Saturday, April 23, 2011

An "Unwritten" Story -- A Birthday Blog

Whew! Time is running so fast. I can barely recall my sweet childhood days. It seems that in a blink of an eye,  I grew up so fast like one roller coaster ride. And here I am now, writing this birthday blog while celebrating my third decade of existence. 

I did a personal recollection of my life once more. I reflected for a while and smiled. I gathered all the pieces and decided to put them all in an archive of good memoirs to immortalize them. 

Look what I've got! I've created a video to show how I enjoyed His gift to me and how thankful I am for all the blessings along my journey. I called it "An 'Unwritten' Story" and the rest is still unwritten...

She raised me up, my beloved Mama!

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Sunday, April 17, 2011

Conquering Lake Holon

Under the scorching heat of the sun, we conquered Lake Holon after more than a three-hour journey by foot from the jump-off point at Salacafe. Situated in T'boli, South Cotabato, it is known to be the cleanest lake in the Philippines . This lake is actually part of Mt. Parker and is also known as Lake Maughan.

Few kilometers from the jump-off point
The jump-off point at Brgy. Salacafe
Holon is a T'boli term means "portal to heaven". It's name is derived from a legend. There was once a witch who gathered tribesmen to follow her to heaven before the end of the world will happen. She led them into the lake and promised them to have the eternal life if they all jump there with her. It was told that the tribesmen were influenced by her and did what she told them to do. No one has ever heard of them since then.

The road to Holon is not that as hard as I can imagine. The fist portion of the route is passable because of some T'boli villages along the way. We even passed a pumping station wherein we filled some of our empty containers with potable water. On the later part of the walk, we passed through a thick forest. It looked enchanted but amazing with its lush green flora and some rare species of flowers. We trekked on until we reached the peak. We can almost see the lake from above and the view is really marvelous. After some going-ups, our guides told us to get ready for another twenty minutes more of going-down to another challenging trek towards the lake. It's like going down to a bit of a cliff so we need to cling strongly to the roots of the giant trees in order for us to successfully reach the finish line. 

Getting ready for the going-down trek towards the lake
Here we are at last! Our hardships was rewarded with a magnificent view of the tranquil lake. Nothing beats its natural charm as we can all forget what we have gone through just to reach Lake Holon's embrace.

Resting at the side of the lake after the long hours of hiking
We arrived at Holon around five in the afternoon. We then fixed our tents while some cooked our dinner. The night is cold but refreshing maybe because of the clean fresh air  kissing the lake. The moon looked so bright that night and the stars enveloped the skies like fireworks for our grand welcome to this hidden paradise.

After a very serene sleep, the day in Holon started with the soft, calm rays of the sunrise. It's so nice to wake up in this stress-free morning fronting to the inviting waters of the lake. Lake Holon, should I say, is best viewed at early morning where in everything is fresh and sweet.

Meet & greet the sunrise
Say hello to the fresh morning
Friendship bond under the morning light
Good morning good fellow
This is the fresh start
The colorful tents as my background
Serenity at its best
Embrace the new day with a smile
Residents of the blue tent
Our stay in Holon is picture-perfect, so we didn't miss to capture nothing but photos and memories as our immortal souvenirs. We even tested its cold waters & took a dip on it. Nothing beats the fun that mother nature can offer!

With my good friend Janjan
With a bubbly friend who called himself Lyka
Picture perfect by the side of the lake
With the rest of the gang
After breakfast pose by the lake
Playing hide & seek with Holon's side
Colorful tents on the rise
With my dear friend Endhey
To the camp site
With my best friend Alper
There were some thing that I've realized as we conquered the place - that all the best thing in life is free and you will just need a little pinch of sacrifice just to enjoy its glory.

My personal recollection
What lies beneath & what lies beyond

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Friday, April 15, 2011

AE Pipol -- Ms. Joy Lozano

She can be cool, bubbly & can be wacky at times. The newest pride of the Logistics Team has conquered our hearts because she's simple yet so natural & sincere. She can be a friend, a daughter & a mother to anyone close to her. 

I first met her way back when I had my OJT. That time, she was not my boss but I can see her light, so radiant & fine. When I joined the team six years ago, I took over her place as a Production Planner because she will be transferred to another team. She was pregnant then but I can see that she's patient and kind. There will be times that she's irritated but her acts didn't show that she's wicked & arrogant.

As a mommy of four kids, though she may not consider herself as a stage mom, she makes sure that her kids are in good condition & away from any harm. One time I overheard her talking to her child over the phone & said, "Anak, are you okay? Anything wrong?". So motherly and sweet!

She's a loving wife so to speak. A strong & independent woman yet soft-hearted. She's also fun loving. Her laugh is contagious. She's possesses this different kind of beauty. Truly beautiful from deep within.

Happy Birthday Ms. Joy!
This blog is for you.

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Baguio Escape -- Lourdes Grotto

Our last stop in Baguio was in another prayer place called Lourdes Grotto. It is located on top of a hill so we took more than a hundred steps just to reach its zenith wherein there’s a huge statue of the Virgin Mary.

Our first step towards the grotto
We're on the nth step and counting
More steps. Keep moving!
We stopped counting the steps when we reached the middle part because our attentions were diverted to the beauty of Baguio viewed from that elevated point. The pine trees, the houses on top of the mountains, the people – we could imagine our selves as part of the locals in that lovely city.

How many steps again?
Aahh! So this is Baguio huh?
Let's walk some more!
Before we bade goodbye to the city of pines, we took more pictures. In this way, we preserved our happy memories of our short but fun visit in the ever cold-weathered Baguio City.
Here we are at last! Whew!
Eat, pray, love - our own version!
So this it! This was it...

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Baguio Escape -- Strawberry Farm

We just can’t wait for our next stop. We even matched our outfits for our Strawberry Farm visit in the outskirt of Baguio! 

When we arrived there, we have seen lots of tourists also but to our dismay, we were not able to practice strawberry picking since the area was soaked in mud due to the rain from the other day. Since we can hardly penetrate into the farm with ready-to-harvest fruits, we just took courage to take some photos near the garden entrance. As a result, we’ve got no strawberries clinging on its plant in any of our photos.

Good thing that there are lots of strawberry vendors booth nearby so we can still touch the actual thing in its various sizes. Of course, we hurriedly took some clicks and bought some baskets with strawberry just to taste the specie from Baguio City. Yummy!

Posing with the muddy strawberry farm
oopps! We can't proceed
Over here! Over here!
Wanna have some?
Here! Try one.
Strawberry buddies... munching on!
Up to the last bite!
Strawberries & beyond
Hats off to the strawberries of Baguio

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