Of Jade & Amber

This gallery contains 56 photos.

A trip through the northern Philippine province of Zambales with my closest friends – a 3-day trip which feels like a week! No electricity, internet, or mobile signal. This is the perfect getaway from urban life, from the stress of work, and toxic people! Set-up your tent, bask under the sun, conquer the mountains nearby, swim with the colorful fishes, start a fire, lie under the stars and talk about everything. The experience is overwhelming!

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A Colorful Stroll II

I felt a drop of sweat roll down my damp forehead  –  covering my waxed hair while I listen to The Beatles’ Across the Universe. I woke up from a short nap. The car was moving fast and it was 1 AM in the morning and we were on our way back to our resting place. All the lights from the windshield looked as if they were being sucked as our vehicle moved gracefully from one colorful light to the other.. Oh, the stroll slightly not taken.

“This is our last night and by the morning, we’ll be leaving home. I truly had real fun.” I squinted while I thought of this inevitable phenomenon as I looked sideways to see my companions snoozing under the light deprived car. Kuya Empoy and I were the only ones still up for the travel.

I recollected again, as what I fancy, of the memories and lights that blinded me. And of the experiences, experiences worth repeating and reiterate the story to someone who’d gladly ponder. It all looked beautiful, the feeling of wonder and spirit of the gay crawling down your nails.

Fourth day: We went to Misamis Occidental Aquamarine Park, inhaled the sea breeze and just had a good time sight-seeing. We loved it!

Started the day by saying goodbye to Auntie Joy, Tito Em, and Ozamiz City. Aw, we did enjoy there. Next trip: a four-hour travel to Polangco, thrilled to see Dapitan and Dipolog. 🙂

Before going anywhere, we said goodbye to Lola Poping. Oh, she went back to Ozamiz. 🙂 But on the brighter side, there was a small festivity at Polangco Municipality. They call it “Family Day”.. oh, nice timing we arrived earlier!

Yii! A night walk around Dipolog and Dapitan! I wanna live here! Kudos to the people of these wonderful cities!

The one we’ve all been waiting for, Gloria’s Fantasyland at Dapitan. We’d like to be kids again! *who wouldn’t?* We acted as immature, laughing kids anyway. Love = Friends = Fun = Time of your life.

The rides and mascots! 😀

No more mascots, this time, kami na talaga ang pipicture-an. :p

Street shopping and sight-seeing at Dipolog, our last day to enjoy it all. 😦

And that concludes our fascinating and memorable (you wouldn’t even believe what we experienced at that short span of time!) six day trip. We hope we can really go back, and just like how Shakespeare’s boasted his plays, the chroniclers narrating their stories.. I simply had my share with it, my own personal story with my parchment and paper shared with the friends that intimately dwell near my heart. I bear the smile whenever that tinge of excitement is recollected, whenever that memory is flashed; that mutely wake me up in the middle of the night. Thank you.

Yet and still, the rest is unwritten..

A Colorful Stroll I

The pricking chill of the cold air settled behind my warm skin, all the coldness enveloping my flesh down to the very core of my bones. Hair electrified by the bed sheets, curled up to create heat flushed down to the gut, and flying imaginations under a blackened view of a closed eye – thoughts flashing, memories recollected, the smiles remembered.

I woke up remembering what happened three days ago.. A trip that spanned from one city to other three and a highland that boasts a beautiful developing park and holds the record for the longest (1,250 m and 1,100 m) and highest (500 m) zipline in Asia.

Let the photos tell you the story of the chronicles of our first three days of the six-day trip:

On our way to Ozamiz City - bus terminal at Iligan and Mukas Port to Ozamiz.

Arrival at Ozamiz City and Chuckie's Lola Poping's humble abode. (Ah! OUR grandma pala.) Best accomodation in the City, way better than any other hotels around. (And we love Tito Em's mouth-watering home-cooked food! Thank you po!)

..prep time before going out..

..and here we go, MALLING.

..and here we go, MALLING.

Arriving at last at Hoyohoy Highland! Cool!

Took the chance to pose and let our "juvenile" attitude pave the floors of the Hoyohoy reception area.

Yii, thrilled for the longest zipline in Asia! And there we go..

And we get the chance to go horseback riding. 🙂

Pictorial at the Hoyohoy Highland Stone Chapel and Park.

Tanggub City Plaza

Tanggub City Plaza

We also stopped at the Christmas Symbol capital of the Philippines – Tanggub City. With lights that illuminated the City Plaza, booths with different concepts of Christmas symbolisms, and a crowd of joyful and lively people that flashed a smile at every corner of the city. A picturesque remembrance of how jovial a small City can be – beauty, happiness, wonder, friendship, and hospitality in one – a night to remember.

The jaw-dropping light booths. Spells W-O-N-D-E-R-F-U-L.

 These photos were just the beginning,

the rest is still unwritten..

Seventh Heaven

I never thought paradiso was just kilometers away from home. The place and the condition was perfect.. perfect happiness. Last May, we’ve gone rafting. And with the same folks, we had had our sequel for jolt-shout-laugh series and the electrifying adventure that our teenage souls look for, the quenching remedy to our unsatisfied thirsts.

Chasing Pavements II: Seventh Heaven at Tinago Falls, Lanao Norte

Getting ready for the 40-minutes trip

“Not yet” exhausted, on our way down the destination.

This photo was taken on the 200th+ steps. Note: There are 365 steps starting from the first to the last.

Testing the water’s temperature :p

Pause. Taking a photo at the mini-bridge..

..at the bamboo boat..

..and here again – this time, the falls as the background. *Kaisa-isang litrato na kumpleto kami*

Abs, where are you? *All-boys photo man toh*

Rested after conquering the 365-steps, we were exhausted at that time. But still, we managed to smile for the camera. Hehe

On our way home when we stopped and took some nice shots along the way.

*I don’t exactly know where this photo was taken, somewhere near NPC I guess?*

Photo edits and the images were all taken from ate Mhy’s cam. First-rate isn’t it? Thanks Kapatid! :p

Shots with my dear adopted sister while we were on our way down.

P.S. Oh! I like how ate Mhy took this shot for me, shows how excited I’ am, taken at the most candid moment – removing my shoes. Haha

More photos of our trip on ate Mhy’s blog, more in these posts: here and here.

We’re planning for the third trip. The destination is yet to be settled, the date will be somewhere between Christmas break and New Year’s. Looking forward to it. Hehe

Chasing Pavements

I can’t take away the fact that friends are, every so often, the ONLY people who can rub out all the grief-stricken memories that happened to pass right in front of you, the eye itself whirling at your very core. This write-up is all for you. I value the pavements we all chased.

               Coldness enveloped my whole body – deep in the blanket under its very warmth. The alarm clock was ringing it’s batteries out and I actively opened my eyes with enthusiasm, this is it, I’ m going with them and leave every bit of my problems here.

               I wore floral patterned polo with blue jeans matched with white Nikes. And packed the things I would probably need and walked out of the house breathing deeply, inhaling the fresh morning breeze, focusing my senses to my nostrils – every speck of the gentle wind, the atmosphere was perfect for a sunrise walk. The mood of free will came over me, peace was all around. I swear I could have smiled to anyone who I crossed with along the way.

               I’ve seen them across the road, one of my friends shouted “At last, he’s here! Let’s go guys.” The 2-hour trip underwent without second thought, without noticing the people around us, we were just happy we saw each other again for at least two years. For the rest of the road trip, we greeted each other, teased one another, laughed at our novelty jokes, remembered the days we used to enjoy, and asked one another how are they now and what keeps them busy. That road trip itself was incomparable and uniquely unpayable, I cannot do this with other people.. only to THEM.

               We headed to the rafting main office, and reserved for the next day. McDonald’s was near, so we ate there without hesitation. We planned our route, and decided where would we go and enjoy the day for the rest of the trip. It was agreed that we first stop at Quantum Fun, the arcade fare at the nearby mall. We played our hearts out, and acted like little kids, it’s a sure fireway to run from all the exhaustion laid down upon us, and mind you, all our coins were spent for tokens! Haha.

               Sweat trickled down our very neck. Our body was flowing with heat and everyone was pleading and kneeling for something cold, something that can replenish the thirst that burned our awfully dry throat. Seeps in empty bottles of softdrinks were everywhere, and at that very moment, we decided to go to Missy Bon Bon, a shop just outside the mall that offers desserts and ICE CREAMS. Yes, ice creams, the one we’re craving for a moment ago. We stayed, we cooled ourselves, and fixed our mind where to go next. We walked and goofed around until this photo studio shone in all its grandeur; we took some shots, posed and messed around, and finally recopied the good ones for remembrance. (The first three photos were taken there.)

               Kilometers away is a known destination among adventure goers, it’s a trip to the city mountain that overlooked the bustling urban in all its glory. But instead of hiking, we called a cab and rode to the top.. Lethargy and laziness was our ultimate best friends at the time, we just thought that hiking can take all our strengths away and not enjoy the view later in the sunset. But everything didn’t came out of what we intended, the supposed-to-be park is closed; it’s under RENNOVATION. What else can be direr than that!? Thankfully we didn’t even walk; it’s a blessing in disguise.

               So, what to do now after all the frustration? We made up our mind that we try horse back riding. We raced our horses to extremities; the lower part of my body was numb – I can’t feel anything, maybe due to the constant thumping motion made by the galloping horse. *It’s not our fault that it’s our first times*. We first stayed calmly professional, but the teenage spirit inside us kicked in. We dared each other for a race, a race worth having.. I thought to myself, “Things like these are the ones you get back on to when you’re old, the things you pass on and tell stories on your children and grandkids, that you rode your heart to the finish line with all your heart with a horse, laughing all your problems with friends and not mind the dirt on your face and the clown you have become, well, they are your friends in the first place.”

               The sun kissed its last rays to the eternal horizon, as if the sky was splashed with orange and yellow tint in a blue canvass. Tangerine skies, oh tangerine light, never say goodbye.

               We ate our dinner with all satisfaction. And eventually ended in a KTV bar, the lobby was surrounded by portraits of known musicians in the industry; from the queen of pop to the king, from RnB divas to rock and roll hall of famers, and from British bands to local celebrities. We sang, we danced, and we had fun. Oh, a night to remember.

              6am. My feet was curling up for heat, the air conditioner must have been turned on to high button. “Wake up guys, we must be at the destination by 8 am.” We were gathered to the vehicle that would take us to the rafting area. 40 to 50 minutes did take us to the rafting zone, and geared us up with the proper suits – yellow helmet and black lifejacket. *They even offered us some arm socks to block against sunlight to avoid sunburn.* We were first oriented on the rules and what-to-do-when-carried-by-the-river-current. But in truth, we didn’t even remembered the “so they say set of laws”.. we were all excited! And there, yellow aeroboats were ready for us, to take us on a 5-hour rafting in whooshes and rapids of white water foam.

               The feeling was intense. Adrenaline splattered all over and I could endorse it to death. ^^

               Taken as a whole, the undertaking of this trip was an accomplishment – I’ve forgotten what my problems are, and just enjoyed life to the fullest. There is so much to do yet. I love my friends, I love the trip! I have weaved a tale worth telling others, we promised at the very moment that years later, we will again meet and enjoy the company of each other again.

What is madness for the many, is logical for the few..