Office Team Building at Aiyanar Resort, Anilao, Batangas

For this year’s team building held last June 25 and 26, our office chose Aiyanar Beach and Dive Resort. Actually, my boss knows the owner of the resort. What she did was she just made a call and voila, we were instantly booked for an overnight stay! Our reservation even came with a 15% discount, sa’n ka pa?

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receiving area

Aiyanar is a charming place tucked in Anilao in the sleepy town of Mabini, Batangas. Despite its classification as a first class municipality, Mabini has retained its serene and relaxing atmosphere. I was happy we pushed thru this outing despite the gloomy weather in Manila. It’s already June, after all, and the rains have started pouring.

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Our Day Tour at Panglao Island Nature Resort and Spa

Part of our short Bohol vacation last March 14 to 19, 2015 was a side trip to the beach. The hubby and I had a day tour at Panglao Island Nature Resort and Spa (PINRS). We initially wanted to stay overnight but our crazy schedule didn’t allow it. It was perfectly okay because after having a small chat with the lifeguard by the pool side, we found out we couldn’t afford an overnight accommodation there, anyway. Rooms start at P10,000 per night including dinner and breakfast. Ouch.

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The day tour rate of PINRS is P550 per head, the P400 of it being consumable. Laking tipid, diba? It’s like we just paid P150 for the entrance and use of amenities, which I have to say, were very satisfactory. Let our pictures show you my point:

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Our First Chinese New Year Experience in Binondo

Yesterday was epic. For the very first time, I thought of going to Binondo on Chinese New Year to check out how this auspicious occasion is celebrated there. Yes, I was just curious. So I dragged the hubby with me and off we braved the traffic and the crowd to experience our first Chinese New Year in the oldest Chinatown in the world having been established in 1594.

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We reached Jones Bridge at past 3:00 p.m., left the car at a safe parking area somewhere there, and walked our way into Chinatown while watching the ongoing parade participated in by various groups. My SIL Albie joined us as soon as we arrived at Lucky Chinatown Mall. She actually went to Divisoria in the morning to shop at 168 Mall with her friends Grace and Angie.

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Weekend Story: Two Christmas Get-Togethers, A Visit to St. Pio Shrine and A Quick Trip to Divisoria

Last weekend was epic. I had lots of fun and laughter and shared stories and happy memories with the people that matter to me. How I wish this long holiday break won’t end so I’d have the luxury of time to meet up with more people!

On Saturday, I attended two Christmas get-togethers — one with my college friends and the other with my former office colleagues. Both were fun and memorable. I really had a great time.

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Post-Christmas Family Date

When I got married, I made it clear with the hubby that I wanted to spend Christmas with my side of the family every year. We actually arrived at a setup that suits the both of us — Christmas at my parents’ place in Naic with my family and New Year at our marital home in Bacoor with his. This way, we get to be with our respective families on these two special occasions. And so far, it’s been working greatly for us. Everybody happy.

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it’s a yellow Christmas for the Mabalay family!

This year, our Christmas traditions as a family (my side) live on. The hubby and I spent Christmas with my family in Naic. We had a family pictorial using our old DSLR (a Canon 1000D) and when the clock struck 12, we partook of our simple Noche Buena feast. There would have been a mini-concert, too, because we have a microphone and an old folding music stand lying around, but unfortunately, the singers in our house (a.k.a. my younger sister Jodie and my dad) weren’t in the mood for it.

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On Christmas Songs and Christmas Caroling

When I was a kid, I would join other kids in our neighbourhood to go Christmas caroling. Our Christmas songs were limited but we would always manage to impress people with our loud and cheery voices. They say children have the sweetest and most soothing voice, and I guess that’s what we had back then that allowed us to make other people happy and enjoy this wonderful Christmas tradition.

With my out-of-tune voice today, I’ve never really had the guts to join any Christmas carol group, or any singing group for that matter. I remember I was once invited by a friend to join her choir group but I declined. One time she even requested me to find her a guitar mini at musicians friend that she could use in singing with her group. She said guitars are your best friend when it comes to Christmas caroling. She was really passionate about singing and I really admire her for that.

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