Our Nomadic Holy Week Vacation (Part 1)

I have finally unpacked our things from our 4-day Holy Week vacation and got some good night rest so, I can already start blogging! I know I was nowhere to be found in this little world of blabbers of mine for quite a while but I’m back and the blabbering resumes now. 😀

Week before the Holy Week, I attended a 3-day work conference in Tagaytay then I got a load of “labada” (aka work) upon my return that I got to finish before I went on vacation last week. Thus, my short hiatus from blabbering (promise, this is the last time I’m gonna use that word. I just can’t stop mumbling it in my head. 😀 ).

Anyhow, I don’t know if the summer heat has already hit Tagaytay but when we were there, it was sooooo cold, Baguio cold, especially at night and the wind was so strong I thought I was going to be carried and flown away like Piglet in Winnie the Pooh. Thankfully I didn’t underestimate Tagaytay’s cooling powers and decided to bring a jacket. I was saved from freezing. Whew.

By the way, I got some loots from our Tagaytay trip which I will share about in another post. 😀 For now, I’ll talk first about our Holy Week vacation in our home province. A nomadic kind of vacation, not an all-bumming, eat-sleep-watch-TV-all-you-want one. A little exhausting but of course fun and thrilling.

Daddy J and I are from the same province and like our usual, historical Holy Week vacation since we got married, we split the holidays by staying in my side of family first then moving to his hometown which is about an hour and a half away from my hometown. Hence, our traditional nomad vacation life. With 2 kids, 1 (used to be 2) huge luggage, 1 overnight bag and several other bags for cloth diapers and other stuff. No more feeding bottles because the Big Boy no longer drink milk from the bottle and the Little Princess is breastfed. Thank goodness.

This year, to spice up our vacation a bit, we decided to go to the nearest beach instead of just staying home and watching the hours tick byyyyy (hehe!) apart from the usual Black Saturday swimming with hubby’s family/clan. So our 4-day itinerary and thorough decision-making went something like this:

holy wednesday: prepping for the vacation

  • Our original plan was to leave Manila in the morning of Wednesday to maximize our vacation and avoid the Holiday traffic but this didn’t materialize because Daddy J had important things to finish at work. So I spent my filed vacation leave doing my favorite (not!) thing: packing our stuff. This is always the hardest part of leaving. We left at 9:30pm as Daddy J had to take some rest before our long drive.
  • Part of the original plan was to go for a day “beach-ing” trip in Dingalan or Baler, Aurora on Thursday but since we left late and arrived in my hometown late (or early because it was already 1:00am!) and we felt a bit tired, we cancelled the beach-ing (it really doesn’t sound good, does it?) plan. Though I still packed extra swimwear for all of us. Better ready than sorry 😀

DAY 1: Marvellous THURSDAY

  • On Thursday morning, I brought up to Daddy J the idea of going to a nearby tourist attraction of serene blue-green river surrounded by limestone formations and he gave his thumbs up. But my brother insisted we go to Dingalan instead. After a few minutes of deep contemplation, we changed our mind and gave in to my brother’s persuasion and agreed to head on to the beach! 😀 Eleven of us in 3 convoying vehicles.
  • We had lunch, packed away and drove one hour and a half (without traffic!) to Dingalan, Aurora passing by the breath-taking mountainous view of Sierra Madre, the green and gold meadows fronting the mountains and the peaceful rivers flowing nearby. Rural life is absolutely love.
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Sierra Madre mountains

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Greenery with Sierra Madre and the perfect blue sky as backdrop

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A river somewhere along the way to Dingalan 😀

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Another spectacular view of Sierra Madre. As Daddy J put it, “The drive is sulit”.

  • We arrived in Dingalan at 3:30pm with no idea which resort we would check in. 😀 In our minds, any resort would do since we were just spending the rest of the afternoon anyway. So we turned right from the Aplaya, traversed a rough road and went to the first resort that we spotted: Juniban Beach Resort😉 That’s how you plan a day trip. 😀
  • We quickly surveyed the resort: it has an ample parking space, a small pool, a few aircon rooms for overnight stay, a snack bar with a videoke machine, pretty decent beach front cottages, and a little stony shoreline. It’s a spartan kind of resort — not for those looking for comfort and luxury. But for our 1/4-day stay, we didn’t mind the amenities (or the lack thereof) because we were there for the beach anyway. 😉 There was an entrance fee of P50 per adult and P25 per kid for a day trip with free use of cottage and we paid for 11 adults and got the 2 kids’ free. Sorry I didn’t get to ask the overnight rate but I’m sure it’s pretty reasonable.
  • After settling our payment, we headed to our cottage by the beach and we were welcomed by the huge, human-high waves! We remembered there was an upcoming typhoon. 😀 I got scared of the humongous waves that I opted not to proceed with my plan to get all soaked even just with the remnants of waves at the stony shore. 😀 My nephews, hubby and the kids were all prepared to get wet so they let the waves chase and hit them at the shore, except for the Big Boy who, as usual was scared of the waves. As they play with the ocean waters, the roaring waves swallowed the Big Boy’s slippers. Poor slippers and poor Big Boy. He went home barefoot. 😦 😀
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Look at my barefoot Big Boy!

  • Aside from playing with the waves, would you believe we were also able to fly kite and play beach volleyball at the neighboring resort (for free!)? 🙂 And most of all, marvel at the beauty of the ocean and the forested mountains that stand wonderfully beside it. Magnificent creation of our magnificent God.
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At the cottage

  • When it got a bit darker and the waves got stronger, we decided to bring the kids to the pool so they could use their newly-bought floaters. 😀 We let them paddle and enjoy the water for 20 minutes but the Little Princess didn’t want to get off the pool yet and started to wail. 😀 She was pacified when we showered her in a pretend pool called timba/pail. 😀
Happily paddling in the pool :)

Happily paddling in the pool 🙂

  • We left Dingalan at around 6:30pm with the bright light of the full moon guiding us. It was a brief but worthwhile trip giving us a fresh province life experience. We would definitely go back with a more well-planned itinerary. 😀 And oh, since hubby suddenly felt awful and couldn’t continue driving, I took the wheel and it was the first time I drove 100kph without taking a full stop every so minutes! Woohoo! I love rural driving (except for the unlit vehicles)! 😀
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The poor lighting and poor camera quality turned us into wolves. 😀

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The gang 😀

To be continued (I’m already sleepy)… 😀

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