Luck with long-lost relatives

I admit, it all seemed too good to be true. I mean, to find long lost "relatives" through Facebook and get to know them online is one thing. But to actually meet in person for the first time and spend the weekend at their home in the faraway town of Limay, Bataan? That's a completely different story. Well of course we had our reservations. Save for our shared last name, they're practically strangers whom I know nothing about. But our grandaunt insisted that we tag along, convincing that the more we were, the safer we'd be. And who knows what fun we'd have for the next two and a half days with a bunch of potential criminals...?


Sugar, smiles, and everything nice

Without fail, my trips to Bacolod and its neighboring towns in Negros Occidental bring nothing but the sweetest of memories.

I fondly remember that it was the first stop of our "most epic sembreak trip ever" with our dormmates back in October 2010. Although we came a little late for the Masskara celebration, we had an amazing party of our own in just one day—taking a nature trek to this secluded waterfalls we had all to ourselves plus stuffing ourselves silly with chicken inasals.

There was also the summer after college graduation (2012) where my favorite girls and I happily returned to Bacolod for yet another overnight stay, all before we faced "the real world." We finally experienced The Ruins after much talk and anticipation as well as sampled possibly all the cakes from Calea. I shuttled back and forth a couple more times that month to accompany my cousin Lissie for her doctor's appointment, and do some extra exploring like getting a taste of Bob's on the side.

Fast forward to my week at home in August last year, those talks about revisiting the City of Smiles for a weekend had finally seen the light of day. Mom, Raf, and I took an early morning hour and a half ferry ride one Saturday and I got pretty excited to be bonding in a new environment with my mother and brother, both of whom I barely get to see and spend time with since they live thousands of miles away from us sisters in Manila.