7,107 Islands

When a friend visited the Philippines recently, there was a question that people asked him quite a few times.

“Of the 7,107 islands in the Philippines, how many have you visited?”

He just smiled and said: “Two. The island where Manila is, and the island where Davao is.”

During a conversation with him later, he swung the question back at me.

“Definitely more than two,” was my easy answer.
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The Hats of Pahiyas

When people visit the Pahiyas festival in Lucban, Quezon, they always look at the decorated houses. And they should, because that’s really the main attraction of the festival. And of course, there’s the food. I have to talk about the food more at another time.

But aside from enjoying the food and the houses and the festivities, when in the Pahiyas festival, I pay attention to the hats. We’ve seen hats before, but it’s always fun to check out the ones in Pahiyas.

They’re all colorful, but they’ve chosen the colors usually used in the festival decoration. It’s as if there’s an official Pahiyas palette. (Is there? I don’t know.) If you crane your neck enough, or if you climb up one of the houses and look down to the street, it’s nice to see that sea of color below.

There are beach hats, bonnets, cowboy hats (I bought one before!), and fedoras (also bought one on another year), among other things.

Business-minded folks will think that it’s a no-brainer decision to sell hats during a festival that requires you to walk through the streets for a good half a day. What I see, however, is an encouragement to stay under the sun and enjoy the festivities, and not think about holding up a parasol while combing through a crowd.

One last thing I love about the hats: the people who sell them. They don’t pressure you to buy them. They let you sift through them, and take your pick. And they’ll even tell you which one suits you better.

The Department of Tourism has a small page on Pahiyas. There’s a pahiyasfestival.com that isn’t an official website, I think, but has lots of helpful stuff on it.

Puerto Princesa trip 2010 + soundtrack

Four days. Ten tracks. One family on one awesome vacation. Oh yeah!

Day 1
And it’s you and me in the summertime
And all the sunshine banishes the dark

Track 1: Summertime – The Sundays

My brain was a mess. The day of our flight out and I hadn’t packed my bag—although I’d already planned out what I was going to bring, so that was a good thing, right?— and I still needed a couple of new shorts—all the shorts I owned were for use indoors only— and I wasn’t sure if I had any sunblock left and I really needed hair clips, too, and omgomgOMG I’M GOING TO PALAWAN!!! my brain kept repeating.

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Destination: Laguna

By popular demand…
Through much tears, fights, and sleepless nights…
After a time of depression, elation, exhaustion and procrastination…
With kicking, screaming, and mass hysteria…

Graduation day had finally come.

MY graduation day had finally come.

The presentation was a piece of cake, actually. Much easier than I expected, that’s for sure. My panel was the following:

My adviser
Another student presenting his SP
The other student’s adviser
My adviser’s roommate in the office (who’s actually playing dynomite while listening to us)

That’s it.

That’s freaking it!

I’m NOT complaining. Yes. Glad we have that cleared.

And, my gosh. It didn’t even take me five minutes, and we were done. (I can’t remember the details anymore, because it HAD been a few weeks ago already.)

And so, there I was, on the 29th of April 2006, ready to march down the aisle, go up the stage and get my (pseudo-)diploma.

Again, I won’t go into the details. Else, I’ll just start babbling, and I’ll probably never stop. I’ll just let the pictures tell the story.

Yey! Kuya JB, my Dad, me and my Mom being blown away by the wind in front of the dorm. (Buti na lang mahangin!)

The family amidst the graduating CMSC students.

But of course, where ever you put them, the Cada boys will still have fun.

OK… I went up on stage at around 6:30 p.m., I think. So it was too dark to take pictures from where Kuya JB was standing. I do have a picture, though, taken by the official photographer. I shall upload it after I scan it.

It’s teh graduate!!!

After the graduation, we rested in restful SEARCA dorm (the hotel pretending to be a dorm inside UPLB). Then we got up and went to one of my favorite places in the country, Rizal Recreation Center in Rizal, Laguna! YEY!

We did practically everything you could do in the Center. Thank goodness everything’s for free. We played all ’em games, we went attempted to go through the obstacle course many, many, MANY times, we went stargazing (“Ooooh! So many starzzzzz!”), fishing, swimming… and we basically did so many crazy things, it felt like we were there for a week when we were only there for a day.

God, I love that place.

The Cada kids in the treehouse. It’s a real treehouse in the strictest sense, I think.

FISHING! I caught the first fish. I caught it within just a minute after getting my fishing rod! Thank you, Grander Musashi!!! XD I caught three of ’em! Yey!

Photo op on a tree with Adrielle (in yellow shirt), Joni (in Blue shirt) and my sistah Chique (in yellow tank top).