Wednesday, January 8, 2014

Mindanao Trip, Day 2

27 December 2013

Our brother has so many things to juggle - help with the preparations for his upcoming wedding (which will take place the day after this) as well as watch over us, making sure our short trip would be very memorable.

Lumpiang Sariwa

We started the day quite early - with a breakfast at Mom's Corner, tasting their signature dish, the Lumpiang Sariwa (fresh spring rolls). While eating breakfast, brother shared stories about the upcoming wedding as well us inform us at how our day will be laid out according to schedule as he has to make sure to get things done.

St. Augustine Cathedral - Cagayan de Oro City

It is mandatory for us to visit as much Catholic churches and shrines while on an out of town trip, so our next stop was the St. Augustine Cathedral, just a long walking distance from Mom's Corner. There we just prayed mostly about gratitude with a little hint of intentions for our brother's married life.

Old Water Tower Turned Museum

Near the Cathedral, brother told us that our next stop was the old water tower. From afar, we were wondering what's so special about it, until we realized that this was transformed into a museum. Photographs weren't allowed in the second and third levels of the museum, and the first level didn't have that much to offer, so very few pictures were taken.


The sun was way too bright and the overall weather was quite hot, so mom suggested we head back to the hotel and just continue with the sight seeing come mid-afternoon. Getting back to the hotel, we hired this motorella - a fusion between tricycle and a jeepney, something very unique for our eyes. This small vehicle can take up to ten passengers - eight in the back side and two in between the driver - perfect for all of us. One of our companions (Tita Malou) expressed her desire to have her picture taken inside this unique mode of public transportation, so when we spotted a parked motorela, we took turns in having our pictures taken. Nothing to worry though, as the driver was having his siesta nearby.

Pearlmont Inn

Back at the hotel, brother told us he would just run some errands for his wedding, and since sister and I didn't want to spend our short vacation inside the hotel room, we decided to tag along with him. We first went to Pearlmont Inn where the wedding reception will be held, then we went to Limketkai Mall so brother could deposit payments for some of the things needed for the celebration.

Missy Bon Bon Gelato Missy Bon Bon

While waiting for him to finish his bank errand, sister and I went to Missy Bon Bon to eat some gelato, to fight off the high noon heat. Quite a weird way to eat lunch, but we all decided to have a heavy snacks later, so this was just the appetizer.

Big Flat Bread - Cagayan de Oro City

By 2pm, we all met at Big Flat Bread to eat late lunch. This is a pizza place, and because we all didn't want to eat rice, we went for their huge pizza. The wait staff suggested we go for the four flavor pizza, and at first we didn't anticipate its size...all we knew was that it was big because it was expensive. Imagine our surprise when it was served! Needless to say, we didn't get to eat all.

Wacky Moment

Sister and I as well as brother's best man were needed at the church for the wedding rehearsal at 4pm. Brother told the "oldies" that they could stay in the hotel if they want, but they thought this would be a great way for them to socialize with Emmy's family, so all of us went to the church.

It was just a short rehearsal - we were just informed of what we should do during the wedding ceremony, and after, we went to the wedding shop to fit the gowns again. Sister and I weren't totally pleased with the gowns from yesterday's fitting and we were expecting all will be corrected by this time as the wedding will be tomorrow.

We waited nearly three hours for the gowns to be delivered, and to our dismay we had more complaints today than yesterday - most especially with Jenn's gown. It was so annoying to find out that the sleeves were not proportioned anymore (the left sleeve and arm hole suddenly was so tight while the right one was slightly loose) and that the stain that we complained from yesterday was still there. As if our complaints were just all dust in the wind, the shop worker decided to take out the stain by dropping some bleach for colored clothes, gave it a light scrub between her knuckles, and pack it. Jenn, who is usually quiet and can adapt well with situations checked her gown again and to her horror, the stain was bigger and more noticeable than ever! I was so mad with how they handled everything... and started voicing my concerns. Brother was so pissed off with everything, and our saving grace was that the owner of the shop just entered the shop. It was nearly 9pm... all of us were tired, our heads aching and Jenn started to get sick.... and when the shop owner started talking to one of her staffs,  that's when we aired our concern. The shop owner assured us that all will be well by 8:30 tomorrow morning, and asked Jenn everything she wanted to get down. Pissed, my sister just said she can deal with the sleeves (she feared that it will lead to more problems if she would ask them to fix the disproportionate sleeves), but the stains, she couldn't... and was firm to say that if the stains would still be there when they deliver it, the shop shouldn't expect any payment for their services. In all fairness, the owner of the shop refused to accept the partial payment my brother was supposed to pay for that day.

Bo's Coffee - Centrio Mall

After a long, tiring, day... we didn't have the appetite to eat dinner anymore, but we did go to Centrio Mall around 11pm to have a cup of coffee. I, being a lover of Red Velvet Cakes, wasn't able to resist the temptation and gave in to a needed comfort eating. There, we voiced out opinions and us siblings becoming groom-zilla and bridesmaid-zilla.

The downside though was that... Jenn wasn't able to cope up with the sudden change of temperatures - the cold air conditioned rooms (hotel and establishments) and the hot weather outside. She started complaining about headaches and was always in the bathroom as her body was rejecting all the food she ate. I just prayed she would be better for the wedding, it would be sad if she would have flu at this time.

* Jesz *

Tuesday, January 7, 2014

Mindanao Trip, Day 1

After four years of being boyfriend-girlfriend, my brother proposed to his then girlfriend, Emmy. Marriage seemed to be the only thing left for them to do, but even if we already anticipated it, we were still surprised with it. Why? because my brother proposed to his girlfriend December of 2012, and he only told us about it last August 2013. They set the wedding December 2013. He was able to keep mum about it, and I seriously didn't know if I would be pleased at how good he was able to keep it from us, or if I would be so annoyed at how little of a time he gave us (mom, sis, and I) to prepare about it.

Their wedding was set December 28, 2013 but we didn't want to celebrate Christmas and New Years Day in Cagayan de Oro, so we booked our flights on December 26 and December 30.

Aunt Mary and Mom
My Sister

As per brother's advice, both flights were scheduled at 2pm. This would be the first time we would travel with Aunt Mary (mom's younger sister) and a few friends - brother's best man Benjie as well as one pair of principal sponsor. Traveling to the NAIA Terminal 4 (formerly known as the Manila Domestic Airport) has been easy since we hired a van to take us there, but once we arrived in the airport, we knew flying out would be difficult.

I just don't know if I have the bad airport aura, but the first two times I traveled via airplane, the flight was delayed. This was my third time to fly, and it was delayed again! Oh drats! I wasn't sure what the main problem was, but additional problem was that the airport's system was down and each clerk had to manually check all flight details. We queued in for our tickets around 1pm for our 2pm flight (although we were already there as early as 10:30am), and we finished just in time for the "supposed to be" boarding time. By 2pm, we were told our flight would be delayed and we were scheduled to leave around 3pm. Sigh.

When it was time to fly, sister, mom and Aunt Mary were assigned to one row and our three other companions were assigned to another row. I was the odd person out, and was seated two rows away from them. It was just fine - I am not too clingy of a person, but then I was just bored - it was like traveling alone.

If there was one consolation about this plane ride, it would be the plane itself. I hoped and hoped to be able to ride the new AirAsiaZest plane, and I did (or we did).

Laguindingan Airport - Misamis Oriental

It was nearly 5pm when we touched down Laguindingan Airport. Seeing the sunset from afar was such a great welcome greeting from the heavens. We took time taking pictures, but ground crew were rushing us to finish our business because as soon as the passengers were exiting from the front door, passengers flying back to Manila were embarking via the back door.

I found out from brother that the new airport still doesn't have enough lights and navigational system, so all flights must land and leave before it gets dark (no night flights yet for this airport). Brother was happy that it wasn't raining that day (he said it normally rains late in the afternoon), because if the skies were heavy with clouds, we might not be able to land (either the pilot take us back to Manila or take us to another airport).

Bilao - Dear Manok (Cagayan de Oro City)

From the airport, we traveled to the hotel brother booked for us (four rooms - two people per room, sister was my roommate; mom and Aunt were together). Then just a few minutes of freshening up, we went to the dressmakers to fit the gowns for the wedding (sister and I were the bridesmaids). It was quite an annoying experience, but tolerable.

Then, it was time to eat dinner, finally! My head was aching real bad - we only had a small chicken sandwich for lunch, and the waiting game as well as the flight caused us to be really hungry. We ate dinner at Dear Manok together with Emmy's family. It was the first time for us to meet Emmy's parents, and as we spend time with them, we were more and more thankful that brother met Emmy. She has nice parents and siblings, brother certainly hit the jackpot. :)

Divisoria - Cagayan de Oro City

We were tired, but it was our first day in Cagayan de Oro - and because this was the first time sister, mom, aunt Mary, and the principal sponsors to travel here (I already traveled here back when I was having my internship for a shipping company), they wanted to see the place before calling it a night. We all walked to Divisoria - sister was hoping she could do some thrift shopping, but certain events caused some changes in the city, so we just walked and walked.... and finally decided to head back to the hotel.

* Jesz *