the 10 days:

Sleeping late
Waking up late
Yummy meals
Yummy and affordable cocktails (happy hour!!)
Danie laughing (ok there were also crazy crying moments but I choose to remember the laughter)
Pizza and beer on the shore
Karsten signed up for a 6 session dive in some of the interesting dive spots and while he did this, Jimmy, Gail, Danie and I walked around Boracay
Sunset Sailing (because I have the best boyfriend ever!)
Massage on the shore
SOTB (the drink of course...)

Pictures that will follow are simply my top pics among perhaps hundreds that were taken during those 10 days between Karsten and my cameras!


New Year's Day 2009

I think this will be all for today. I'm pretty sure I will just post Boracay pictures tomorrow, just to get it done with ;-)

Baptism Pictures

The Ceremony was held at the United Church of Christ in the Philippines and the lunch reception followed at the Country Village Hotel.

The Church

Girlfriends as Godmothers (there are more but they weren't able to join: Meike was here in Germany, Gail was in Cebu and Rowie was in Dubai and the godfathers: Paul was in Cebu, Ramon was in Dubai, Jimmy was probably the one who took this pic): Iris, Jules, Mars, Far

Earle offering Danie some drugs

Pretty ladies all in a row!

After the ceremony (there was no part that said, 'You may now kiss your girlfriend.')

Danie looking for God (Karsten said she was checking out the ceiling fan if it was working since Papa was sweating just a bit ;-))

Vanessa and Nikko

Danie looking a bit tired, hasn't had her noon nap yet

The hotel gazebo

Yummy buffet

Enjoying BEER AND ICE with Gabe on a hot afternoon

Inspecting the Lechon with Tita Farina (very yummy, we ordered it from them!)

Swimming with Tita Elaine (my sister)

Really tired now

asleep finally!

Montag, 13. Juli 2009

Trying to remember...

Since last night, the last blog entry was some time in November 2008, more or less 8 months ago! And as you can imagine, so many life changing events have taken place.

December 2008:

After 8 months of not seeing him and going crazy with missing him, Karsten joined us for Christmas and New Year. He spent 3 weeks in the Philippines and it was nothing but fun, fun, and more fun. It was also a bit of a coincidence for my family to have more or less hosted a mini-reuinion for the Cinco clan.

Eventhough I haven't spent Christmas here in Germany yet, I have a pretty clear idea of how different, how worlds apart different is it from how it is celebrated in the Philippines. Let's start with the weather. While it could be snowing in Germany, it's boiling hot in the Philippines. Imagine this, while we were half naked and barefoot in the shore having cocktails on a warm night in Boracay, a friend from DE texted someone and said that it was -20°C in KA! The weather, among other things, was one palpable difference.

In the airconditioned room with Papa

Next are the firecrackers. No, not fireworks, fireworks are pretty. Rather, FIRECRACKERS! Think cheap, noisy and dangerous, sold in the street for anyone, even for someone as young as 5 years old, to buy them and be used right beside where it was bought!

Amidst all this noise are the Church masses. Our house is more or less a mere 200 meter distance from the UCCP Church. So on the 24th, Karsten, Danie and I, walked this distance with all the noisy firecrackers exploding left and right of us, to join Church service. I believe last year I mentioned something about how my family celebrates Christmas: quietly and with a bit of religiousity infused in the festivities (usually some Bible reading and reflection, shocking I know). This year it was bit crazy. All of my dad's brothers and their families were in oour house and there was beer and rhum and cigarettes and LECHON and Videoke! And knowing that it will be some time before the next get-together happens again made it more fun!

In the Church

Partying outside the house (with the lechon and the videoke)

Opening gifts from DE

On the 28th, we had Danie baptized. Karsten didn't want a headache (arguing with me usually gives him one) so he agreed on the whole Christening show: I had a dozen or so godparents for my daughter and we had a yummy lunch buffet in a nice restaurant. Danie was 1 year and 7 months old when we did this, a bit late by Philippine standards, since some have their kids baptized a mere 2 weeks after birth. There is a lot of Christian dogma behind this event of course but I wouldn't bore you with details. A part of me can say though that I did it because it was something a Filipina parent must do for the child, and a good excuse to party! Of course on the day of the baptism, after pestering my friends to be at least 1 hour early, I was very, verylate! :D

Studio pictures

(More Baptism pictures on a different blog entry, too much right now to upload)

And day right after the Baptism, we flew to Boracay on a 6:30 flight via Cebu Pacific which had a short stop over in Cebu.

I know it's a naration and not exactly the most exciting one around, so I hope the pictures will compensate!

Tomorrow, all about Boracay!

Favorite Christmas Pictures: