Summer Escape 2012 (Phaidon)

This year’s Holy Week break comes with a free one day extension because the Monday after Easter is a regular non-working holiday in the Philippines. That makes it five days of free time.

I decided to come home to the province in Pandan, Antique to recharge from the busy and stress of work life in Manila. Besides, I did not came home last Christmas break (2011) so it really was fitting and deserving to come home.

Aside from observing the cultural practice of a boy reared in Catholic upbringing, Maundy Thursday and Good Friday is reserve for Church-related activities and reflection.

On Black Saturday, I invite some friends who also went home to go to Phaidon, just within our town. This resort is always my favorite get-to place because Boracay is already crowded, especially this Holy Week. Phaidon is secluded and with few guests (mostly foreigners), the beach is exclusively for me for the taking.

The sand is not as white as Boracay’s but its comparable in terms of pureness and powdery. It has an excellent sunset, too.

You can visit Phaidon’s official site here for more details.

I am blessed to be born in a place where fine beaches abode, and forest relatively intact for its residents to enjoy and explore.

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Nuggets of Wisdom According To Pedro

PEDRO: Hinding-hindi ko makakalimutan ang mga mumunti ngunit  ginintuang butil ng payo na nakuha ko sa aking mga  magulang… Kaya heto, aking ise-share sa inyo:
1. Si Inay, tinuruan niya ako HOW TO APPRECIATE A JOB WELL DONE.
“Kung kayong dalawa ay magpapatayan, doon kayo sa  labas! Mga leche kayo, kalilinis ko lang ng bahay.”

2.  Natuto ako ng RELIGION kay Itay.
“Kapag yang mantsa di natanggal sa carpet, magdasal ka  na!”

3.Kay Inay ako natuto ng LOGIC
“Kaya ganyan, dahil sinabi ko.”

4. At kay Inay pa rin ako natuto MORE LOGIC.
“Kapag ikaw ay nalaglag diyan sa bubong, ako lang  magisa ang manonood ng sine.”

5. Si Inay din ang nagturo sa akin kung ano ang ibig  sahibin ng IRONY.
“Sige ngumalngal ka pa at bibigyan talaga kita ng  iiyakan mo!”

6. Si Inay ang nagpaliwanag sa akin kung ano ang CONTORTIONISM.
“Tingnan mo nga yang dumi sa likod ng leeg mo, tignan mo!!!”

7. Si Itay ang nagpaliwanag sa akin kung anong ibig  sabihin ng STAMINA.
“Wag kang tatayo diyan hangga’t di mo natatapos  yang lahat ng pagkain mo!”

8. At si Inay ang nagturo sa amin kung ano ang  WEATHER.
“Lintek talaga kayo, ano ba itong kuwarto nyong  magkapatid, parang dinaanan ng bagyo!”

9. Ganito ang paliwanag sa akin ni Inay tungkol sa  CIRCLE OF LIFE:
“Malandi kang bata ka, iniluwal kita sa mundong ito,  maari rin kitang alisin sa mundong ito.”

10. Kay Itay ako natuto kung ano ang BEHAVIOR MODIFICATION.
“Tumigil ka nga diyan! Huwag kang mag-inarte na parang Nanay mo!”

11. Si Inay naman ang nagturo kung anong ibig sabihin  ng GENETICS.
“Nagmana ka ngang talaga sa ama mong walanghiya!”

12. Si Inay naman ang nagpaliwanag sa amin kung anong ibig sabihin ng ENVY.
“Maraming mga batang ulila sa magulang, di ba kayo nagpapasalamat at mayroon kayong magulang na tulad namin?”

13. Si Itay naman ang nagturo sa akin ng ANTICIPATION.
“Sige kang bata ka, hintayin mong makarating tayo sa  bahay!”

14. At si Itay pa rin ang nagturo kay Kuya kung anong  ibig sabihin ng RECEIVING.
“Uupakan kita pagdating natin sa bahay!”

15. Si Inay naman ang nagturo sa akin kung ano ang  HUMOR.
“Kapag naputol yang mga paa mo ng pinaglalaruan mong  lawnmower, wag na wag kang tatakbo sa akin at  lulumpuhin kita!”

16. At ang pinakamahalaga sa lahat, natutunan ko kina  Inay at Itay kung ano ang JUSTICE.
“Isang araw magkakaroon ka rin ng anak, tiyak maging  katulad mo at magiging pasakit din sa ulo!”

Can’t go to Greece, try spa instead

The Spa

The entrance is obviously Hellenic. It’s like one of those Greek villas sprouting in some islands in the Aegean Sea. The air is wafting with minty dew. Yes, this is the place for months of hell in corporate world.

I had my reservation online. Gentleman’s package. Swedish full body massage and facial. That’s about two hours all in all.

After I paid at the front desk, I was given my locker number (#1). That’s good, I thought. I am the only client for now. Upon entering the room, I was offered with a ginger tea by the male attendant. I am not a fan of tea, but I have to try it because damn, I paid hefty for the services so might as well say yes to every questions ask! Unbelievable, the ginger is really good! I had one full cup. 

Prior to the massage itself, I had my steam bath. All by myself. Cool, the foggy room is so hot it makes you sweat right away upon entering it. And your skin turns pinkish. After five minutes in there, I had my cold shower to close the pores. 

After the shower, I again had some ginger tea. Second cup. Then, went straight to the massage room. One hour of bliss here. After the massage, I had facial. Theirs is not the prick-that-whiteheads kind of facial. They only apply exfoliants, scrubs, cream, and that’s it. Not invasive at all. But my face is smooth afterwards–same effect, minus the redness from pricking.

Afterwards, I have another cup of ginger tea. Damn, two hours of bliss well spent on a lazy Sunday afternoon.

Others watch the Mayweather-Marquez fight. Me, I was in Greece lounging and enjoying myself. I don’t have to go that far, it’s just in The Spa Podium.

PS: My Singapore-based friend is inviting me to another spa moment when she gets home. Excited.

A midsummer night’s party

Yesterday, April 17, my boss offered 5 free tickets to Jack Daniel’s World Music Tour Philippines. It was held in NBC Tent in The Fort. Initially, I don’ t want to go but upon hearing that Razorback, Urbandub and Taken by Cars will perform, I said yes.

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I joined five of my colleagues at the office. We were there before 8pm, because it was stated in the ticket that it will start by that time. In the entrance of the NBC Tent, the receptionist said that they will start entertaining audience in 15 minutes.

So we hopped on at The Fort area to eat dinner. We ate at Pasto, with pizza, pasta and some beer to gulp down the calories. We spent around 45 minutes of our time there due to non-stop social talk. Someone never runs out of stories during meal, and it was heightened by the fact that the topic revolves around summer getaways, hobbies on our wish lists, and the like.

After dinner, we entered the place. Not much audience so far.

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The venue is really cold. It contradicts the hot and humid weather outside. Or maybe they did this on purpose so that the audience will buy lots of Jack Daniel’s in the makeshift bar at both sides of the tent. And we feel the cold; we gave in to JD.

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spirit

The show started by 9pm. Bands performed three to four songs each. I got the chance to watch Taken by Cars performed live at this event. I had their songs on my iPod.

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The main act is Cynthia Alexander and Nyko Maka + Playgrounds. They will represent the Philippines in the Jack Daniels Global Music Tour in Singapore. Too bad, I wasn’t able to see Urbandub and  Razorback. They performed after Cynthia’s set, but we have to go home around 12mn because one of our friend has to catch a flight the following day.

But it was an awesome night. Lots of Hooters girls imported by Jack Daniels from their bar in Mall of Asia.

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You know what I did during the Holy Week?

I spent more than four days of isolation from the outside world from April 05 nighttime to April 09 afternoon. I was part of our company’s contingent for a silence/deep meditation course in Silang, Cavite.

 

Gaa Hostel

 

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The venue is a little bit secluded, with lush greenery but albeit not maintained. Fallen leaves litter the streets going inside the vast compound. The cottage houses situated inside are not well maintained. It even look spooky during dark, as if you are reminded of those early Pinoy horror films where an old lady with grumpy forehead and disshiveled hair will suddenly appear from nowhere and looks you straight in the eye, mouth frothing with blood. Creepy.

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Anyway, an Indian teacher came over to facilitate the course, with the help of a local teacher. And because this is about silence, expectedly, we were not allowed to talk for days. You cannot imagine living without talking, but surprisingly, we managed!

 

A lot of meditation and yoga everyday. I was expecting in day 2 or day 3 that I will levitate but to no avail. Or a halo will suddenly appear above my head. It was painful to my legs, and a lot of thoughts enter my mind during the meditation. It is so silent, and you know imagination runs wild when your mind is empty. There were moments when I am on the verge of laughing but have to tone it down, lest, I might be suspected for not taking the course seriously.

 

In moment of silence, one may be able to know one’s self better.

In moment of silence, one will appreciate life’s blessings.

In moment of silence, one will thank what he/she has.

In moment of silence, one can empower himself to effect positive vibes around him.

 

I wasn’t able to go on a vacation this Holy Week, but this experience is something I will not forget. I can also call this vacation, albeit a different one, from stressful work, from fast-paced life, from preoccupations, from monotonous undertakings.

 

PS:

Mind you, the place looks creepy but there was no single moment of spook. Maybe too much meditation helps.

 

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Pamper day

urban-spa

Sundays are reserved for pampering. Today, I wake up at 9am, way too early for a Sunday, because normally, I woke up at 12nn. Anyhow, I start the day with breakfast at a nearby fastfood chain. Read some news from my preferred daily, then off to Megamall for 1.5hours of sweat, cardio training, and muscle toning. Afterwards, the best part.

I had a 3pm full body massage from Urban Spa. It’s been awhile since I had my last visit there, so this is fitting especially now that we officially entered March, where most corporate slaves beat their deadlines and quota for the remaining days of the fiscal year.

What a way to hurdle the stress that is about to come by enjoying an hour of massage. It is heavenly to say the least. Though the price is way too high than its counterparts, still, it is worth it. I don’t have to explicitly tell the exact massage itself, for I might spill their secret. Rather, try it for your self.

That’s my pamper Sunday.