Archive for the ‘vacances’ Category

Ma place heureux (Deuxième Partie).

November 14, 2010

The designated official bartender.

My happy place (second part). So, right after our first dinner in SC, we went back to the villa, and then got our stuff ready for, what else, our hooch session.

I was made officially the bartender of the pack (even after the SC trip, I was the one always slaving myself away, doing the cocktails and stuff). So I got the essentials out. For the first night, it was le fantastique Grey Goose. It was the best, smoothest vodka ever. I loved it. We all loved it. Mixed it with tonic/soda, and ice, et voila! Best tasting vodka tonic ever. Even JJJ, our resident finicky alcohol drinker, gave her finicky seal of approval for that drink. Our nightly rendezvous are staged in one of the boardwalks, facing the Pacific Ocean.

Our claimed boardwalk territory. Nobody dared trespass the area while we were there. LOL.

View of the the other side of the boardwalk.

Nights at Calicoan Surf Camp is immensely mystical. Otherworldly. We often find ourselves sighing whilst looking out to the expanse of the gorgeous view laid out before our sight. What made it even more magical was the waxing gibbous moon the time when we were there, illuminating all of the Pacific Ocean, making the constantly-thrashing waves glisten like a mine of diamonds.

The waxing gibbous moon. Magical.

The four of us looking out to the gorgeous Pacific Ocean.

The infinity pool at night.

*sigh*

Nightfalls, we are regularly greeted by an army of … Fireflies! I have never seen them in this multitude. They’re so big in number that the trees in front of our villa literally look like they’re currently burning! LOL. I caught one, and gave it to JJJ, of which she eventually released onto the grass, after all the poking she did on the poor thing. But it still managed to fly away, so I guess it’s still OK. Haha.

Trees burnt by ... Fireflies! Those tiny specks of amber are clusters of fireflies.

Here are a few more photos of the place in daylight.

Jerome posing, not knowing I was in the infinity pool, posing for the shot as well. Haha.

 

Going to the dining hall, well, to dine, of course. Haha.

Our claimed area of the boardwalk in daylight. This is where I spend my early mornings reading my book, while waiting for the guys to get up.

The smile on my face in this shot is effin genuine. Haha. I love this place.

A minute before we left, we had our photo taken with the Surf Camp sign. I have a serious case of separation anxiety at this point. I don't want to leave 😦

Am definitely going back next year. Already counting down the days before going to my happy place, also known as Calicoan Surf Camp 🙂

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Ma place heureux (Première Partie).

October 25, 2010

 

Surf Camp!

My happy place. Also known as The Surf Camp 🙂

It finally happened, been waiting for this since early 2009, and been pestering JJJ to go there since. The experience was, surreal, whimsical, and the adjective that we can’t help but always blurt out, magical. And it certainly was.

I often caught myself sighing in sheer amazement with everything there is in that place. It was nothing like I have been to before, and I have already been to a number of places in my 27 years of earthly existence. This one is disparate. The place was serene and intimate, yet rough, wild, and extremely fun.

Our SC trip was scheduled September 24-27, eve of the departure, we stayed in P’s place in Makati because of the too-early flight to Tacloban the next day. The girls went to sleep right away. Jerome and myself decided to stay up until departure time. He lost to a bet (he’s an easy prey when it comes to bettting), so as for the wager, he’s buying me a Strabucks.

We went out around 1AM, went to a coffee shop, bought our drinks, then we both decided to just walk around Ayala, talking about stuff. I just realized that Ayala is a fun place to rekindle one’s love of walking, particularly in the wee hours of the morning.

At 330AM we went back to the condo. Stealthily packed other stuff, woke the girls up, bid P farewell (she’s going to Denmark that weekend), hailed a cab, then headed straight to the airport to catch our 5AM flight.

At the airport, we were held upon the first security check. Security guy approached us …”What’s in the bag?“.
Now, we packed 5 bottles of booze (Bacardi Vodka, Grey Goose Vodka, Tequila Rose, Absolut Peach Vodka, and a bottle of red), and guilty as charged, I hastily replied “Ahm. Water, juice, and stuff“.

The security was not convinced with my dubious response, so he started opening the bag. And then JJJ came to my rescue, and approached the security guy “Sir, there are a few alcohol items for our trip”.

And just like that, the booze bag was let released for our taking.

 

L-R: Bacardi, Tequila Rose, Grey Goose, Absolut Peach (the bottle of red still in it's made-up packaging, haha.).

We were about to proceed to the baggage check-in counter from the security check, when we were held up yet again, this time my fùtbol was at fault.

Security guy: “You can’t bring this aboard the plane“.
Me: “Ahm, oh no …
Security guy: “You have no choice but to leave this here

My face was readily sullen, with jovial thoughts of playing fùtbol at the beach puffily bursted in thin, imaginary air, when another person from the security approached us and told us that we just need to get a ball pin to get the air out from the ball.

We finally managed to have a ball pin, and got my fùtbol deflated. We checked-in our bags, and headed to the cafeteria, Trish wanted to grab something to eat before getting on the plane.

 

JJJ at the check-in counter.

The plane departed on time, around 5-ish, as scheduled. As we settled in on our seats, the four of us were in deep open-mouthed snooze. I stirred when the stewardess approached Jerome about his phone being on. Then I went back to sleep.

 

When I woke up again, saw this gorgeous breaking dawn. Yes God, good morning to you too 🙂

The plane arrived at the Tacloban Airport after an hour of flight. The sun’s barely out, but the warmth of it’s rays is the perfect complement to the slight chill of the Leyte air.

 

Tacloban, finally! L-R: Trish, JJJ, Moi. Jerome took the peechur.

We were welcomed by our chauffeur who picked us up from the airport. We asked how much longer til we get to Surf Camp, he said 3.5 hours, of to which we all responded with a resounding “Whaaaat?!” Haha. All the while I thought the land travel will only take 30 minutes. Well, I got the 30-minute part right. I just missed the 3-hour portion by this much.

I remember JJJ looking at me snidely when she heard how much more to travel. That look is JJJ’s patented “What did you had me dragged into doing, MMM. What is this. Whattheeff!“. Haha. She cracks me up everytime she gives me that fantastic look on her face. 😀

 

San Juanico Bridge, welcoming us to ... Samar!

We crossed the infamous San Juanico Bridge, connecting Samar and Leyte. I only see this in pictures in textbooks, but now, I am actually on it. Haha. It’s not as long as I used to picture it to be. But it’s nice to finally meet a landmark in person.

I slept through half of the land travel. Got stirred when we passed by the bumpy routes, but was asleep as soon as I woke up. 3 hours 30 minutes through the long drive, I was welcomed by the sign I was so glad to see. We’re finally near Calicoan Island 🙂

 

Calicoan!

I asked the driver, how much farther, he said 30 more minutes. 30 more minutes! That makes it a total of 4 hours! Whattheeff! Haha. JJJ was already making snide remarks from behind the van (I was seated next to the driver), so I refuse to look round her direction, as I would receive more of those patented JJJ looks. 😀

We finally (finally!) arrived at our destination after that very looooong drive, and were greeted by glasses of fresh buko juice, and necklaces made out of conch shells. These are things that I normally find absurdly tacky, but this time find them simply adorable for some reason.

While we were waiting for our room to be ready, they handed us forms to fill-out, of which I abruptly handed to the Jerome.

 

The Jerome, holding forms to fill-out.

L-R: Trish, Moi, Jerome. My Aviators on Jerome, his Wayfarers on me. Dre, if you want them so much, get your own pair for chrissakes! Haha.

JJJ's playing Creeps from Jerome's iPhone. I know how effin' bored she is at this point.

We were finally directed to our villa. It’s not what I expected it to be (later on we realized that we were moved into the smallest of the villas due to a surfing competition happening the time we stayed there), it’s not as big as what they led me to believe based on the the photos in their website. They didn’t put a TV set in the room, which JJJ immediately pointed out. Again, JJJ with her snide looks at me. I can already see a big disappointment on JJJ’s face, so I hugged her to calm her down, haha B) I thought this kid might be hungry, so to make her less irate than she already is, we all headed to the dining hall to have brunch.

 

Our villa.

A peek from the inside.

A view of the outside, from the inside.

Surf Camp's dining hall.

JJJ's first authentic smile since we arrived 🙂 That smile I owe to the choco-soaked mallows 🙂

Everybody’s in the usual cordial mood right after wolfing everything there is on the table. We headed back to our villa, the guys decided to take a nap, but I was not there to sleep my ass all day, so I decided to head straight to the infinity pool.

 

The Inifinity Pool.

I love their infinity pool. I love that it’s saltwater, and not the usual chlorine-treated pool water. The place is slowly growing on me. I was just there on the edge looking out to the vast Pacific Ocean, observing surfers as they ride wave, after wave.

After a couple of hours, the guys showed up, and they all jumped right into the pool.

 

L-R: Jerome, Trish, JJJ, Moi.

2 hours into our dip, JJJ suggested that we take surfing lessons immediately, since there’s nothing left for us to do. We made arrangements, and found ourselves 3 instructors for each of us (Trish is not surfing, because it’s that time of the month, tsk.).

Surfing commenced. Did bailouts for a couple of tries, but on my third time I finally did it! It was sublime, surreal, ethereal. It’s like the first time you rode a bike without those teeny wheel supports at the back, with that pride luminescent through your face while looking at your dad 😀

 

Surfer dude! B)

Us and our surf instructors.

The waves were awesome. Gorgeous wave after wave. But like any other rose, it has it’s own version of bleed-you-like-crazy thorns, in forms of jaggedly protruding reef and rock. Hence, our surf wounds and bruises. From our backs, legs, knees, ankles, feet, palms, toes, fingers. shoulders, you name it, bruises got ’em all covered in red pigment (fresh and/or coagulated), also known as blood. But whattheeff! It’s all oh so worth it! 🙂

 

Left: JJJ | Right (bottom): Jerome | Right (top): Moi

JJJ's bruised and tattered back 🙂 We love surfing!

We got all hyped up with the surfing experience that I remember our faces would immediately stare in midair, with a fixed ear-to-ear grin, for every 3-second pause during our conversations. It’s like being in love, you smile incessantly for no apparent reason, and yet you feel it’s there.

The guys rested a bit. But I went back to the infinity pool, yet again. Haha.

After an hour, I felt the dire need to replenish lost nutrients blood. So I headed back to the villa to get the guys going, and get ready for dinner.

 

Our first Surf Camp dinner 🙂

 

To be continued …

 

La météo de Manille en Septembre vingt-quatrième à vingt-septième.

September 22, 2010

Manila weather on September 24th to 27th. That’s from Friday to Monday. I’ve been having a bit of this obsessive constant checking of weather from the 24th-27th of September, because SURF CAMP’s FINALLY HERE! Haha. Friday and Saturday’s looking quite damp (cue for ethnic  sun dance). However, Sunday and Monday are going to be soleil-parfait! Will be packing my stuff tonight, and will be sleeping-over at P’s place tomorrow for Friday’s 5AM very-early-morning-yawn-fest flight.

Je suis très, très excitation!

Moi vs. les valises

April 30, 2010

(Me versus luggages)

Exactly six heures avant mon 6-week vacation (oh yeah, it’s that loooong :D), still have to pack my things. This is such a feat as everything that I’d be bringing should be in les valises in an hour. Haha. Bonne chance à moi.

Anyway, the vacation still has not sinked in yet, and here I am, still typing away on my Mac instead of starting on the rush packing.

Au revoir, Manille. À tout à l’heure, Cité de Nouveau York!