Snaps from Making Like a Tourist in Your Own Country

The whole of June 2010 for me was a blur of traveling. Seriously. As a friend had put it, "Tara landed in Manila from Mexico, went to Boracay the next day, worked for a couple of days, and is now on her way to Coron. What a life she's been living." And when I came back from said trip, my friend, whom I was supposed to go shopping with that Sunday I did go to Palawan, told me, "I know it's kinda kainis we had to scrap the shopping plans but dude, that was one of the most insanely sweet things that could ever happen to a girl: Waking up to tickets and a vacation with a person you're dying to see."

It's embarrassing to realize it had taken two friends on separate occasions to make me realize how good life has been to me, how blessed I have been and how completely un-grateful I had been {I haven't been to the church all June}.

Anyhoo, here's a photo essay for the day {because words can't tell what I can do, cheesy!} of the things I've done the past week, two consecutive weekends I thought are worth sharing because I am proud, as always, to have explored jewels in this country: Coron and Quezon City {yes, Quezon City!}The week before that was spent in Boracay but that is another post.

Coron, Palawan. A little background: I did say that the reason why I suddenly found myself in the mystic, placid waters of Coron was because in the morning after a hazy, drunk night, I woke up to airline tickets and two minutes of packing, twenty minutes drive to the airport and running past the airport guards.

Macoi's Endless: Malibu, Grenadine and what have you
It's a whole lot better when you have a new-found friend to talk to
about life, love and traveling.

I used to hate boat rides, to death.
But the boat rides I had from that day changed my perspective so much:
I found that dipping your toes and splashing water don't make you seasick at all
and that peeing in the boat restroom is quite an experience {please do not ask me about it}

 Going to bed and sleeping in a deserted island with no signal have never been this amazing.
Can you see my toes? I took this photo as soon as I woke up because I want to
immortalize waking up in front of the sea in my life. Of course, there are many other factors
why this 'waking up' was so great but let's save that for when we meet each other, okay? :)

 Officially an adult.
I have this thing of categorizing certain drinks and filing them under 'Adult Drinks.'
Some of these were sangria and wine. When I was staying at Palawan, I noticed
I have been enjoying wine and sangrias more than I did with my favorite, Cerveza Negra.
In that respect, I think I may have hit adulthood in that department while I was there
and I'm glad I did.

Sunsets could mean so many things: A signal to a blissful night ahead, the start of
an acoustic singing fest, of parting of ways, a fresh start.

UP Diliman, Ateneo de Manila University and basically road-tripping around Quezon City.
I did not go to either of these universities and I'm half-sad I wasn't able to. My brother, who goes to UP, has always regaled me with his UP stories and made me drive him to school but never asked me to hang out so I never knew what it felt like to actually hang out in the campus. Boy, did I love it. {Note: I did get lost inside UP that day and found myself in the 'looks like salvage area' area of the university but it was too fun asking drunk students and residents to be pissed off about it. Did you just ask where I live? Quezon City.

A blurry UPD street.

Good food, cappuccino, yummy potato wedges, conversations about love, life
and Neil Gaiman with friends who tell you when you're too ugly to go on a date,
cheering you on through bad breakups and letting you play with their kids
because it's hella therapeutic. 
God is really good.

Yay, that's me!
Reading Neil Gaiman's illustrated version of Sandman.

 What's a UP trip without kwek kwek {quail eggs} and fish balls?

Church of Gesu, Ateneo de Manila University
I hadn't been to a church for a month, it's about time I stop praying on my own
and at home and go visit Him.

We still went to other places in QC that night but I have no more photos to show. Besides, I have a feeling this ain't the last of my ghetto walking/road tripping tours in Metro Manila. On top of everything, I realize that I have no reason to feel pathetic and sad {quite a month, this June} moreso in the company of good friends and a life brimming with blessings.

How is your Monday so far?

Bear hugs and bunny kisses,

*El Rio Y Mar is located in Brgy. San Jose, Coron, Busuanga, Palawan, Philippines 5316 with a Manila office at Regent Building Malunggay Road, FTI  Complex, Taguig City. You may contact them at The resort manager, Alex, is a very nice woman.

* Chocolate Kiss Cafe in UP is located at the Ang Bahay ng Alumni building, R. Magsaysay St., UP Diliman