Archive of ‘Destinations’ category


The Paradise that is Ephrathah Farms

Ephrathah Farms

Ephrathah Farms

Summer has long been over but we still keep looking back and reminiscing our time at Ephrathah Farms. Located in the quiet town of Badiangan, Iloilo, the farm has been there for a while, growing organic produce that are sold at SM Iloilo Supermarket.

With hectares of land and natural resources, it makes sense that the family who owns this piece of property would develop it and welcome people to come in and enjoy this paradise; after all, you won’t really keep a place this beautiful to yourself would you? :)

And so early this year, the hotel and resort were opened to the public; and in May, just as summer was about to end, we had the privilege of coming over to stay there for a couple of days.  (more…)

Dawn & Rain, Destinations, Married Life, Mommyhood

Our 5-Star Family Staycation at Sofitel




We couldn’t have booked a staycation at a worse time. The weather was horrible, a typhoon just entered the country, classes were suspended, and many parts of the metro were flooded.

We got ourselves booked at Sofitel a few weeks ago, long before weather forecasts showed signs of a typhoon. We looked forward to take a dip in the pool, enjoy the outdoors, maybe even watch the sunset by the Manila bay. None of these were possible during our stay, and yet somehow our Sofitel experience couldn’t have been better still. It was a bed weather kind of week anyway, and staying in is definitely a good idea inside Sofitel’s luxurious guest rooms and indoor facilities.

The story of my life—everything worked out together for good after all.  (more…)

Dawn & Rain, Destinations, Faith Walk

50/52: Cebu

Photographs of our twin daughters, once a week, every week, this 2014.



It was a weekend of firsts. First plane ride, first Cebu trip (for David and the kids), first boat ride, first island-hopping experience. We’re happy to have an “excuse” to try out flying, something that we’ve been putting off because we were unsure how to handle long trips and plane rides with two toddlers. When our cousins who were visiting from Australia (you’ll remember them from these posts), invited us for a long weekend in Cebu, we knew we just had to take the plunge. And we’re soooo glad we did.

You realize time and time again that you have to dare to get out of your comfort zone, otherwise, you wouldn’t really know what you’re missing. And that Cebu trip was just that for me. It began with a truck load of worries and fears, but it ended with ZERO regrets and a mental smack in the head for even worrying at all.

We had a lot of favorite moments from that trip, but these photographs were from our island-hopping experience, which the kids reallyyy enjoyed.







Remember their first time to swim and they didn’t like it? This time around, in Cebu, the girls loooooved it! They loved walking on the beach, they loved swimming in the pool, and true enough we had a difficult time pulling them out of the water.

The Cebu skies and seas, and the company of this family we love, were good for my soul. There were so many personal realizations, God moments, divine revelations, and a hundred reasons to praise God for.

Thank you, Ninong Mitch, Ninang Dots, Jonah and Zaki! We’ll remember this trip forever. “Jehovah-Shammah”, we won’t forget. ;)

More about Project 52 here. View all posts in this blog series here.

Destinations, Mommyhood, Recently

Recently: Unusual Monday Morning

Tune Hotel

Tune Hotel

Tune Hotel

Tune Hotel

Tune Hotel

There was this moment, waking up in a room at Tune Hotel on Monday morning, that was strangely familiar. It happens every time we’re in an unfamiliar place, and I look around to see my little family, and I suddenly have this overwhelming rush of emotions, and I know right then that home is right there with me.

Power went out at past 7:00pm Sunday night, in the middle of a storm, and we found refuge in a nearby hotel where we evacuated for the night. Have you ever tried out Tune Hotel? Very affordable and impressive, I must say. Even though we only stayed half-a-day, the price was very reasonable and certainly worth it. The room was small but very clean. There weren’t a lot of amenities, but the pillows, sheets, and towels were top quality. For an emergency accommodation, we sure got our money’s worth.

We heard the electricity was restored in our area at around 2:00am, but D and the girls were already sleeping soundly by that time.

I woke up on Monday morning, sunshine coming through the glass windows of our small room, and I knew I just had to preserve that moment. I said a quick prayer to God, thanking Him for keeping us safe, and warm, and dry; and for being our shelter in the time of storm, both literally and figuratively.

I looked at my family, still sleeping, squeezed in a queen-sized bed which was our home for the night, and my heart swelled with so much love. Will I ever get used to this (not so) new life? The girls have grown so much, and D and I have been living together for over 3 years, and yet, it still sometimes feels like it hasn’t really sunk in yet. (Are they really my daughters? Is he really my husband? Is this really my life now?)

Anyone can relate to this feeling? Please tell me I’m not the only one who feels this way.

Destinations, Moments Like This, Photographs

21/52: Home is wherever I’m with you

Photographs of my daughters, once a week, every week, this 2014. Week 21.

21/52: Dawn & Rain

21/52: Dawn & Rain

Once upon a time, my husband and I lived in a roof top apartment. It was our first home, with just enough living space for two and a huge outdoor area that held some of our most memorable experiences as a newly married couple. We had a lot of memories in that rooftop, until we got pregnant and had to move to a bigger space on a lower floor.

Visiting the roof top apartment now, this time with our two little girls, makes me feel a little nostalgic. It wasn’t long ago when it was just the two of us, and now, we’re four, and wow there’s really no stopping time from moving forward.

21/52: Dawn & Rain

21/52: Dawn & Rain

21/52: Dawn & Rain

21/52: Dawn & Rain

As someone who’s moved from one place to another far too many times in the past decade, I’ve come to terms with the fact that houses are temporary, and “home” is that which you bring with you wherever in the world you go. Home can be a place, and it can also be a person, or a group of people, or a collection of memories. But home is not confined to a place, I guess that’s why a new house or a new city or a new country doesn’t instantly make you feel “at home”.

That’s kind of what’s going through my mind every time we go back to the roof top. It doesn’t feel like home anymore. The vines have grown unkempt, some of the plants have dried up, the walls are dirty, the windows are dusty. And yet, in the midst of the strangeness of what used to be a familiar place, I hear Dawn & Rain scream and laugh and run around while their Daddy chase them, and suddenly, there it is. My home, right there with me.

21/52: Dawn & Rain

21/52: Dawn & Rain

Today as I post this, Ivy is on her one-way flight to New York to join her husband there for good. And maybe I’ll rant a handful about that in a separate post, but in a nutshell, her departure is making me think about how temporary most things are in this life. Babies grow, children get older, people leave and move and start a new life elsewhere.

I once wrote about saying goodbye, and the realization remains true:

Change involves pain, and pain forces us to grow. It causes us to see situations with eternal eyes, and teaches us the art of letting God do His thing. It helps us loosen our grip off tangible things—people, places, routines; and causes us to embrace the more important things, the ones that last forever—friendships, memories, lessons learned, love that transcends space and time.

I’ve struggled about moving my whole life, mostly because I’ve become a little too attached to places, to people, or to the memories associated with them. I hate saying good bye. I don’t like packing. Moving scares me and I wondered many times why I kept doing it.

But something about my best friend leaving, and now having David, Dawn and Rain in my life, that gives me this new-found courage, this quiet assurance. The assurance that wherever in the world the Lord takes us, whether we stay or move, whether friends leave or we leave.. we’ll be okay. As long as we’re together, home is wherever we go.

More about Project 52 here. View all posts in this blog series here.

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