Long Distance Love

Many people believe that long distance relationships are never going to work out. Nobody says it is going to be easy – that extra distance that makes many things unachievable. Things could get complicated, and you could get sad and lonely at times. I’m not going to lie to you; long distance relationships are probably the toughest kind of relationships, the ones that actually require you to give in every single thing you’ve got, the ones that can turn you into the one of the most frustrated people on the planet, and the ones that can actually make you start questioning and begin to understand why you ever agreed to put yourself through this. The endless struggle of not seeing each other, making late night phone calls and keeping the fire alive is all too real. But, there’s no denying that as challenging as it is or was, living apart from one another only brought you and your significant other closer together.

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I, like many other happy people on this earth, have found myself in a long distance relationship and while it might be difficult, it’s working out just fine for my boyfriend and I.  For the first six months of my current relationship, I had been living between eleven to fourteen hours away from my boyfriend. We had known of each other for several months until last September, both of us decided to level up our friendship and continues on a more serious relationship; however, I never experienced a serious long distance relationship beforehand.

It completely changed when my boyfriend made serious career changes and decided to work on a cruise ship line which means he’ll be thousand miles away from me travelling from one country to another. Because I don’t want to be a hindrance for his dream and I want him to be happy. I supported him in whatever dream/s he has. I also understand that if we both have our time apart to achieve some of our goals, then we can have a future where we achieve the rest together

Just like any other long distance relationship plays out, we struggled, grew and learned to love in our particular way. It was difficult but we were committed to make things work out. It’s very challenging and being in this kind of relationship has changed me a lot. You both need to adjust with each other time and schedule. It’s hard but I know it will be worth it. Being in a long distance relationship is never easy. You need to deal with the distance, time difference, the loneliness, and even jealousy of the people who get to see your significant other. Long distance relationship may be tough but it has its own surprises too.

My boyfriend and I are in such relationship and so far, we’re getting the hang of it. But sometimes, no, every single day I just can’t help to miss him. It’s hard being away from the one you love. Only people who spend their days missing another person like we do truly understand how hard it is to see someone so important to you on a screen and only on a screen. And even more annoying, every time your data is crappy or your wifi cuts out, your connection is lost or you’re left reconnecting for minutes on end. It’s absolutely infuriating.

When time difference is such real bitch, whether it’s an hour or 12, being on another time zone is a constant struggle. When you’re waking up, he’s half-finished with his day. He’s headed to bed long before you’re even thinking about clocking out for the night. I know it isn’t the end of the world and it can be managed with a little compromise between you two.

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There are times you’ll worry for no reason about stupid things. That’s the thing about distance; it can make you a bit paranoid. I don’t even know where to start on this one. I’m sure other women out there understand what I’m trying to say. Let’s just say that when you’re thousand miles away, TRUST and UNDERSTANDING is a big deal. Without those two things, your relationship will fail. I promise you that. Now, I know you might be getting a bit worked up. But you don’t have to mistrust him while thinking of horrible scenarios in your head. For me anyway, I know that any awful thing that crawls into my mind isn’t true. It also helps when you know what they’re doing and who they’re with. It leaves less blanks for your mind to fill in. It requires a lot of understanding. Understanding that his day change and our schedules are different. And that’s okay. All you have to do is understand that things get busy, and that you talk when you can. However, if you believe in your heart that the person your with loves you as much as you love them, you’ve got nothing to worry about. If you trust one another, you’ll come away from your time apart a stronger couple.

I learned to adjust with my boyfriend’s schedule. I’m getting the hang of talking to him more or less one hour everyday or I say whenever his schedule is not that hectic. Even though sometimes I feel bad I wasn’t able to talk to him or see him, I can’t complain about it. The most I can do is to wait for him to be online and sit from across a screen just to look at each other faces and talk to each other as much time as we possibly can. Just being in different time zones makes scheduling much harder than it needs to be. You have to sacrifice sleep and learn how to make time and prioritize your significant other.

Yes, the waiting can be painful. It sure as hell it isn’t a Hollywood romance. Sometimes you feel like giving up, but you chose to keep going. You need to remind yourself that the results at the end will be sweet as heaven. I see every second, every minutes of our conversation as a blessing. No matter how short the time we have talking to each other. I love him and I hope this waiting, this long distance relationship will be worth it. The little things he does for me are the big things. Getting an “I love you”, “I miss you” and such a simple “Good morning” and “Good night” text in the middle of the day or when you wake up feels like getting flowers from him. It’s pleasant to know that you’re the first and last thing on your boyfriends’ mind. You appreciate the littlest things so much that the bigger things feel even better.

But at the end of the day, when all is said and done, when all your heart and soul has been put into this one part of your life, you will know and be proud of the fact that your relationship has come out a lot stronger and has become more resilient than an average relationship could ever be. With God in the center of our relationship, I know everything will be fine in the end. I’m just excited to see my love, to kiss and to hug him tight.

Are you in the beginning, the middle or end of a long distance relationship? Be strong and take heart!! Here’s to us and a love that survives even the longest bouts of separation. If you’re in a committed relationship and serious about your significant other, the time spent apart will seem short in the long run. It takes time to grow together but you’ll find that distance, no matter how painful, truly makes the heart grow fonder.

Digital Sands of Time

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Is the worth of something measured when you are able to record or document it? Is the worth of your day measured when you are able to tweet every single moment of it? When you are able to blog about it? How do we reckon the value of something nowadays?

I used to be anxious when I wasn’t able to document something and be able to share it. So I then stopped. I stopped. I was curious of this phenomenon that goes by unnoticed but took its toll. I realized, are we ever living in the present? We spend so much time documenting moments with our gadgets that we forget the most important lens of all, our eyes, and the most important memory card? The ones in our heads, not the 1 terabyte hard drive (although it comes in handy with school/work). We tend to live in the pictures that we are only reminded of the feeling once we see it, but do we ever completely feel the actual moment once we close our eyes and replay it in our heads?

I shifted my perspective. We don’t always have to blog about something or be anxious when we feel like we are missing something online. Slowly, I deviated away from Facebook, Twitter and Tumblr. I deviated from the noise and find someplace that is more tangible. I wrote in my journal, and I am writing it here too.

Sorry if I am not able to write often, or probably missing more posts and entries in the future. Sorry I am not sorry at all. I am busy trying to participate in the moment. Knowing I am alive, and I am here. I am present. I am living. I am here.

Poetry #8 – Someplace, I’d rather be [With Someone]

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At this very moment I am supposed to be

thinking about something else,

but may I just ask,

Why is it that we are never really where we are?

Why do we always have a “somewhere else I’d rather be”?

I’ve never realized it until now,

but there’s something about far places that intrigued me.

Something about longing to be there.

I know that this could only mean one thing:

I am in search of solace.

Where do you find it?

Is it in the person you love?

In touching the soft wings of a dead butterfly?

In coffee? Cold floors?

In room full of roses and tulips?

Is it strange to find solace in a set of skeleton keys or blank notebooks and journals?

Sometime I wonder,

in my search for solace,

who will come with me,

when they all have

somewhere else they’d rather be?

Letters to X: You Weren’t Even Mine

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There are few things as hopeful as the feeling you get when you make a connection with someone. You try not to jump the gun. After all, you get weird when there’s too much warmth. You want a guy who’s rational and won’t let his feelings dictate his reactions, and it seems like this might be him.

You’re excited to see where this goes, and that feeling grows ever so slightly when he mentions how much he’s looking forward to taking you out again. But, suddenly, your prospect disappears, just like the men who came before him and those who have yet to surface.

How are you doing? You’re probably thinking the same thing you always said: Good, but busy. Work is crazy, and you’ve been hanging with friends. Crazy how time flies, right?! Let me tell you how I’ve been: I’ve been nostalgic. Maybe it’s due to all the Taylor Swift I’ve been listening to.

I’ve been lonely. I sit around and watch my best friends in loving relationships, so I know I’m not reaching for the stars when I say I eventually want something like that. Men are out there; I’m looking at them. I’m actually looking at guys who genuinely care for other people more than themselves. A guy who’s rational and won’t let his feelings dictate his reactions, but for the life of me, I can’t seem to locate a single guy like that for myself.

But today, I choose to be free. Walking alone in a vast forest, you take comfort in the solitude. When the sun shines through the trees, it’s warm and when the breeze picks up, the leaves rustle. Up ahead there seems to be a small, natural clearing where the grass is moving in waves.

I choose to free myself from everything that relates me to you and you to me. I don’t want to be chained by the memories — the ones that kept me from stepping that first step into moving on— any longer. Now, you’ve made it clear to me that I am just a sentence in your book. And I choose to close that chapter.

I don’t want to fall harder for someone who I know will easily gives up on me and not take the same risk of falling for me. It hurts knowing they looked at you and saw nothing but another notch in their belt or a page in their diary. I put too much of my heart into this too soon. So maybe it’s my own fault. My expectations of what was happening between us were apparently out of reach. I thought we were on the same page, and you assured me many times that we were.

You’re great, but you’re not that great. You’re smart, but you’re not that smart. You’re attractive, but you’re no Hemsworth. If you miss me, tell me. If you want me, tell me and if you need me gone, out of your life, moved on, with someone else, anything… tell me. For whatever reason, you dropped the ball, and I know that. You talk the talk, but you don’t walk the walk, and I deserve someone who does.

But I shouldn’t feel this hollow. I have other things to focus on, other people to give love to, and other memories — not from you — to hold on to. You dropped the ball, and one day you’ll realize that. I know that, too. But, if you don’t mean the words you’re feeding me, then stop. Let me breathe. If chances are not made and it turns out that we are not meant to be, I hope there will be someone who prove themselves to be worthy of our love.

This will be the end of a story that had a fairy tale beginning and a tragic end — on my part.

But you get through it, because moving on is the only way to open your mind to the possibility of falling in love with someone new. This is the start of me taking over my life again; me getting back on my feet; me living MY life.

You’ve taken too much of my mind and occupied most of my heart but now I am taking it all back. Maybe these haunting thoughts will disappear along with some of the pain. As you put it, you have to let go of the memory of me and my memory of you.

Take care of yourself because you definitely are.

Wishing us both the best.

End.

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Flashback to previous entry –>Letters to X: You deserve A Woman

Letters to X: You deserve A Woman

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I feel like I do not deserve you.

You deserve a woman who is beautiful, whose face carries flawless, soft skin, and a smile that lights up the room. You deserve someone who walks with grace and speaks with the most decadent of voices. She should be gentle, caring, submissive, sweet…

She will lend you her body most nights, and you will enjoy her beauty. You will have adorable children.

I can see you walking down the mall with her perfection snug around your arm, with your eldest bundle of energy running down to catch up with his nanny, pushing the stroller holding your 5-month old baby.

Society has taught me to view her as the epitome of ideal,

And because I refuse to conform,

Society has warned me that

You will see me for who I truly am and……

You will let go.

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I feel like you deserve me.

You deserve a woman who fought for the respect of her appearance, whose face carries invisible battle scars and true emotions. You deserve someone who feels the music in her soul when she dances, and speaks with the purest sincerity.

I will not lend you anything, for those who lend expect back.

I will give you my love most nights.

I can see us going on adventures in Manila, exploring the little Chinatown and buying silly collectible items, eating spicy Asian foods and arguing over the taste of Cilantro, or going bargain hunting for things we like. We will be passionate, we will fight, and we will feel fantastic.

Because even though society insists that our chances are improbable, I refuse to conform.

Society will always try to warn me, but you will see me for who I truly am and we shall hold on.

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Flashback to previous entry –>Letters to X: First Kiss

Letters to X: First Kiss

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A kiss,

To me, was

The one I saw on Disney’s Sleeping Beauty, and the idea that my very first would be as magical as hers. It’s what I would watch my mother give my father in the living room when he would come home from the store with chocolates and flowers,  just for her.

It was what I wanted from my crush in third grade,

And it’s also what he didn’t want to give to me.

As I got older, life became a little more complicated, and so did my idea of a kiss;

It was something you gave someone you were in love with. It’s what Mike did to Rachel in the back of the gym, and the more complicated version of it is called “making out”. Why is it even called that? What do you make, and why does it go out?

Because based to the massive amounts of romance novels I had read, the first kiss was really important. Apparently you were supposed to feel all sorts of mystical fire-like sensations that left you dizzy and incoherent.

It was something I would daydream about,

And it was also something I began to think that I didn’t deserve.

A handful of years later, a kiss became

Something that I believed I’d never have. People around me would give them at parties like handing out spare pieces of candy, conveniently pointing at drunken stupor as an excuse. It was something that everyone did, except for me. I thought that no one wanted to ever one give to me, so in self-loving denial and bitterness, I thought; why should I be so eager to give it away?

It was locked up in a box that I’d open only for someone I loved,

And I also decided to throw away the key.

Given that time had taken us to present bliss, let me tell you what a kiss to me now is,

It’s a peek into my secret garden, a river of love and loss I try to not let overflow.

It is aged wine I kept for too long in my cabinet; past refined. It’s a moment of intertwined vulnerability; exciting, imperfect, human. It is still something I’ve never done, but it is definitely something I will do.

It is the prize to the key you found (and I threw)

It’s also what I’m going to give

To you.

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Flashback to previous entry –> Letters to X: The Small Moments that Save Us

Letters to X: The Small Moments That Save Us

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After months of not talking you texted me again. I’m surprised. We talked and I forgave you. There was nothing wrong with you having feelings for me. It was highly likely you confused your friendly affections for me as something else. If not, I believed your loyalty to our friendship will make you move on. It was obvious from the beginning that I’m not that in a romantic light and I was confident that you would respect my feelings the way I was trying to respect yours. After all, I appreciate you, for all the efforts. I just want time to build a strong foundation for us which is to have a close friendship.

There’s beauty in us. The way we can say a lot by not saying anything, how we can never deliver what we truly feel nor imply the complications of what must come. I can feel your chest when I lay close to it, but never the words lurking around and in it.

You established a foundation for a relationship on our first friendly hangout. I’m not sure if it’s a date. We eat lunch and then went to coffee shop, and you told me everything from your family. I know all about your brothers, sister and nephew/niece. I know enough about your family to easily swoop right in and be a part of it, but now it’s clear that I’ll never even meet your precious nephew/niece you spoke so lovingly about.

We’d have a great time; with drinks in our hand and with good heartfelt conversations. You’d be the perfect gentleman and walk me home. You told me it was the least you could do, and I’d think you were too perfect to be true. You’re good at making me feel special. You’re amazing at drawing me in. But this is what he does. His passions are tidal waves that take him over. He won’t think about anything else other than what he’s focused on at that moment in time. And right now I’m on it. He doesn’t think about anything that isn’t you and you feel chosen, you feel special, you feel unique, and you feel loved in a way you didn’t know was possible.

You can look too long through my eyes, but not too long enough to see the soul within. If we stare, touch and feel a little more, would we be able to? At times it is baffling and a blur and yet I continue to see the different versions of ‘what if’s’ for the both of us awaiting to be discovered and lived. It doesn’t last. The negativity surrounding itself is, however, overriding the possibilities of happy ending. He can’t focus his attention on you forever. He’ll move on to something new, but you’ll start to wonder what you did wrong. You’ll wonder if it’s just your relationship calming down, or if he’s starting to forget how brilliantly he used to believe you shined.

I was comfortable with the somewhat slow pace with which we were getting to know one another, and, frankly, I didn’t want to be tied down yet, either.

However, you would come to disappoint me and the precious bond we shared. It started with unnecessary favors and escalated to grand gestures. You were laying the groundwork for your desired outcome – to make me yours. You were deliberately throwing the ball into my court and it was clear I had only two options: Lovers or nothing.

I could not see you yet in a romantic light but I also could not bring myself to hurt you. I’ve been pissed off. I know I’m not clingy, I don’t expect gifts and I love girls nights probably more than you love boys nights. I did my best to delay the inevitable but, one day I would have to face you. And when I did, I knew neither of us was coming out in one piece. So, I hope you understand me more. I hope you give me more time to tell myself that you are The One, that you’re worth of my heart because I knew the moment I said no, it was over for us. You would never understand how much I dreaded this ending. You would never know that I had tried to make myself fall for you endless times. I never tried to be your girlfriend. I never gave you the third-degree about your whereabouts if I wasn’t with you because it was none of my business. I care for you and I felt ashamed that the happiness you sought from me was beyond my ability. I know that you give me more, more time to get to know you, maybe I’m at fault too for you feeling I’m pushing you away. But, I don’t! I’m sorry! You would never understand how much guilt and doubt I felt over this outcome. Yes, this time I’m not yet ready for the relationship you want. I’ve told you that so I think you are aware or maybe not. I never wished for anything but friendship at this time.

To my dismay, this made you resent me. I became the bitch who broke your heart. In your eyes, I morphed into an emotionally unavailable woman who could not appreciate what was right in front of her. But you know what? I did. Honestly, I did! It was you who could not appreciate me. You belittled the friendship we shared. To you, none of that mattered if I couldn’t be yours. And perhaps the greatest pain is that you might never realize that it wasn’t love you felt for me. It was something else, something selfish and shady. For if it indeed was love, you would have been able to see the beauty in what we had and cherished it the way I did. You would have seen that it was just as important, if not more, than romance.

And whether that is grounding, terrifying or momentary, I don’t know.

All I know is there is beauty in our nothing.

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Flashback to previous entry –> Letters to X: Summer Romance In a Fiction

A Day at Sky Ranch Tagaytay

It’s been years since I’ve last been to an amusement park. Although it’s a happy place to be in, I just cannot understand why the passes and rides have to be so expensive.

Tagaytay is really one of my favorite places outside Metro Manila. It’s very accessible, it’s very beautiful, lots of good food and really nice weather! Last week together with my family we went to Tagaytay to have some family bonding since my cousin will go back to Singapore in a few days.

Probably another reason to visit Tagaytay is the Sky Fun Amusement Park. It’s a theme park located in Tagaytay City and it’s the most visited place there every weekend and especially during this holiday season, many people go here to eat, to enjoy the rides, enjoy the Taal volcano view and also the cold breeze. I suggest that you bring your camera and jacket when you go here in Tagaytay because its super cold whenever its cloudy and also much cooler at night.

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Also, It boasts the current tallest ferris wheel in the country, The Sky Eye, at 63 meters (207 ft), beating the MOA Eye at 55 meters (180 ft), and the Enchanted Kingdom’s Wheel of Fate at 130 ft It has 32 air-conditioned gondolas presenting guests with a breathtaking view of Taal at over 2,000 feet.

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The center of attention is the Tagaytay Eye, which commands a huge presence along the ridge.

We arrived there quite early and I was surprised to see that there were already a number of cars parked and a line has already formed at the ticket booth where we were to pay the entrance fee. Maybe it was because the park had just opened its gates. And oh, they charge for parking too! Bummer.

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And the best part here is that the regular entrance fee is priced at Php50 per person. Kids below 3 feet get in for free. They also get to ride the carousel for free but they must be accompanied by an adult with a ride ticket. The entrance fee is separate from the individual ride fees, which can be purchased from the 2 ticket booths inside the Sky Fun Amusement Park. The lines could get quite long so I suggest that you already decide on what rides you’re going to take and purchase those in one go.

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with my big sister and her boyfie Kuya Kiko
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with my grandma, mommy and our favorite house helper Ate Lyn.

We first tried the famous Sky Eye, taking advantage of the few people falling in line for the ride. We were anticipating it would get very crowded later on in the morning. Hey, it’s a weekend so what should we expect, right. It has got to be the main attraction of Sky Ranch. From the Sky Eye, you get a birds-eye view of Tagaytay, Taal Volcano and the surrounding provinces of Laguna and Batangas.

We occupied 3 separate gondolas because they were quite small and each can only fit a maximum of 4 adults. Because each gondola’s air-conditioning unit is located below the seats, it cools only the lower part of the space around the leg and feet area. Not much cool air, really. However, we were quite busy taking in the view of Taal so we didn’t mind the discomfort. It lasts around 10 minutes for a whole ride. What you’re really paying for here is the view since the ride itself is pretty boring.

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Ate Lyn and my Grandma
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with my beautiful mommy

There’s also Super Viking. The ride I enjoyed most. :) It just felt so good feeling literally seeing the risk or danger you’re in while almost airborne and facing the ground and machinery. I was literally screaming on top of my lungs because I can feel the falling sensation and the feeling felt real. Okay, so that was creepy but fellow adrenaline-junkies could probably relate. I had a moment of perfect clarity and happiness while my side of the Viking was at the apex and the wind was rushing and I was looking up into the clear sky. I promise, your shouts won’t make sense too if you try this one! This is for thrill seekers and brave ones.

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At first glance, it does not seem to be scarier than Anchor’s Away. I even think that Anchor’s Away is bigger than this. At Php100 per head, it was a no-brainer for us to try this ride. When you are seated at the back-most row (where we sat), the swing of the boat would take you to a 90 degree angle from the ground. Maybe it was the altitude or the pressure from being 2,000 ft above sea level, this made the ride more thrilling than Anchor’s Away.

Next is Nessi Coaster. It’s a mini roller coaster for kids and adults. If you don’t like the bigger roller coasters, then you can try riding the smaller ones. I just saw that kids at age of 3 years old above can ride this with their parents.

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One of my favorite rides when I was kid, this classic Double-decker Carousel will surely be loved by everyone. Kids and adult above 4 ft can enjoy and experience the ride. The horses rotates in counter-clockwise and moves up and down.

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My favorite couple, Mommy and Daddy too much sweetness in the carousel.

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Also, if you’re seeking for an exciting adrenaline rush there’s the Zip Line, where you can transverse the 300-meter long steel cable car over the breathtaking view of Tagaytay. Price at Php400 (one way) and Php500 (two way) on weekends. Weekdays are much cheaper.

There are various food stalls lined along the entrance of the amusement park offering snacks so you don’t have to leave just in case you guys get hungry. There are also restaurant establishments waiting to be finished.

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They also provided gazebo’s located along the ridge. Not sure if you can bring food from the outside though.

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The amusement park, being new, is very clean and is easy to navigate. Kids will really love it there because most rides are catered for them. For the Sky Eye, honestly, I didn’t feel that it was worth the money you shell out for a 10-minute, single loop ride. I mean we can surely enjoy Taal’s view for far less than that. It would be a different story if people were to ride as a couple though, especially during sunset, which can be quite romantic. Not enough that I’d come back to Tagaytay just to go there, but if I do I’m going on Super Viking again. And the zip line too.

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Look! The girl photobomber behind us ahaha

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After spending time at the Sky Ranch, it’s time to feed our hungry tummies. We decided to have late lunch at Mer-Ben Tapsilogan and Bulalo. We settled in one of the dining huts down the restaurant that gives more privacy to us. Parking is not a problem, with a blue guard assisting their customers on their open space at the right side. Its signage has a large “Tapsilog” written on it, but I haven’t seen other customers ordering it. Perhaps their tapsilog is more popular in early mornings, while bulalo is their bestseller on lunch onwards. We left with full and happy tummies. It is flavorful and also value-for-money at its price.

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All in all, we enjoyed our visit at the Sky Ranch. The young and the young at hearts will surely love the Sky Ranch because of its festive atmosphere and most of all, it’s cheap-affordable admission fees. It’s a place where stress can’t reach you and all you think about is how crazy the rides are. Aside from the rides the park itself is bordered by the pristine beauty of nature. At least there’s something new to look forward to whenever friends/families decide to go to Tagaytay. It’s 1-2 hours away from Manila by car depending on the traffic. Here’s a location map.

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Directions: From SLEX, take the Sta. Rosa exit. Turn right onto Tagaytay-Calamba Road and from there you’ll reach Tagaytay. Turn right and go straight ’til you see the Sky Ranch on your left. 

Life, like a big playground, has with ups and downs. Whether you’ll enjoy the rides or complain about it – it is YOUR call and perspective. Sometimes, grown-ups need a little reminder too.

You can visit their Facebook account for updates and price lists.

17 Things To Expect When You Date A Girl Who’s Used To Being On Her Own

Chew on this: Crisostomo: Turn of the Century Filipino Cuisine

With the mixture of influence from colonizers and the rest of the Western world, it is no longer a surprise to hear the very diverse food preference of many Filipinos. I can say Filipinos can really relate with the food. You can see lots of Japanese, Chinese, Italian and Thai restaurants in the country that sometimes, you can’t help but wonder, is the old traditional Filipino taste already seeing its demise?

Filipino cuisine is slowly wedging its foot in the international food scene. The difficulty lies in how to translate the usual family-style servings to something that’s more sophisticated looking to be more easily accepted by the other parts of the world. Albeit it would be splendid to see adobo or sinigang in some minimalist and artistic creation, sometimes though, those big servings are the ones that spell comfort and home, and I think those are some of the endearing characteristics of Filipino food, one fact that is equally important to portray to the rest of the globe.

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One restaurant, found in the heart of the newer side of Metro Manila, begs to disagree. With renewed vigor, Crisostomo’s a restaurant claiming to serve turn of the century food, is bringing back the interest for Filipino delicacies with gusto. It has even improved some of the most common Filipino dishes we have.

The first thing that came to mind when I heard the name was the two popular novel by our National Hero Dr. Jose Rizal, the Noli me Tangere and El Filibusterismo. Who can forget the lead character named Crisostomo Ibarra?! Reaching the place it sure showed Filipinos during the Spanish time, probably during the times of Padre Damaso and Donya Victorina. Attached in the walls are portraits of people obviously wearing Filipino clothes during Spanish times. The covering of the menu has a portrait of a man in Barong (National Filipino clothes) and wearing a tall hat. The pouch they used for packaging take-out foods has a sketch of a woman or man in Filipino costume.

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Crisostomo is a Filipino restaurant named after the protagonist of Jose Rizal’s novel, Noli Me Tangere. It specializes in Filipino cuisine–the restaurant’s facade even boasts that they serve “turn of the century Filipino cuisine”.

Few weeks back, my family and I tried Crisostomo, the new Filipino restaurant owned by the famous Chef Florabel Co, located in Resorts World Manila, Newport City, Pasay. We opted for Filipino food because of my balikbayan cousin. He’d been in Singapore for quite some time and are dying to gobble up as much Filipino food as they can. Anyways, we got there almost ten o’clock in the evening already and to my surprise, there were still a lot of people. The place was full and we have to wait for around 10 minutes for a vacant table. When we were finally able to get seats, we were already starving. Reading through their menu was like taking a trip down Noli Me Tangere lane as every dish title included a character’s name or a place from that setting.

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With my pretty sister
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With my adorable grandma
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My grandma and handsome daddy
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My balikbayan cousin

The restaurant was a bit small. Nonetheless, the decor exudes a Spanish maharlika vibe that’s cozy and warm. Wooden balusters line up the glass windows, portraits are mounted on the spring-green. A big distressed wooden China cabinet houses liquors, wine glasses and pristine white tea sets. Locket and vintage pendants as well as beaded jewelries hang from wooden hands that protrude from mirrored walls. The interior and lighting were posh enough to exude an inviting ambiance for couples, groups of friends or with family. It could, however, ward off potential Crisostomo customers who may conclude that the food may be priced sky-high.

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My oh-so-lovely family enjoying our foods. :)

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And now for what you’ve all been waiting for: The Food.

Don Juan (Php 295) is an inihaw na liempo dish that was typically your run-of-the-mill pork ribs (though it looked more like belly). Cut into strips, these grilled meat rests on a small banana leaf and showered with chopped chives and garlic bits. The meat was marinated nicely and tender to the bite but for the price I had expected something more.

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Salome’s Secret (Php 295) is actually stuffed squid which I really loved. The big squid was grilled beautifully with a bit of charred portions on top. The chopped chives was sprinkled across the seafood’s length. Imprisoned within the rings were slices of tomatoes and onions, which rendered color to the plate. The squid was tender and I liked how the sweet sauce complemented that smoky flavor.

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Escolta (Php 375) Birthday noodles, pancit canton with assorted meat, seafood, and quail eggs.

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De Los Santos Platter (Php 1695) is a family platter, combining the best of Crisostomo, Pork barbecue, liempo, chicken, pusit, bangus belly, oyster, inihaw na talong and achara or grated fermented papaya. This is a good thing to get for a big group of people.

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If you are planning to treat your balikbayan friend or friends from other countries for dinner or lunch, Crisostomo Filipino Cuisine can be one of the best choices.

Overall, everything we ordered tasted good, and for me are considered comfort food, them being Filipino dishes. The prices are a bit on the expensive side, and when I asked the waiter how big the servings were, he said it was good for sharing (2-3 persons). When the dishes came, it turned out that the sharing portion is indeed good for 2-3 persons. Service wise, it wasn’t exceptionally good, pretty fair or what you would expect from a restaurant.

We had a hearty, satisfying dinner at Crisostomo. The staff were also very accommodating. It was a nice dining experience, it feels like singing a kundiman with contemporary spin.  These were more than enough reasons for us to want to go back there.

For more info about Crisostomo you can check their website.