Gusto kong matutong mag-drive

Published May 15, 2013 by Diosa

Have you played a song in your head over and over again? Or perhaps do you have a theme song for your current endeavor?

Four years ago, I got my driver’s license but didn’t drive. I’m proud to say that I went through the whole legal process. For some unknown reasons, I just didn’t drive. Last January, our car was left in my care. I have no choice but to drive it. Lucky me, right? I did learn how to drive (thanks to A1 and my dad) and going to Pampanga put my skills to the test. And now the song plays on, magda-drive ako buong taon,magda-drive ako habang buhay, magda-drive ako hanggang buwan

Well, here’s my first long drive or overdrive…

on the way  to arayat

just exiting NLEX at San Simon. A scenic drive turned nightmare when we got lost.

I decided to go to Gintung Pakpak Ecopark because it had been raining and it wouldn’t be safe to go to Biak-na-Bato (that’s what I was told) Since I heavily depended on maps, I searched our way to the park with Google map. I totally overlooked the map on their facebook account which is why I followed a different way. Together with my aunt and friend, we made our way to the park. San Simon Exit was not a bad choice after all. We drove through the greens of the fields while heading to Mt. Arayat. We even caught a glimpse of their old church. The nightmare began when we went back and forth a rough road. At first, we were told we would get there once we passed by the municipal hall. It was just unfortunate that we were passing along the wrong town. The park is at the foot of Mt. Arayat but not in Arayat town. We had been circling the same route when I decided to stop at a gasoline station. The seller didn’t know the park but fortunately knew the barangay. She gave us the right direction but I also asked two soldiers outside the store just to be sure. When we reached the end of Magalang Road, we saw a sign of Gintung Pakpak Ecopark. Finally, the light at the end of the tunnel was now in sight!

We just followed the signs and went though narrow and steep roads and behold the park is real.

Welcome!

Welcome!

When we got there, we saw some students and the parking space was full. I was just so happy we could eat. I was nibbling on crackers while driving because I was just starving. We paid the P200 entrance fee and went right ahead to find the restaurant. P50 goes to the environment fee while the remaining can be consumed at the restaurant. We ate sinigang and seafood. I love the spicy and hot seafood but did not enjoy the sinigang. I just don’t like too much oil in my food.

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IMG_1691After the satisfying meal, a staff guided us with a tour in the park.

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line of bonsai

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with my aunt and friend

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the dorm

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tables and chairs, coffee and cream, stories and friends

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one of their beautiful villas

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inside the villa

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the park’s cute pool or big basin

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we found my friend’s wedding venue🙂

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at the restaurant

The park provides a place where you can really feel peaceful and commune with nature. I just felt connected with nature and somehow relieved from the noise of the city. After walking along the park, nothing quenched my thirst but their tamarind shake. I swear it’s the best fruit shake ever!

my tamarind shake

my tamarind shake

It was a long drive home but the experience of getting lost and going back the right path had the trip all worth it!

How to get to Gintung Pakpak Ecopark:

1. Visit their Facebook https://www.facebook.com/pages/Gintung-Pakpak-Ecopark/104946462922843?fref=ts

2. Call 09152375915 or 09288107701 or 09424545019.

3. Check their website http://www.gintungpakpakecopark.com

4. Have fun!

Expendable me

Published August 28, 2012 by Diosa

I turned 32 today and this is my first post for the 365 posts I promised to myself. I don’t know if I can keep up with this blogging but I might find it worthy of my time. Why expendable me? Expendable means

  1. (of an object) Designed to be used only once and then abandoned or destroyed.
  2. Of little significance when compared to an overall purpose, and therefore able to be abandoned.

Too dramatic and gruesome right? As of yesterday, I had my moment of feeling old, dramatic, and tired of the usual routine. I’m still living with my parents (with no space for privacy) and missing my sisters terribly. Have you read Veronika Decides to Die? Well, I was pondering and relating very much with her ordeal. My mom was pushing me to clean the house and calling me very lazy. My dad was under acting and pretending to be doing all the cleaning. I gave up arguing. I don’t want to point the obvious that we actually have house helper. And how much dirt can 4 people could actually accumulate? I’m not lazy because I work almost 10 hours a day during weekdays plus 2 half-day Saturdays. I was so upset so I scratched my wrist. (It’s so stupid, I remember saying to myself “para kang tanga.”)

hindi ako suicidal, nagdadrama lang

I just shut the hell up and then they were nagging me to go out with them and watch a movie. Really, it’s a losing battle whenever I try to resist them. I took a bath and went out. Surprisingly, they gave me a wonderful treat. My dad treated us with my favorite tenderloin steak and my mom bought me swimsuit cover up and snorkeling gear. (My sisters can’t believe it either!) After that, we watched “Expendables 2.” OH, how I LOVE Expendables 2. My action heroes are altogether in one movie. Yes, I was one of the people who clapped after the action-packed scenes. (1. when Chuck Norris saved them first 2. when they fought for the village (Jason Statham is soooo hot! ) 3. when Arnold S. (yeah, it’s hard to spell, don’t want to google it) drilled them out 4. when they all fought together at the airport 5. and yes, another applause for Chuck! ( I never appreciated his movies but I sooo liked him in this movie) Van Damme did well in playing the man we love to hate. I could rave all the lines I love:

1. “When was the last time you did that?, I forgot.” while watching Billy the kid breezed through the steep forest.

2. “I’ll be back” / “You’ve been back enough.”

3. “That belongs in a museum.” / “We all do.”

For a movie that’s supposed to be used only once, I don’t mind having a part 3.

The whole day totally soothed my grudge and sweetened my disposition.

Going back to philosophizing the meaning of expendable, well, we all live once. The day we are born is the day we start dying. We need to fully live our lives. The world does not revolve around us. We are just part of the big picture. After falling off the calendar, I reflected on the days when I can’t wait to grow up and be an adult. I wanted to rush things and constantly worry about the future. This time, I wish for the time to slow down. Live each day. Smile for a moment. Laugh a lot. Cry a little. Get mad. Travel more. Walk farther. Drive now. Say what you mean. Mean what you say.Hold tight. Let go.

Though my parents drive me crazy at times, I would still love to spend time with them. When I was in my 20’s, I decided that I should be married at 30. And then, I don’t see marriage an option anymore. I dreamed of being a teacher and then, I dream to have another dream. I hope to build something. But the truth is, I really don’t know what chances I’ll take. I just pray that I have the courage to actually take the chance.

Today is the first day of the rest of my life. It’s actually a good start. I was early at work today. It was smooth traffic all the way to school and no bad men trying to slash my bag. My colleagues greeted me. We ate lunch on time. I was less irritated. I taught and learned. I realized why I love and hate my job. One preschooler had a very high-pitched voice. A grade school student concluded, “you must hate your job, she’s so annoying.” That remark actually calmed me down. I have been teaching her since she was in nursery now she’s grade 7. It was fun teaching her and after 3hours of studying, I told her “you must hate studying with me.” Then we laughed out loud. Well, my luck ran out and I got stuck in traffic. I got off and walked home. My mom and dad waited me for dinner. They might have took an hour earlier to realize that it is my birthday today but they did make up big time.

I feel loved and I’m thankful.

*** I’m grateful to my family and friends that greeted me thru text. I just felt more important and I was touched.. really. Tata, Karen, Tito Ago and Tita Magie, Tita Liset, Made, Tita Baby, Ama, Janet, Rica,Beng, Ian and for my starbucks coffee,

my fave espresso frap

Mae, AJ, Arnold, Liza, Tita Susan and Mabel and Jen. My facebook friends, more than hundred people greeted me! Even my highschool crush who never talked to me.

And my sisters who called me, I just miss you so much. We’ve been celebrating birthdays separately for too long.

My trip to Legaspi, Daraga, Donsol, and Cagraray

Published April 9, 2012 by Diosa

In every travel I take, I rely on the internet for information heavily. I’m guilty of not being able to say thanks to those who took time and put their itinerary on the cyber world. I hope this will be the first of many travelling tips and guides I contribute in the net.

Date / Time Actvities Things to Bring Fee
April 4

6:40 am

8:40 am

9:40

1:00 pm

3:00 pm

4:00 pm

Manila – Terminal 3

Terminal Fee

Manila – Legaspi

Via Airphil

Legaspi City Airport

City Tour and Donsol Transfer

Lignon Hill

Daraga Church

Cagsawa Ruins

Lunch

Embarcadero

Legaspi Blvd.

Go to Donsol

Vitton and Woodlands Resort

Standard Double

Deluxe

Register at Donsol tourism office

E-ticket. Valid ID. Credit card used

 

 

 

 

Comfy clothes and shoes

Mosquito Repellant

Sunblock

Water

P200/pax

P1918/pax

 

 

P20000/coaster/3 days

P20/pax (senior  citizen/ children below 3 feet – free)

Optional:

Zipline: P250 – 350/pax

P10

P250 (eat all you can)

P2640/night

P2400/night

*extra mattress – P300

April 5

5:30am

7:00 am

10:00 am

 

6:30 pm

Wake up

Whaleshark Interaction

Registration

Back to Resort

 

Firefly watching

Packed food and water, sun protection apparel and lotions, snorkeling gear, and underwater or video cameras, minus artificial underwater illumination devices or gadgets.  

P3500/boat

P100/pax

Optional:

Snorkeling Gear – Rental Fee P300/pax

P1250/5 pax

April 6

7:00am

9:00

 

 

 

 

 

 

4:00pm

Donsol to Legaspi City

Day tour at Misibis Bay

Roundtrip land transfers (from your hotel in Legazpi City/Hotel Venezia to Misibis Bay) Lunch at Spice Market / Dela Playa Restaurant

Non-motorized watersports activities like Stand-Up Paddle (SUP) surfing, Hobie Cat sailing,windsurfing, kayaking, and snorkeling

Use of resort facilities (Indoor Activity Center, swimming pools and fitness center)

Legazpi to Donsol

Sunblock

Camera

Swimsuit

Changing clothes

 

P4270/pax

(children 5 years and below – free, 20% senior citizen discount)

April 7

9:00 am

11:15am

1:15 pm

2:10 pm

Donsol to Legazpi

Legaspi Airport

Terminal Fee

Legaspi to Manila

Via Zest Air

Manila – Terminal 4 (Old Domestic airport)

E-ticket, Valid ID, Credit card used  

 

P30/pax

 

P1384.40/pax

 

Contact Numbers:

Albay Tourism Office: 052 4810250                                                  Vitton and Woodlands Resort:  annie.09279126313; 09178501771

Misibis Bay: 09175991590; 0524810888; 026618888                        Legazpi Tourism Office: 052 480-4956/57

Roam-travel: miggie.09175581494; 09228207954                            Legazpi City Tourism Services Unit: 052 4802698

Airphil: 052 480-7515; 855-9000                                                         Zestair: 855-3333; 052 4805005/55

Please use this as guide, don’t follow it. The travel to and fro Donsol is very tiring. If I could undo our itinerary, it was better to stay in Legaspi.

In the company of children

Published April 9, 2012 by Diosa

I had been a preschool teacher for many years now. I love the children but after spending 10 months with them I really need a break. Come March and all teachers are looking forward to summer vacation. We are seeking peace and silence with nobody calling us teacher.

I spent my summer break in Bicol with friends from work. Surprisingly, I still found good company in children. Maybe not that surprising but without trying I found myself enjoying a moment with them. It was relaxing as well as stimulating. They are witty and yes far more sensible than some grownups.

On my first day in Donsol, I was excited to see the whalesharks but only got disappointed when they didn’t surface the water. Perhaps with 30 boats all over the place, they were stressed out and hid in the deep part of the sea. It was terribly disappointing but I had been warned. We ate lunch and washed up. I was about to take a nap but decided to explore the place instead. I was eating my clubhouse sandwich when dogs started barking at the sea. It was a little intense as there were only few people and we couldn’t see why the dogs were barking. My imagination was running a bit wild. Is it a sign of earthquake or tsunami? Then, I saw the girl with her 3 big dogs. Two are German shepherds and one is a Rottweiler. The street dogs were barking ferociously and the girl teased them even more when she told her dogs to stay inside the resort. Eventually, she called her dogs and finally the other dogs calmed down. I thought this was my only encounter with her. I was mistaken. After eating my snack, I took a stroll at the beach. I was practically the only one there. I began taking pictures and went far from the resort. On my way back, she came out from her house with her three dogs. The dogs had their ears up and I felt their eyes steadily on me. She was digging in the sand when she suddenly spoke to me. She lives in Bicol and speaks English fluently. She showed me that she was digging out the glass in the sand. She asked where I came from and if I will be staying in Bicol. And all along her dog was sniffing me. I tried to be very cool because I’m really scared of her dogs. Though I know that these are trained dogs, it was still unnerving for me.

little bicolana with her three dogs

I knew Lyle since he was in his mommy’s tummy. He may be impertinent at times but he has redeeming qualities. I actually appreciated him on this trip. We were together during our firefly watching and disappointingly whale shark non-interaction. He is very caring with his younger cousin and shares everything with him. When I saw them eating snacks, the youngest was really hungry. Lyle shared his noodles with him and didn’t mind at all if he had eaten even his share. During our firefly watching, he was his usual self when his cousin said something and he told off his cousin that only an idiotic person would think about that. Unfortunately, his aunt was right there. He was clearly fighting back. He would ask silly questions and when I told him not to ask idiotic questions anymore, he came up with sensible ones. The tour guide was really patient with him but he totally pissed off his aunt. What really put him to sleep was when we talked about the natural lights like the sun, stars, and the firefly. He was leaning heavily and quietly snoring. When we got off the boat, he went to his mom and whispered that he didn’t see the fireflies because he fell asleep. The next day, I enjoyed playing table football with him. Even though he lost in all games, he was very sport and enjoyed the games too.

Lyle

On our last day, I met Theo. A four year old boy who jumps into the pool and never wants to get out of it. I was trying to swim when he showed me his water gun. He lent it to me and demonstrated how to use it. He started showing off his tricks with his gun and urging me to follow him. Later on, he got his ball and we started playing similar to football. Only in this game, we didn’t use feet but the water gun to push the ball. We were having fun and he was really nice and friendly. He is also funny. He told me that he farts like his dad. Oh! Really? He asked me if I didn’t hear it. Did you fart? He answered all the time. He’s one cute boy who takes pride in his fart.  His aunt called him to eat breakfast and that was the time when he became really upset. I told him that I’ll be swimming at the beach and be getting out of the pool too. He was sad and we said our goodbyes. If ever I have a child, I really would like it to be like Theo. He is such a charmer!

Sometimes difficult children ruin my desire of having children of my own but some children restore my faith in actually having one.

A Reluctant Big Sister

Published May 15, 2011 by Diosa

Traveled more than 10 hours by boat, bus, and jeep, trekked for more than 6 hours, slept less than 8 hours in three days, made 27 river crossings, day, hit by a storm, stranded for a day! Why, why did I join?…..

Well, no regrets because I’m happy that I was a part of a group of volunteers who endured harsh conditions just to deliver school supplies to students in remote areas in Marinduque.

It was both challenging and very rewarding as my friend said, “an experience worth repeating.”

I joined BBBS last month thru my friend, Joy. It wasn’t actually an invitation because she had already signed me up for it. I don’t there is still a chance to decline.🙂  Anyway, BBBS stands for Big Brother Big Sister. They are a group of volunteers bringing school supplies to students in remote areas in our countries since 2005. As a teacher, I understand how happy the students would be when they receive these school materials. Trust me when I tell you that teachers are the only people in the world that would get excited over pen and paper. It’s the kind of outreach activity that really touched my heart. But I did have my doubts. I was ready to back out when we had our pre-climb meeting and read the itinerary. There would be 10 hours of traveling and 4 hours of trekking. I’m not out of shape or physically inactive but I don’t really want to push my limit. I have scoliosis and vertigo. I’m anemic and underweight. I was actually asking my sister to take my place. I think the group wouldn’t notice the difference.🙂 Well, except for Joy and new-found friend, Lorrie who rode home with us. We attended the 2nd packing session and found out the weight of the school bag. It wasn’t that heavy but if you’ll be carrying it for a long period of time, it would eventually weigh you down. We were already thinking what are the essentials we’ll bring and the things we can live without for two days. My bag was packed a day before the trip and what’s left is the food and bags. When we got to the meeting place, we had the small bags among the group but Joy’s was smaller. She was ready to exchange bags with me because I’ve been dreading this day. I was really out of my mind when I joined. Seriously, I was planning on getting in the next available cab and just go home. We started loading the bus and soon we’re off to Lucena Port. I was able to sleep during the bus ride because our journey wasn’t cold nor bumpy. It was still early when we got off the bus. We boarded the ferry and occupied the top. The volunteers soon searched for a place to sleep. Some opted to lie down at the sides and some slept on the floor right beside the chairs. As for me, I stayed put and waited the others to vacate the chair and got it all for myself. (Nice tactic!) It wasn’t comfortable but definitely better than the floor. It was the best place. (As what my group mate, Ryan, resentfully pointed out during the post climb meeting. hindi naman masama loob mo sa akin no?:-) ) This was the point when I lost sense of time. I got off the ferry and got in the jeep. There was a monstrous jeep and it could definitely pass up as an autobot. (LOL! fyi,I met optimus prime in Dubai, it would be great to have a local autobot) I always enjoy jeepney rides in provinces. I remember getting around Batanes while riding on top of the jeep and it  definitely gave me a different thrill and enjoyment in riding jeeps. Anyway, I was inside the jeep when we went to our first school in Marinduque. I slept a little but when I caught a glimpse of the sky starting to brighten up I woke up.  I am simply amazed every time the jeep crossed the river. After three hours, we reached Boi school. They were really friendly and hospitable and they even prepared breakfast for us.The bags were distributed and pictures were taken. I stood beside the stage and tried to be helpful but I was swarmed with parents. I went at the back and watched the children excitedly opened their bags. They were comparing what they have and seemed to be proud that they have these things. I took my backpack and prepared for the trek. And how did I prepare? I put on sunblock and just stuffed in the school bag inside my backpack. Instead of 2 bags we were supposed to bring, we were given only one. I’m not complaining there. But if we didn’t carry any bag, it would totally defeat the purpose of volunteering right? Well, we were set to go and began our 4 hour trek.  They said we went for 27 river crossings but I didn’t actually count. I didn’t bother to check on time but eventually I was getting tired and hungry. What was stated as four hour trek, it stretched into 6 hours or more. Whenever we asked a local how far the school is, they would say just one hour. I didn’t complain at all because I was busy motivating myself to keep on going. Whenever someone asked me if I was ok, I’ll just nod my head and smile. As far as I remember, we had a coconut break and from then on I just want to finish the trek.  In my mind, I was stuck in a moment where if I didn’t follow I’ll die.(What’s worst than dying, right?) Seriously, I have no option except endure the trail for I don’t how to go home on my own. And I was sure that it will get worse. And it did. We finally arrived in Tambuhan School. We didn’t wait anymore for our group mates, Joy and I started eating our lunch and rested on the ground.  After Tambuhan School, we trekked again to meet the jeep. They said that it will be just 30 minutes trek. I no longer believed them. We trekked for two hours more. I tried to enjoy and appreciate the scenery but good things never last.  The perfectly easy trail was ruined when we went for a short cut. My whole left foot soaked in mud when we tested a branch to cross the mud. Well, we reached the jeep anyway. Off to Poctoy beach. The mayor let us stay in the resort  instead of going back to the school. Thanks!  Then, it began to rain. I would say that my group was still fortunate than the rest because we were able to eat right away. It was very lucky for me to have AMCI mountaineers in our group. Cooking for me is ordering in or reheating. My only culinary skill I actually take pride in is my blueberry cheesecake and it’s stupid to bring something like that in camp. I successfully took a bath in a paid shower room after a few trips to and fro my disorganized bag. I was cleaned and fed. It was the greatest feeling in the world. Then, I drank a few shots of liquor and slept. I am a light sleeper which is why sleeping is another adventure. I slept with the sound of hard pouring rain blending in with the symphony of snoring people and one stood out as he talked in his sleep. Typhoon Bebeng hit Philippines and we got extended for another day. I had a feeling that something like this would happened. I’m not regretful that I joined this outreach but I still worried about work. Its a whole different story but it’s what bothered me during the program. We went to Sihi from Poctoy beach. How unlucky that our jeep broke down. It didn’t surprise me anymore. The driver was able to replace the jeep anyway. When we reached Sihi, it was really raining hard. Some of the children were soaking wet and shivering in the cold. I can’t really put my mind at ease after seeing the weather as for sure we won’t be able to go home. Since I was already stranded there, I joined some of the games but not really in the mood for it. How ironic is it, since I’m the most playful teacher in our school. Oh! School, school, I was worried about our own school. Thankfully, I met group 10. I talked to some of their group members and found out that two of them, Val and Don, were my schoolmates in college. I graduated before they went in. I love UPLB and it’s always nice to meet fellow graduates. A lot of pictures were taken and soon enough the program was done. We went to Marinduque Hot Springs Resort to eat lunch prepared by the governor. Some swam while the others, like me, just rested at the restaurant. In the middle of our conversation, Lorrie and I watched shamelessly our fellow BBBS volunteer stripped down to his swimming trunks.:) Since we were stranded, the governor and  Ate Gina were so kind and generous that they provided us food and place to sleep at their house for the night. How blessed we are! I’m so grateful to them. At around 4 in the afternoon, we headed to the governor’s house. The resort was impressive but hardly maintained. After dinner, each group performed and it was really funny. We presented a simple skit ala-Rex Navarete. Since we’re the X-men, we portrayed each character. I was Jean Grey and shared the stage with Professor X. We had a Filipina maid who had previously worked at the Super Friends house. She was irritated with my telepathic ability. I knew exactly what she was thinking. She thinks my boobs are small. (LOL! huh, does my 34B really stand for barely there? Well, better than A for absent.) Then, there was Storm who caused the typhoon and kept us in the island. After all the members were called, we danced “Kapag tumibok ang puso,” I enjoyed watching Voltes V and Dragonball Z. (And they won!) Some stayed for a few drinks and few got drunk. One group got angry and a couple got into fight. At least two women were crying. Some cute guys turned out to be gay. As for me, I would say san mig pail pilsen tastes better than san mig light. The weather improved and we were set to go home. Yehey!

I’m sure I wouldn’t be able to survive if not for these people who made this experience very memorable and tolerable for me.My heartfelt thanks to Joy, who signed me up for this, who was so fast during the trek to completely avoid my rant, (you can run but we’ll still meet in school🙂 .)my group, the X-Men, the hot mamas, Elaine and Lorrie, who amazed us and took care of me (I’m not really drunk nor heart broken), Ryan, who guided us first timers and kept us company and tirelessly make kwento, our group leader, Ian, who really helped the group finished the trail, Nell, who was running after Joy, Clint and Jazz, the sweepers, the Pulag Girls, Cath and Aileen, and Alman, who shared his things and fed us and made us laugh and even gave a sleazy strip dance to us.

Thanks also to BBBS Climb Staff , Ate Gina, the governor, and the people of Marinduque.

Filipino and Proud

Published April 11, 2011 by Diosa

My Filipino and Proud shirt.

It’s very comfortable and fits me well.

It’s one of the shirts I usually pack when I travel.

I’m actually proud when other nationals notice and like it.

Will I wear it again?

Of course, I will.

Last August 23, 2010, a man took hostage of a tourist bus in Manila. It ended in bloodbath with 8 hostages and the gunman killed. It was indeed a sad day for the Philippines. I sympathize with the family and friends of those who had died. I also hope for justice to be served. I mourned for the lives lost at the same time troubled with what will happen to my motherland. The result had left a negative image to our country. We blamed the policemen and the media for what transpired on that day but we didn’t examined our own actions when we watched it like a soap opera on tv. Perhaps if these sectors of our society are taking steps to learn and improve, shouldn’t that include us too? Instead of criticizing the president, we should also do something to be better Filipinos. Echoing his words, let us not be defined by this one incident. Inspirations and hopes still float. As long as there as great Filipino striving, we could change our country in a major way. As long as there are Efren Penaflorida, Charice, Venus Raj, honest citizens who return enormous amount of money, we could strive to be better. Even Jejemom teaches us to be good Filipino, “nagbabayad ako ng tax, hindi ako tumatawid sa hindi tawiran dahil nakakamatay, hindi ako bumibili ng pirated DVD sa Quiapo.”

I’m Diosa Diaz, 30, Philippines!

Desert Safari

Published April 11, 2011 by Diosa

Desert Safari is one unique experience in Dubai. It’s a roller coaster ride across the sand dunes. I was very excited because I would really see the desert. It’s amazing how the land of sand stretches to meet the sky and sun. When we first landed here, I was already looking for the desert and was left wondering how they built the city on loose ground. But that’s another story.

My sister booked me and my other sister at Sunflower tours. It was a good deal since she managed to get a voucher for two for the price of one. The driver picked us up from where we were staying and dropped us back. Since its a group tour, we joined another set of tourists. (Note: Its better if you are a group of six when you take the tour.) Unfortunately for me and my sister, our group was the quiet one. The two of us were showing real excitement while the other four were meditating or something. As far as I remembered, they reacted one time. Just one time. Anyway, one can’t rely happiness on others so better stay blissful and optimistic. The land cruisers lined up and started rolling. The drivers were really good because there were times when I thought that we would tipped over but we didn’t. Thankfully! I’m so impressed with their skills. The terrain changes frequently and they still know the land like the palm of their hand.

All geared up for the ride in the desert.

and the roller coaster ride pushed to its climax.

A quick stop at the camel farm. Of course we couldn’t miss the camels in the desert. You’ll know you’re near the camels if you spot prune-like thingy on the sand. It’s their poop. :)My messy hair looked like it was licked by the camels. (FYI, it wasn’t. I blamed it on the weather. It was hot and then it got cold.)

Dinner at the camp ended our safari ride. We arrived first at the camp and got to explore the place before the other tourists crowd in. Since I’m the “sulit” girl, I needed to use up all the stuff that’s included in our tour. Well, I drank coffee (I needed to drink something hot as , ate Arabic food, got my tattoo, rode the camel, and fooled around with sandboarding. I didn’t try the sheesha because I never smoke in my life. I wouldn’t want to spend the rest of the evening coughing. My tolerance to self-inject smoke is limited to hanging out with my friends AJ & her hubby Jo & Serge which happens once in two or three years. Anyway, I certainly regretted not trying the sheesha when I saw the hot Italian brothers inside the sheesha room.🙂

Gauging myself if I would ride these smelly camels. Well, I did. As darkness fell, more tourists came and rode the camels.

I think I was the only guest who did this. Trying hard to balance and slide down the cold sand.

The girl is so fast and good. She did our matching henna tattoos in minutes. Compared with the henna tattoo artists found at the beach, no one comes close to this girl’s talent.

We got lamb, chicken, veggies, and few other things that I didn’t recognize. After tasting Arabic food, I declare I’m not really a big fan of it. I still prefer Chinese, Thai, Pinoy, Italian, and even Korean.

Towards the end of our meal, the belly dancer entered and began her show.

And the dancer performed with all her belly……….dancing grace and talent

I would say that this is the highlight of the performance. Isn’t the girl just look so adorable?

Desert Safari is just one-time experience for me. It wasn’t really the ride of my life. Once is enough. I understand why nobody wants to join us after they had this tour. It’s unbelievable that my brother-in-law joined this seven times.

You know when I was in Batanes, I rode on top of the jeep along the cliffs of island. I love the blend of different colors, the sound of the waves, the wind blowing on my face and people’s smiles. Both rides have heart stopping and overwhelming moments. Both rides pose danger but surely promise an unforgettable experience. Roller coasters in theme parks won’t give you the same thrill and excitement. I know land cruiser is safer but I always imagine the desert with quicksand. What if we tip over and land on the quicksand. Thinking about it makes me gasps for air. At least at the cliff, it would be swift and I would be easily spotted. Would you like to try both?

*sulit – maximizing what you paid for

**pictures were taken by dona diaz

***check out my friend’s blog: http://annagumamela.blogspot.com/

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