How I Spent My Summer

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While the other half of the world is busy preparing for their trip the beach or to their vacation, we here have already experienced the warmth of the sun and are now preparing for the coming rainy season. Days of traffic, getting stranded, crossing through floods and feeling the chilly wind are yet to come. But before that comes, let me look back at the summer days that passed.

My summer is much memorable this time than last year. Thanks to new places that I visited and first time experiences that I never thought I’d be doing. Here are the things I did this summer, ranked from least to most memorable experiences.

Laiya, Batangas Trip. It was only half a day visit to the nearest and most accessible beach from the metro. After experiencing few issues about our incoming company summer outing, we thought of visiting the place for an ocular. Nothing much happened in the place but it was memorable because we were only four. It was the first time that I enjoyed the company of only four people by spending hours of sleeping in the bus, ranting about things, long walk on the beach and of course swimming.

Laiya, Batangas 000035 000038

Tagaytay Trip/ Taal Hike. Believe it or not I haven’t been to Tagaytay until the moment my office mates and I went there last March. It was an overnight trip. The night was spent eating at Rotonda, where a lot of nice restaurants line up. Tagaytay was really cold especially that night because we ate on the roof with plants and dim lights to make for a cozy ambiance. The next morning, some of the group went to Tagaytay. Again, this was my first time going there and it is a lot more fun to be able to climb the famous volcano along with my friends. It was a dusty trip up, not to mention smelly because of the horse dung lying around the path. We climbed crater for only 30-40 minutes. It was the hot weather that made the trip difficult so if ever you want to visit the place, go there early too avoid the harsh heat of the sun. The crater was deep green, much like the pictures I’ve seen in the postcards. But seeing Taal volcano personally is an experience to remember. Of course we won’t let the opportunity to take some crazy shots pass by.

IMG_0944 IMG_0929 IMG_0872Photos by Jane Galvez

Camp-tipolo Team Building. After a few issues on our departmental summer outing we end up taking a team building venue in Antipolo. Camptipolo is like an adventure camp that caters companies and groups that would like to establish camaraderie and cooperation while having some friendly competition with each other. After dividing the group to two, we eventually compete at obstacles like Tarzan jump, tight rope and balancing log. The first activity did not show mercy on my competitive inner spirit. I fail to cross the water and feel on my back. I was eager not to dive into the water again that is why I did my best in the next few activities and successfully walk through the tight rope and balancing log. In the end, our team did not win, but I took the male MVP awards which was shocking. It was a tiring day but it was a memory filled with laughter, trash talking and joy- definitely a memory to remember.

IMG_3965 IMG_3757 IMG_3572Photos by Jane Galvez

Peace Mural Painting. I love art but never did I try applying my interest in doing public arts. That is why joining the Peace Mural Painting by IVolunteer is an experience to remember. Actually, my friend and I did not paint that much wall, but I was satisfied with what we did. If only it did not rain, I might have stayed there until late afternoon. It is really nice using your creativity to help in the beautification of Manila, and of course being part of the creation of the longest mural painting. Hope I can get back there next time.

IMG_4963 IMG_4895Photos by Jane Galvez

Pandin Lake. It was Jane’s birthday and she invited us to visit Pandin Lake in Laguna. FYI San Pablo Laguna, holds seven lakes around the municipality and Pandin is one of them. It was a difficult way up before reaching the lake. The foods we are carrying, our bags and the pouring rain made it more difficult. We took a raft going to the far end of the lake, while moving the raft, we were already eating and it was raining so hard. It was actually nice that it rained because the lake gives a nice ambiance when it is raining. The raft is covered with plastic on the roof so were were pretty much dry while eating the delicious food prepared by Jane’s parents. The lake is more that 180 feet so even though you are a good swimmer, they require you too wear a life vest before jumping in to the water. The rain did made this swimming experience very nice. It gives a nostalgic feel back when I was a kid, playing and taking a bath on the rain. This time I have a deep pool of water instead of puddle of water on the street. Jane is truly a good host, we also went to their house last December and we had fun too.

IMG_4674 IMG_4724 IMG_4760Photos by Jane Galvez

Panagbenga Festival. This opened my summer 2013. Happening every February of the year, Panagbenga Festival is visited by thousands of people to celebrate the annual flower festival. I admit I am not a fan of long travels. I get bored easily because I do not sleep so it was really hard for me to stay up for 5-6 hours, while other passengers are all sleeping. It was my first time there and I had the chance to be with my friends and my sister. My ever responsible buddies made a good itinerary so we never missed visiting good places around Baguio City. It is filled with visits in good restaurants and the food there was so good, we cannot resist eating full meals on every restaurant that we visited. The travel home, where our bus broke, almost ruined my memory of this vacation. But still the experience is so fun no to be on this list.

Baguio1 Baguio2 Baguio3Photos by Sarah Sy

Magalawa Outing. Probably the highlight of my summer vacation, a trip to Magalawa Island has been on my list of places-I-want-to-visit since two years ago. And it never disappointed me. Probably thanks to the company of my 17 officemates. The island was situated in the northern tip of Zambales. Yes, it was a long ride but visiting the place is good motivation. We spend our two days there by swimming, chatting, eating, laughing, drinking and during the dull midday, we sleep. We stayed on tents, and bath the rudimentary way- using poso. In conclusion, it was a fun and relaxing vacation and I will truly miss the sea, the sand, the mangroves and the abundant number of starfish.

1 105 73Photos by Billy Borja

It was truly a jam packed summer. It is not surprising why my mom is saying how gala I am. And that I should not complain that I have no money anymore because it is my fault for going somewhere almost every week. Yes, I am broke. Traveling is very expensive but it is so much fun too especially when you are with your friends.

Summer has ended… now let me prepare my boots, my jacket and my umbrella. Rainy season is coming.

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