Happy New Year!

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Two nights before New Year!!! Have a Prosperous New Year, everyone 🙂 

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Merry Christmas!

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This is the second Christmas we’ll be spending without my father, who passed away October last year. We miss him a lot, and the little traditions we made with him about this special day when we were kids.

My dad’s ultimate Christmas dish was arroz caldo. (congee or rice porridge) with lots of local lemon (calamansi), fried garlic, boiled eggs, and pepper. It’s a meal on its own, and it’s the major thing on our Noche Buena list every Christmas when he was still with us.

Today, I had my sister cook it. I couldn’t bring myself to do it because I miss him a lot, and though I know he’s happy where he is right now, I still feel sad.

But like what he also told us, he’ll be happy where he is if we’re also happy 🙂

Before the clock strikes 12, let me wish you all A JOYOUS CHRISTMAS! May all the blessings of this Yuletide Season be upon yours and your family 🙂 Have a great celebration!

Bandida Negra

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My sister Cecil’s cat, Negra, has been meowing and meowing, looking desperately for her. She’s in Manila attending a seminar, and Negra is not used to sleeping without her.

Since three days ago, she’s been sleeping outside the door of her bedroom… and she’s been calling and calling Cecil, not letting me sleep 😦

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Cecil is the only person in the house who can touch her, play with her, cuddle her — she’s so feisty, and that scares even our house-helpers, who are left in charge of her food alternately.

Ay, what to do? What to do?

An Island Named After A Shell…

On the eastern shores of Palawan in Puerto Princesa City, there is a bay that is popular among tourists because of its tropical island destinations — it’s called Honda Bay. The islands are named Luli, Pandan, Cowrie, Starfish, Fraser, and the high-end Dos Palmas Island Resort on Arraceffi.

Of all these, Dos Palmas and Cowrie are my favorites except that the first is rather expensive to visit even if I already live in Puerto Princesa. I was on Cowrie Island with some friends a couple of months ago; let me share some photos I took there 🙂

Here’s our motorized boat going KNOTS to Cowrie Island, Honda Bay below nice blue sky and clouds.

Floating cottage off the waters of Cowrie Island, Honda Bay.

From what I heard, Cowrie Island was named after the egg-shaped marine gastropod mollusc that goes by the same name in the family Cypraeidae. Recently, the owners of the island have developed it into an island resort destination, where families and other guests can relax and enjoy.

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Ask local travel guides on how to get to Honda Bay because they have packaged tours that are perfect if you want to be trouble-free on your trip. If I’m not lazy to drive my car, I use it to go there. If I am, I just take a multicab or a tricycle.

Multicab fare ranges between PhP15.00 to PhP20.00, I have to update this information though because it’s been a long time I rode one going there. Tricycles, on the other hand, that can accommodate about 4 passengers, may charge up to PhP70.00 or PhP100.00 — depending on how many are traveling.

Boats to get to the island destinations charge differently. You may go to the information center to ask how much an island hopping tour costs (4 islands at best). If you’re visiting only 1-2 islands, the charge is also different, maybe even cheaper.

Some islands, like Cowrie, charge entrance fees but if one’s going through a travel agency, this is normally included in the packaged tour along with your meals and snacks for the day.

Once Upon An Old House…

In Iloilo City in October this year, while looking for something to do on our first day, we took a shuttle van to Miag-ao Church, and then the old houses that are popular among travelers in the place. One of these is Casa Mariquit, the house of Maria Javellana-Lopez or Mariquit, wife of former Philippine vice-president Fernando Lopez Sr.

Casa Mariquit in Jaro City, Iloilo Province is the 200-year old house of the late Maria “Mariquit” Javellana-Lopez. Interestingly, it was both a bank and a house as her father was a banker.

The main door to Casa Mariquit shot from the inside with a view of what was once the main gate. The main gate is no longer being used. Visitors to the casa use the gate to parking area.

Wooden stair leading up to the second floor of Casa Mariquit.

Casa Mariquit’s dining hall with walls adorned beautifully by photos of the family in various frame sizes, plates, and others.

Appreciating the dining hall from another point inside.

No, not the living room — just a sala set inside one of the bedrooms. The bedroom has doors leading to the main sala and the dining hall.

Also posted @ Palawenya Photography FB Page https://www.facebook.com/PalawenyaPhotographybyTRFormoso

Food for Thought, Thought for Food

I’m thinking food at 9:46 p.m. — I forgot all about dinner because of the rain. I’m thinking Skybox, where there’s that wonderful Thai Lumpia (Spring Roll) in the photo below.

Fried Spring Roll @ Skybox Good Food, Good Times!

I’m also thinking about that Chop Suey I had at Sunburst in Dumaguete City, when I visited my brother and his family a couple of years ago. The veggies weren’t overcooked, and very crunchy, if you can describe it that way 🙂

Stir fried veggies with chicken and prawns @ Sunburst, Robinson’s, Dumaguete City

Cool and Tall

And finally, I’m also thinking about this tall, cool strawberry concoction and a cake (I forgot its name) from Isla de Kasoy Cafe adjacent Skybox. It’s so good! Thank goodness, I enrolled in a diet program 🙂