Thursday, June 25, 2015

MOM'S 75TH BIRTHDAY

Reaching the age of 75 is already a jackpot nowadays. Based on study, the average life expectancy of a Filipino is just about 70 years old which is lower compared in the past. Well, obviously harmful environment  such as pollution, exposure to chemicals, foods, and the stressful way of life are major factors in longevity of life. My mom just celebrated her 75th birthday last week and I can say that my family is lucky to have her still. Despite of some common illnesses of the aged she's encountering now like high blood, diabetes, heart problem poor hearing and sight, she still manage to live like a normal person. She still active in her lifestyle and can even sell in her sari sari store. She will get weak i think if she will not do anything because she is used to work a lot in the past. Raising her five children is a difficult task especially finishing them all to college. She is very simple and never had a lavish lifestyle and she focused all her life to her family and forgotten about herself already. She didnt have a good provider husband and didnt have a high paying job as well during her working years so i could not imagine how she did it. It was indeed a sacrifice. 

So now in her diamond years, I wanted to give her with a nice and big birthday celebration which she never had in her entire life. An honor, joy and respect she totally deserve. At first I just planned to have a nice lunch in a best restaurant in her hometown with all her closest relatives. We went to her hometown a week before her birthday to check the biggest and nicest restaurant and booked a venue. But everything changed when I got to talk to her close relatives about the celebration. They said that it would be best if to hold it on a bigger venue for all the relatives to come because the restaurant cannot accomodate a bigger number of people and also there is a limit on time. My mom's relatives are typically and mostly belong to poor and average family in the provincial area with big family members - from cousins to grandchildren to great grandchildren. An estimated of more than a hundred if to count. So to cut the story short, we hold it on a simple resort which is bigger venue and proximate to all the relatives, friends and her batchmates. With barely a week-long preparation only with the help of my two cousins, we managed to came up with a good party and at the same time a first reunion on my mom's side. 

Everything went well and there were many surprises and everybody had fun especially my mom. I saw the joy and happiness on her face that day and there were glows in her eyes all throughout the party. 

The resort was exclusive that day just for us. 


It was a simple celebration. Red was the motif because its her favorite color. We had balloons and streamers and some raffle prizes to giveaways.


The celebrant who looked very happy on her first grand birthday celebration.


Welcoming the arriving guests and relatives. It was a reunion.


Everyone registered for the raffle prizes. Also everyone got to wear a red souvenir shirts as part of the surprise.


My mom's high school classmates.




The start of the program was a surprise song from me and my daughter and made my mom cried.


Hosting the program with my youngest sister.


Another surprise were the speeches by the family and her relatives and video messages from her daughters and grandchildren abroad.



The biggest surprise was the presence of her daughter Bamba who came all the way from the US where she's residing now. Nobody knew about the plan of her coming over so everyone was surprised. She delivered her message with tears continuously flowing in her cheeks. It was a touching moment.



Some of the relatives who sang for the celebrant.





This is the first time I saw my mom blow a cake and I felt so happy.



After the program, all kids took a dip in the pool and mom gave out some treats.



During my speech, I told everyone how grateful I am to still have a mom today and asked all to take care of their mom too. I made a promise that I will be giving a better and grander birthday celebration for her on her 80th birthday. Happy birthday again mame! I love you very much! 
  

Wednesday, June 24, 2015

PEARL FARM DAVAO

I regularly fly to Davao nowadays because of a big project i'm doing now there. My travels are all purely work related (fly in, fly out) and never had the chance to explore the city.  So I decided to take advantage of the last long weekend by a little work (site inspection) and pleasure by going to Pearl Farm Resort in Davao for a much needed relaxation, bonding with Regina and early father's day celebration as well. We were all excited because this will be our first time in the resort and we heard a lot of good reviews about it. Actually, it is the voted as one of the best resort in the whole Mindanao province. 

After a little walkthrough on the project site, we first stopped by at my favorite floating restaurant to have some lunch before proceeding to the Pearl Farm marina. Regina's been wanting to see this resto everytime I show her my pictures having lunch here. So now finally she experienced it and enjoyed the food and the place. 





The Pearl Farm marina port.








After about 45 minutes of boat ride from the marina, you will arrive in in Pearl Farm resort in the Samal Island.

The resort is gorgeous, clean and well maintained. Landscape is fantastic (well, its more than a decade resort) and architecture is well planned and designed ( by famous Architect Bobby Manosa). One thing that makes me happy also about this resort are the very courteous, helpful and friendly staffs from reception to restaurant to security to gardeners. They are all very accomodating. This is one thing very important for me - service.



Impressive filipino architecture.


We stayed in one of the floating houses called Samal and it was a nice accomodation.





The room balcony overlooks the sunset view and the magnificent Mt. Apo ( the tallest mountain in the Philippines). 





Weekend dinner includes entertainment such as serenades and some folk shows.



Pearl Farm also owns the nearby island called Malipano Island. Guests can be transported there with their own private boat to enjoy the facilities and the small beaches.






Some amenities inside the resort.














The food is great and I enjoyed particularly the fresh fruits and native desserts.






Enjoying the Malipano Island.



Right infront of the resort is a house reef where they keep giant clams and some good corals.
The resort also offers some water activities such as fly pads, jet ski, kayak, banana boat, diving, snorkeling, segue, etc.






Mini chapel at the Malipano Island.




Back in the city and before we fly off to Manila, we dropped by at the Crocodile Farm where we experienced ostrich feeding ( first time) and some encounter with animals.








Brought home some crocodile oil which is good for some skin problems.