summer starts here. ☀
crimson resort • march 2012
funny to be placed here despite the numerous villas in the entire resort. #life
you + the beach simply make this true.
✈ 11 memorable firsts in 2011: 3rd - dream passion ☑
i’ve been mentioning for countless times that my happiest place is the beach. i believe i was a mermaid in my past life, i was born with a crabby cancer sign, i had an underwater themed debut, i always celebrate my birthdays in different beaches, it’s an ultimate dream for me to have a beach wedding, and i know that when i die, i would like to have a “waterbed coffin” plus a luau themed funeral. and i am dead serious with that.
last 2004, i saved up my college allowance to take an open water course for scuba diving. a lot of sacrifices had to be made just so i could afford to pay everything on my own. it was a great start, i managed to attend up to the 3rd session or so, until a very very very stupid thing happened - i quit. and to make it worse, i quit because i freshly got involved in a relationship so the “honeymoon” stage simply got in the way. no judgements needed, i know for a fact now how incredibly stupid that decision was, and i swear that kind of blinding love shall never take place again. haha but seriously, i decided not to pursue it because my then partner had a phobia since he drowned as a kid… so i figured scuba diving wasn’t really something we’d end up enjoying together and i knew that it wouldn’t be a priority during out of town breaks. so along with my dream of being a scuba diver, i let that half baked goal die the very same year last 2004.
until one day… around october of 2010, after having long forgotten about that goal, i flew to bellarocca island in marinduque province with a couple of friends and we were able to use the facilities for free. one of them happened to be snorkeling. while my friends were busy doing their stuff, i had this unexplainable desire to snorkel around the entire isolated island. so i lined up alone and approached the beach staff and told them i wanted to snorkel as soon as possible. i was told it had to be at least 4 people, but when i’m desperate for something i move mountains just to get it. in other words, i successfully charmed my way to the instructors till i was allowed to snorkel the whole island with one life guard. and there i was… snorkeling around in the middle of the ocean when it suddenly hit me: “this is so stupid, i can’t see anything from up here. i wonder what’s out there, meaning all the way below”. and from that curiosity, i suddenly found myself having the desire of reviving my goal of learning how to dive. the minute i finished going around the island, i told my friends: “i want to go back to scuba diving. i will learn how to dive again. soon.” ♒
to cut the story short, it was one of my top priorities as i welcomed the year 2011. the first trip i had last year was in our province bohol and it was there when i decided to take an intro dive, after 7 long years of not diving at all, and i have to admit that i freaked out at first. i wasn’t used to it anymore, and the initial feeling was i was gonna run out of breath. but as always, as most diving sessions turn out to be… i learned it perfectly and that intro dive was the clearest sign that i had found a new relationship with the sea. as soon as i got back in manila, i immediately enrolled myself in another open water class and after a few weeks, or rather 7 long years… i was officially a certified open water diver! getting my license was one of the BEST highlights of my year. =Þ
before, i loved the beach because of the experience of planning it, getting there, enjoying the accommodation, the resort facade, the quality of sand, the hypnotizing clear water, and the result of having instant rosy cheeks and fabulous tan lines. but at present, there isn’t any time that i go to any beach without having that strong craving for diving and exploring what’s underneath. i tell this to everyone all the time and i mean ALL the time, the best part about diving is knowing there is a whole new dimension out there… far away from the usual daily routine, so much different from the common things you usually come across with. having to witness different kinds of marine life floating around you is truly God’s wonder, and my favorite part is looking up whenever i’m at the bottom part… and along with the boat’s silhouette plus the tiny rays of sunlight opening, i blissfully say to myself: “woh… this is MY heaven!” ✔
unfortunately none of my close inner circle dives, so i encourage my friends and relatives to try it out all the time. on the contrary, it’s because of this reason that i got to meet a lot of new people and gained new friends, simply because we share this common passion for scuba diving. my next goal is to become an advance diver, but i know that i’m not in any rush. i am just so ecstatic that i have finally achieved an ultimate dream, and what’s better is that i was able to combine this with my all time fascination: photography. i have already invested so much in this sport, and i am not at all regretful for every single centavo that i have shed out. i love my complete pink & black themed diving gear, my new found calling for underwater photography, and i will forever love scuba diving for uncovering another world for me that instantly relieves my stress and drowns my worries in life. it sounds weird but i always come up as a newly charged soul every time i finish diving. this time around i know i will not stop at all, for my relationship with the sea has been the strongest & longest one compared to any other that i have devoted my heart to. =j
✈ 11 memorable firsts in 2011: 4th - dream destinations ☑
together with my goal of stepping out of my comfort zone, i challenged myself to “dream big" and fly to certain destinations that i had been dreaming of for the longest time. don’t get me wrong, i didn’t dream beyond my realistic budget, schedule and condition. these destinations are actually “default” for most tourists, but in my case they were considered “dream come true" because it took me a lot just to finally reach those places.
a few years ago, i booked two flights as my surprise gifts for my then boyfriend, to celebrate our joint birthdays in hong kong disneyland and our 5th anniversary in coron, palawan. unfortunately, we ended up parting ways so i had no choice but to have those flights cancelled. of course i had the choice of rebooking them, but i was too emotionally dysfunctional to even think of pursuing those trips alone. we both dreamed of going to those places together, but i know deep down i was more excited to go there compared to him. and so i promised myself that one day, i will go to those two places and enjoy it to the fullest, without associating any part of that vacation with a bad memory from the past. last 2011, that promise i made to myself indeed came true. :) i first went to palawan and it was such a super memorable trip because aside from it being one of my “ultimate local dreamStinations”, i was also able to do my most adventurous experience so far = shipwreck diving! before going there, i used to think of bohol as the best beach spot in the philippines, followed by boracay then davao, but the moment i saw palawan from all the way inside the airplane, i knew my ranking will definitely change. the view of the island alone was so breathtaking, not to mention the marine life all over coron. i loved it so much i just know i will be back for more. i fell in love with the place beyond my expectations, and i went home making it my top 1 beach spot locally. i’m sorry bohol, but palawan has really transformed me. ☆
then we move on to my personal dream destinations, two places that are very close to my heart: disneyland and universal studios. there’s not much explanation needed here, i know you would simply understand why this has gotta be included in my list. the only thing that makes this special is the fact that i was able to go to these 2 places all in one year, just months apart, and that i have been dying to go to them ever since i was a kid. i went to universal studios and both my iq and eq dropped to a toddler’s level. i enjoyed it so much that i lined up more than once in some rides, good thing i was with someone who was as game as myself. being there made me feel like crying, another reason is because singapore just holds a special place in my heart too. it’s a place that i would consider settling in, if only given the chance to. ㋡ then after four months i entered the magic world of disneyland. it was so special that i really cried the entire time during the characters parade and even till the fireworks at night. i’m so so so in love with the little mermaid plus aladdin’s theme “a whole new world" so just imagine me pouring my heart out when i heard them play it during the fireworks. it was so unforgettable, every time i look back on my days spent there, it still plays so vividly fresh in my memory. thank God this time, i’m old enough to store it in my thought bubble forever.
in addition, this one i didn’t really “dream of” since childhood but i was too privileged to experience it also last year: my first mini cruise! i spent valentine’s day in thailand and what better way to wrap it up than having a cruise for us to fully capture the wonderful spots and sceneries. i was so emotionally high that time because it’s my first ever valentine’s day outside the philippines plus i was actually in a cruise!!! the setting was so romantic, though some things that only my closest friends know suddenly popped up to ruin the moment. haha! looking back, i just want to laugh it off because looking at the bigger picture, it was a trip that surely attributed to my growth as an individual, plus it also triggered my strong desire to spend the entire 2011 traveling.
and my last mention would be the place where i spent my 26th birthday together with my bestEST friends, doing the bestEST sport that i ever learned (scuba diving) —- a beachcapade in pamilacan and balicasag islands in bohol. it’s not my first time in bohol, but it’s the first time that we spent my birthday there in our newly built family house plus we got to be royal beach bums for a couple of days in my relatives’ spot, part of pamilacan island. it was extremely special because i was also able to convince my friends to try out scuba diving. it wasn’t a pleasant experience for one of my friends, but the two others managed to dive with flying colors. it’s an unexplainable feeling sharing your passion with someone, and this time i was so proud that even at least for an hour, they were able to relate to one of my absolute source of happiness. my birthday trip there will always and forever be in my heart, no matter how old we all get. ❤
i’ve been certainly blessed to travel most of my 2011, with more places i’ve gone to for the first time, but these 5 locations are the ones that ultimately stuck with me for the sentimental memories behind them. at times i still look back and still feel in denial that i’ve actually done it, pursued some of my dreamStinations, but i know that i shouldn’t stop there. i’m only turning 27 this year, i still have a long list to go, and i know that i will be able to reach all those places before i leave this world. I’M CLAIMING IT! 👍
✈ 11 memorable firsts in 2011: 5th - dream aquaventures ☑
there is nothing more that can ease my stress and worries away than to be in the beach. i believe i was a mermaid in my past life, i really do. ever since i was born, i’ve been exposed to that kind of environment because my family owns a beach house in the province and that is why we were raised to be beach bums. while most parents would be so controlling and protective over their kids’ sun exposure and swimming duration, my parents were too cool to just let us be. i can’t even remember how many times i had damaged face/back due to excessive peeling, but thank God i’m blessed with good skin that recovers fast. it’s simply in our genes. ;)
since i mentioned that we’re a family of frequent beach goers, it doesn’t come as a surprise that my siblings and i are into water sports as well. while i’m into scuba diving, two of my siblings are into windsurfing and another brother of mine is into surfing. i am very happy that for the first time, i actually got to enter their worlds by trying out these 2 sports.
it was march last year when my friend and i accompanied my sister when she went to her usual windsurfing resort when i suddenly decided to seriously learn the sport. i have tried it a couple of years ago when my eldest brother attempted to teach me, but i was a complete failure. balancing on the board alone was such a struggle. on that day however, i just got possessed and had this unexplainable desire to be a certified windsurfer, at least till i finally get to balance on the board. i actually paid for a formal tutorial and spent almost an hour sailing with my instructor. i remember feeling so nervous as i found the sail to be so heavy, plus the whole time my focus was not to let it fall, including myself, not because i was scared of being thrown in the middle of the ocean but because it was such a hassle going back up on the board. i did fall off once, but surprisingly… the next thing i knew i was already navigating it all on my own without my instructor’s guidance plus i got to sail back to the shore solo! the instructor jumped off on the way back and left me alone on the board, making me my own captain. i felt so ecstatic as soon as i hit the sand part, and my friend plus the other people there told me that they could see sparks in my eyes. yes, i was giggling like a kid, it was such a proud moment for me! ;)
after i crossed out windsurfing from my bucket list, of course i wanted to jump to the next level - surfing. this time i had to convince another brother of mine since he’s the only one who surfs in our family. after aggressive pleading, we finally had the time to hit a surfing resort during the halloween break. he brought us to this beach resort, this time northern part of the philippines, and i felt goose bumps as soon as i saw the surfboards lined up and displayed outside the resort. i could feel it in my bones, it was such a "dizizit!" moment. unfortunately, the waves sucked at that time so i didn’t manage to go home with flying colors. i spent most of the time watching and learning how to do the proper strokes and positions, but the waves just weren’t cooperating. i was still happy though, for i got to explore once again outside my comfort zone. i made my brother promise me that we will not stop until i formally learn, and that is definitely included in my goals this year. ✔
i can’t wait till i become a pro in these two… the only thing missing is for me to be put in a cage so i can dive with sharks. someday, life. someday… ㋡
and i just can’t control it! haha!
1 order please!
✈ 11 memorable firsts in 2011: polaWall
for the very first time in my entire life, i made a new year’s resolution last 2011: “just say yes!”. it wasn’t actually a resolution but more of a goal. it was plain & simple: reboot myself, step out of my comfort zone, be an entirely different person, & most importantly, fall in love with myself all over again.
i spent most of my growing up years being sheltered & pampered by my environment, namely family members, significant others, friends, relatives, colleagues… the very thing that i feared the most was to do things alone. not that i couldn’t bare to be independent, but i grew up always surrounded with a lot of people, so it’s in my nature to really “share” myself almost all the time. & for the first time ever, i dared myself to start exploring my dreams & begin going for my ‘desires’ alone. no family member to comfort me, no lover to accompany me, & no friend to join me. as much as possible, just me. :)
for 2011 i bought a polaroid & made sure to capture special moments in my life that i did for the first time. here is my photo wall in my room that shows some of the highlights of my year. that’s far from complete, as some of my “first” adventures were taken from my mobile phone. i’ll be sharing the 11 memorable moments as individual posts. stay tuned!
thank you so much, 2011. most especially to february, may, july, september and december, i will always cherish the blissful memories that took place on those months. ✌
my real version of romance :)
YES PLEASE! it’s been a while. i need to reflect on countless things.
i don’t know when, but i will definitely check this in my bucket list & be exactly like that diver before dying!
christmas WISH #2: i have almost completed my hot-pink-and-black-themed diving gear… but it wouldn’t hurt if i get this to complete my set! arrrghhhh #weakness
let's run away and don't ever look back, don't ever look back! =j