My baby boy turns into a big boy!

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Last October 3, my baby brother, Caehl (pronounced as Kyle) turned 7! We have an 11 year age gap, so he’s still very much young.
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So we had a Toy Story themed birthday party at the local McDonald’s. All of his classmates came, and every one of my family members are present!

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My brother with his girl friends! What a ladies man!!

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My best friends and I were in charge of reception. It’s our job to write the name tags and make sure that they really are guests of the party!

Games were fun and endearing and it brought out the inner child in all of us. It was absolutely crazy, and even the parents joined in the fun.

There’s this game called “I Spy” which was really a people-versioned Bring Me game. So when the “Pinakamagandang Teenager” was called…

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Well, happy to say, that my little cousins love their Ate Cae so much..

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Another game involves a balloon between the legs, a chair, and a sore bum. Because my friends got called in the game, we had to play with poise..

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Or whatever poise we could handle in this exciting but embarassing game.

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Being the last in line, I was the one who’s got to pop the damn balloon.

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Well, needless to say that my team won! Girl power!

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The cake and cupcakes, all made with buttercream fondant. Woody and Buzz Lightyear is still sitting in our fridge uneaten as we speak. Can you spot the difference/similarities between me and my brother’s name? 🙂

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Look at all the fat and cholesterol. I could feel my thighs getting bigger just by looking at it.

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My family and I are thankful for having a blessing in the form of Caehl showered upon us. Being an only child may have its perks, but nothing can beat the love of a sibling. Blood truly is thicker than water. 🙂

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Unbreakable Thomasian Spirit

Everyone knows that I’m no basketball fan. In fact, I’m not a fan of ANY sport. I instantly roll my eyes whenever I see something that remotely resembles a sport, be it the game or in TV. But what made me really happy during this UAAP Season 75 was the school spirit. It made my heart soar, that after 6 years, UST has again climbed on top of the university ladder and made it through the finals. They may not have won, but in the hearts of every Thomasian, the glory is all ours. 🙂

My family and I watched UST vs ADMU Game 1 at the Mall of Asia Arena, which was totally awesome because even though you’re seated at the General Admission side, it’s still equipped with chairs, so you can sit comfortably.

Here’s my cutie baby brother with his tiger stuffed animal and his leopard tiger ears! 🙂

Yellow team! In case you didn’t know, my mom and dad also went to UST in college. That’s where they met, actually. 🙂 So UST is a school that is very dear to my family.

Before the game, we had lunch at Racks. Nothing special though, just the usual ribs and chicken, so it’s not worth taking a picture of.

There’s my dad at the back, and being the loser that he is, he has no yellow shirt. Ha ha! Dad and I kind of has this love-hate relationship, and sweetness isn’t our thing. We mostly just tease and punch each other, though. No worries, that’s our way of showing our love! Lol 🙂

The Tigers lost that day. 😦

For Game 2, which was in the Smart-Araneta Coliseum, it was a Thursday. And being a weekday, it meant that my family couldn’t come, much as they want to. So I went with my friends, and even though the Tigers still lost the game and the finals, we had a blast.

It was a sea of yellow that day! And that is only half of it.

It was a memorable experience for me and my crazy friends to be able to actually watch a live basketball game. The excitement of the whole place, the cheers of the crowd, and the beat of the drums gave me goosebumps everytime. It was all worth it. 🙂

So even though we lost, I believe that this isn’t the end for the Comeback Cats. I believe that this is just the beginning. They all have so much raw talent, passion, heart, and faith that it’s hard to not fall in love with them.

The Thomasian spirit lives on. 🙂

❤ C

Pitstop Coffee Shop

Before shopping for our groceries, we always eat somewhere special. My dad surprised us by saying he wanted to eat at Pitstop Coffee Shop, which is only a walking distance from our house. Since the food and the atmosphere are good there, we all agreed. It’s been months since we last went there, considering it’s only near.

Grabbed from Pitstop Coffee’s Facebook page.

From the logo itself, you’d already notice the restaurant/cafe’s theme. Yup, it’s all about cars! So if you’re a car junkie, going here would be a lot like heaven.

Starting at this point, I’m really really really sorry for the crappy photos. It seems like the camera wouldn’t cooperate that day. I hope you would all bear with me. 😦

The tables are made of glass inlaid with toy car collectibles for car enthusiasts. Every table has different models and designs! The shelves are filled to the brim with more cars and motorcycles! Wall decors are.. yep. You guessed it. Something to do with those vehicles we love polluting the world so much. 😉

Cute cutlery tray and coasters! Their presentation is INCREDIBLE. I swear, if I could only judge their restaurant just by presentation, they would pass with flying colors! Heck, they can even do latte art, as seen here, considering they’re only a small coffee shop.

Lemon and Raspberry iced teas with Über-cute stirrers!! Went crazy when I saw this. I wanted to take them home with me. 😦

Needed a caffeine fix, so I ordered a Toffeenut Mocha Frappe. It was too sweet though. Starbucks’ Toffeenut is better.

I got tired waiting for my food so I ordered a blueberry muffin from the cafe. One of the best muffins are found here, I swear. Their choco-chip is also to die for!!

Vigan Longganisa for meeeee. Yup, I guessed I was pretty hungry to order this. Didn’t get to finish it, though. 😦

My brother’s (Caehl) chicken fingers, fries and bread with pesto spread. One of the best pesto sandwich spread ever! Better than the ones in Cebu!!

Carbonara for daddy!

Pancakes (though it looks like a waffle, yes, they’re pancakes) with bacon and patty for mom!

Happy tummies!!! ❤ My brother was being a pirate because we’re trying to correct his “lazy eye”. 😦 Hey, look at the bright side, he looks 1000x cuter!! ❤

❤ Cae

A journey is best measured in friends, rather than miles.

So for our third and last day in Palawan, we toured Puerto Princesa and visited the major tourists attractions such as the Crocodile Farm and the Iwahig Prison and Penal Farm. Sharing these blessings with my favorite people in the world made my vacation all the more fulfilling!

Our first stop was Plaza Cuartel, where they used to hold American prisoners during the World War II. There’s a monument stating the names of the prisoners, and the prisoners who were able to escape and lived to tell the tale. War makes me sad. 😦

After the plaza, we swung by Immaculate Conception church, and thanked God for being able to experience the wonder of His creations. Thank you, Lord!

 Our next stop:  Palawan Wildlife Rescue And Conservation Center or also known as the Crocodile Farm. 🙂

What greeted us at the main entrance was this big, genuine crocodile skeleton and skin!!! They told us that this certain crocodile died due to old age (he was like 65 years old) and stress. He accidentally killed a person, and the humans captured him. His skin has no commercial value anymore, because as crocs grow older, it’s skin grows thicker. I later learned that baby crocodiles were captured and killed for their precious skin!!! Vowed never to buy anything made from any skin. 😐

Caught in the act: Cito and Shae touching the thick skin! It felt.. thick. Lol!

I have never seen so many crocodiles in my life! This certain room (Hatchling House) has rows and rows and rows of crocodile-filled bathtubs! Cito was shitting gold by the time we exited. “If there’s anything I’ll love as much as I love monkeys, it will be crocodiles.” – Cito

We never really understood why he’s “our future”. Maybe he’s being romantic? Or telling us that the future of the world depends on crocodiles? Lol, we never listen to tour guides. Tsk tsk.

It’s a biiiiiiig one!!!

With a baby croc! ❤ Cito’s face = epic!

And a bearcat named Ella!

Before leaving the farm, we saw an open cage!!! Eeeeeeeekkkk

Next stop: Iwahig Prison and Penal Farm! Probably one of my favorite stops in the whole tour! We loved this quote. Prisoners are still human after all, and if God can forgive them, why can’t you? Everyone deserves another chance. It’s a complete community here! There’s a church, a post office, and various buildings where they hold events.

In this prison, the prisoners were separated by their crimes. They wear blue if it was a “minor” crime, and orange if they had a “major” crime. But regardless of their crime, they weren’t placed in jail cells nor are they behind bars. They were free to roam around the entire place! They were rehabilitated and were given a choice to “serve sentence” by farming, fishing, forestry, carpentry and making souvenirs! All the souvenirs found there are made by their hands!

The Iwahig dancing inmates. They were really entertaining to watch! They were all smiles, and watching them made my heart soar! I was really proud at how they managed to turn their life around, unlike people at urban cities, where even politicians are the bad guys. If I were to become President someday (hopefully), I would make all prison cells like this, instead of criminals who were abused and rotting inside jail cells.

Sooo.. what do you think? Think I’d fit right in? 😉

A cross in the middle of the farm! A quote can also be found here, “Life began in a garden.” referring to the Creation of Man in the Bible. It goes to show that no matter what your sins are, God will always be there to accept and forgive you, once you show full repentance. We all have to ability to start anew, live a new life, and strengthen our faith in God.

Next stop: Baker’s Hill! The smell of fresh bread in the morning, sigh. One of the best smells ever! We had a mini shopping spree here, because everywhere we look, we see DELISH!

Ham and Cheese Pandesal. HANDS. DOWN. The best thing I have ever eaten!! I can still remember my first bite, when the cheese just oozed into my mouth. Gaaaah, why are you only in Palawan!!!! 😦

Cheese bread!!! I looove everything cheese!

Tuna pandesal!

Some treats we bought! Brownies all around!!!

Would you like to have a bite on one of these scrumptious cakes?…

Oh well, too bad!! Ha ha ha ha. They look so pretty and realistic, I just want to take them home and let my Barbie dolls play with it! ❤

After satisfying our fill, our next stop: Binuatan Creations! One of Palawan’s proud makers of anything weaved!

Aww, look at me weaving! It probably takes me about 5 seconds to get to weave a piece of straw while for the more practiced ones, they take about 30 minutes to weave a whole bag!!! Mindfuck. It’s fun to watch them weave! It’s like magic! Lol. 🙂

Their shop, where you can buy all sorts of pretty bags and knickknacks! These were all handmade. I could never make such pretty things! I wish I were a little more creative. 😦

And yes, you have to go barefoot to get inside! Don’t worry, it’s squeaky clean!

Had lunch, halo-halo and mais con yelo at Noki Nocs after! It was a pretty hot day.. only to be raining at around 2 PM. So we slept the whole afternoon at the hotel until it’s time for our flight back to Manila. 🙂

Good bye Palawan!!! Every photo taken is taken from Gold Arcilla and Inna Olarte. ❤

❤ Cae

McCoy’s Brick Oven Pizza

For our second night in Palawan, we saw this restaurant that sells “brick oven pizzas” and it immediately caught our eye, not to mention our appetites.

Stepping inside the restaurant, the smell already got to us. It smells so amazing!! Fresh bread baking, and different kinds of herbs lingers in the air. We were so hungry that we could have ordered everything off the menu!! It was a pretty tiring day, after all.

Cute and cozy interiors!! Feels like hooome. ❤ Each table is different, by the way! 🙂

Even the plates are cute!! I swear I spazzed out when I saw these and immediately called dibs on the pink one with two flowers. Each one of us has a unique plate! ❤

Three pitchers of iced tea for the 12 of us! This was actually insufficient, and we had to order another pitcher.

Mojos for our appetizer! Perfectly crisp, though the gravy was forgettable. 🙂

Seafood Marinara! Too salty, blech. :p

Creamy Beef and Mushroom pasta!! This was heaven on a plate!!

What amazed me most was their pizzas!!! Their pizza sizes are THE SAME as Yellow Cab, but half the price! Their most expensive 18″ pizza is priced at P490 php only! Gaaah, can I live at Palawan now?

Hands. Down. The. Best. Pizza. I. Have. Ever. Eaten.
Their McCoy’s Special! Craaving for this! ❤

Had blueberry cheesecake for dessert, though we were too excited to eat to take a picture. 😦

Downsides: SERVICE WAS TERRIBLE. They just placed the plates of food on one side of the table, and just waited for us to move it to a free space. When we also asked for an additional pitcher of iced tea, there was no room on the table. She just stared at us while we moved the empty dishes that they were supposed to remove already. We had to call a waitress about 4 times before she got to our table. 😐

Last night in Palawan!

❤ Cae

The human spirit needs places where nature has not been rearranged by the hand of man.

My friends and I (minus Cito, just because he’s a pussy) together with my dad went on a caving and zip lining activity after our Underground River escapade. The locals call it “cazing” (caving and zip lining combined) because you enter a huge forest where there are rock formations with caves that used to be a hide-out during World War II, then you have to ride a zip line measuring 350 meters downwards when you reach the top. 🙂

Ugong Rock is a community based sustainable tourism project initiated/funded by UNESCO.  Protect an environment and support a community by taking an adventure at Ugong Rock! Trust me, they really need that extra boost because they seriously need profits! Their gloves are torn and has holes and their helmets are limited. Hey, you get to have fun, exercise, and help save Mother Nature in the process!

We’re all set! I love my pink helmet. ❤

Huge forest with branches that the early settlers used as ropes! Like Tarzan, eh?

A short prayer for guidance and protection before entering the caves.  That’s our tour guide by the way. 🙂

Huuuuuge 7-layered rock formations!

I can’t remember what we’re looking at, but we look so funny in this picture! Lol. 😀

Our favorite point, the “Humility Point”. It has small hole in the bottom and narrow space on the side of the rock. It’s called the “Humility Point” because in order to get across, you have to “humble” yourself  in nature and crawl under the rocks. If not, then you should “love” nature and hug it by slipping through that narrow space. We all did both! 🙂

Wonder what’s the story behind the name? Ugong Rock is named after the  hollow rocks found inside the caves that makes a gong sound! The rocks behind us are like those.

The rocks get steeper as we get deeper inside. We had to do a little bit of climbing. Yes, I wore white shorts, and no, I didn’t regret getting it dirty. Angas nga ng dating eh. 😉

See that small hole up there? Yes, we had to squeeze through THAT. We  jokingly call it the “sexy point” because it’s a test to determine whether you’re sexy or not. Are you wondering if I passed?

Needless to say, we all passed with flying colors! (Yes, we are indeed making the letters “S E X Y”.)

After the sexy point, there’s the “Crawling Point”. It’s also a challenge because it’s a small hole!

We made it safely out the caves! Thank you, Lord. ♥ Next challenge: the zip line!

The view!!! Yes, the Eiffel Tower or Times Square or the Statue of Liberty may be beautiful, but nothing beats the natural beauty of nature!

Game face, on! This is my first time, actually. And I’m glad it did not disappoint! ❤

That’s my dad being cute. :p

Thank you Lord for letting us experience your wonderful creations. 🙂

❤ Cae

Adopt the pace of nature: her secret is patience.

One of the highlights of our trip! Introducing one of the new Seven Wonders of the World: Puerto Princesa Subterranean River National Park!

To get there, we had to travel by land for about 2 hours. It was a rough ride! Some parts of the road was bumpy and full of zigzags which makes it tough for people who easily gets dizzy. A random fact about Puerto Princesa: It’s the consistent winner of the ‘Greenest and Cleanest City’ according to Wikipedia (which is not a very reliable source, I know, but still)! 🙂

Ironic picture! We live in San Pedro, Laguna.. only to find it in Palawan too! 😀

Amaaaazing view! Which made our road trip not-so-boring and nakakabagot! Just look at that fog!!! Actually, Manila has the same kind. Only it’s called POLLUTION. Lol. I hate Manila. You could die young there. 😐 I live for fresh air in provinces! 

After arriving at the harbor, we waited for a few minutes for our boat that would take us to the Underground River. We look so happy! 😀

My friends and I, with our tour guide Ate Princess,  have a separate boat because one boat holds 8 people! The boat ride takes about 20-25 minutes, but the relaxing waves and breathtaking view makes it seem like 10!

Clear blue waters!!! There’s a little beach over there, and it was so isolated, we were speechless with shock as we stared at it! “I wanna live there.” – Cito

Alas, we have arrived! The Underground River was declared as a natural world heritage site by UNESCO in 1999. 🙂

Soooooo proud of my country!!! Kudos to all who voted! The Philippines are receiving a lot of negative vibes lately and it needs the right motivation for people to get off their asses and start doing their part in making our country a better place. We need inspiration!! Let’s do the beauty of our country justice!

Registration! Ha ha ha. Cito has the worst handwriting I have ever seen!

We’re now ready for our awesome adventure!!

They got separated because the boat can only hold 8-10 people. Boooo! 😦

Our tour guide (Kuya Ading) was funny as hell! I wouldn’t post his jokes here, as they wouldn’t make sense, thus won’t do them justice. Hey, did you know that a rock formation grows 1-3 mm a year? Yes, the rock formations inside are about 25 million years old!!! Here are some awesome rock formations inside the cave:

A t-rex head, and a crocodile head (at the back).

Two people hanging upside-down. 😦

Snoopy!!!! 

The “Sexy Lady” Lol 🙂

There are different “rooms” inside the cave. They were called “Fruits and Vegetables” and “Meat” rooms. The reason behind the names were because the rock formations found along that part of the cave were, yes, fruits, vegetables and meat! 😀 My favorite room was the “Cathedral”. We all had goosebumps because the rock formations were so detailed and vivid, you would’ve thought they were carved!

This is called the “Pegasus”, or the winged horse from Greek mythology.

“The Last Supper” on top of a giant “Melting Candle”!

“The Three Kings”

Other rock formations found there are The Blessed Mary, half of Jesus’ face which his nose appears to be bleeding, and an Angel. Nature and God truly is awesome!!

My seatmate throughout the ride!

Feeling fulfilled after the ride! Kudos to Kuya Ading for being a hilarious tour guide!

Happy and proud faces! Eco-tourism beats popular tourism in my book! This is what I was telling you in the past posts. I would rather experience something new and adventurous than lay in the sand doing nothing. Beaches are boring, and wouldn’t give you any sense of satisfaction and is only meant for relaxation. I want to spend my summer by being productive and fulfilled! I always get tears in my eyes whenever I see the beauty of my country. I want to become President so I can fix everything!!! 😦

Yes, it truly is more fun in the Philippines!!! ❤

Photo credits

More soon!

❤ Cae