Las Vegas 2015

Last July (ahem … 2015 – this entry is over a year late) we went to Vegas for a family reunion. Some of our relatives from New York/New Jersey were in the area for vacation and they organized a party for everyone to get together. I haven’t seen some of my relatives from that side in over 20 years so this was a great opportunity to reconnect with everyone – and meet new additions to the family😀

Ate Zsa Zsa ordered this giant cookie for the party:

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Obligatory group photo. Kurt, Ezra and I arrived late. My parents went to Vegas the day before to help set up but since Kurt had to work we left LA on the day of the party. Due to traffic we arrived pretty late.

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There were lots of Filipino food of course

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We made it😀

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The cousins🙂

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The whole gang

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The next day, Kurt and Ezra left early because Kurt had work the next day. I stayed behind so I could spend more time with the family. Also, Ate Zsa Zsa got us tickets for Cirque du Soleil that night and I really wanted to see it.

We stayed at the Monte Carlo and decided to walk to our family lunch at Todai in Planet Hollywood the following day.

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We got lost and turned around several times but we eventually made it

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Laiya 2016 with Baks

Last June the girls and I had our annual beach outing. I’ve posted some of the photos we took on Instagram and as part of my 52-week project, but here are the rest. (For some reason I always forget to post our barkada photos on my blog. I just realized that I never posted the pictures from our Zambales trip last year, but at least I was able to post our vlog – which you can watch HERE.)

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Only three of us were available that day since Camille had a family event to attend. It was my first time driving to Laiya so I was pretty nervous/excited.

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We stopped by McDonalds for some breakfast along the way

Naturally we ended up at Virgin Beach Resort again. To be fair, we did try to look at other resorts in the area, but they were all too crowded and we just want a quiet day at the beach with no one to bother us.

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Since there were only three of us we decided to get a day bed

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Some beach essentials which I ended up using as props in my self portraits that day

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This was my Week 21/52 this year.

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Week 30/52 : Corfu

I’ve got a lot of catching up to do on this project. I do have some photos lined up which I can use, but I don’t know when I’ll find time to edit them.

This was taken in Corfu, Greece during our cruise last July. We found a spot with these huge pillars while strolling around the old town. I think this was a museum, but we never went inside since we had to return to our bus shortly after this. We were happy just taking photos outside.

INSTABITS : August 2016

Olaaaa~ September’s halfway over so I’m late again as usual.  I apologize, it’s been busy these past few weeks. September’s proving to be an awesome month. Let’s hope it stays that way😀

Anyway, here’s my Instagram dump for August:

In my previous Instabits I mentioned that I went on a Mediterranean cruise towards the end of July (read blog entry HERE), which lasted until the first few days of August. There was a second champagne waterfall on the ship but we decided not to join because we were already quite happy with our photos from the first one. However we did drop by the Piazza to enjoy the free drinks and canapes.

Our cruise made another stop at Mykonos, which I was super happy about since I absolutely loved this place. We didn’t sign up for a tour this time since we wanted to explore the place ourselves.

I think I liked Mykonos so much because I found my prince charming there😄 (This was a late post from our first visit)

Our cruise also took us back to Montenegro, where we walked around Old Town and took lots of photos.

Towards the second half of our cruise we found ourselves at the jogging track on the 18th floor of the ship. We figured since we’ve been eating too much we should make the effort to walk here every night. It would have been nice to run but unfortunately I didn’t bring running shoes with me.

One of my favorite features of the Royal Princess was the glass SeaWalk on the 16th floor.

Our last day of the cruise took us to Palermo, Sicily, where we visited two cathedrals

I love this family photo we took during the ship’s 2nd formal evening. I posted this to say thank you to my parents for giving me a wonderful cruise experience😀

I though that once I got back to the Philippines my eating habits would return to normal, but one text from Camille and I forget about my diet. This is us at Data Bites for some dessert. Prior to this we were at Army Navy pigging out on quesadillas and tacos.

Two days later we found ourselves at Wing Stop in Nuvali

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Royal Princess : My Mediterranean Cruise experience

I mentioned in my July Instabits that my parents took me on a Mediterranean Cruise this summer. This is my 3rd time cruising with Princess and I love them more every time. (Technically it’s my 3rd AND 4th cruise with them since we were on the ship for 2 weeks, so they counted it as two consecutive cruises.) This time I was blessed to be aboard  one of the largest ships in the Princess Cruise line – the Royal Princess.

Our adventure began in Rome. We were greeted  by the Princess Cruise staff as soon as we made it through immigration.

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They were very organized when it came to ushering their passengers to the meet up point. Our flight landed at around 7:30am and our shuttle to the port was scheduled to leave at around 9am. Since check in time at the ship isn’t usually until around 11am, our bus gave us a panoramic tour of the city before taking us to the Civitavecchia port, where the Royal Princess was waiting for us. We weren’t allowed to go down the bus during our short tour, but at least we were able to see some of Rome’s famous landmarks in that short period.

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It was a 1 and 1/2 hour drive from Rome to the Civitavecchia port. Once we got there, we were surprised to find how quickly we were able to check in and board the ship. Usually it takes us at least 40 minutes.

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Later we discovered that there weren’t a lot of us checking in because this cruise consisted of several consecutive cruises. Some people leave after a week, some after two, three, etc. So unlike our previous cruises where there are 3000 passengers checking in at the same time, there were only a few of us who would be taking the place of some guests who left.

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This is the first time we’re cruising without my sister, so our room was a little different. Normally we get two rooms with two beds, but this time we had a room with two beds and 2 extra beds. Being the “baby”, I was automatically assigned the top bunk.

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The beds were folded on the wall and you have to flip them out

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Ta-dah! I can’t tell you how many times I hit my head on the ceiling during our cruise. (Probably the same amount of time my dad hit his head on the underside of my bed.)

I kept my previous cruise cards as remembrance and now I have one more to add to my collection.

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You get a Blue card on your first cruise, then you’ll be upgraded to Gold for your next two cruises, two more cruises as a Ruby member then you make it to Platinum. I’m pretty excited about becoming a Platinum member because it comes with 150 mins of free internet for each cruise. Internet on the ship is EXPENSIVE! 200 minutes costs $99, so those free minutes are definitely something to look forward to.

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In the beginning we didn’t have internet access but fortunately a lot of the towns we went to were generous with their wifi and we were able to go online for a few minutes every day. My dad took this photo of my mom and me checking Facebook in Heraklion Square.

As I mentioned earlier, this counted as two cruises, so on our second week onboard, I got upgraded to a Ruby member😀

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It’s actually an interesting story how I got upgraded. My card got demagnetized (it happens sometimes) on our 7th day on board, which supposedly marks the end of the first cruise. So the following day, I went to the Passenger Services desk to get a new card issued. I gave them my gold card and the lady went to the back to get me a new card. When she returned, I was surprised when she handed me a ruby card! That’s when we learned that our second week on the ship counted as a new cruise. Cool!

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Week 29/52 : Live to express, not to impress

It’s my birthday today! I had a photoshoot with Dustin and Jason the other day to celebrate. We wanted balloons to make it more festive, but we weren’t able to buy them beforehand. Thank goodness for stock images and Photoshop🙂

I don’t really have any deep words to share on my birthday. I suppose the best thing to say would just be “thank you”. Thank you for all the blessings this past year, thank you for the good people around me, thank you for new friends, thank you for new experiences, thank you for new destinations and thank you for all the things that made me smile and laugh this year.

Thanks Jason for this photo!

Balloon stock : http://eveblackwoodstock.deviantart.com/art/balloons-PNG-2-476240383

Week 28/52 : Blush

I shot this around mid-July and I actually finished editing it before leaving for my cruise but once again I forgot to upload it. Now that I’m trying to catch up on 52-weeks, I can finally post it. Obviously I took loads of photos during my trip, and now I’m faced with the difficult task of trying to decide which one to include in my project.

I bought the hat with the intent of bringing it with me to Europe, but in the end I left it behind because my luggage was so full. Besides, I’m not really a hat person and I probably wouldn’t have worn it as much on my trip. It does look cute in photos though. My pink wig is from eBay of course.

Outtakes:

I actually like this more, but some people pointed out that I have too many photos of me with this pose already, so I went with the other one

And here’s a happier version🙂