Thursday, April 2, 2009

Anticipating: April Vacation Edition

I have a number of posts that talk about how much I need and want a vacation. I won't be surprised if people who read my blog would get annoyed somehow. But I won't retract it. I still need and want a vacation. The hierarchy of need then want still applies, and I know I might be bordering to begging and to whining. Nevertheless, I'm happy that the wheels are set in motion and I'm left to literally anticipate the days till they come.

Whenever I see updates from friends or blogs from other sites, I get a little jelly when they share their most recent summer expeditions that happened in February and in March. Those months are not even fully considered summer, yet they have been to places, spent time with friends and most importantly had a blast. A part of me is happy for them and a part of me thinks..."Why can't I do that? It's unfair." Naturally the answer is pretty simple, I have responsibilities at work, but so do these people I know who had time to frolic in the sun and have cute photo-ops. I get in a sort of trance when I see their hotels and their flipflops like they do not have a single care in the world. If they can do it, I can do it too. Soon I'll have those sets of photo-ops.

To prove my point, I wasn't able to fully impose the usual self-control I have when I left a comment on a friend's recent update in Facebook. She says:

"I'm PLANNING for my next SUMMER Escapade (or vacation or whatever)!"

and I replied..

"BUTI ka nga, second na! Ako, wala pa! I'm slowly dying here!" (Good for you, you're planning on your second vacation when I haven't had mine yet)

and she replied...

"Konting tiis nalang! It's worth the wait."

True. Now I'm left anticipating.

I'm finally anticipating the "consecutive" (Take note! har-har) vacations that I have lined up for the entire month of APRIL with friends and family of course. These escapades were finalized the last week of March as I am now in the process of putting my credit card into rehab for virtually swiping it off till it bled. Thanks to the fabulous airline tickets and worthy accommodations.

Unfortunately thinking about it everyday at the office makes the days slower. I should stop myself and just get through the day brilliantly. But then, that wouldn't be anticipating now would it?

Here are the planned vacations I've signed and sealed for the month of April. Sponataneous invitiations over the weekend is still welcome.

First stop: BORACAY

Where else but the top vacation spot in the Philippines. Frankly, this is already a given. My Sun Valley friends and I just had to agree on the specific dates when we could all be free. This year would be my third Boracay vacation with them and I think there would always be a fourth and a fifth. Everyone loves Boracay whether you're there for the food, the nature, the night life and the hotel relaxation, right?

Where will I stay? But of course, hotels are equally important. I decided to venture out from the usual Hey Jude Hotel. It's time to leave the "nest" for a change and see what else is there. After searching, here is where I am booked. Club Ten Beach resort Boracay, for a change! Well the room is big for two people. It has basic necessities you'll ever need in a hotel room in Boracay. Additional features are the patio for private dining and the veranda to entertain guests. It's no five class hotel, but it has everything that I need. It has a good location with refrigerator, wi-fi access and reasonable rates.


Like Boracay, probably this is always a must stop for me. Cebu is my second home. I know the language and I pretty much get around there. My mom's fabulous relatives would adopt me and I always house hop whenever I can. The feeling of activities and laid back city-atmosphere is something that I love. When Manila unnerves me, I quickly fly to Cebu. I always make sure I go there every year, with my family or alone, it doesn'treally matter.

Now, my mom and my siblings are going there for the entire month of April while the working bees like my dad, Mitch, Den (my cousin from dad's side) and my Aunt Susan will follow at the end of April.

Looking back in August of 2007, during my sabbatical phase, I went there to unwind almost for an entire month. I stayed with my gracious Auntie Ging and Kuya Allan. I had my own car. I had my own room and my own schedule. Frankly, if not for Mitch, I didn't quite miss Manila. I enjoyed my ass off there doing nothing but to just be cradled by Cebu, eating lechon, going to Casa Verde, hanging out with my cousins, eating McDonald's with my cousins, being invited to dinners, going to Carcar and bought a smashing 300 pesos worth of fabulous wedges, having coffee and dessert in Postrio roughly 10 minutes away from my aunt's house. That was the life. No work. No worries.

Fortunately my friend Bags followed from Manila. She came straight from work as I picked her up in my "blue Tamiya." We quickly toured around the traditional Sto. Nino Church and had dinner and coffee before we went to Bohol the following morning; and back to Cebu for dinner at my other aunt's house. That was fun and I needed it at that time.

Now, I'm making this trip with my entire immediate family. It's been so long since all of us in the house (including Nanay Susan) will be traveling together to Cebu, and not to mention with Mitch and Den Den, Cebu first timers!! I hope 5 days could stretch to 20 days to go to Cebu's most popular beaches like Bantayan Islands and Camotes. Ho well, my mom and my sister said they will go. But for working bees like us, 5 days would have to do.

**Wait for me! I'm coming!!!

**Presenting our new guests! Den and Mitch

Third Stop: Panglao, Bohol

My siblings and I believe my mom is lately possessed by an unknown happy spirit that makes her do things she wouldn't normally do. In truth, she is normally grouchy and very practical (bordering to being a cheapskate). She only sporadically splurges on things and RARELY initiates vacations whenever she reaches a certain milestone in her life or whenever she's dramatically depressed (always the case). One of her stress busters is always to go home to Cebu.

Usually when she goes home to Cebu she just stays with my lola and does nothing. Pedicure almost every week, malling and going to Camotes to visit more relatives. My dad would always ask her to come home after visiting (inspecting) her for roughly two days because he feels my mom isn't being very productive. That's why it's called a vacation, she would always say. But knowing my mother she is never the wandering type.

Recently, she sweet-talked my siblings into spending almost a month in Cebu with her. She plans to go to Bantayan Islands, go to Camotes and to book hotel rooms in various Mactan resorts just to unwind. She wanted to make me jealous with her plans. I didn't budge until she planned to go to Bohol.

Her sisters in Cebu have already been to Bohol. It's an hour boat ride away from Cebu anyways. My mom has always wanted to go, and she will do it this April. She asked one of her sisters to organize a tour for her and my siblings, and when she found out that my dad, nanay, Den, Mitch and I are going, she immediately included us as well. Therefore, we are all going to Bohol.

To my advantage, I've been there before. It was at the time when Bags went to Cebu in 2007. We went to Bohol and stayed in the posh and cozy Amarela Resort, owned by Bags' friend in High School. There I got to experience Bohol for the first time. Now, I know what to expect. It is definitely one of the places I'd love to come back to. It's not the active party-life Boracay, but it's definitely a vacation haven.

Last Sunday, while I was doing other stuff, my mom was canvassing for a resort in Bohol. She wants the best there is. Knowing my mom, who is a certified accountant slash cheapskate, she wants it to be budget friendly. My aunt who went there recommended to try Bohol Beach Club. My mom at that time was already close to booking until I told her the place where Bags and I stayed. This resort is smaller and cozier than Bohol Beach Club. It is relatively new and the rooms definitely have character. It's not your ordinary hotel. It's a boutique hotel with lush interiors and convenient amenities. It's like a mansion than a hotel! It's the perfect hotel for adults who want to get away from Manila and the noise that comes with it. Guaranteed you wouldn't hear kids running around the place. It has 25 rooms and most importantly it made a good impression on me.

Initially my mom was skeptical and she had an impression that its rates were over the roof. She wouldn't have it until she viewed the hotel's website. After roughly 5 minutes, my mom was swept away. She liked the interiors and the panoramic views of the rooms. The proposed quietness of the establishment takes the cake for her. She was captivated as I left her for roughly for 2 hours absorbing the hotel's pictures and amenities. The last time I checked up on her, she already booked two rooms for all of us.

Feast on where we are staying...

**The mixture of two rooms we booked.

Way to go mother for booking this!

What I love about this resort is that the fixtures are very new and highly thought of. This resort has a strong character. Each room boasts a panoramic view of Panglao. Not to mention, I LOVE the hotel's bathrooms. It's clean and chic.

And just to prove this resort's point, if I were to go back there again (which I definitely will), I'm going to choose this room and this bathroom (if possible). The SAMIA Suite matched with the Deluxe Queen Bathroom. Ahh....

If you're planning to go to Panglao Bohol, this is my ONLY recommendation for you. This boutique hotel is amazing. Everything that you want. Privacy, Convenience, Cleanliness and pure Relaxation! NOt to mention, they have accommodating staff and wonderful food! Visit their website and let yourself be enticed! Check Amarela Resort, Panglao Bohol

So far, these are the confirmed trips that I will be having for April. Every plane ticket is sealed and every accommodation is booked. I was supposed to be going to Roxas City with my dad next week. I miss that place tremendously and the overflowing cheap seafood of course, but due to limited vacation leaves, I have to be reminded not to abuse the kindness of my superiors. I have to go to vacation knowing that I am still gainfully employed, you know. Roxas would have to wait maybe in May or in June.

I'm counting the days silently. And if I can't wait, I can always go to Tagaytay to unwind for a day. But knowing me, I can do this. Roughly Two more weeks and off I go.

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