Wednesday, May 25, 2011

S if for Summer (MYM #20; Mommy & Me Monday #18; Blue Monday #6; Ruby Tuesday #17 Watery Wednesday #6; ABC Wednesday Round 8)

S is for SUMMER.

What's the best way to spend Summer? But of course a sum
mer outing with family and friends in the beach!!!

Summer here in the Philippines won't be that complete if we don't go swimming, whe
ther is in a beach or a swimming pool. Getting ourselves tanned under the tropical heat is a must during this season.

That's just what we did last May 23-24, 2011. Haribon F
oundation had our summer outing at the Palm Beach Resort in Brgy. Hugom, San Juan, Batangas. It wasn't just a company outing, we encourage our employees to bring along family members so that it'll be grand family get-together - Haribon's 2011 R & R (rest and recreation).

4:30 am of May 23 was our assembly time, we left at exactly 6:00 am. Breakfast was pre-ordered thus, we had it while in the bus on our w
ay to Palm Beach. With a few stop overs to pick-up some more staff along the way and to answer nature's call. We arrived at the resort just on time, 9:00 am to be exact. Palm Beach in San Juan, Batangas is a shy 3-4 hour drive from Quezon City depending on the traffic along South Super Highway. But since it was a Monday, we were against the traffic as traffic normally heads towards Metro Manila and not the other way around.

It was exciting for me and my husband M because it's kinda our firs
t to go summer outing in a beach with our children Leon and Maia. Leon at 4 was already excited about going to the beach. Prior to May 23, he counted the number of sleeps he had to go before the grand summer outing. He became more excited when we bought him a new pair of trunks and pail and shovel set for his sand castle-making and when his godmother bought him and Maia floaters.

Just as when we alighted from the bus tha
t transported us to the resort, Leon became more ecstatic. He can't contain himself and insisted on his Dad to bring him to the shoreline. Once in the sand he took off his footwear and since then until we went home he walked barefooted. Maia on the other hand was reserved when we arrived the place, but once she experienced the water and while afloat her life-saver, it became quite difficult to take her out of it.
Leon. trying out his water gun
From 9 am until a little past 1 pm we stayed in the Cabanas as check in time was only at 1 pm. It was free time for us, meaning we can do whatever we want. Some staff gathered in different Cabanas to chit-chat with one another and to voice out their expectations on our so called "team-building activity" and the rumbled room assignments while others started to enjoy the beach. While we were having our lunch, other members of the organizing committee went to post the room assignments on their respective rooms as well placed our surprise R&R gift on the beds ...a personalized bag tag.
my personalized Haribon 2011 R&R bagtag

At 4 pm, we organized the group for the "team-building activities" we prepared for us to be able to demonstrate working as a team, it turned out to be more fun than expected though. All participated together with the family members that came along. We divided the group into 4 teams - Red, Blue, Green and Yellow. I belong to the Green team, though in some games, I did not participate so as not to be bias because I'm part of the organizing committee. In spite of the competition, we showed camaraderie not only to our team mates but also to our opponents, thus making the whole activity fun.

After the mini team-building activity, most of us, including and specially the children, changed to our swimsuits to have more fun in the beach, we eventually transferred to the infinity pool when dusk came. Most of the ladies stayed at the jacuzzi while some of the men stayed in the pool. The rest started with the "tagayan" (toast or shot) of the lambanog (coconut wine) we brought from Gen. Nakar, Quezon.

Dinner was served from 7 pm until 9 pm, afterwards, the drinking session became full-blast until past midnight (I guess...). Not that I went drunk, I was with the kids, therefore no drinking, it's just that the group stayed in the Cabana in front of the room we were in, thus I heard the laughter and the meaningful conversations until I dozed off to sleep.

We woke up early the next day to have more of the swimming and sun-bathing. Although, no matter how long I stay under the sun, I don't get enough of the sunburn that I want :( At about 11 am we checked out of Palm Beach, had lunch at the Dish Restaurant and Bar in Lipa City then headed back to Quezon City.

Haribon's R&R 2011 was definitely a blast. Making it more meaningful are the acknowledgments we get from most of the staff for a job well done, making this year's summer outing one of the best in Haribon's history.

Summer outing is a great family-bonding activity
be it spent on the beach or any other family getaway.

M & Me

Leon trying to build a castle or is it a volcano???

Maia savoring the moment


family moments
and enjoying the serenity of the resort


snuggling in bed

My family and I are thankful for this opportunity of a summer outing and bonding moments not just of the Ponce family but of the Haribon family in general.

PS. Another thing to be thankful...although there was a threat of an incoming storm, our R&R was spared from it. Thank God!


Mommy and Me Monday at Really, Are You Serious?
Hosted by Krystyn at Really, Are You Serious?

Smiling Sally

Wednesday, May 11, 2011

Quiescent (ABC Wednesday Round 8)

My Q contribution for ABC Wednesday Round 8 is QUIESCENT.
adj resting; still; tranquil

Taal Volcano on it's quiescent (tranquil) state


a quiescent (resting) child

Monday, May 9, 2011

Ocean Adventure (MYM#18, Mommy & Me Monday #17, Blue Monday #5, Watery Wednesday #5)

It has always been our plan to bring the kids to Ocean Adventure in Subic Bay Freeport Zone, Olangapo City, Zambales. The plan wasn't immediate though because we wanted the kids to be big enough to enjoy and understand the facility. Maybe a good time for Leon, who's already 4 years old but too soon for Maia who just turned 1 this April.
@ the entrance of Ocean Adventure

As much as the idea of educating the children in trips such as visiting theme parks, we really can't turn down an offer of a good friend, one of Leon's godmother, Mithi. Leo, her boyfriend, who's turned out to be a friend, too, is working at Ocean Adventure as one of the veterinarian of Southeast Asia's only open-water marine park.

with Ninang Mithi at the entrance of Ocean Adventure Marine Park

Leo's invite through conversations with M (in one of the most rec
ent gathering of friends) and through the insistence of Mithi, we've instantly decided to go to Ocean Adventure to spend the weekend at the park.

We left Quezon City a few hours after lunchtime last Saturday, fetched Mithi along the way and headed to Subic, Zambales. We arrived Ocean Adventure a few minutes before 6 in the evening. Since Ocean Adventure was already about to close, Leo ushered us towards Camayan Bar and Restaurant for us to have an early dinner, courtesy of our friend Mithi. We enjoyed the dinner while listening to the music by the Tribal group and a few fire dances by the members of the same group.

It was Leon's (and Maia, too) first time to experience a beach set
ting. Initially he was having o.c. moments with the sand getting into his crocs footwear but I grabbed the opportunity to allow him to experience walking on the sand barefoot. Although hesitant at first, he eventually loved the feel of the sand on his foot. He kept on asking us to go back to the beach to walk and play with the sand. It was a kill-joy for him when called it a day and headed to our accommodation.

The next day, all of us were too excited for the day's activ
ity. At 9 in the morning, we were met by Mithi at the parking area of Ocean Adventure while Leo was waiting for us at the entrance area. Entrance took a while because of the queue of people but we were just on time for the 1st show, the Walk on the Wild Side.Here, the kids were able to see up close an owl, a bat, a sea eagle, a civet cat and a snake (this I dread :(...). At some point of the show, Leon was telling me not to be afraid of snakes...

at the entrance, a height measuring board

@ Eco theater for the Walk on the Wild Side show

2nd show was the Sea Lion Marine Patrol Show. Mithi who did not join us on the first show was already waiting for us here and saved a seats for a clear view of the sea lions. Leon was amazed with the antics of the sea creatures and was more excited of the last show which was the Dolphin Friends Show. 3rd show was The Adventures of Olongapo Jones show which showcased the trampoline acrobats. Leon had too much fun watching the 2 performers jump up and down the trampoline, such that he was as if experiencing the jumps that at some point, he muttered, "tama na" (stop please) as if he was the one that's tired of jumping on the trampoline.

Sea Lion Marine Patrol Show

Olongapo Jone with his sidekicks

enjoying the acrobatics done in the trampoline

The last show, the Dolphin Friends Show was the most awaited by all, young and old alike. It showcased the dolphins (of course) and the intelligent tricks and ant
ics they can make. As in any encounter with these sea mammals, watching their smiling faces and being able to touch them is such an extraordinary experience. From afar though, Leon was fascinated with them but when our opportunity to come close to these cute sea creatures, Leon became a bit petrified, maybe he realized that up close, the dolphins were a bit big for him. Afterward though, he defensively said, he won't be afraid next time when he's a bit bigger already.

The dolphins, showing off their talents

Leon and Maia with Tito Leo

Though these animals should be in the wild, visiting such a theme parks educate us to be more careful with our actions especially on waste disposal and of taking care of nature.

We definitely had a great weekend and a happy and enjoyable mot
her's day for me as well.

Thanks very much to Leo and Mithi for the great treat not just for the
kids but to me and M as well. Our family is very much grateful to have experienced Ocean Adventure this soon.

late lunch at Wimpy's

Mommy and Me Monday at Really, Are You Serious?
Hosted by Krystyn at Really, Are You Serious?


Smiling Sally