Sunday, January 16, 2022

Experience | Holiday 2021

Before the stricter implementation of Alert Level 3 in multiple places in the Philippines, we all were given a chance to enjoy the Christmas holiday or even the month of December in general in a near to normal way when we were in Alert Level 2.

But even if they did not ease the guidelines, it was part of my plan for the year to use all of my annual leave at once in December.

Like I would spend my whole day at home, doing nothing. 😆

Unexpectedly, I experienced more than that. 🙂

The above was my original plan way back in 2020 when I was not able to use any of my leave until the year ended.

Then come the end of November this year, that very same day when I got my driver’s license, my dad informed me of their vocational school’s upcoming all-in-one day Christmas party, Blessing and Thanksgiving in December.

Even though I am still not confident with long travels with the pandemic we are currently in, I found this as an opportunity to spend my leave in a worthwhile activity than doing nothing at all.

With this, I informed my client for my planned leave and have done all I have to do prior to my break.

My leave was from December 15-21. That was a whole week, from Wednesday to Tuesday.

What I was thinking was if I did all the year-end deadline by December 14, I won't have anything to do when I come back on the 22nd, and it could be that the team has done theirs already too within that one-week I was off. 

So I was thinking by the 22nd, everyone might have been on break already and therefore I could extend my stay with my family in Pangasinan.

That was a really nice thought.

But guess what?

It did not happen.

First bummer, I could not extend my stay in Pangasinan if I did go there, because my friend, Clarisse, gave us a very short notice of her upcoming wedding in December 21.

Second, the weekend before my planned vacation, we had a problem with Coco’s shifting cable. It was just supposed to be a general check-up for the car to make sure everything is alright before we go on a long travel because we are hearing a clack whenever we shift to 1st and 3rd gears, but the technician in a talyer in Pasig my bf found on Facebook, did something below the car I could see the gear stick moving while I was inside the car.

The next day we eventually had trouble shifting gears. Hindi na kumakagat.

Ako pa tuloy ang nahiya sa previous parents ni Coco dahil sa nangyari. They really care for Coco na kahit nasa amin na siya, kinukumusta pa rin nila and they keep on giving us advices. Malamang hindi maiiwasan na ma-offend sila sa ginawa namin.

To make things right, I convinced my bf to have it checked by Ford directly. It does not matter to me if it costs more or whatever, I just want to feel safe and secure that the people fixing Coco are legit ford specialists.

I might make a separate post about this, but to cut the story short, Coco got fixed and been finally handed over back to us by Friday, December 17, one day before the school’s event in Pangasinan.

That comes to the third bummer, my auntie backed out. She was the one who committed to my parents that we will be coming home. I could only guess that she got afraid because Coco just got out of the service center, and even I was more not confident and would like to try Coco first within the vicinity bago sumugal papuntang Pangasinan.

Thus, we were not able to attend dad’s school celebration.

So far, I have not done anything meaningful with my leave that already started 4 days ago.

Maybe the buying of my shoes for Clarisse’s wedding was somewhat meaningful. I enjoyed physical shopping which I have not done for a long while.

Gladly, to not let my leave go to waste, my bf suggested that we go to Enchanted Kingdom come Monday, at least we can try Coco in a longer drive and at the same time, have fun out of town.

Of course he was the one driving, we both want to be safe even though scared. Taga-instruct o taga-paalala lang muna ako since pareho kaming newbie. 😆

Wait, there’s a fourth bummer?

Yes, indeed.

There’s so many people in EK. The queue to the parking lot pa lang is so lo-o-o-ng, and I could see people piling up at the entrance.

Alam niyo naman ako, takot sa tao, kahit bago pa magpandemic, ayoko talaga sa maraming tao, at ayaw rin naman ni bf sa ganun, so we agreed to skip EK.

We wazed our way to Nuvali and there we had our lunch and spent the afternoon.

One thing I discovered I did not know I would like is food tripping inside the car.

We have been doing it ever since we got Coco.

We usually drive to SM East Ortigas to buy food and would enjoyably eat it in the parking lot.

This is what we did in Nuvali as well. 😆

Lunch is an exception. We dined in, because we parked on a hill which could take a 5-minute walk and we were already hungry at past 1PM. 

But the snacks, we ate inside the car while parked on the hill, which I truly enjoyed.

We also had a good walk para magpababa ng kinain.

And for the final day of my annual leave, I spent it on Clarisse’s wedding which was long overdue.

Come Wednesday, I was expecting that nobody would be online for work only to find out they are still there finishing deadlines. 😅

My colleague and I just laughed off about what we did, because we already exchanged holiday and new year greetings before I went on leave thinking we might be on holiday break already when I come back, but then we still saw each other when I logged on.

We had to work until the 24th, but eventually had our Christmas to New Year holiday break afterwards.

So I had another week to spend on to something.

That is when my bf suggested a good plan.

Spend the Christmas and New Year with auntie so she is not alone (ayaw na kasing bumiyahe eh), and spend the days in between with our families in Pangasinan para iwas na rin na masabay sa biyahe ng maraming tao.

We finally got to go to Pangasinan driving Coco!

I could not count how many batches of cars had overtaken us in the expressway, but who cares? What’s important is, we arrived safely. And it was funny. 

“Oh ayan na, paparating na yung next batch.”

Swooosh! Swoooosh! Swooosh! Cars overtaking one by one. Minsan magkakasunod talaga, parang convoy.

Then we are alone in the road again.

Tapos may darating na batch ulit maya-maya. 😅

Hanep, men.

100 kph lang ang max speed limit, pero parang hindi lang ganun ang bilis nila. Samantalang kami, nasa 60-80 kph, kakaba-kaba pa. 😆

It was really nice meeting his parents, saw his younger brother again, and also e-met his older brother and family in Spain.

I was finally been able to visit King’s Tea’s store whom I frequently order their merienda from through Facebook.

Late post din itong King's Tea tulad ko. Haha

We also strolled through his town, his school where he grew up, the irrigation where he swam as a kid, the springs where his town was known for and which my family had visited before.

I finally saw the dogs (puppies back then) in person, who he calls “Doooggieee” and both come to him wagging their tails, although nakatali na sila ngayon.

The roosters/chickens clucking during our calls when we were in LDR.

The environment in their home is really nice and relaxing.

Sobrang mahangin din.

We drove to our house to spend the evening though.

It was an hour or two drive from San Manuel to Malasiqui, depending on your driving and direction skills.

Ang dami nang pagbabago sa bayang kinalakihan ko.

Even sa barangay namin, may bagong bukas na cafe na.

That’s where we had our supposed to be “snacks” but turned “dinner”.

Humabol din si dad doon from his Knights of Columbus duties.

Unlimited kuwentuhan talaga kapag nagsama-sama kami, lalo na kapag andon si Mama. 😆

That’s only our first day in Pangasinan, San Manuel at Malasiqui agad.

Puno pa rin ng lamunan sa mga sumunod na araw. 

In our second day, we had our lunch in Adriano’s buffet in Calasiao with my family,

Lunch on the third day at Tres Hermanos with my family again, and dinner with his family at Matutina’s Urdaneta.

And on the fourth and final day, we had our lunch in a kambingan in San Fabian. (Hindi pa rin kayang mag-100% plant-based 😅)

My bf’s favorite were Tres Hermanos (na nakatatlong plato siya), and the kambingan (which is my fav too).

Kambingan something lang yung pangalan but they have plenty of choices sa ulam.

What I liked about my experience is we ordered lots of different dishes sa maliliit na platito kaya natikman naming lahat at talagang masarap.

I appreciate that kind of setup. 

Maraming ulam pero maliliit na serving.

Sakto para sa aming lahat.

Yeeee~ Chalap chalap. 😋

Hindi yung kanya kanyang order tapos pipilitin mo na lang ubusin yung sa’yo.

Aside from the food trip, mostly chill lang na activities at muni muni ang ginawa namin.

Really a refreshing way to spend the holiday.

Ako lang naman ang naka-break, si bf medyo may work pa actually the whole time. 😅

But see, nagawa pa niyang magmuni muni sa kubo ng kapatid ko.

This was my favorite part of the house!

Nakabukod ng bahay yung bunso namin, pero sa likod lang naman situated.

Konting lakad lang.

Ang sarap ng hangin!

Kahit hindi ka antukin, mapapaidlip ka dito lalo na kung bagong kain ka.

Hindi ako nanghinayang na dito ko ginugol ang majority ng oras ng stay namin sa amin.

Nakakarefresh talaga, chill kung chill.

And for the final day, Ms. Ruby (my dad’s school staff) offered us to harvest from their farm near the beach in San Fabian.

Ahay, really fun! Medyo off season nga lang so pili lang ang mga nakuha namin.

Nanghingi pa ng tanim na niyog si bf doon dahil nainspire sa halaman ni dad.

We went to the beach after, which was a few minutes drive away.

Supposed to be lakad-lakad lang, tamang tampisaw lang ng paa.

Nakapamulot pa ako ng shells sa dagat na pwede raw ulamin, hawig siya sa halaan, so yun mostly ang ginawa ko sa dagat.

Pero ano bang maiexpect niyo sa akin? Sa Patar Beach nga naligo ako kahit nakapantulog.

So ayun, nagswimming na rin kami ni bf at bunso sa dagat kalaunan. 😆

Buti may last spare pa ako ng damit.

Si bunso pinahiram na lang ng damit ni bf.

Nakaligo rin sa dagat sa wakas! 🏊

So in summary, even though walang nangyari sa original plan na naisip ko, walang pagsisisi para sa akin.

I think everything went perfectly well according to God’s plan.

And I loved it. 😉


A pleasant surprise from my client na nagpakilig din sa akin during the holiday. 🤗

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