Saturday, January 10, 2015

Loooong Holiday! Thankful for the great Kickstart of the Year! Welcoming 2015 with abundant POSITIVE energies!

I had a very long overdue assignment for myself. I have been catching up with a lot of things after the long holiday! Sorry, it should be looooooong holiday! Yes, because I've been to different places with my family around. It's long and it's been fun to have my family almost complete. At least most of my siblings were home. :-)

So, I'm going to do my long overdue assignment, i.e., to write something about our loooooong holiday. How I spent it. With whom have I spent it. Take aways after the holidays. (Warning this is unusually looong.)

We were a bit early. So we took picture outside the mall, while waiting for it to open.
We celebrated the Christmas simply at home. Would have been ordinary day  but we went out. Went to the mall courtesy to our generous Santa Claus Manang Inday! 
Asked her to pose inside the mall. Naia's on it too! :-)

With the family! Very happy to have pictures taken at the mall.
Seems like they want to take pictures anywhere.

We had to eat first. Shakey's is the family's favorite? No, it's just what came to our mind first.

Who's taking the picture Naia? Where are you looking?

After we've filled our tummies, we were informed that we'll go shopping! yehey! Thanks nang! My siblings were told to get one. Just one each, but they seem to have not heard the limit, as some took more than the limit. Haha thanks Sta. Claus! We went home happy with the clothes and apparel complete! Thank you for sponsoring the shopping. :-)

Then, we hired a van. Had to travel to Buenavista, Agusan del Sur to visit and at the same time drag my sister Manang Bebie and her husband to Camiguin haha! But it wasn't an easy trip going there. We've seen these images, and I can't help taking them to document our trip. 

This was a warning image, that it's not gonna be an easy ride. As we cross a bridge somewhere in Tagoloan.

When we reached medina, this was the image on the rode. My siblings started to worry.

Pardon the blurry image because the vehicle is in motion.

This right here is the image at Gingoog City, where we were stuck for more than three hours because of the flooded area.
Unfortunately, the van we hired had a very stubbornly responsible driver. Stubborn because we can't convince him. Responsible because he knows what he agreed on with his boss. He won't cross the flood with the vehicle at risk of possible damage because of floodwater. The driver insisted that we wait until the flood water subsides. We can't do anything as we don't drive the van, and he was even willing to return the money just to save the van from crossing the flood water. So there, we obliged to wait.

But because we didn't give up, we were able to cross after a substantial amount of flood water subsided and was down to manageable level of crossing. But that was after more than three hours of waiting and wailing. 

We then arrived at Buenavista, Agusan del Sur at around 10:00 p.m. 

We're still able to smile. We were hungry and tired then. I guess it helped to send me to deep sleep for couple of hours.

The quest has to continue the next day! We have to pick Manong Walter up at the Bancasi Airport, then head towards Camiguin!

But this time, we're a bit relieved. The early morning view at the seaside was comforting and reassuring. So we decided to travel really to Camiguin. 

Early morning view of the sea. Seems so peaceful and calm. Inviting us to travel. :-)

On our way to the airport I took this great nature's view of the road with the clear sky. 

We passed by a lagoon or lake? Not sure. But again, I like the view, so I took a picture of it. 

Someone got hungry here. Was opening his all time favorite. Clover chips!

 Then, we headed to Camiguin. I was unable to take pictures while on our way to Camiguin. T'was either I'm asleep or just too tired to take 'em. Haha

While in the middle of the sea crossing towards Camiguin, some got dizzy because of the seemingly roller coaster ride on board the vessel M/V Yuhum. The seas were quite playful, shaking the ferry boat every now and then, making the passengers shout. Some were out of amazement, excitement, and some were shouting out of fear. Some were simply just silent because they're either nausea or almost fainting. 

Yet we were able to reach our beloved island Camiguin! 

So, I was only able to have another picture when we docked at Benoni Port, Camiguin. We traveled as the sun rise, but we reached Camiguin at sunset.

This was exactly what welcomed us in our beloved Camiguin Island! Really fascinating view of the sky.
Then, we had celebrations here and there while in the island. Some of the shots I took out of the gatherings that we had.

We had a gathering, the night or eve of New Year! At our humble home.
Family picture outside our home. Long table was set up for the food.

Some of the food we had.

After the Lechon has been devoured by the family.

Simple things mom won't forget to set up at home every new year.

My sister Chay2 with nephew Ryan.

My singing brother Roger with sister Chay2.

Mom posed for the new year picture.

Of course we can't let the year pass without the selfie. :-) Photobomber Sister.

With my sister Chu2.
 The next morning, January 1, we decided that my siblings would have to have their breakfast at home. Well, I offered them some of the freshly harvested Lanzones fruit from the tree just in our yard.
Was so happy harvesting some of the fruits of our Lanzones!
 My sister enjoyed the jackfruit I was slaughtering. Our humble home can offer only fruits for their taste buds enjoyment. So much of the meaty recipes. 
My sisters Bebie, Tifany and Jing.
 Yeah, did they ask a picture of me? Lol! Well, that's me and my sister down here.
Yeah add me on the side. I was slaughtering the jackfruit so pardon my native attire. Pure skin! lol
 Family gatherings won't be complete without the singing portion. That's the time, when I have to go find something else to do. Haha, I can't sing well like my siblings. But I am happy they did have the talent. At least our family could have a representative. :-)
With brothers Roger, and Rey and Sisters Tifany and Bebie
Neighbours  are here too. I am glad to have talked to Ninay Judith! And well it's fun to have them singing too! Sorry to our other neighbours who seem to have resented our having fun. Please accept our family's sincerest apologies. 

 Reunion! My siblings' purpose of traveling home is not just a vacation. It's a reunion. Seeing the faces of their siblings left in the Philippines and have some catching up. Well, death won't exempt anyone. So we visited my sister who died at age 17. Her grave is a couple of miles away from home, but we have to visit her.
Christmas and New Year Holidays are time to reunite. Reunion does not exempt my sister Cha2 who's joined the creator couple of years ago. We visited her grave. 

I have to join the picture taking, so have to have this shot.
 It's also become a tradition, that when people get the chance to visit the island. A small get together should happen. Here, I am talking about my highschool batch/class mates. Our batch/group has been through a lot and even get to experience, almost extinction stage. But thanks to these beautiful people who showed up, and to some who were just dragged and was happy to have been dragged to this get together! Good to see you again mate. Engr. Joey, Jules, RN Raymond, May, Emmalyn, Zenie, Mirasol, and Joselito!
 We initially planned to have "videoke" sessions, but fate has it, that we eat pizzas! Haha so we were left with one choice. The only open pizza establishment. Shadarna Bar and Grill! Thanks for having us. 
Tasted some of their pizza. I am not sure if they offer thick crust, if they do, they didn't ask us. I could have ordered my choice of pizza on thick crust. :-) 

Engr. Joey and Mirasol.

People are now busy eating. :-)

My Sister Bebie with her husband Nong Lolong.

My Idol Uncle George. The man who became my father while Dad was abroad, and when Dad died he also became my second father like my brother Rey.

Manong Walter singing with my Sister Tifany's batchmates! Having fun eh?

My sister Tifany just got better every day! She's become even a better singer through the years.

Smile for the camera nang Tifany!
 After the parties at Camiguin! We headed to Tandag, Surigao del Sur. It's where another family reunion, with my father's side will be held. We were set to stay at the home of my sister Manuela (Nening).

On the way, I saw this beautiful spot somewhere between Gingoog and Butuan.

 We've traveled around 10:00 in the morning, but we reached the destination at around 10:00 in the evening. Quite a ride! 

We even traversed the so called "nobenta" (which means ninety), either because we have to pass by a curve ninety times, or because we have to cross ninety miles. It took us forever to pass by that mountainous area, with the heavy feeling of fear because it seems like a no man's land. But still thankful we've reached our destination. Only, again, tired and hungry!

This was Manang Manuela (Nening's) home. We had our dinner.
 One of the reunion we first made at Surigao, is with our beloved departed Daddy Romeo Vasquez. Dad, like Cha2, you're not exempted from the reunion. We remember you! We love you! naks! So much for the emotional visit! haha now I'm starting to cry. haha:-) 

 After visiting Dad, we went directly to the beach. Cagwait, white sand beach. One of the longest white sand beach in the country, or even perhaps, in Asia. 
No filter shot of the beach on the other side. Natural virgin beauty.

On another side, I took another shot of the beach. Really fascinating!

Can't help taking a picture with Shanaia with the beach as the background.
 These are my family! Yes, extended family! Relatives are here. Enjoyed their company and warm welcome. They're from this place, Cagwait, Surigao del Sur.

 I did not wait until the reunion is over, I don't even have the luxury of time to talk with a lot of our relatives in Cagwait, because I have to travel back to Cagayan de Oro so I could be in my work by Monday, January 5. 

By 3:00 P.M I started traveling back to the city of Cagayan de Oro. I rode a bus from Aras-asan, Cagwait, Surigao del Sur to Buhisan, San Agustin, and had to stop and transfer to another bus/van because of the impassable bridge. See photos below.

As we (I and other passengers) crossed the bridge, we were then ushered to public utility vehicles like vans and buses. Unfortunately, no bus is available going to San Francisco, Agusan del Sur. So I have to travel riding a van. 

Took us two to three hours to just reach San Francisco, Agusan del Sur. Then I transferred to another bus, from San Francisco to Butuan City. Took me again another three hours to reach Butuan City. Then I again transferred to another bus from Butuan to Cagayan de Oro City another three hours. 

It was a loooong ride! Loooong trip! Yet thankful for God's provision of safety! I did report to work on January 5, 2015. Officially ending my holiday at 3:00 A.M. of January 5, 2015.  This post is indeed long. 

Take aways:

  • Life will give you negative situations, but it's up to you to either shift to negative or stay positive. Sometimes, situations won't change, but you can always change your attitude towards the situation.
  • Family is always important. You can choose between options for a lot of things, but you don' choose your family, you belong to a family. Love them!
  • Christmas and New Year or Holiday celebrations doesn't always have to be expensive.
  • Enjoy life with a lot valuable people, and don't allow the negatives (non-friends, don't matter) to cost you your enjoyment. 
  • Celebrate life, not because of material abundance but with life's abundant blessing (includes health, spiritual, emotional and even financial wellness).
  • Choose to be positive even when pulled to a difficult situation, things don't always follow your ideals, but they'll always end up following your determination.

Have a blessed 2015 everyone! Feel free to share your thoughts and comments! :-)

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