2017 Week 21: I Survived | Team Building

May 15-21, 2017

There were a lot of things going on at work that made me so nervous this work week. For one, I was asked to give a talk to not one but 2 schools last week, on the same day.

Second, I had to meet with some of the senior leaders for a project that I’m handling. Nerve-wracking but I’m glad that’s over and we’re on to the next steps. Hoping that the next meetings will be easier.

Weekend

It was our team building last Saturday. We went to Phillip’s Sanctuary in Antipolo, Rizal. The place is big. There were a lot of people but the place is big enough to accommodate a big group.

The good thing about the place is that, there are facilitators to for each team to guide you with the activities. It’s really an opportunity to build rapport with your teammates. But the activities really require physical strength.

We were grouped into 2, 11 members each. We had an ice breaker and whoever wins, gets a 2-minute advantage. Our group lost hehe.

We played about 7 games. Straight. The only breaks we got were when we drank water, waiting for the others to complete the game, or walking to the next game venue. Walang patawad ang facilitator hahaha.

After we completed all the games and scores have been tallied, the facilitator announced the winner. The other group won by less than a minute. However, if they did not have the 2 minutes advantage at the start, we would have been the winners. But that’s fine. It’s the memories, especially the funny ones, that are more important hahaha.

The rest went for swimming after lunch. The others just played cards. There are other activities to do. Some have additional payments. But since we were too tired after all the games, most of us took a nap in the rooms.

Our package was for an overnight stay but some of us went back to Manila in the afternoon, myself included. Which was a good decision because that was really tiring. All my fats were shocked with all the activities yesterday so everything’s uncomfortably aching now. Therefore, I stayed home today and almost did nothing, except for the testing that I’m doing in between this post. Whew.

I don’t have a lot of pictures because I left my phone in the room.

Fruit bearing mango trees and sometimes mangoes just fall off the trees.

Our accommodation

I was seated in a swing. Had the opportunity for a very short me-time while we were waiting for our room to be vacated.

Phillip’s Sanctuary

Address: Pestaño Farm Trail, Antipolo, Rizal
Email: info@phillips-sanctuary.com
Phone: 738-1375 ; 707-8877 ; 435-2866
Mobile Phone: 0917-706-0916 0917-708-5367 0920-938-5068

The end.

Have a great week ahead.

2017 Week 1: Holiday Break Part 3

Part 1 | Part 2

December 26, 2016 – January 1, 2016

December 30, 2016

We had a jam-packed schedule this day.

We went to Manila Ocean Park in the morning. Lucky for us, our company partnered with Manila Ocean Park for a promo of several of their packages. While they have their own promo, the one offered to our company was still cheaper at Php 450.00 for 6 attractions. Original price for this was Php 2,800.00. I didn’t know that Manila Ocean Park is this expensive already.

Anyway, our package includes the Sea Lion show, Shark and Rays Dry Encounter, Jellies Exhibit, Oceanarium, Trails to Antarctica (Penguin Exhibit, Snow Village) and the Symphony Evening show. We were not able to watch the evening show though because we left after lunch.

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First in line for the Sea Lion Show

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At the Shark and Rays Dry Encounter. We were allowed to touch the back of a ray. The little girl is hungry, hence can’t smile :p

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Entrance to the Jellies Exhibit. The little girl is still not in the mood hehehehe.

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Groufie by the mirror with the jellies hehehe.

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Hello jelly!

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Oceanarium…Hello fishies!

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Entrance to the Trails to Antarctica. The little girl is now smiling because we’re having lunch after this stop hahaha!

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Nanny to these kids..They were watching the penguins.

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Hello penguins! You can enter this enclosed area but you have to pay Php 500/3 pax and Php 100 for each additional pax. Medyo expensive so next time na lang.

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Resting

Next was Manila Zoo. Entrance for non-Manila residents – Php 100.00 for adults, Php 60.00 for children below 4 feet.

While it was nice to see all the animals in the zoo, we can’t help but feel pity for them because most of these animals should be in the wide open spaces. Plus, we think that they are not really taken cared of based on their looks.

Also, while it was nice to see an elephant in the flesh, I feel sad for Mali because he’s alone in his cage and he’s been like that for decades! I wish that they find a better place for him or that they improve his living space. It’s all concrete!

But despite these, it was still an educational trip especially for the kids.

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Our only picture at the zoo that’s in my phone hehehe.

We went home after Manila Zoo to rest a bit and complete our packing. But we went out again at around 6:30 PM to visit MERALCO’s Christmas lights display since it was just 20 minutes walk from the apartment.

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MERALCO’s setup is more sophisticated now as compared to when I visited it 2 or 3 years ago.

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The Holy Family

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Gaya-gaya :p

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Thank you, MERALCO!

By 10PM, we are already on our way to Victory Liner Cubao terminal in time for our 11:30 PM trip back to Baguio.

End of Manila – Tagaytay trip.

Special thanks to Uber and technology which allowed us to conveniently reach our destinations and without me having to worry whether the other group reached our destination as expected. We were 10 in the group, 11 at some point so I had to always book 2 cars. Expensive but nevertheless, this setup gave me peace of mind.

Part 4

2017 Week 1: Holiday Break Part 2

Part 1

December 26, 2016 – January 1, 2017

Manila – Tagaytay Trip (December 27-30, 2016)

Last year, I, together with nieces, cousins, an aunt and uncle visited my brother in Tagaytay. It was a short trip but we really had a blast. Last November, I was contemplating on doing a repeat but was still undecided until mid-December because while it will be a blast, it will also be tiring and all I wanted to do during the break was to hibernate and do some errands for the house hehehe. But my other brother was also contemplating on bringing his family to Tagaytay and maybe visit Manila Ocean Park and Manila Zoo so we just did it.

The final cast: me, my 2 nieces, my brother, his wife, his 3 year old kid, my cousin’s 2 kids, my aunt, my aunt’s daughter.

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Pasyal Tagaytay 2016 edition.

We left Baguio on the night of December 27 and arrived in Manila at around 5 AM. We got down at Victory Liner Cubao so that I coud secure our tickets going back to Baguio for December 30.

December 28, 2016

We rested for a few hours at my apartment and then prepared again to go to Tagaytay. We reached Tagaytay before 1 PM and lunch was waiting for us hehehe.

We visited People’s Park in the Sky this time as most of the cast have not been there yet.

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View from the top

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They went ahead on their own to take pictures by this huge pineapple.

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Our turn

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My brother’s family. Yes, Gysher? Any problem?

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Sunset as we were leaving People’s Park. So happy I was able to catch this!

We dropped by Starbucks San Jose after for our annual dose of frappuccino.

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It’s hard to take a groufie at night. End result? Incomplete hehehe.

We went home for dinner. I asked my brother to just buy cow meat for bulalo which will serve as our viand for all meals at their home so that it would be cheaper. I was trying to cut as much cost as possible hehehe.

December 29, 2016

On December 29, we left Tagaytay at mid-morning. We had ube halaya with us courtesy of my brother and sister-in-law. Thank you!

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Thank you, brader and mga ate! Sa susunod uli hehe.

We were already waiting for a bus when my brother mentioned that he needs a printer. I have mine which I have not used for more than 3 years and he can borrow it. He went back home and we asked him to bring along her daughter so that she can join us in Manila.

We were supposed to go to Manila Ocean Park but it was already mid-afternoon and I’m afraid we won’t be able to maximize our stay there.

The adults then went to Baclaran to check out some goods. I therefore conclude that it’s better to go there in the morning when most shops are open so that you’ll have more options to choose from.

We went to S&R Shaw after. I just want to show them the place, buy chicken for dinner and chocolates for New Year.

We went home to a crying 3 year old hehehe.

To be continued.

Part 3

2017 Week 1: Holiday Break Part 1

December 26, 2016 – January 1, 2016

Happy New Year!!! Hello, 2017! You truly are here already hehehe.

Anyway, catching up on my blog posts. Here are all that happened over the holidays.

Trip to Buguias, Benguet

As mentioned in my previous post, our mom’s uncle (his dad’s brother) passed away last December 23 and so we had to postpone our Tagaytay trip and go to Buguias instead last December 26. Buguias is one of the municipalities in Benguet and it’s 4 hours away from Baguio via Halsema Highway. But I think it took us more than 4 hours because my uncle drives slower than most and it was also raining that time due to Typhoon Nina so the roads were slippery which makes driving harder. My brother, my sister and I went, together with some of my mom’s brothers and sisters.

I was dreading that trip because of the cold weather but I was also excited to see relatives who I’ve not seen for a long time. I’ve seen some of them during my parents’ wakes and it was good to see them again despite the circumstances.

What I admired the most in that community was that alcoholic drinks and gambling were not allowed in the house of the bereaved family. We did not see drunk men which is common in other areas. People just went there to really be with the family and mingle with other relatives and/or acquaintances.

They also have what they call presentation sessions wherein, they presented the family tree. It was my first time to experience that during a wake and I think it is a good practice so that people would have a better understanding of how they are related to each other.

An uncle hosted us for the night so that was a relief because we were able to sleep soundly in bed, complete with thick blankets hehehe. It was just a challenge going to their home because the pathway was really muddy. One wrong step and you’ll fall on the mud or slide and bring along with you the people behind you hahaha.

The burial was last December 27 but unfortunately, mass was not to start until 2 PM and it was already too late for some of us who were travelling to Manila that night so we just left earlier.

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My reward for going to Buguias. Lots of views such as this along the way.

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Garden views too.

Part 2

Exploring Cagayan: Summry of Itinerary and Expenses

NOTE: This has been in my Drafts for the longest time. I’m not sure why I have not posted it before even if the content is already complete. I’ll just post it anyway, even if this happened months ago.

*****

I was invited by a friend to join her and her friends on their trip to Tuguegarao, Cagayan. Since, I was just invited, I was not active in the preparation of the itinerary hehe. Sometimes, it’s good to just go with the flow and not be concerned with ITs hehe. And with that, I’d just like to share the expenses I incurred during the trip.

Travel Dates: September 4-7, 2015

Summary of the itinerary:
  • Day 0 (September 4): Travel to Cagayan via Victory Liner. Left Manila 11:30 PM and arrived in Tuguegarao at around 12 PM the next day. What a long trip hehe. Sakit sa pwet.
  • Day 1 (September 5): after checking in at Balai Bed and Breakfast, we started with the city tour
    • Saints Peter and Paul Metropolitan Cathedral
    • Callao Caves in Penablanca: We left at around 3 PM and it was a 45-minute tricycle ride. When we reached the registration area, it rained. We had to wait for a while that when it finally stopped, the lights at the cave were already closed and we were the last batch they accommodated.
    • Buntun Bridge: original plan was to watch the sunset here but it was already night time when we got back to Tuguegarao City
    • Dinner at Jasmine-Jomars: ordered pancit batil patung, Cagayan’s famous pancit. Busog sarap, busog lusog :D.
  • Day 2 (September 6): checked out at Balai Bed and Breakfast and proceeded to Sta. Ana
    • Travel to Sta. Ana. around 3 hours. Another long trip via non-aircon van.
    • Check in at E.F. Costales Lodge (with free breakfast)
    • Palaui Island tour. We bought packed lunch from a karinderya. We also had dinner at the same karinderya. The owner the suggested that we also visit Nangaramoan the next day and so our next day was…
  • Day 3 (September 7)
    • Left for Nangaramoan as early as 6 AM so that we can stay at the beach longer. We asked the lodge owner to just pack our breakfast and we’ll eat it at the beach. It was low tide when we got there so we just walked to as close to the waves as we can. After maybe an hour, some parts near the shore were deeper so we went for a dip before leaving wtih heavy hearts hahaha. Bitin na bitin eh.
    • Packed our things, checked out, went to the market of Sta. Ana for lunch. We chose to eat at the Dampa where we feasted on prawns and vegetables. Busog lusog. Burp!
    • Left Sta. Ana by 2PM and we asked the driver to drop us off at the Victory Liner terminal. We were just in time to be able to secure tickets for the 6PM trip back to Manila.
    • Since we did not have time, we just bought some goodies at the bus stops.
Expenses:

Entayo Agpasyar Idiay Cagayan

Date Expense Group Cost Cost/Pax
4-Sep-15 Fare to Cagayan via Victory Liner Kamias 650.00
5-Sep-15 Restroom 10.00
Water 20.00
Breakfast 30.00
Lunch 160.00
Water 16.00
Rest of Day 1 expenses (mostly fares and group meals) 350.00
Mercury Drug 45.00
6-Sep-15 Accommodations + other expenses in Sta. Ana c/o Jo 1,189.00
Fares + entrance fees + meals c/o Jen 96.00
Fares + entrance fees + meals c/o Rona 130.00
Coke + halo-halo 65.00
Restroom 5.00
7-Sep-15 Tricycle to Nangaramoan (2-way) 150.00
Cottage – Nangaramoan 200.00 40.00
Tricycle to bayan 20.00
Lunch 400.00
Van to Tuguegarao 252.00
Fare to Manila 650.00
Goodies bought at the bus stop 410.00
8-Sep-15 Taxi to apartment (split with buddies) 300.00 100.00
Grand Total
4,788.00
Hope this helps. Enjoy your trip.

Cebu Adventure: Expenses

Starting the write up of our Cebu adventure :).

Travel Date: March 13-17, 2013
Destination: Cebu
Pax: 2
Set up: With guide and transport rentals for Bantayan Island, DIY in the city
Accomodations:

Bantayan Island: Kota Beach
Cebu City: Pacific Pensionne

Below is a detailed list of our expenses.

More of Paete, Laguna

Aside from Tatlong Krus, there are also lots of wood shops and art galleries in the area which you can visit if you want to stay longer in the area. Some friends were able to buy stuff which they say are much cheaper there as compared to the malls in Manila.
You can also visit Paete Church which is located in the plaza. Paete Church is also known as St. James the Apostle Church, originally built in 1646.
It was the Feast of the Sto. Nino so the atmosphere was festive. We were even able to watch the parade at around 4 PM. Tatay, the owner of Capati Kainan was hospitable enough to let us stay in his resto so that we can watch inside without getting wet.  It’s a tradition to spray people in red with water that day. As per Tatay, when you are wearing red, it means you are participating in the tradition of getting wet.  One friend enjoyed spraying the people in the parade when the shop owner passed her the hose haha.
Still feeling adventurous, we decided to return to Manila via Rizal, again only with the Caliraya map hehe. It’s not as confusing as we thought. You’ll not get lost as long as you know which town/barangay comes one after the other. It’s even faster because there are lesser vehicles on the road. And the view is amazing. Mostly, you’ll be passing by fields and mountains until you reach Rizal/Antipolo area. However, some parts of the road are winding so people not used to it may get a little dizzy. As always, we had a blast!

Visiting Tatlong Krus in Paete, Laguna

After reading a friend’s post about her solo adventure in Paete, Laguna, I’ve invited some friends to go and explore the place too – right away, last January 15! Haha. We used it as an excuse to prepare for our CDO-Bukidnon-Iligan adventure, which we were advised to do some cardio prior the trip since most of the activities we’ll be doing involves trekking.

My friend decided to bring her car so that we won’t have problems with transportation. And since we were not commuting, we should have a map with us. Unfortunately, the only map I can find is that of Caliraya, which has the same route going to Paete. Fortunately for us, we had fun and we were successful in navigating with the help of the map. J

Below was our actual itinerary.

 6:30AM – left OSMA, Pasig

7:00 AM – reached SLEX Shell, had breakfast at Jollibee
7:40 AM – proceed to Paete, Laguna
10:00 AM – arrival in Paete. For those bringing cars, you can park at their plaza. 
10:30 AM – start trek
11:10 AM – reached Ilaya Sur (blue waiting shed). There’s a fork. Take the left to go to the summit and straight ahead to go to Matabungka Falls (which is a short trek from here). There’s a water source by the shed which is potable as per the residents.
11:55 AM – reached summit (with a very slow pace. some may actually take it for around 40 minutes to 1 hour). Picture taking, snack time, enjoyed the cool breeze.
12:45 PM – left the summit
1:00 PM – reached Ilaya Sur. Proceeded to the falls just below the waiting shed.
1:45 PM – left Ilaya Sur
2:15 PM – back in Paete market, had lunch and change of clothes at Capati Kainan
4:40 PM – left Paete via Rizal
6:30 PM – back in your arms, Manila

Things to note:

  • No registration and registration fee required.
  • The path is cemented steps, uphill. Get ready for a real workout for your lungs and legs!
  • When we went there, the steps were a bit wet so it was a little slippery because most was wet so be careful.
  • You will pass by a creek. Although there are stones where you can step on so as not to get wet, the water maybe stronger especially after a rain so it’s best to be ready with your footwear.
  • You can use mojos, trek shoes or even slippers, whichever you’re comfortable with.
  • Bring mosquito repellent. 
  • Bring trail food in case you get hungry along the way.
  • Water-500 ml to 1L depending on your consumption
  • Bring umbrella, shades, head gear or anything to combat the sun as it can get hot especially if you start late. Of course, you can always check the weather forecast for Paete prior your trip.
  • The people of Paete are friendly and accommodating. You can ask them kindly should you need a restroom to change clothes.
Expenses:
Since my friend brought her car, she just requested for Php 100/pax for gas. That and money for breakfast and lunch. Allot for some treats for home or for some shopping though coz you might not resist the items you’ll see there! 🙂

Another reference for IT when commuting (from my friend’s blog):  


 Three crosses at the summit
 View of Laguna from the summit
 The name that cracked us up! 🙂
 Bamboo bridge
Matabungka Falls in Ilaya Sur where you can take a refreshing dip

It’s Nice to Meet You, Magalawa Island!

** This was written sometime in May, right after this trip.**
Magalawa Island is located in the municipality of Palauig, Zambales Philippines. It’s a small island where you can rent for accommodations or pitch your own tents and cook your own food. We visited the place last weekend and it was a perfect weekend getaway. 
How to get there from Manila:
  • Take the Sta. Cruz bound bus at Victory Liner Caloocan. You can take the LRT 1 to Monumento then walk to the back of Victory Mall to get to the terminal. Else, you can always take the cab. :p
  • Drop off at Barangay Pangolingan, Palauig Zambales. This is at corner Radio Veritas Road. The bus drivers are familiar with the place so just tell them that you’re alighting there and you won’t get lost. Travel time is 6-7 hours, including stop overs.
  • Ride a tricycle that will take you to Oslet Armada Fish dealer compound in Brgy. Luan. When we went there last weekend, fare was Php 150.00 per tricycle with 2 pax (so that’s Php 75/pax).
  • From the compound, take a mini boat going to Magalawa Island. Since we availed of the package, boat fee is already included so I’m not sure how much they charge but I’m guessing that would be around Php100.00/pax. Travel time is approximately 10 minutes.
Then, welcome to Magalawa Island!
Estimated expenses is at Php3,200.00 but this is because we availed of the package which already includes accommodation, 4 meals, boat transfers, bamboo rafting and snorkeling (snorkeling gears were provided with no additional fee). This can be much lower if you bring your own camping gears and cook your own food.
Playing loud music is prohibited. People should use earphones if they wish to listen to music.
If you’re looking for a quick and relaxing weenend getaway and you don’t mind the long travel time, try Magalawa Island.
For our booking, we contacted Ate Grace. Here’s their Facebook page.
And I leave you with these photos 🙂
Pictorial with the star fishes. Don’t worry, we brought them back to the water after :). Oh, don’t mind my long sleeves. I didn’t want to get more tanned since I was somewhere else almost all weekends of the summer!

 Off to the snorkeling site with the beautiful, amazing friends and the little niece. Teenager niece didn’t want to join us anymore. We were being pulled by another boat! Very exhilarating! When we got to the site, the little niece and I transferred to the boat. Didn’t snorkel coz I had to babysit :p.

Enjoying the waters with the little niece. My arms were hurting after this outing. My niece wanted to practice swimming so I had to hold her everytime she wants to practice ker kicks :p.

Rise and Shine and Get Ready for Kwebang Lampas!

We woke up at 7AM and breakfast was already waiting for us. We sure were spoiled by A’s relatives! 😀 By 8:30AM we were already on our way to Kwebang Lampas. We’ve been to Kwebang Lampas 2 years ago for the same occasion so we were a bit surprised with the changes we saw.
  • Before you even reach the parking space (I’m estimating that this is around 3 KM away), there’s a checkpoint/gate where you have to pay an entrance fee. Not sure how much but they charge differently for cars and tricycle
  • You are not allowed to pass by the trail anymore. You need to take the boat to reach the other side where you will trek further to the beach. The charge is Php 10/head. I doubt if they even have the permit to operate those boats. They don’t even have the basic safety precautions such as the life vests and they allow more than 15 people in a small boat, thus you’ll take the trip standing. I was a bit worried because I was with my 2 nieces before who were kids.
  • The caretaker at the entrance was rude. I don’t know the exact details but those who were ahead of us were asked to wait until all of us were complete before he allowed us to enter the premises. What’s wrong with just collecting a fee for those who have gone way ahead of us then collect from those who were behind? Also, don’t be grumpy please. Not a good way to greet your guests, if I may say so.
  • On the way home, we decided to just walk on the same trail we used 2 years ago. Upon reaching the parking area, we were shouted by the people there because apparently, we were not supposed to use that trail anymore. Well, sorry but there was no signage and nobody mentioned it to us when we arrived in the morning so we thought it was ok. But to be rude and shouting was unacceptable to us. We suspect that the reason why they were pissed off at us was because they were not able to earn from us via their boats :p. I do understand but then again…this is supposed to be a “tipid” trip as well :p.
  • They still have water problems and when we requested in advance for water in the morning for our use in the afternoon, they told us that we just request it from them in the afternoon. When we arrived there in the afternoon, there was no water available. Because of the rudeness we experienced earlier and water unavailable, we decided to just leave the place and go back to A’s relative’s place and wash up there.
Oh well, despite all these mishaps, we still had the time of our lives at the beach. I just hope that the people there were friendlier. Their place is becoming popular these days but people may just be disappointed because of how they handle their customers.
Anyway, as agreed, we will just go back to A’s relative’s home for wash up. Unfortunately, when we arrived there, they also don’t have water available! LOL. We tried with their other relatives to no avail. We considered other options and one mentioned that we can try the Grand Central Terminal because they have restrooms there where one can take a bath for a minimal fee. Since we were 15, others had to commute. Unfortunately, those that should be commuting were having a hard time looking for a ride so we fitted everyone in the Inova hahaha. 15 peeps! Whew. Off we went to the terminal where we will later on find out that taking a bath is only allowed from 5 AM – 7 AM. Disappointed a bit because we can’t convince the one in charge for us to bath as well, we just told her that we’ll just change into clean clothes then. But of course that did not happen…and that must have been the quickest bath I took in my entire life :D.
We parted ways after wash up. The others took the bus at the Grand Central and we also headed straight to Manila after that.
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