Monday, February 08, 2016

Happy Chinese New Year: Sierra Madre

"Fill your little life with experiences, not things. Have stories to tell, not stuff to show."


     Happy Chinese New Year! Today, me and my family had a little road trip and went to Sierra Madre, which was such a great great place! It's so nice, and it isn't even costly. I strongly recommend everyone to visit it. 

     The Sierra Madre Mountains is the longest mountain range in the Philippines. Running in the north-south direction from the provinces of Cagayan to the north and Quezon to the south, the mountains form the eastern backbone of Luzon Island, the largest island of the archipelago. It is bordered by the Pacific Ocean to the east. The Pacific coast of Luzon along the Sierra Madre is less developed as the lofty and continuous mountains forms a bold and an almost inaccessible shore, exposed to the full force of the northeast monsoon and the waves of the Pacific Ocean. Some of communities east of the mountain range and along the coast are so remote they are still only accessible by plane or by boat.

     We woke up at 5 in the morning and left the house at 6:30 am. It took us about an hour to get there, but I am telling you that it was all worth it. We saw mountains, which were the first sign of Sierra Madre. The mountains themselves were beautiful. The wind caressing my face, with my hair flying away was purely priceless.


     When we finally reached the top, we went to a church or place of prayer called Regina Rosarii. We thought it was drizzling qhen we got out of the car, but we later found out that it was just because of the clouds. Its farm land spans 13 hectares of rolling hills and endless forests. They are ran by sisters, who are very kind and even smiled at me when we were lighting a candle. Regina Rosarii is a place of peace, silence, and haven. It isn't a park, a playground, or a picnic area, as the staff had said, but a place where you can relax and enjoy the silence. If you're planning to visit, be informed that you'll have to bring a jacket because it is very very cool there, and Regina Rosarii is closed on Tuesdays except on Holy Week. 




They also have a souvenir shop with rosaries, postcards, pictures, candles, and statues. 


You will also have to attend an orientation near the souvenir shop before you can continue your walk up the mountain going to the statue of Mama Mary.


At this side of Regina Rosarii, you can buy candles and light them, explore the labyrinth, take photos, and enjoy the cool breeze and wonderful view. I have to say once again that it is very very cold at Sierra Madre, so bring a jacket. After the hike at Regina Rosarii, we went to Cafe Katerina, and ate some Bulalo. The inside of the restaurant was really cool even without an electric fan or air conditioner. They had seashells decorated on each wall and more seashells hung on the ceiling which always made a clinking sound.

And after eating, we went to the rooftop of the restaurant and enjoyed the spectacular view, and took some group photos.

And lastly, we went to Sierra Madre Resort and did some sightseeing. We passed through a hanging bridge only made out of wood and rope, and there was even out without any wood.


There was also a gigantic statute of Baby Jesus where you could sit and enjoy the breeze.


 There was also a wishing well and I got three free wishes! (One was for good health, the other was to become a better writer, and the last was to have high grades at school) One more thing you should know about Sierra Madre Resort is that it is filled with dogs. My dad even called one which was climbing up the hill, and we pet it, and I was so so happy (I AM A VERY BIG ANIMAL LOVER PEOPLE!). And I also saw a furry white horse from afar. 


     We walked some more until we reached the parking lot and ate some chips while we remembered the majestic moment that could never ever be replaced.

Mission Impossible: A Treasury of Love

"Roses are Red, Violets are blue. The sun is shining and I love hate you."

     Definitely a cliche. Since the cheesy, red, heart season is just around the corner, I've been preparing so much during these past few weeks to create the perfect present for not of course, a special someone, but for my family. This has to be extra special because my grandparents who are working in Japan have come home for their vacation at the Philippines. But I have millions of problems, and the biggest one is to get to the mall without my parents noticing my surprise. I could, but there's no one to drop me off because of their busy schedule.

     And after days of browsing the internet, I've finally found the sweetest Valentine's day gift recipe in humankind. It's a bit costly for me, and it will require much effort, but hey, I believe in karma. And the recipe, written by Cella V. Fidee is right here at Wonderings of a Writer!

A Treasury of Love
     •A treasury of love is the perfect Valentine's gift for anyone near to your heart, wether your family, classmate, neighbor, or teacher. It does require a lot of effort, but I'm telling you now that it'll all be worth it. A treasury of love consists of the following supplies:

Materials for a Love Treasury

1. A box 
2. A scrapbook (Should fit inside of box)
3. Photos of you - the sender with the receiver (fits in scrapbook)
4. Decorating/Scrapbooking stuff
5. A little item that the receiver likes (according to his/her personality) (Ex. If you're dad is sophisticated and stuff, give him a nice necktie)
6. A ribbon (long enough to cover the box)
7. An item related to Valentine's day (Ex.: Chocolates, roses, etc.)
8. Colored paper (preferably pink and red)
9. Markers and writing materials
10. Yarn (preferably pink or red)
11. Scissors
12. Puncher

     The main idea of a love treasury is to put everything about Valentine's in one box. It consists of four gifts - 1. You and me (the scrapbook of you and the receiver) 2. I love you because... (a tiny book made of colored paper) 3. So You (the item for the receiver) and 4. Happy Valentine's Day (the item related to Valentine's Day)

And here are the steps...

1. You and Me
   •Get a scrapbook
   •Paste all those photos with the receiver and be creative
   •You can also put dates, captions, or anything else you'd like

2. I love you because...
     •Get your colored papers and cut all of them into hearts, all of the same size with 20 pages (Trace each heart with a pencil and the original copy)
     •Put a hole on each page and fasten all of them using your yarn
     •And lastly, put all the reasons you love that person, and don't forget to be creative!

Once you are finished, get the Valentine's item and the personal gift for the receiver. Put everything inside the box and tie it with the ribbon. 

Happy Valentine's Day!