Hello, everyone! I have been MIA for a while here, but don't fret my darlings, your single girl did not get struck by lightning or have gone tardy on you. I was just savouring the rare times when weekends stretched to four days. Unbelievable, right?!
|Aissa, Me, and Tin in Rockhampton, QLD, AU (July 2010)|
Over my uber long weekend, a dear friend of mine came all the way from my country's capital city, Manila, to my city for some R&R and to for some catching-up. Aissa, is a friend I met when I went to Australia last year.She and I shared the same fate on our foiled trip to Aussie but looking back, I wouldn't call it a total misfortune. A lot of things may have gone wrong, but certainly, the good far more outweighs the bad. And one of them includes meeting wonderful people and good friends.
I had a whole itinerary planned out for her and I was so ecstatic to finally see her after one year! Though time seems to zip right past us these days, one year without seeing her seemed like such a long time. And we were both counting down the days 'til her arrival.
Aissa was due to arrive at 9:10pm, but due to terrible weather in the north, her flight was horribly late and she finally touched down at around 11:00pm *ouch*. The weather was the exact opposite in my city. It was sunny and warm, what a relief! The minute she arrived, we went straight to our first stop: enjoy the nightlife! I took her to a local night spot in the city, Matina Town Square (MTS), and boy was the place packed! Lucky we were able to spot a table and parked ourselves to it and despite the loud music, we were able to chat and play catch-up.
|Floral Dress: Ally (bought in Aussie, haha how commemorative, aye?)|
We were out til the wee hours the night before, but despite the lack of sleep, we were up early and kept up with our planned activity. We didn't have the luxury of time in our hands so we tried to squeeze in as much sightseeing as we could. Since it was really scorching that day, we briefly stopped over a Korean convenience store called, Arirang for some Lotte Ice Cream. They are sinfully delicious, and really cute!
|Enjoying our ice cream!|
After we gobbled up our sweet and refreshing treats, we went to Crocodile Park. Don't let the name mislead you, though. Not only do they breed crocs in captivity, over the years, they added a lot of exotic animals to the park, sort of like a mini-zoo, for tourists, both local and foreign, to appreciate. Within the compound is a Tribu K'Mindanawan Cultural Village, which showcases the indigenous tribes of our region and a Butterfly House where hundreds of butterflies fly all over the place. Some of them are even too bold to rest on your shoulder, but sadly, they were a bit shy towards us *haha*
|At the Cultural Village|
|A day of firsts! My first time to hold a real, live snake >.< it's pretty muscular|
|This time, it's a baby croc|
|The main attraction of the park, Pangil. The largest and oldest croc|
|At the Butterfly House. These butterflies get too close for comfort|
|Outside the Butterfly House|
|Black Top: Terranova; Skirt: Bought in Mongkok, HK|
The park closes at 5, and after all that walking and picture taking, we met up with my family to have a lovely meal up at Jack's Ridge where we dined at an open air restaurant with a great view of the city.
|At the ampitheater, view of the city below|
|Post-seafood dinner with a spectacular view|
|On our way to the beach!|
No trip to my city is ever complete without a trip to the beach. And in my city, we are so blessed to be within minutes away from Samal Island which is blessed with crystal clear water and white sand. I took her to one of the popular resorts, Paradise Island Beach Resort so she can bask in the sun, take a dip in the ocean and have a good meal. Once again, the day was scorchingly hot, and since it was a legal holiday that time, the place was packed! But lady luck never left our side, finding a table so we can have a meal and a spot at the beach was no problem for us.
|Lunch by the seashore|
|After lunch... Time for a dip!|
|Top: People are People (on sale) Shorts: Guess (DIY Cut-offs haha)|
|I didn't swim, too bad. I had ummm... feminine issues that time lol|
We left the beach and head back to the city at around 3:30pm so she can buy souvenirs and our hometown's specialty, Durian Candy, for her family to enjoy. After that, I took her to a known coffee shop, Bluegre Coffee, which is locally established and is famous for their Durian Gatchpuccino (Durian Flavoured Cappuccino).
|Enjoying a cup of Durian Gatchpuccino at Bluegre Landco|
Since this was her last day, we couldn't just let this day pass without another round of bonding and chit-chatting. Despite her early flight (by early, I mean 6:10am) the next day, we went out to have a few drinks at a quaint Shisha lounge bar, Some Place Else (catchy name, huh? lol).
|At Some Place Else|
We, once again, got home really late. Who can blame us, it was our last night and with life and circumstances thrown in our way, who knows when we'll ever get the chance to enjoy each other's company again. I took her to the airport at around 5:20 am. We said our hurried farewells to each other (the check-in counter was starting to crowd already) and she disappeared among the crowd. So there it was, fun's over, holiday has come to an end, and we said our goodbyes. Time to face reality again, with all its hustles and bustles. But I am so glad I was able to hang out with a dear friend. It's moments like this that give us the enthusiasm to face life with a positive outlook and a poignant smile on our faces.