Posted in Family, Personal, Relationships

Snail Mail = Sweet Mail

In the age of email and instant messaging, receiving letters leaves a giddy feeling in my system. Just like most millennials, I rarely get snail mail. By rare, I mean one letter/postcard a year, or even none. But even if I don’t get a lot of mail, I feel grateful to those relatives who took their time to actually write me something on paper. Sure, I appreciate my friends and family’s efforts through instant messaging, but getting mail is just special.

I’m having a great day, so far. I did wake up feeling “meh, it’s another boring day”. I went through my morning “routine”, feeling a little excited for the day, but everything changed during breakfast.

While eating an egg and a piece of pan de sal, my aunt comes in, and she handed me an envelope. She told me that I had mail. I took the envelope and looked at it. Well, well, well, it’s from Ohio!

I’ve never met my mom’s first cousin (therefore, my aunt) from Ohio, but she’s been very supportive of me. She’d often react to and  comment on my Facebook posts, even more than my relatives here at home would do. She might be one of my ka-vibes (same vibes) aunts, if ever her family hadn’t migrated to the US. She seems to be so cool, and she seems to be kind and nice. I’m happy she’s reaching out to her extended family here in the Philippines. It just means that she’s not forgetting where she came from, and the family that’s left here. It’s a bonus that she can understand my posts in Filipino, given that my mom said that her sisters don’t really speak the language. I’m loving this aunt of mine so much, and I very much appreciate her snail mail.

She wrote me a letter full of support and encouragement. She told me not to let my bipolar disorder get in the way of my dreams and goals. She also shared some stuff that I can apply in my social life. The things she said in that letter were simple yet beautiful, and they are some words that I needed lately. After all the ups and downs of my personal life (not school issues), here comes a letter from my aunt who I barely knew but who cared. It’s like the arrival of the letter was so timely! Indeed, everything comes in God’s perfect time.

This letter really made my morning, even my day. It really made me excited. It’s like I want to send mail to my friends now. Going back to old practices isn’t bad after all, like sending snail mail. It is more personal, and at this day and age, it’s really special to receive mail that’s not your monthly bills. Lovers, friends, and family used to send snail mail, and they feel happy and special upon receiving mail. Snail mail is, indeed, sweet mail. I hope more people send old-fashioned letters more often. It’s not a waste of paper, given that that piece of paper is full of love.

To my Tita Marissa, thank you so much for the letter. I really appreciate it. I hope I get to meet you someday!

Posted in Family

Beachin’ Around

I never loved the beach. But this time, I was excited for the annual family summer outing of my dad’s side of the family in Bolinao, Pangasinan. My (immediate) family rarely goes to outings with my relatives because they usually go during Holy Week. But since Holy Week is over, and we were available, we went with my relatives last April 15-17. Kelvin, my sweet friend, came along with us. It’s because my brother can’t come, and he was already paid for.

I clearly didn’t know why I was excited, but I was ecstatic for the outing. Although the planning of the trip was messed up and there were some moments that were not that fun, I did enjoy the whole experience.

The trip by land took longer than a trip to Baguio. Kelvin and I fell asleep thrice during the trip…it was that long. When we arrived in Bolinao, we had lunch at Sungayan Grill – a floating restaurant. We had a scrumptious boodle fight, and we sailed through the river delta. Kelvin and I had a photo in the Titanic pose, and it was so funny. I did manage to get the pose wrong, but what the heck. After a few photos, we went straight to our hotel. It was roughly a 15 minute ride, but it was filled with fun.

We got to the resort, and then rested for an hour. It was to hot outside, so we stayed in. Kelvin and I went out at around 4pm to have our photos taken (we couldn’t afford to waste the beautiful view, despite the giant rocks). At 5pm, we went to Patar Beach and we had a little fun there. Kelvin and I tried to bury each other in the sand, but the waves were a little big. The waves would keep on washing the sand away, and Kelvin and I would laugh.

Washing the sand off of ourselves was a challenge, but we were pretty successful in doing so. We had dinner after that. The thing was, we had seafood for dinner… Kelvin and I don’t eat seafood. Good thing there were some chicken and pork, but the smell of the seafood made my feel sick. Alas, my blood pressure was elevated before I went to bed. But everything went well after some White Flower oil and a little company with my cousins. Even if my cousins and I weren’t close, I had a little fun that night.

The next day was filled with adventure. It was also my mom’s birthday, and also my niece’s birthday. But before that, we had a photo op with the morning view. Why put the beauty of the place to a waste, right? Then, we had a quite boring breakfast: daing na bangus and scrambled eggs. Quite plain, right? On to the adventure! We went to Hundred Islands in Alaminos City, Pangasinan. The trip was a bit stressful due to the “bipolar” weather, misunderstandings, and fickle minds. But it was an okay trip.

We went snorkelling, and I wasn’t able to swim back to the station because my knee acted up. The water wasn’t clear, too, due to the motorboats. My goggles also acted up, and I was stressed. Oh, did I mention that my head ached before going snorkelling? Yep, it did.

We had lunch after that. We ended up eating in the boat due to the unexpected rain and the huge amount of people in Quezon Island. Food distribution was stressful…really stressful. But we did manage to eat…except for me. I didn’t have a god appetite the whole day. But thank goodness for soda and polvoron. At least I had sweets to give me energy.

It was too hot outside, and the stone stairs were slippery in Marcos Island. So I didn’t leave the boat. I didn’t want to go into the waters anyway. Kelvin and I just talked in the boat. And hey, I did have fun talking to him.

On the boat ride back to the mainland, we saw Bat Island, and an island with a grotto. We had a swift ride back, and boy we were so wet. When we got back, we had a little food trip, and we had our photos taken near the Hundred Islands arch. After that, we headed back to the resort, which was a good 40 minute drive.

We went swimming in the pool when we arrived. Kelvin and I had a little fun while in the pool. We tried to look for stars (they were covered by clouds), and he carried me on his shoulders. In return, I carried him on my shoulders, too. It was loads of fun! We waited for dinner – Jollibee spaghetti and chicken, and loads of cake. We didn’t sing the birthday celebrants a loud Happy Birthday song out of sensitivity to my relatives who never celebrate birthdays. Dinner was yummy. Duh, it’s Jollibee!

We woke up the next day to the same breakfast we had the day before. After that, some of my relatives went on an adventure nearby, while the kids, some cousins, and Kelvin and I stayed at the pool. Kelvin and I played with my niece LA, and she did a lot of fun. Kelvin and I had a little private time in the pool after everyone else left the pool. After a while, we went up to our room, being extra careful since we were wet, and there were no stair railings.

After packing up and a short photo op, we were on the road back to Manila. The trip was full of fun for me because of my adorable and irritable nieces. THEY WERE SO CUTE! After a few stop-overs, a little car drama, we finally reached home.

This trip wasn’t perfect, but one’s for sure: I had fun. It wasn’t just another family outing. Thanks to Kelvin, that is. This just means to show that everything will be fun – you just need to know who to be with.