Thursday, September 27, 2012


Continuing on day 3 of my Hawaii trip...

The Polynesian Cultural Center (PCC) is a theme park/museum which celebrates the culture and tradition of the Polynesian triangle featuring the islands of Hawaii, Samoa, Aotaeroa (New Zealand), Fiji, Tahiti, Tonga and Marquesas.  In this park, one gets to experience authentic villages and mingle with natives of the featured islands.  Aside from learning a lot of things about the Polynesian culture first hand from natives, there are so many activities to do such as learning how to throw a spear, how to husk a coconut, how to make fire, how to cook the Polynesian way, how to dance the hula, get free tattoos, etc., so it can really get exhausting but at the end of it, the trip is definitely worth it.

Our PCC tour started with a buffet lunch which served authentic Hawaiian delicacies including poi and kahlua pig.  We then walked around the park, stopping on villages to watch shows and participate on activities such as spear throwing and basket weaving.  We also had a guided canoe tour around the park which allowed us to catch an overview of all the villages.  After that, we watched the canoe pageant which again showcased the featured islands and various performances from the natives while riding a canoe going around the park.  Every island has their own unique tradition and culture, but my favorite is Samoa because I loved the natives' sense of humor and fun-loving nature.  I envied the Tahitian ladies the most because, wow, if only I could learn how to sway and bounce my hips in a Tahitian dance, man, that would be sweet!  I fancied the gracefulness of the Hawaiian hula dancers as well as the easy-on-the-ears Hawaiian music.

Samoan guy
Canoe ride
Spear throwing challenge
Basket weaving lesson
Canoe pageant show
Canoe pageant show
The pregnant me was beyond tired, nauseated and winded at the end of our day trip, and to think, we didn't even get to see all the shows.  If you think I had enough by then, of course not!  Our PCC experience did not stop there but continued on until about 11:00 p.m...  which I will tell more about in a separate blog post.  Sorry to keep you hanging, guys!  Thank you for taking time to read ;)  Stay tuned for more of my Hawaii vacation.  Until then, ciao! ☻


You can read more of my travel stories here:


Friday, September 21, 2012


Not mine, but my mother's and my cousin's. Hehe!

I have yet to complete writing about my Hawaii vacation, but I wanted to take a break from that -- not that I didn't have enough hiatus in blogging already -- and take this chance to share my mother and cousin's first out of the country trip.

Traveling was not something I or my family grew up doing.  Every year, my family would go on outings but nothing big of a trip, mostly just going to resorts in Laguna or visiting relatives in Pampanga and Ilocos.  One time, in the summer (my birthday) of 1993, we went to Leyte -- I really enjoyed that because of the ocean -- but that was the first and last time we traveled that far within the Philippines.  Having said that, my first out of the country travel was obviously when I left in 2005 for good, and it wasn't until I met my then-boyfriend-now-husband, Vince, that I started exploring the world ♥

Recently, Vince and I had to send my mother on a trip to Hong Kong.  Sending our parents to trips have always been part of our plan since we got married, but my mother's trip was rather unexpected.  For valid reasons I will not divulge at the moment -- don't worry nothing fishy or suspicious here -- it was just imperative that my mother travel outside the Philippines PRONTO!

And how did my pretty little cousin, Kate, get involved here you may ask?  Well, the travel agent advised us that it's better for my mother to have a travel companion rather than going solo.  Apparently, solo travelers raise a red flag in the Philippines border.  I was told that it had happened at times that a solo traveler would be "off loaded" from the flight - meaning not even allowed to board on the plane simply because of the tendency that one might not return to the country (mag TNT *tago ng tago*).  It's unfortunate that no one in my immediate family could travel ASAP with my mother because none of them has a passport -- I told you we didn't grow up traveling -- and fortunate for my dear cousin, Kate, that she has a passport.  So, I guess you can all conclude what happened and how she ended up traveling to Hong Kong with my mother.  Lucky girl!  Anyway, Kate always has been like our little sister, and me, my sibs and her are really close, and since she also recently passed her nursing board exam and graduated cum laude, Vince and I thought that she well deserved a"gift" from us ☻

So, originally it was a Hong Kong/Shenzhen trip, but what do you know, true enough, 5 of the 12 travelers in my mother and Kate's group went TNT.  One was off-loaded and four went missing in action when they arrived in Hong Kong.  Tsk tsk.  The travel guide did not allow my mother and Kate to go to Shenzhen anymore -- I'm assuming because of the bad impression of the TNT-ers in their group -- so the twosome stayed in Hong Kong.  My mother got a little rattled with her first-time experience with the border officers on top of the fact that her supposedly travel mates went MIA, and then she told me she also was "babysitting" Kate throughout the trip, but it sounded like she enjoyed it albeit.  After we heard her whole story and how she was "traumatized" from her border experience, I teased her that I'm willing to send her to another trip if she likes... uhmmm, Singapore maybe, to which she replied with a laugh.  Hehe!

Anyweiz, what's a trip without pictures?  Is there such?  So, without further ado, allow me to share some pictures from my mother and cousin Kate's Hong Kong trip.

The face that launched Papaleng's ship!

This pic made me smile because MamaRose is a big fan of Jet Li :)
...and of course, Bruce Lee!
MamaRose seemed to have enjoyed this "happy" place a lot ;)

MamaRose was quite disappointed because she said they only had few Disney character photo opps.  

Well, MamaRose, hopefully, God willing, we can take you to Walt Disney World one day, and there you can take all the pics you wish with any Disney character you want ;)

Okay, that's it for now.  I'll be back to continue on day 3 of my Hawaii vacation ... and all my whatever ☻ Ciao!


You can read my travel stories here:


Thursday, September 6, 2012


Wish I may, wish I might, guess who finally decided to fleet and flutter by my blog sites? ☻

Yay!  The generous Fairyhobmother not only granted my wish that he pay my blogs a visit but he also sprinkled wonderful fairy dusts on me and gave me the privilege to be one of his ambassadors in spreading happiness all over cyberworld.  I'm pretty sure he told me that he and his fairy lords are very much busy over their corner in the woodland, so I really appreciate him dropping by my blogs and also allowing me to take a peek of the Top 5 Washing Machines that pixies and pygmies use to wash their glittery garments and stuff.  Cool, eh?

And what more?  The Fairyhobmother whispered to me that if you leave a trail through comments, chances are, he'll visit your blogs and bring you gifts too!  So, if you would like to meet and greet the Fairyhobmother through your blogs, don't forget to leave a comment here and post links where he can visit you.  Also, he loves to hang out and tweet, so it's a good idea to follow his Twitter account.  I'm telling you, wishes do come true.  Thanks again, Fairyhobmother! ☻

Monday, September 3, 2012


Continuing on Hawaii Day 3...

After our sentimental visit to Pearl Harbor and USS Arizona Memorial, our tour group headed on to Polynesian Cultural Center where a buffet lunch was waiting for us, but before that, we had quick stops at Dole Plantation, Sunset Beach and Laie Point.


I was excited when I found out that Dole Plantation was part of our itinerary that day because about a couple of weeks before we left for Hawaii, I read in Yahoo that Dole Plantation has the world's largest maze as per the Guinness Book of Records.  However, we were scheduled to stop for about 15 minutes only, so our friendly tour guide warned us that it takes at least 30 minutes to finish that maze.  That having said, we unfortunately never got to experience getting lost inside the maze.

The world famous non-dairy ice cream, "Dole Whip."
We met a lot of people in Hawaii who were wondering if we're newlywed
or honeymooners.  They thought we're "cute" and all "giggly" plus
matching Aloha outfits.  We told them that we often get that
impression from people whenever and wherever we travel - matching outfits or not ♥
So after a few photo opps and a quick stroll around the plantation, Vince and I headed back to the tour bus.  Our tour guide joked that if anybody's 10 minutes late, they'd have to do the hula on the bus, but if 15 minutes, they'd have to do the hula where the bus was.  Hehe!


This beach in North Shore of Oahu took my breath away.  We stopped here for a quick 5-minute bathroom break but I couldn't resist not testing the waters.  This beach is known for big waves during surfing season, with waves that go as high as telephone poles!

Sunset Beach is where several famous surfing competitions are held including Duke Kahanamoku Classic surfing competition, O'Neill World Cup of Surfing competition, and also Quiksilver Big Wave Invitational.


Puka rock
Final stop before Polynesian Cultural Center was Laie Point.  We could already feel drizzles of rain then so everyone in the group was in a real hurry to take a picture of the "Puka Rock." According to our tour guide, a big, strong wave crashed against the rock and caused that hole.  Just as everybody got their chance for a picture of the famous rock, it started pouring like crazy.

Okay, I'll end this here now because Polynesian Cultural Center is a different story.  There are so much things we did there and lots of new info I learned - it's better I make a separate blog entry for that :)  Until then, ciao for now!


You can read more of my travel stories here:


Saturday, September 1, 2012


Hawaii Day 3 was a looooong day for me and my husband, Vince.  The six-hour timezone difference worked to our advantage in that regard especially for someone who's not a morning person like me.  It wasn't too hard for me to be up and about waiting for the tour bus to pick us up at our hotel as early as 6:30 a.m. (translates to 12:30 p.m. EST). We had a busy itinerary planned that day which started at around 7:00 a.m. at Pearl Harbor and ended at around 11:00 p.m. at Polynesian Cultural Center. Whew!


Our tour group arrived early at the World War II Valor in the Pacific National Park.  While lining up to enter, our Filipino-Hawaiian tour guide made sure that none of his "ohana" brought any bags or fanny packs as well as cameras with lens longer than 6 inches as those items are not allowed inside the park. *Ohana means family and that's how our tour guide referred to us in his tour group.

For me, it was a sentimental journey to the past walking on the grounds of Pearl Harbor and viewing memorabilia and remnants of what a tragic day it was once.  There were a lot of tourists from different parts of the world visiting the historic harbor but what struck me the most was seeing US veterans in their uniforms wheeling around amongst Japanese tourists.  I couldn't help but feel a bit emotional for the fallen heroes of the attack.  I guess I was just empathizing too much but I honestly felt a sting inside my heart towards the Japanese tourists.  Oh well, it must either be the pregnancy hormones kicking in or the flashbacks I got of Ben Affleck and Josh Hartnet's heartbreaking scenes in the movie, Pearl Harbor, that caused me to feel that way, but anyway, if there's one virtue I realized from this trip, it's FORGIVENESS.  It must have come by really hard for the veterans and loved ones of the victims to forgive such stab-on-the-back senseless attack but at one point in their lives I'm sure they came to terms with it, or else the national monument stands meaningless to date.

I think you've had enough of my dramatic spiel, so let me just show you some of the pics we took at Pearl Harbor and USS Arizona Memorial, and I'll let them speak of the story they tell.  Feel free to click on the pics to enlarge :)

December 07, 1941 - a date which will live in infamy

"With confidence in our armed forces, with the unbounding determination of our people,
we will gain the inevitable triumph -- so help us God."
~ Franklin D. Roosevelt, Day of Infamy speech

"The United States was at peace with that nation, and at the solicitation of Japan,
was still in conversation with its government and its emperor looking toward the
maintenance of peace in the Pacific.  Indeed, one hour after Japanese air squadrons had
commenced bombing in the American island of Oahu, the Japanese ambassador to the
United States and his colleague delivered to our Secretary of State a formal reply to a recent
American message.  And while this reply stated that it seemed useless to continue
the existing diplomatic negotiations, it contained no threat or hint of war or of armed attack."
~ Franklin D. Roosevelt, Day of Infamy speech

USS Arizona Memorial
The sunken remains of the battleship also serves as the final resting place
for over a thousand gallant sailors who died on the USS Arizona during the attack.

One of USS Arizona's gun turret remains intact and on the ship.
There were over 180 ships and vessels in Pearl Harbor when it was attacked.
Twelve of these ships were sunk or severely damaged, with another nine also
needing extensive repairs.  However, all but three (USS Arizona, USS Oklahoma and USS Utah) returned to service.

The "tears of Arizona."  Oil slick visible on water's surface above the sunken ship.
Seventy one years later, the ship still leaks 2 to 9 quarts of oil each day.

There were 37 confirmed sets of brothers assigned to the USS Arizona.
The explosion and subsequent fires killed 1177 sailors and marines instantly.

♪♫ I'll keep a part of you with me, and everywhere I am there you'll be ♪♫

That's the end of our Pearl Harbor and USS Arizona Memorial tour. Stay tuned for more of my Hawaii Day 3 escapades ☻


You can read more of my travel stories here:



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