West Macdonnell Ranges

Tags

, , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

On our third day in Alice Springs, Kelly, Trin, and I took a day tour of the West Macdonnell Ranges via Emu Run Tours. The day was a combination of nature walks, listening to local folklore, and looking at rocks – a geologist’s delight!

Our first stop was the grave site of John Flynn, considered the father of the Royal Flying Doctors Service. From there we visited Simpsons Gap, Standley Chasm, the Ochre Pits, and Ormiston Gorge. In the afternoon, we went to Glen Helen and lastly, at Ellery Creek Bighole. It was a relief to find out that there are no crocodiles in this part of Australia. Whew.

John Flynn's grave site.

John Flynn’s grave site.

Walking towards Simpsons Gap. This is a dry river bed. There hasn't been enough rain in the past decade for water to flow through it.

Walking towards Simpsons Gap. This is a dry river bed. There hasn’t been enough rain in the past decade for water to flow through it.

Spot the rock wallaby.

Spot the rock wallaby.

Simpsons Gap.

Simpsons Gap.

Girls at the Gap.

Girls at the Gap.

The next set of photos were taken at Standley Chasm. The chasm was named after Ida Standley, the first government-appointed teacher in Central Australia. She taught the white children as well as the Aboriginal children in the area.

All food was included in our package tour and we had our morning tea at Standley Chasm. We got to know a little bit about our fellow tour members and our guide as well. There was a German girl and a French girl in our group. There was also an Italian guy. There were two other Australians in the tour as well. One of them, I had a chance to chat with when we were at the Ochre Pits. He was pleased to know I was of Filipino ethnicity and had talked to me in whatever Tagalog he could remember. He had visited the Philippines a few times either on outreach missions or to visit some Filipino friends.

Some geology for you.

Some geology for you.

Inside the Ochre Pits.

Inside the Ochre Pits.

It was almost noon when we left the pits and we headed next to Ormiston Gorge. That’s where we stopped for lunch and rested a bit. The French girl and the Italian guy went for a quick swim while the rest of us were happy to just sit around and take photos.

All these places that we went to form a part of what is called the Larapinta Trail. Hardcore hikers and campers can walk the entire trail and camp out along the way. I think it takes about 15 days to complete the entire trail. The Finke River flows along this area. The Aboriginal term for parts of this river is called “larapinta”. We learned from our guide, Ryan, that “larapinta” means bitter water. (Locals do attest to the water in the are as having a bitter taste).

Legend has it that a goddess was cradling her baby and as she looked down from the heavens, she dropped the baby to the earth. She came down to get back her baby but it was too late. The child didn’t survive the fall. Heartbroken, she laid down on the ground and cried. Her tears formed what is known as the Larapinta (Finke River). Bitter water.

The goddess that shed the tears which made the Larapinta River. Can you see her?

The goddess that shed the tears which made the Larapinta. Can you see her?

Our second to the last stop for the day was at Glen Helen Gorge. It was a chance to do our own little walks or maybe have a cold drink at the shop. It was nearly 3 in the afternoon and still pretty hot so we didn’t really walk very far from where our minibus was parked.

The last stop for the day – and last chance for a swim – was at Ellery Creek Gorge. When we got there, it was kinda crowded and the water didn’t look that appealing. But since it was very hot, we still went in the water. It did cool us down but I wasn’t game for submerging my head in it. No way. We got back to our motel (Alice Motor Inn) at around 6pm. No night out for us. We were tired! Plus, Kelly and I had to wake up early the following day for our Uluru day tour. At least Trin got to sleep in the next day.

Ellery Creek Gorge.

Final stop: Ellery Creek Gorge.

Next installment: Uluru/Kata Tjuta (Ayers Rock/Olgas) Day Tour

- Giselle

From Sydney to Alice to Darwin and back (Part 2)

Tags

, , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

And here’s the continuation of the great Australian outback adventure…

Shortly after we crossed the border, we umm…ran out of fuel. Yup, that happened. You gotta admit, it does make for a good story. Epic!

Where the f*ck are we? We were on Barkly Highway, that much we knew but where exactly?!

Where the f*ck are we? We were on Barkly Highway, that much we knew but where exactly?!

It wouldn’t have mattered that much where we were if we had enough fuel to get us to the next petrol station.

And miles to go before we would reach Barkly Homestead.

And miles to go before we would reach Barkly Homestead – around 70km, thereabouts.

Trin was at the wheel and she just had enough time to steer the caravan towards the side of the road before we completely ran out of fuel. There were no street lights and we were in the middle of nowhere.

And so we waited for kind souls to help us out.

And so we waited for kind souls to help us out. Serial killers and hoodlums need not stop!

Just as the last of the light faded, we flagged down a car going in the opposite direction. Father and son stopped but unfortunately, they couldn’t help us. They assured us that there would be trucks or other cars going up and down the highway who’d be willing to either give us a lift to the nearest petrol station or, if they had any, sell us some fuel just enough for us to reach the Barkly Homestead. To pass the time, we laid down in the middle of the road, looked at the stars, ate some food, and talked.

It wasn't all that bad. We had a marvelous view of the night sky without any light pollution.

It wasn’t all that bad. We had a marvelous view of the night sky without any light pollution. There were hardly any other vehicles going up and down the highway that we were able to lie down in the middle of the road.

After nearly two hours, finally, a car! We waved frantically in the middle of the road and moved to the side when it got closer. The vehicle stopped and there was an Aboriginal family crammed into a small white sedan. Obviously, they couldn’t give any of us a lift as there was no more space so we asked if they had any fuel they could spare. Unfortunately, they didn’t but the driver said that his friend, Neville, was in a ute and would be passing our way some time soon. Apparently, he had a drum or two of fuel which he would likely be able to spare. Before they drove off, the man advised us not to stand in the middle of the road. We asked him why? He said, “Neville’s brakes don’t work.” Okaaaay…

And so we waited and waited and waited some more. Then we heard it – Neville’s ute! Hurray! We were saved! He gave us fuel enough to take us to Barkly Homestead (we hoped!) and in exchange, we gave him and his family our spare 5-gallon drinking water and $50 for the fuel and some of Trin’s cigars. Before they drove off, he said that if we passed them on the highway, we should overtake them. That way, if we run out of fuel again, they’d be able to stop and help us out again. This time, I drove. And wouldn’t you know it, I did overtake Neville and his family and I managed to drive up to the service station fuel pump at Barkly Homestead just as the caravan drank up the very last drop of our fuel. Whew.

A word of advise to anyone wanting to do this leg of the trip: Fuel up as often as you can!

At the Homestead, we hooked up our caravan to power and were able to have a nice shower at the caravan park. I took charge of breakfast and the first driving shift. We were up by 6am ready for another day of driving.

Our new friend. He smelled the bacon I cooked for breakfast.

Our new friend. He smelled the ham (or was it bacon?) I cooked for breakfast.

There were hardly any other caravan that day.

There were hardly any other caravans that day.

Our first interesting stop that day was Devil’s Marbles. The Aboriginal people say this is a sacred female place.

We would have stayed there longer but we had to be on our way. We stopped at the Wauchope Hotel to stretch our legs and fuel up. Beck and I found some interesting rusty cars to photograph. Little did we know that inside the hotel, Kelly and Trin had been asked by a backpacker if he could hitch a ride with us to Alice Springs. The bar keep told Kelly and Trin that he seemed harmless enough and so we let him ride with us.

Rusty cars on a dusty road.

Rusty cars on a dusty road.

Now where would I get a tetanus shot if I cut myself?

Now where would I get a tetanus shot if I cut myself?

Finally, Stuart Highway. We're nearly there. :)

Finally, Stuart Highway. We’re nearly there. :)

Wycliffe Well, the UFO capital of Australia.

Wycliffe Well, the UFO capital of Australia.

(As an X-Files fan, I think I ought to stop at the town of Wycliffe Well next time! Ma, are you coming with me?)

What a wonderful sign. That means no speed limit!

What a wonderful sign. That means no speed limit!

IMG_9891

Rainbow in the distance! :)

We arrived in Alice Springs (February 13) late in the afternoon. We went to the town center to check out the Information Centre and this is also where we said farewell to our hitch-hiker and made our way to the nearest caravan park.

With Oliver, the hitch-hiker.

With Oliver, the hitch-hiker.

From Alice Springs it’s still a good 6.5-hour drive to Uluru. Could we have driven there ourselves? We wouldn’t have had enough time unless we stayed over night in Uluru but Beck had to fly back to Newcastle on the 15th. It would have been a shame for her to have come all this way and miss out on seeing Uluru. She had given up hope, actually, but I wasn’t having any of that. No way. We were going to get her to Uluru one way or the other! So over dinner, I was madly calling tour companies that would accommodate at least two persons the following day. It would have been nice if all four of us had gone together but since we had to return our little Britz caravan on the 14th, Kelly and I stayed behind and I booked Beck and Trin on the day trip to Uluru. The best thing about that last-minute organisation was that I stumbled on the best little tour company in Alice Springs. If you ever find yourself in Alice Springs, book your tours with Emu Run Tours. They are simply the best!

While Beck and Trin were enjoying Uluru on Valentine’s Day, Kelly and I were in Alice Springs cleaning out our little caravan before we dropped it off at the Britz garage. We had enough time in the afternoon to explore the town and have a little V-Day celebration…with a bowl of chips and two sodas.

Single ladies are never lonely on Valentine's Day so long as there are chips.

Who needs a date on Valentine’s Day when you’ve got chips?

We visited the Mbantua Art Gallery and Cultural Museum and had a lengthy conversation with the General Manager, Tim. He was so nice and accommodating.

Just before the sun started to set, Kelly and I went up to the Anzac Hill Lookout.

Another rainbow!

Another rainbow!

How much further up?

How much further up?

Anzac Hill Lookout.

Anzac Hill Lookout.

The town of Alice Springs below.

The town of Alice Springs below.

Next installment: West Macdonnell Ranges

- Giselle

From Sydney to Alice to Darwin and back (Part 1)

Tags

, , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Last February, I embarked on an epic adventure to the great Australian outback with three of my work friends. We hadn’t been called out in the field for a while and were getting a little bit bored just sitting around doing nothing. This was probably the quickest planned trip ever. (Well, not that I helped in the planning. This time I just turned up.)

What a road trip it was indeed. The girls left from Newcastle on the 5th of February and drove all the way to Brisbane and then to Cairns. I flew in the Cairns on the morning of the 11th and we started our journey to Alice Springs. We stopped at various towns to refuel, check local sites, and sleep. Once at Alice Springs, Trin and Beck did the Uluru tour on the 14th while Kelly and I did it on the 16th. Because of work, Beck had to fly out of Alice Springs to Sydney on the 15th. As for me, I had a flight back to Sydney on the 19th and so couldn’t continue on the road trip from Alice Springs to Darwin. Instead, I took a plane to Darwin and enjoyed a day and a half of touring by myself. Trin and Kelly eventually made it to Darwin on the 20th (I think) and stayed there until their flight back to Sydney on the 23rd.

Here’s our road trip in photos:

Catching up with the girls. This is the inside of our Britz caravan.

Catching up with the girls. This is the inside of our Britz caravan.

Their epic adventure started in Newcastle and ended in Darwin. My road trip leg started from Cairns and ended in Alice Springs. I took the plane from Alice Springs to Darwin and then from Darwin to Sydney.

Their epic adventure started in Newcastle and ended in Darwin. My road trip leg started from Cairns and ended in Alice Springs. I took the plane from Alice Springs to Darwin and then flew back to Sydney.

Our caravan.

Our caravan. This was just after the girls picked me up from Cairns Airport. We made a pit stop at a servo to fuel up and have something to eat.

Would have loved to stroll down to the wharf but it was raining in Cairns. :(

Would have loved to stroll down to the wharf but it was raining in Cairns. :(

Mario sits shotgun while Beck and I wait for Trin and Kelly to buy us some crab burgers.

Mario sits shotgun while Beck and I wait for Trin and Kelly to buy us some crab burgers.

Oops, I didn't even capture the sign we were pointing at. Here it is below...

Oops, I didn’t even capture the sign we were pointing at. Here it is…

Only 1,155 km to go!

Only 1,155 km to go!

And so we drove, hoping we wouldn't be caught in any brewing storm.

And so we drove, hoping we wouldn’t be caught in any storm.

Will you look at that! 130 speed limit. Woohoo!

Will you look at that! 130 speed limit. Woohoo!

1. Last town before we cross to the Northern Territory.  2. Look at that weird roo with horns!  3. Mario sits atop an ant hill. 4. Me and the Britz.

1. Last town before we cross to the Northern Territory.
2. Spot Mario on the weird roo with horns.
3. Mario sits atop an ant hill.
4. Me and the Britz.

We missed the boundary marker between Queensland and the Northern Territory.

We missed the boundary marker between Queensland and the Northern Territory.

Wide open road.

Wide open road.

We made it to the Northern Territory, yay! But we still had a ways to go. Next time, I’ll tell you what happens after we cross the border. Hope you enjoyed some of the photos and I promise to continue this story soon!

- Giselle

There Was a Boy

Tags

, , ,

Many years ago (how many? Try B.C.  As in Before Consciousness), think High School (definitely B.C.), I was this girl with a headband neatly fixed on her hair. My uniform was this finely pressed blue jumper over a long-sleeved white shirt with a little blue ribbon on the collar. Match the ensemble with white knee-high socks, shiny black shoes, and a white hanky on the pocket, and I was good to go.

That was me everyday for four years way back in High School. Well, save for those first Fridays of every month when we had to wear the all white gala dress.

Anyway, back to my reminiscing. Since I was a nerd (oops, still am!) and loved going to school (I think it was the routine that appealed to me back then), I was always punctual. More than punctual, truth be told. There were days when I would stand in front of the school gate, waiting for the guards to welcome the early birds, I mean, early bird (it was usually just me) at 545 am. Imagine that.

Now being an early bird had its perks. For one, I could go straight to the classroom, turn all the lights on, open all the windows to let the fresh air in, and basically just settle in while I have the room all to myself. I could sing and talk to myself out loud and I wouldn’t be bothered.

For two, I always got first dibs on being first in line during flag ceremony. I knoooooow. Nerd alert, right? But hear me out. Being first in line was actually quite nice. While that spot was usually reserved for the littlest girls in class (and I was pretty much average in height compared to my other classmates), I valued that prime piece of asphalt, yes (sorry, dear Hobbit classmates). You see, I didn’t really like it that much when I had to stand behind somebody else while something, anything, was going on in front, even if it was just a bunch of tweens and teens singing the Lupang Hinirang, or swearing the Panatang Makabayan, or heck, praying the entire rosary.  And I’ve always hated standing in line amidst giggling classmates I could see right in front of me, so the front spot (where my view was limited to the flag pole, the prayer leader, and the nuns) was always my first choice. And I’ve always liked having a good, clear view of anything.  . .

And that view included this boy who belonged to the other section.

He was in my year (3rd) and I remember how he would also be the first in line during the morning ceremonies. He also wasn’t the smallest in his class; I remember he was at least 5 or 6 inches taller than I was (and that’s just my guesstimate, from those daily, err. . . observations. I told you, being first had its perks).  And like all the boys in my school, he had on a white shirt with the nametag sewn on the upper left breast pocket, black trousers, white socks, and black shoes. Typical.  But what I discerned during those morning reflections was how he made the uniform look really good.  He looked, well, very nice in them.  You know how a guy, any guy, looks good in a navy Full Dress White?  Looking all starchy and proper and every bit a gentleman? Yep. That’s how he looked like to me back in the day.

He looked very. . . neat.

What can I say? The high school version of me had very limited vocabulary when it came to the opposite sex. To say that some boy was “neat” was like the ultimate word I could use without going overboard, and later on feel guilty about having contaminated thoughts, heaven forbid!

Anyway, back to the neat boy.

I remember enjoying those morning ceremonies, simply because he was there, to my left (the lines were girls and boys, alternately, per section), looking all, well. . . .you guessed it—neat. His pants were always well pressed. I don’t remember seeing any wrinkle in ‘em. His shirt was always spotless white. No Ovaltine stains. No Colgate marks. No Rexona telltale signs anywhere.  His hair was always well combed, with a hint of gel perhaps to keep it in its ideal form. He had his Trapper Keeper on his right arm, no loose leaf or any annoying scrap of paper peeking out. He was just . . . .perfect.

The thing was, despite those many days, and weeks, and months of standing practically side by side with Mr. Neat, I never really got to talk to him. No surprises there. Come on. This is me we’re talking about. I was practically a champion when it came to the sport of not talking, under the special category, Most Tight-Lipped Student Ever to Walk the Hallowed Halls of my high school.  Even up to now, my sisters would make fun of those Olympic years of Frankie; they’d imitate me and regale other people with stories about how I would often be seen alone at the library steps (if not inside the actual library), or just killing time in some forsaken corner of the campus, or how I wouldn’t even acknowledge them, my very own sisters, every time we pass each other along the school corridors. Yep. I was that weird. I lived in my own world.

But that neat boy, though. He took my mind off of my world for 15 minutes every morning, every day.

But like I said, nothing came out of it. We never talked. He never even glanced my way. I mean, who would? But I remember me stealing glances at him from the corner of my eye. That was all I could do.

That was all.

Fast forward to many decades later. Here I am, a recovering wallflower (or maybe a closet wallflower, I can’t really say for sure), suddenly attacked by a memory from ages ago. A memory that involved some well-groomed guy who stood in line next to me every morning of our junior year. The tragedy is, I can’t even remember his name.

His face I can still recall, though. But what of that? There’s no face recognition app on Facebook (is there?). And even if there was, would I have an iota of courage to look him up, this time after many, many years of nothing?  All we really had was that 3 feet of space between us. That and just air. Nothing more.

Besides, would I risk the memory for a possible disappointment?  I recall the famous last line from Dead Stars by Paz Marquez Benitez, “So all these years—since when?—he had been seeing the light of dead stars, long extinguished, yet seemingly still in their appointed places in the heavens.”

Would I really want to be disillusioned upon realizing that the memory, my memory, could just be a blown-up version of a dreary reality? That it was all just a product of my hyperactive imagination (hormones)? That perhaps everything was just the result of not having too much sleep (imagine waking up at 5 am every freaking day), or a hurried breakfast, or a stiff white collar choking my neck on a daily basis, or heck, a very strict Catholic school? All of the above?

None of the above?

What if the memory was genuine? What if it was real as the headband I used to wear on my noggin, carefully pulling my hair back from my face, allowing me to see my daily subject of scrutiny so much better than without it?

What if reality catches up with the memory?

Ah, here we go again. I don’t like playing this game.  I don’t even know what triggered this trip down ancient times. I have full consciousness now (A.C. as in After Consciousness), I think. I’m way over high school. I swear those years were my own version of hell and I’d really rather not linger on those adolescent recollections.

I just wonder why oh why I’m suddenly reminded, tonight of all nights, the most ordinary of nights, of the boy I used to stand in line with.

Belated Birthday Bulaga, Blossom!

Tags

, , , , ,

I’ve broken tradition for a very good reason. For the past few years, I’ve always written a birthday entry for Frankie on her birthday, February 27. Last Thursday, this page was quiet. I didn’t want to ruin the surprise.

A day before her birthday, I asked Frankie over at Plurk if she had any classes on her special day and if she had any breaks in between so that I could call her. Hey, I did call her! What I failed to mention was that I was going to call her from outside the La Salle Taft gate. :p

I hope you were pleasantly surprised, Blossom!

February girls. (Photo by Frankie)

February girls. (Photo by Frankie)

Miracle and Magic

Tags

, , , , ,

So I woke up this morning, sleepy and all, after spending the evening and the early hours of the morning watching the Sochi Olympics. Why must I wake up so early when there’s no school on a Friday, today of all Fridays? Well, all faculty must attend the meeting/assembly organized by the University to address some of the legal issues concerning the K-12 program. So go I must to the 9 am meeting.

I left the house a little after 730 pm, a tad worried that I might be late. I arrived at the van terminal around 740-ish, and the line was already quite long. But no worries; there were several vans on standby, simply waiting for the current vehicle to move. I got on the 2nd van in line, yes, and not only that, I even got to sit in front, right by the door, my favorite spot. I mean, who wants to sit in the farthest end of a van especially when you know you’re getting off at the very first stop, ahead of the other passengers? So that was a nice start to this Friday.

And then, the LRT station. The worry intensified a bit. It was a few minutes after 8 am, still within the rush hour, still within the dreaded 630-930 am crowd control window being implemented by the LRTA management. So I hurried up to the terminal, and yes, there were lines. But wait, only 4 lines? And it’s not even 20 passengers per line? You know what happened?

Strike two, for Luck.

Would you believe I didn’t even have to wait for 15 minutes before I was able to go up the actual platform and board the train? I was even right in front of the door when it opened for us passengers. Amazing! Long story short, I got to school 10 minutes before the start of the assembly, giving me plenty of time to powder my nose and check some stuff at the faculty office.

And then the meeting. I thought, I really thought it was going to be boring. Yes, I know that the meeting is important for it addresses the concerns of all faculty members, but still, on a Friday? At 9 am? Thankfully, the speakers for the day, both lawyers, were not your typical stuffy attorneys out to bore the living daylights out of any human being. They were, in fact, very engaging. And funny, too! I must say I learned a lot this morning, thanks to those speakers.

After about 2 hours, I started having hunger pangs. And if you know me, you know that those pangs shouldn’t be ignored lest 3rd World War happens as a consequence. So I left the auditorium to grab something to eat, but then I passed by some stalls (it is University Week after all, so with all the stalls and booths selling all imaginable things, not to mention the people starting to mill about,  not to mention the moolah that would be spent on senseless things, I wasn’t too keen on really buying anything) and saw this shirt:

Image

The game is on!

Good purchase, don’t you think? Irene Adler would be so envious.

And then I decided to go to the mall to have a decent lunch. None of the cafeteria food, no, not for me, not today.

What to eat? Where to eat? Ah. Arya’s. Persian food on a Friday sounds fabulous.

ImageImage

The waiter asked, “table for one, ma’am?” To which I simply replied with, “oh yes.”

I had the spicy beef biryani, with a huge plate of biryani rice, and Turkish coffee.

Image

Would you believe I actually finished that entire plate of rice? All of it! Not a grain was left on the plate. Not one! I’m the rice monster I tell ya.

Image

Hello, Sultan! Nice hat.

After that lovely lunch, I decided to walk around and do some shopping (walk those carbs, yeah!). I bought some BluRay discs, some organic meds, and did more window shopping as a form of exercise (I think it was my wallet that got thinner in the process, not me).

After my exercise of choice, I went to the spa to get a much-needed massage. Sorry, no photos (well of course, duh).

Now what to do after the massage?, I asked myself. Thing was, I had to go back to the University because I decided to return to that one booth that was selling perfumes. Almost everything was on sale. And my sister wanted a bottle of Lancome’s Miracle so, okay. That seals it. Back to the University, I must go. A bit agitated, truth be told, because the guy told me earlier there was only 1 box of Miracle left.

So then, there I was, at the same stall, asking for the bottle of Miracle. It’s still there. 2,500 pesos. Not for one bottle, no. For that amount I get 2 -100 ml bottles, one Miracle, and the other So Magic!, also by Lancome.

Image

Smells Riddikulus to me.

2,500 pesos for 2 100 ml bottles. That’s not a pocket-sized bottle, folks. That’s not a travel size perfume. That’s a huge-ass bottle. And that’s a steal!

Happy with my purchase, I left immediately, not wanting to cause further damage to my already anorexic wallet.

Almost 4 pm, LRT station. It’s going to be the start of rush hour once again. Brace yourself, Frankie.

You know what happened as I waited for the train to arrive?

This.

Image

Miracle? So magic, hahahaha!

Yes, ladies and gentlemen. This was my ride this afternoon.

Aaaaahmazing.

And because there were only a few people onboard the train by the time I got to my stop, I didn’t even have to queue at the turnstile. First in line, baby!

So I went to the jeepney terminal, my last ride for home. Bought my fare, and went straight to the barker to give my chip for my ride. The barker told me upon receiving my token, “isa na lang” (one more passenger).

Normally I wouldn’t go for it; I knew that being the last passenger meant having to squeeze your way between two already-seated passengers, all acrobatic moves known to man mandatory. But then I decided to go for it. I didn’t want to wait for more passengers to fill the next jeepney so Nadia Comăneci my way I went for it.

But then the barker told me belatedly, “dun po sa harapan” (the vacant seat is in front).

Wow.

Again, my favorite spot. It’s not even the seat between the driver and another passenger. I got the one next to the door with the sliding windows.

Again, say it with me.

Aaaaahmazing.

I tell you, the day’s been filled with so many amazing things I’ve practically lost count of ‘em all. What’s with all these lovely, splendid things? I felt like singing, “but somewhere in my youth, or childhood. I must have done something good.”

What is the universe trying to tell me?

Perhaps it’s trying to tell me that blessings are all over the place, if one knows how to recognize them.

Sure, I do get off days, like any other person. But that’s part of the deal, yeah? But good days do happen too, and when they do, I make sure to grab it by the proverbial horns and never let go until I’m fully satisfied.

Thing is, I’ve always known it, that I’m one lucky lady. So all these things that have happened today, come to think of it, didn’t really surprise me at all. In a way, I sort of expected it. Why?

Just because.

I am glad that I get to do things, and buy stuff, and enjoy myself, and learn new ideas, and do honest work, and meet new people, and just have fun along the way. But in the end it’s not so much all of that, but the realization that I am truly blessed that makes me feel luckier. I’m sure many others are also equally, if not more blessed than I am, but they don’t know it. That’s a tragedy if you ask me.

That I recognize my own brand of luck, feel my own brand of blessings, realize my own brand of miracle and magic in so many forms and shapes—-for all these I am truly, wonderfully grateful.

Thank you.

And with that, here’s me throwing a bit more magic and miracle to come your way. For without a doubt, magic shared is magic multiplied.

Blessed be.

Giselle’s Special Day!

While I have been out of the loop for quite sometime now (I’m blaming my day job for everything), I must show myself again because I’m not one to break tradition. I’ve greeted her on this page consistently since the first year of this Fatespensieve , and I won’t stop now.

Happy birthday, dear Giselle!

Birthday girl

Birthday girl

I’m sure you’ve planned something great and truly memorable for this day, your special day. But even if you haven’t, even if it’s just a quiet alone time in your crib, or some library, or at the grocery, or the spa, I’m sure you will find ways to make it special. After all, it’s not really what you do but how you do it, right? And the meanings we get from all the things we love to do.

Me and Gissy at the Sherlock Holmes Museum

Me and Gissy at the Sherlock Holmes Museum

To the woman who continues to inspire me to enjoy life to the darn fullest (you should see her celebrate life, I tell you. Nakaka inggit!); the woman who always sees the goodness in people (even if she can eat you alive for breakfast if you cross her, so don’t even think about doing it); the one true Lady Galadriel and Gryffindor who exhibit courage and elegance every day.  Happy, happy birthday, G! Let’s continue laughing (at life and at people, hahahaha!)! Cheers!!!

Funny girl

Funny girl

The pursuit of the perfect tan and my lost swimmers

Tags

, , , , , , , ,

I love summer.

I <3 summer!

I like summer no matter what but I especially love it when  I’m on field break. Who wants to be out on a drill rig in 30 to 40 degrees (Celcius) weather anyway? Sydney’s had absolutely fabulous beach weather this summer and I’m taking every opportunity to get my tan on. Yep, a morena like me still needs to even out my colour. And boy, do I love my brown skin. A cute British boy once told me, “You’re the only Filipina I know who loves her skin colour. Everyone in the Philippines wants to be whiter. I love that you love your colour because your colour is beautiful.”

[Excuse me while I  search for my panties.]

Panties away!

Panties away!

So anyway, today I went to Long Reef Beach for a bit of me-time and baking. As usual, I took some photos and a few videos. Sometimes I wonder why I do shit stuff like this. Maybe I’m just bored.

On my way to the beach!

On my way to the beach!

Panoramic view!

View from the top.

And here be my two videos.

Have I already tasted my piece of one sweet love?

And we gonna let it burn, burn, burn, burn.

On my way home, I changed clothes next to my car and I placed my wet swimmers and my blue sarong on top of my car and drove off. It must have been a full 7 minutes of driving before I saw something in my rearview mirror fly out onto Pittwater Road. Gasp! My sarong and bathing suit! I debated for a long time whether to turn around and get it back but Pittwater Road is a pretty busy main road and I thought that maybe by the time I got back they won’t even be there anymore. However, after about 10 minutes of internal deliberation, I turned back. It took another 10 minutes to get to the exact spot where I left my articles of clothing.


Check out that tiny thing in the green box.

When there came a gap in the flow of traffic, I casually walked across the road, picked up my belongings and sauntered back to my car. I swear, the hilarious situations I get myself into! Did I ever tell you about that time I disembarked from a plane and walked across the Sydney domestic airport barefoot because my flip flops broke? That was only last January 9.

Ooh, I discovered a cool feature on my HTC One. I can do sequence shots! This morning, I got Marissa to take my photo/s and I combined them to make this:

Jump - Walk - Wheee!

Jump – Walk – Wheee!

You might be seeing more sequence shots in future blog posts. ;)

The first few weeks of 2014

Tags

, , , , , , , ,

A bit late, but whatever. HAPPY NEW YEAR!

It’s another year for new adventures and since 2013 was my rest year from traveling, I think I need to do a major trip this year. There are so many places to see and my head is just spinning! But before I can narrow down my choices, lemme regale you with how I spent the first few days of 2014.

As most of you might have known, I was working all through the Christmas break. It’s not as bad as you think, actually. What made working over the break awesome was that I got to work with my best bud, Kelly. Finally, we were on shift together! And boy, did we have a lot of fun! If you’re one of my Instagram followers, then you’d know exactly what we were getting up to. ;)

Here’s a quick recap in – you guessed it – pictures!

Ringing in the New Year at work with Kelly.

Ringing in the New Year at work with Kelly.

We even had sparklers!

We even had sparklers!

We went to the gym almost every day. ;-)

We went to the gym almost every day. ;-)

I drew silly stuff on our white board.

I drew silly stuff on our white board.

But clearly, Kelly is the better artist.

But clearly, Kelly is the better artist.

One time, we hung out in the back of our work ute and watched the sunrise.

One time, we hung out in the back of our work ute and watched the sunrise.

Then I had to go home. I took leave so that I could...

Best crew ever! There’s Mac, Elih, me, and Kelly. This is the take two photo because Elih said I had shaky hands! –> #shakyphoto. I took this photo the day before Elih and I got swapped out. I took leave so that I could…

...watch Paramore with Adria. I could say she's my best-kept secret. Meet my teenage daughter, Adria! I'm joking. She's not mine. She belongs to Jogin and Ferdie. But if I had a daughter, I'd like her to be like Adria.

…watch Paramore with Adria. I could say she’s my best-kept secret. Meet my teenage daughter! I’m kidding. She’s not mine. She belongs to Jogin and Ferdie. But if I had a daughter, I’d like her to be like Adria.

Farewell dinner for Diana who's relocating to Melbourne. It's the Dionisios and "cousins" Giselle Amanda and Oliver James.

Farewell dinner for Diana who’s relocating to Melbourne. It’s the Dionisios and “cousins” Giselle Amanda and Oliver James.

Last Sunday, I bumped ito these two lovely ladies. They're my choir mates, Carol and Rhea. :)

Last Sunday, I bumped ito these two lovely ladies. They’re my choir mates, Carol and Rhea. :)

Choir came over last night and we had an impromptu movie date. We watched "Frozen".

Choir came over last night and we had an impromptu movie date. We watched “Frozen”.

And before I knew it, half of January is over. Wow. Come on, 2014, be awesome!

2013 in review

Because the Fates are too busy living their lives, we’ll let our friends here at WordPress to do the summarizing of 2013 for us.

Much gratitude to you, our dear readers, for making 2013 one for the books. Lots of memories were made, and you were there with us as we attempted to put words along with the memories.

Happy New Year!

—————————————–

The WordPress.com stats helper monkeys prepared a 2013 annual report for this blog.

Here’s an excerpt:

A New York City subway train holds 1,200 people. This blog was viewed about 5,500 times in 2013. If it were a NYC subway train, it would take about 5 trips to carry that many people.

Click here to see the complete report.

Follow

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 85 other followers