Braving a Feast amidst Force Majeure

Friday, May 20, 2011 0 comments
This was supposed to be last week's post, but since Blogger went into some sort of hiatus, I postponed the same blog to this day.

Tonight, I will be featuring a happy event in our family that took all the odds to happen, despite the heavens seemingly preventing it from pushing through.

Two Saturday ago, the whole clan made the short trip to San Fernando, Pampanga for the 18th birthday celebration of my cousin, Isay, or as we call it, the Debut. I've been somewhat a part of the planning process for this event, and ended up hosting the program along with another cousin, Mabelle.

We arrived a good 3-hours before the event is set to begin. Everything seems to be perfect: all the flowers have been set-up, the cake has arrived, the food is on its way and the staff and crew are right on schedule... As anyone in event-planning knows, careful planning doesn't always assure that the event will roll-out as planned.

And so, the unthinkable happened. On a hot, summer's day, just before the sun set, heavy rains came pouring down as Typhoon Bebeng crossed the country's territory. Part of the event area, including the grand staircase through which the Debutante and her court will descend, became a flooded mess.

The venue's crew tried to dry the necessary spots for use, but they weren't even halfway done when another big drop of rainfall begins and drenches the same areas. When the rain stopped, the wet areas included the main stage, the cake table and the sound system booth...

Quickly, the crew started the whole 'operation' again (I must give them due credit), and thankfully, the rain didn't come down until the next day, far after the event has finished.

Partners-in-crime, Echo & Mabelle
We started the program 2 hours behind schedule. A number of guests weren't able to arrive, but Isay's beloved friends and relatives were there, most of whom comprised the Roses and Candles. Besides some sound glitches, the program went smoothly (Kudos to my partner-in-crime, Mabelle) and everyone had their fill of food, entertainment and souvenirs... I slept that night too tired from the exhaustion but appeased by the extraordinary turn of events.

To Alisa Mae Concepcion Reynaldo! Happy 18th Birthday again!!!
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Ten Firsts in the Province of Bohol

Friday, May 6, 2011 0 comments
My Editor-in-Chief Niña Terol-Zialcita shares, "Here's another great piece by Jerricho Reynaldo, who makes us see Bohol in an adventurous new light!"
Photo by Niña Terol-Zialcita

It was my second article for AsianTraveler magazine, and my first travel article.

My first article on Gaudi can be read in AsianTraveler's Food Trip issue

I've been to Bohol once in 2009 but I would admit that the place was enchanting enough that second times are most welcome. But my recent visit last March was, again, a trip of firsts:

1. Witnessing an airport commotion

NAIA3... Because a group missed boarding and found the gate closed. Their fault, anyway. There was a lot of time between the closing of the check-in counter and the closing of the boarding gate. Lots of shouting from 50 seats away.

2. Being fetched at the airport

Tagbilaran airport... I've always had this fantasy of being fetched at the airport, a placard up high with my name written on it. There was a placard, but it said "AsianTraveler." Much thanks to the Bohol Tourism Office!

Restie Pinat, our ever-efficient guide from the Bohol Tourism Office
"As our vehicle traversed through cozy establishments and quaint homes until there was the frequent sight of free-growing trees and shrubs on the road-side, our guide, Restie Pinat, promised to show us “Bohol like we've never seen it before.”" - Article

3. Eating Landang with Buri

A delicacy from Cambuhat, Buenavista... It tastes much like your regular "ginataan" but with a creamier and delicate texture. It tastes good when hot, and feels nice for the full stomach.

"I was treated to landang, a dish of cooked rice, coconut milk, tapioca, and buri powder. It’s best to enjoy the delicacy as a dessert after a hearty meal, and while it's still hot." - Article

4. Up-close but professional with Municipal Mayors

Chatted with two Mayors: Danao Mayor Thomas Louis Gonzaga & Loon Mayor Lloyd Peter Lopez... Talks were purely professional and delved into the beginnings, status and futures of their respective destinations.

5. Wall-climbing

15 meter wall-climb... I tried the moderate challenge. The photo might fool you, but I never made it to the top... my arms just couldn't handle my weight!

Photo by Don Manganar
"... climb moderate, hard, or extreme up a 15-meter rock wall." - Article

6. Rappeling

60 meters by the mountainside... It was easy it first, but when the cliff turned inward I had nothing to jump on. Tried to speed things up, but ended with a blister. Might challenge myself again soon...

Photo by Don Manganar
"One can also choose to rappel 60 meters down the smooth mountainside..." - Article

7. Zipline

Suislide... The name betrays the experience. It was bliss! 45 seconds, 480 meters afar and 200 meters deep is a must-do-again!

Photo by Don Manganar
"...Suislide is an enjoyable-yet-practically-suicidal 45-second inclined zipline atop the sprawling trees and the rushing river." - Article

8. Canyon Swing

The Plunge... Not for everyone, but definitely for me! Feel your weight go away as you fall into the abyss, then dangle to and fro before being hoisted back up.

AsianTraveler's Don Manganar ready for the Plunge
"Soon, I was left to dangle across the half-kilometer distance between the ranges, down a 70-meter cable, enjoying the sights and the sounds of nature around my own, personal void of consciousness..." - Article

9. Spelunking

Kamaria Cave... Been to caves before: Caves with big entrances and wide tunnels. Though they say it was the easiest, Kamaria Cave was a challenge for me... but I enjoyed it. In the end, I got out with sore legs and wet clothes.

Restie, Don & myself inside Kamaria Cave
"Getting in was no easy task, but ropes, rock protrusions, tree roots and our ever-helpful guides made it an active but enjoyable experience." - Article

10. Monkey bonding

Loon's Macaque Monkeys... 21 uncaged monkeys come up to be fed. There's a huge alpha male who gets a bulk of the food... the rules of the band say so.

One of Loon's monkeys
"The tour is perfect as an up-close animal-watching opportunity." - Article

The details and the rest of the trip can be found in the latest issue of AsianTraveler Magazine entitled "Philippine Summer: Hidden Destinations" now out in all major bookstores and magazine stands.

Turn to Page 102!!!
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