Apr 30, 2014

Around Niagara



Coming from a long drive of about 6 hours from New York to Buffalo where my brother and his son G met us, we were exhausted and famished.  The weather forecast for the rest of the day was cloudy with rains.  All these combined would have been enough to dampen our spirits and reschedule our tour of Niagara for another day.  But our strong desire to see the majestic falls was such, that we willingly went through drizzle, fog and chilly breeze just to see her.  

This was one of the things we were here for after all... And seeing the magnificent Niagara falls, though partly covered in fog that day, was just breathtaking.  

Travel doesn't become adventure until you leave yourself behind. - Marty Rubin

Apr 27, 2014

Found a patch of snow... What a blessing to share with the sons their first snow experience...


We just wanted to spend time as a family together with my brother's own when we planned this spring vacation.  The snow sighting was an added bonus. :D

Apr 24, 2014

Making memories in New York


Central Park

cruising on the Hudson

with eldest son

with the other sons



actual shot from our (Airbnb) balcony

Apr 22, 2014

Thawing at Mountsberg


The temperature the past days in Milton, Toronto seemed like winter.  Each day that I checked, I gasped... A single digit high is certainly chilly and almost no match for the flimsy layers that we brought with us.  I guess it's just me and my unfamiliarity with cold weather.  There were instances I thought this was the perfect time my hot flashes should be acting up.  LOL


After the Easter Sunday mass, my brother brought all of us to Mountsberg Conservation Area where his son and my youngest hunted for "easter eggs" and watched a presentation about birds of prey (which they had in captivity).  The younger ones had fun with that while the older ones had a wonderful time just being there, watching the kids giggling, and heartily munching on junk food.  This was totally far better than being in malls back in Cebu or being cooped up in my brother's house wishing it were spring. :D

Apr 21, 2014

Easter Sunday mass at the Holy Rosary Parish


The weather was still chilly last Easter Sunday in Toronto, especially for this family from Cebu, but seeing the church full of parishioners was heartwarming. It caught me by surprise to see a lot of people as I thought only churches in the Philippines were always packed. It looked like the whole community was in there that morning, dressed in their Sunday best, to celebrate the mass for the Risen Lord. The atmosphere was solemn yet festive, it actually felt like Christmas.

Celebrated our 22nd anniversary with my brother's family in Toronto


Apr 17, 2014

2014 Visita Iglesia - Our Lady of Montserrat


2014 Visita Iglesia - San Sebastian Church


2014 Visita Iglesia - Our Lady of Remedies Church, Malate


2014 Travels... and thoughts

April 16, 2014 - Wednesday

After making all the preparations for our summer trip to Manila, Canada and USA, this was the day we flew to Manila.  We actually timed it right after Matt and Kyle's final exams so they didn't have to fly home to Cebu and thus, save on travel cost in the process.  Instead, they would just wait for Jerry, Jake and I to get to Manila where our flight for Toronto would originate.

It was Holy Wednesday.  We were met by Pa and Ma in their red new Innova as soon as our 730am flight (we took an earlier flight after our original 8am flight was delayed for an hour) arrived in Manila.  We dropped our luggages at the nearby Remington Hotel where we booked 2 rooms for 2 nights.  Then, with Jerry on the wheel, we went to get Matt and Kyle from DLSU.

Because we needed to buy some items on Junnie's wishlist for Toronto, we decided to go to Greenhills.  And for some reason, we chose to eat at Luk Yuen.  Chinese food is always a favorite anyway...

At Greenhills, we were unable to find the Raptors jersey that Junnie wanted, but Ma and Pa ended up buying a few shirts.  We tried looking around the stalls and I realized the replica bags looked better and very much like their real counterparts now.  If only I were on a hunt for nice and reasonably-priced purses, these were really tempting.  Besides, who would know if it were real or not?  Anyway... 

By 230pm, we went to the church at Newport where the boys and I had our confession while Pa and Ma did heir Stations of the Cross.  I thought this was the highlight of our day... doing the Catholic church Holy Week rites together with the extended family, just as I wanted.

The church was pretty inside.  There were not too many people, and with 2 priests hearing confessions, we were done after an hour.  It was now time to check-in at Remington Hotel.  

The rooms were adjacent and were very spacious. I stayed with Pa and Ma while the boys stayed together.  The room had 2 queen beds  each so there was plenty of space for everyone.  Breakfast for two came with each room too.  The P3700/night was a good deal in my book and the total P15k+ we paid was money well-spent for this 2-days/2-nights staycation with Pa and Ma.  I should give this hotel a positive review at Tripadvisor soon.

With plenty of time before I was to join my high school friends for after-dinner "date", the extended family stopped by SM Aura first to show Ma and Pa around and to eventually have an early dinner of Pepper Lunch Express at their foodcourt.

It was my second time to be at the Aura and like the first, I was still imlpressed by the un-SM look. Hehe.  It actually looked more like a posh version of Ayala mall.  I normally wouldn't eat at foodcourts but theirs was clean, pretty and not crowded at all... My kind of mall is the one with very little shoppers.  LOL

Dinner time with the extended family was very pleasant.  I loved that Pa and Ma enjoyed the whole day's itinerary even if it was not planned at all.  This is how days spent with them should be... stress-free. :)

It's always lovely touching base with grade school batchmates


Apr 10, 2014

And that red couch looks really nice for a photo op


A little special treat


Defying gravity... Our older sons back in 2010 in a zoo in SG #tbt


The son "liked" it on my IG account with a comment saying "LOL. We will repeat this Ma 😜".  I replied "yup! plus more stunts pa." 

Missing the boys who are still in Manila for their finals week...

See you in a few days Matt and Kyle!

Apr 7, 2014

His "borrowed" office for this morning...


Because of the company's work-from-home set-up in Cebu, hubby does his work practically anywhere.  Most of the time when he is not traveling, he is working at home.  In fact, he has claimed the boys' room as his office.  The sons are away to college anyway.  At other times, he would be at a coffeeshop or at his sisters' restos whenever our youngest son and I have our own appointments/errands in the mall.  Then we would just meet up for snacks, lunch or dinner.

This morning, we accompanied our son to his swim class at the club.  Courtesy of my sis-in-law's membership, we could stay and enjoy the peace and quiet by the pool at La Veranda.  Food is okay and reasonably priced too.

As hubby and I enjoyed a good and filling brunch, I happily made a mental picture of the moment. The sun was out.  There was a slight breeze.  The only sounds we could hear were from the chirping birds, the rhythmic splashing of Jake's legs against the water and the Level 42 music in the background...