Christmas time is over and the New Year is here, never a white Christmas or a very cool weather for us here in the Philippines, but still a very special time as always. Surrounded by our loved once is the best time to celebrate and reflect all the good things that has happened to us this year. I’m very thankful to have the opportunity to spend Christmas time this year with my family at the heart of the Philippines, Marinduque, the only heart shaped island province in the Philippines.
We took 40 minutes plane ride from Manila to Marinduque airport, 40 minutes private van ride to the port, then about 10 minutes by speed boat to Bellarocca, a Greek inspired island resort and spa in Marinduque. The place is beautiful and surreal, the smell of the sea was refreshing…
Unfortunately we “wasted” 12 hours just eating and watching movies at our 2 bedroom deluxe cottage because of the heavy typhoon (signal # 1). My mom became paranoid when it browned out for an hour in the middle of the night ( 1 to 2 am ), thinking there might be Abu Sayaf terrorists planning to attack the island. So the following day she demanded that she wanted to stay in the hotel instead of the nice cozy cottage we had. The hotel manager was nice enough to give us the last available room in the hotel for free while the cottage is still ours if we ever want to stay there and relax during the day. It was only a one bedroom hotel room but they were kind enough to fix it for us. They added two queen size bed along with a king size bed in the room so my whole family can squeeze in the room for the night ( photo below on the right ).
The following days, the weather was surprisingly to say the least, perfect—breezy, cool and sunny. Perfect for canoeing, snorkeling, swimming, sand sculpting, kayaking, jet skiing, wind surfing, getting a massage, eating and daydreaming.
Food was expensive but worth it. The service was very good, we had food delivered to the cottage and eat in our dining room. They even set the table with the placemats, drinking glasses, forks and spoons. The food is warm and beautifully presented making it delicious and enjoyable. My favorite was the Paella, Pesto pasta, club sandwich, pinakbet, and curried chicken. (I forgot to take pictures! Darn!) The Kare kare ( ox tail in peanut sauce ) was very good too, we ordered it everyday during our stay. We asked the waiters to puree some of their foods so our 8-tooth baby can enjoy the cuisine as well, they served it with a desert spoon, a brilliant substitute for baby spoon I must say. Got back with a slightly bad sunburn but all was worth it.
On our way home, many small vendors in the streets are selling all sorts of fire crackers, we just had to buy some to play at home.
So are you all geared up for 2013? Christmas time can really make us all go crazy and broke with the gift giving, to me, the best way to unwind and welcome the New Year 2013 is to be at beach with family creating a happy vacation memories.
Happy New Year my thoughtful readers! New Hopes, New Plans, New Memories, here we go!
© 2012 Abigail Lu / Artistic Milestone