Sunday, February 15, 2009

Hinulugang Taktak

Mom says that we've been there before when I was still around 5, but that was too long ago for me to remember. It was a first for Benjo & Joselyn, and also a 2nd time too for Jojo. The waterfall is quite picturesque and a great place to take pictures and spend some quiet time. But once you get close to the falls, you start to smell a distinctive odor, one that would remind you of a canal! On closer look, you can actually see some trash in the stream and a different color forming in a kind of whirlpool. Once you get use to the smell, you can start to enjoy the natural surroundings. The climb up though was another story. Joselyn wanted me to carry her midway up, but I refused and we all made it up after some breaks and a lot of huffing and puffing :)

Valentine's Day at Trinoma

Happy Valentine's Day to one and all! We had a happy heart's day celebration at Trinoma yesterday. We did the usual playground where the kids climbed the ropes, swung down the pole (which they both can now do) and went down the slides as many times as they could until we told them it was time to go. It was around 11am and though we had not yet quenched up enough appetite for lunch, we made our way to Max's Restaurant. We had not been to this part of the mall before and found the surrounding refreshing, literally - especially with the water landscape. Good thing we were at Max's early because the place quickly filled up with mostly families also celebrating Valentine's together. There were actually a couple of groups waiting outside when we left the place.

Sorry no pictures this time. It was time to change the batteries on our camera and we didn't get a chance to go to the stores beforehand, so we opted to just remember the times and create the images in our minds.

Lunch at Max's was great - I especially liked the chicken sisig, which was not too spicy. Benjo found that he liked the lumpia ubod wrapper (just the wrapper with the sauce) and we ordered sunny-side eggs on the side. Joselyn loved the spring chicken, especially the crunchy skin, and drank too much 7-up.

When the kids started to become restless and Jojo and Mom were still working on their meals, I finished what was left on my plate and took the kids outside to look at the water pond some more. It's such a wonder how they made this structure - how it runs down the stairs, how the pipes shoot water to the upper level. We actually followed the water's course from the 1st level to the third. We marvelled at the art that was created using water. I found this image on the following site:

This is part of the structure on the 3rd level where the water seems to be dancing, or as the kids noted, frogs seems to be leaping. We were there during the day so the lights were not on and did not create as dramatic effect as this picture.

Monday, February 9, 2009

On Friends...

We met with ol' friends who were visiting from the US these past couple of weeks. The first friend was part of our Philippine Consulate family where my mom and her dad both worked. We remained friends when the Consulate closed. Those were the days when I had a new "freedom", since my parents had gone back to the Philippines and I got a chance to do things that I would not usually be allowed to do ("strict ang parents ko, eh!" :). No, naughty stuff - but I got to go to discos or dance clubs, where we would just mostly dance and sometimes meet some people. We both liked to dance and by chance we got to be part of the Filipinyana Dance Troupe - small bit parts mind you, like being the background wave and carrying flag-like drapes back and forth. We laughed, reminded of those days. Well, we had a lot of time in our hands back then.

Another friend we met just last Saturday. We are part of a bigger group of friends, our barkada, as we fondly called ourselves. We were tight knit back then, but we talked in part of how our group has somewhat fallen apart. Distance I know has separated some of us. I've tried to be part of their lives even after leaving the US back in 2002. Ironically, I'm sometimes more up to date with the goings-on of some friends than the others, who are just a free phone call or several miles away. Not only distance, but differences have also caused the falling away.

"Friends forever"... or so we hope. I used to have a friend back in my early high school days in Australia, whom for some reason, became my worst enemy. Many will not believe but I used to fight with this ex-friend in the corridors of our school. We pulled hairs, called each other names, scratched, kicked! We were wild!!! Our other friends would just watch and even egg us on. Good thing there were no adults during that time or we would have been in serious trouble. Anyway, I still remember this ex-friend, and wish that our paths may cross some day. Not because I want more hair-pulling, but to say sorry for those childish times when we hurt each other.

I was contemplating on my friends, mostly those who are far from me. I'm still saddened that some of us have drifted apart or that we cannot just get along. But I'm still hopeful that we will one day look back, forget why we fought in the first place, and renew our friendships.

It sounds so simple and easy, but maybe this is what the we need - simplicity and humility.