And I’m thinking I haven’t started on any Christmas shopping yet! Every year, as I do my panic-stricken last-minute shopping, I always swear – “Next year, I will start early.” Oh, well… maybe next year.
And then there’s the Christmas holiday to plan. Every year, my family celebrates Christmas in Baguio City with my parents and sisters. A few months ago, my sisters and I were talking about going someplace else – a Christmas getaway for the whole clan. Sis # 3 suggested Boracay, but that would entail too much logistics (yeah, we’re a huge family) and money of course. And we are probably too late to plan something as elaborate as that…
I’m thinking, maybe Pagudpud. It’s up North anyway, just a few hours’ drive from Baguio. The pristine beaches, the windmills, the quaint lighthouses… The laidback attitude, the simplicity, the provinciality. Pagudpud sounds like my kind of getaway! (Hover over the links and images will pop out. Then you’ll know what i mean.)
Sisters, anyone of you reading this? Game? Let’s start planning if we want a break from our usual Christmas celebration. Email, email… 🙂
It was a lovely, sunny day to travel. The skies were glorious-blue.
We took the SCTEx (Subic-Clark-Tarlac Expressway), dubbed as the longest expressway in the country. The SCTEx did not fail to impress hub and me. The ride was so smooth and scenic, it was like taking a road trip in another country. It’s awesome – how this world-class highway was carved in the middle of nowhere, at certain points cutting through small hills.
We paid Php112 for using the SCTEx, on top of the NLEX toll fee of Php174 from Balintawak to Sta. Ines. The expresways’ values are priceless, compared to enduring traffic, bumpy roads and reckless drivers at Dinalupihan. Agree?
Do you have one? I have been conjuring up images of my dream vacation for years. Here’s a peek into how it will be like:
It’s going to be a cruise vacation on board one of those fabulous Royal Caribbean Cruise Line ships. Better yet, maybe we can get onto one of those “Love Boats” as popularized by the Princess Cruise Lines. Husband and I (yep, no kids allowed!) will go island-hopping all over the Carribean – basking under the sun on those beautiful white-sand beaches, experiencing exotic tastes and sounds, hunting for fabulous finds at local markets. In between island-hopping, we will share romantic sunsets and spectacular sunrises on the ship’s deck. (Years ago, I discovered that no other sunrise view beats that on a ship’s deck! It is simply marvelous.) This vacation has “mushy” written all over!
Or: the whole family can spend Christmas (okay, okay, kids allowed this time) on a two-week cruise in the Mediterranean region aboard a Norwegian Cruise Line ship. It would be great to expose the kids to the rich history and culture of the Mediterranean – visiting ancient ruins at Pompeii and historical landmarks at Alexandria. It would be an adventure the family will never forget.
Vacation cruises like these will surely cost a lot. But I’m sure there’s a cruise package that will fit into my budget. Besides, I’ve still much time – 20 years to be exact – to prepare 😛 . Really, the way hub is slaving away at work today, I think we will need an extravagant cruise vacation when the time comes to enjoy the fruits of our labor.
Anyway, weren’t we taught to dream big dreams? So let me.
El Kabayo Riding Stables, Subic, Zambales, Philippines
Two weeks ago, my family went to Subic for some much needed rest and relaxation. El Kabayo is one of my favorite places in Subic because of the lush sceneries, beautiful wide-open spaces and because my family loves to ride horses. I love this photo. I love how those big acacia trees created some sort of a tunnel of shadows where horses and tired riders alike can retreat from the heat.
My daughter Patchy with cousin Soapy Bubbles and a friend’s daughter at the foot of one of the old steps in Fort San Pedro, Cebu City in December 2005.
Fort San Pedro is the oldest fort in the Philippines built by the Spaniards in 1738. Construction actually began much earlier – 173 years earlier to be exact – in 1565. The first Spaniards came to the Philippine islands in 1521, and it was on Cebu that they first set foot. The Fort came handy in keeping away the natives and Muslims who resisted the colonizers. Learn more about Fort San Pedro here.
Cebu City is the Philippines’ Queen City of the South. It is the second biggest metropolitan center outside of Metro Manila. Next to Baguio, Cebu is my second choice for retirement (or residence if it were only possible at the moment).
Cebu City has got everything Manila has, and more! It’s got an international airport, good schools and residential areas, shopping malls, a busy business district, traffic jams too (though not as horrific as Manila’s). It’s a throbbing, lively city and yet people seem to be more laid-back. The people are friendly (based on my experiences so far!), and the sights definitely beautiful. Both beaches and mountains are within driving distance, so take your pick!
When you come visit the Philippines, see Baguio first, then catch a flight to Cebu second. 😉
Visit more Photo Hunters here. Happy weekend to all!