Tag Archives: travel

Our 2017 year in review

1 Jan

The highlights of our family’s past year. We praise and honor God for the grace that saw us through.

Read our 2016 year in review here.

January

01.14. BABY SHOWER FOR THE TUANQUIS. We (GCF pastors’ wives) threw a baby shower for Pastor Gelo and Nikki Tuanqui who were expecting a baby boy then (their second child). The baby was born on February 3 and was named Andrei Nigel (Nigel being a combination of the parents name). The shower was held in Pastor Manny Enriquez’s house in Quezon City. Photo by Nikki Tuanqui.

01.16-18. PASTORS’ RETREAT. David in the wilderness. This was the topic during our Church’s annual satellite-wide pastors’ and wives’ retreat which is something I always look forward to attending at the start of each year. It was held in CCT in Tagaytay and we had Pastor Carlos Peña as our speaker for the second time around. Photo by Jojun Loanzon, taken from Greenhills Christian Fellowship’s Facebook page.

01.21. AVENDULA’S HOUSE DEDICATION. Eugene officiated the dedication and blessing of the house of the Avendula family in Cavite. It was also a celebration for Alvin’s birthday. Alvin and Joneth Avendula are part of GCF’s Connect Ministry. I wasn’t able to join because our baby had colds then and Eugene told us to just stay at home. Photo by Lea Galela.

01.29. MAU’S 1ST BIRTHDAY. We celebrated with Clark and Diane De Guzman as their first-born daughter baby Mau turned one. It was a fun bohemian-themed party held in the clubhouse of SM Jazz in Makati. Photo by Robert Claudio.

February

02.04. TIRA-ANDAL NUPTIALS. Sorry for the dark picture but this is the only picture we were able to take with #TeamPaRoll when they got married in Lirabelle Nature Living in Sto. Tomas, Batangas. Their wedding was God-centered and I love how Rollyvic and Pamela shared their testimonies during the reception. I’m very sure their marriage is one that would honor God.

02.06-11. HOSPITAL CONFINEMENT. Our little one (LO) and Eugene got admitted in The Medical City for pneumonia. Yes, both of them at the same time got confined for the same sickness. Not only that, Eugene was also diagnosed with cardiomyopathy (weak heart). He took a lot of medicines when he got discharged from the hospital and is currently under a 16-session cardiac rehabilitation program to “treat” his heart condition.

02.12. GCF’S 39TH ANNIVERSARY. The following Sunday after our LO was discharged from the hospital was our Church’s 39th anniversary. I didn’t want to go then because Eugene was still in the hospital and I was feeling depressed then. But Eugene urged me to go. I’m glad my sister and mother-in-law were there to accompany me or else I wouldn’t have gone. I felt more sad when I saw all the pastors in their suits and Eugene was not there with them. Photo from GCF’s Facebook page.

02.20-22. GCF STAFF RETREAT. A time of refreshing. These are Eugene’s co-workers when they went to GCF’s staff retreat at Mt. Makiling Recreation Center in Batangas. They sure look like they had a fun time. Photo by Eugene Geanga.

March

03.03-05. 2ND HOSPITAL CONFINEMENT. Just a month after getting out of the hospital, our LO got admitted again for pneumonia. It was a sad moment again for me. What was more sad was I was alone most of the time (Eugene only came in the evenings) in The Medical City taking care of her as Eugene had to drive and tour his family who were in Manila that time for a vacation.

03.04. YANNA’S 1ST BIRTHDAY. Since baby and I were in the hospital we missed this party, Baby Yanna’s first birthday celebration and dedication which Eugene officiated in San Pedro, Laguna. Yanna is the second daughter of Mary Ann Kho who is Eugene’s high school classmate and friend from Dumaguete. Photo by Maya Geanga.

03.06. FAMILY-IN-LAW VISITS MANILA. I was able to join Eugene’s family on their last day in Manila before they headed back home to Dumaguete the following day. Eugene actually didn’t want us (baby and me) to go out of the house yet because baby just got out of the hospital the previous day. But I insisted. I’ve already been alone for 3 days in a hospital and I was really depressed already I didn’t want to be left alone at home. Actually, I even begged the doctor to discharge us home. So if I would be staying alone at home, I might as well have stayed in the hospital. Good thing Eugene allowed me to go with them (after a lot of pleading. Haha). We met with friends, hung out, had a late lunch in The Podium, and dinner in SM Megamall where this picture was taken. Photo by Elgin Vailoces.

03.11-12. CONNECT MINISTRY GROWTH GROUP LEADERS RETREAT. We tagged along as Eugene went to Wilson’s Place in Mendez, Cavite (but people refer to the place as Tagaytay) to lead and facilitate a prayer retreat for the Growth Group leaders of Connect. Having gone a lot of times to the usual camp/retreat sites, Wilson’s Place was a welcome change in venue and is definitely a place to go back to if you want a homey feeling (and good food) when you go to a retreat. (It is owned and managed by the same owners of Balay Indang also in Cavite). Photo by Rajsh Velasquez.

03.18. OUR LITTLE ONE’S 1ST BIRTHDAY. We celebrated our daughter’s first birthday and dedication with a simple fund-raising event in Shiphrah (in Taytay, Rizal), the birthing home where she was born. We were able to raise PhP21,000 for the birthing home which was used for the renovation and continuing education of the midwives of Shiphrah. Photo by Niño Hidalgo.

03.26. BABY SHOWER FOR THE NEGIS. We joined when their friends organized a baby shower for Shyam and Christy Negi who were expecting their first baby then, a baby boy. The party was held in GCF. During the party, the couple shared that they would be blessing their baby with the name Noah after the Old Testament Bible character who was described as a righteous and blameless man and was used by God to save the human race. Baby Noah was born on May 22 but he lived for only 10 days due to a congenital heart condition.

03.29. AQUINOS’ PHILIPPINE VACATION. My sister, Ate Meg, and her husband, Kuya Eric, who now live in Canada, went home to the Philippines for a vacation. Kuya Eric migrated there in 1994 and my sister followed in 1998 after which they got married there shortly after. The last Kuya Eric’s been home was about 14 years ago in 2003. Ate Meg was able to go home in 2010 for our wedding but without Kuya Eric. It was nice to see them after a long, long time. This was the first time Eugene met Kuya Eric. Photo by Eugene taken in Marco Polo Ortigas.

April

04.01. VISIT TO A WAKE. It was good to meet and be with my former Growth Group friends but the reason for our get-together was quite a sad one. We went to Cabanatuan to visit the wake of Joan Tuazon’s dad who died of a sudden heart attack. We traveled in spite of the distance and traffic (we left Manila at about 2 PM, arrived in Cabanatuan at about 8.30 PM, and arrived back home at about 1.30 AM) not only to show our sympathies to our friend and her family but also because Joan would be migrating to Canada by the end of the month and we wanted to fellowship with her before she leaves the country for good.

04.02. FAMILY DINNER. This was a time of fellowship with our balikbayan sister and brother-in-law with my other siblings. Too bad we still weren’t complete as a family but it was good to get-together with my other family members. The photo was taken in Cafe Juanita but we ordered food from Haru. Photo by Blas Tiangco.

04.04. DINNER WITH THE AQUINOS. This was our last time to meet with Kuya Eric and Ate Meg during their Philippine vacation before they finally went back to Canada. Kuya Eric’s parents invited us to join them for dinner at NIU by Vikings in SM Aura Premier (a couple of Kuya Eric’s friends also joined us). I was at a grill station when an earthquake hit and the cook panicked, telling his colleague, “Pare, lumilindol!”. You can sense his nervousness by the tone of his voice. It was the strong earthquake that shook Batangas that had a lot of aftershocks that lasted for days. In Manila, it was only slightly felt.

04.13. MAUNDY THURSDAY/KAREN’S BIRTHDAY. We are grateful to the Handogs and the Kabuhats for inviting us to their homes in Pasig for a grill and (baby) pool party to celebrate Karen’s birthday. It was a holiday and we were happy not to have spent it alone at home. We had so much fun eating and ate a lot we forgot to take a decent picture to at least document the event. Photo by Yayeeh Handog.

04.15. BLACK SATURDAY. We usually go home to and spend the Holy Week in Batangas but Eugene was not available for Good Friday so we just went on a day trip to visit my family there on Black Saturday. We ate lunch at Wanam sa Bukid (which was quite a disappointment) then did a side trip to Montemaria in Brgy. Pagkilatan since it was very near our place. Montemaria is a pilgrimage site but we went there mainly for the view of the ocean. The place is a plateau that overlooks the Verde Island Passage and Batangas Bay.

04.19. FAREWELL TO JOAN. I was supposed to go to our monthly pastors’ wives’ fellowship when our Growth Group-mate and friend Joan messaged me that her family was in Manila for the very last time and invited us to join them for dinner before they leave for Canada to finally migrate the following week. It has been a long wait for Joan as she and her husband, Ed, applied for her petition and I was happy for them that they would finally be together at last. We (YACIES Growth Group) had dinner at Wooden Spoon in Power Plant Mall in Rockwell, Makati. After dinner we went to Bonifacio Global City in Taguig for coffee. Ed wanted to go to Tim Hortons and try it out (to compare the taste with the original) but we went to the branch that was still closed (the one opened was in Uptown Mall which we didn’t know then) and ended up going to Starbucks instead. Photo by Luan Yara.

04.19. BUMPING INTO AN OLD COUSIN. While having dinner in Wooden Spoon, I saw Ivy, an old cousin whom I haven’t seen for a very long time. I called her and actually introduced myself because I was afraid she might not remember me anymore. Haha. Well, I was wrong. It was nice seeing her and the relatives she was with. Her eldest son, Trevor, is all grown up. The last (and I think the first and only time I saw him) was he was still a toddler. So it’s been that long. Photo by Ivy Gutierrez.

04.22. ARYAN’S 1ST BIRTHDAY. We celebrated with Alwin and Johanna De Leon as they celebrated the first birthday and dedication of their 3rd son, Aryan Jacob. The MC for the event really made sure that the guests had fun with his games, puppet shows, and funny acts. The party was held in Quezon City Sports Club.

04.24. CATCHING UP WITH THE UTZURRUMS. Every year, Eugene’s best friend, JP, and his family who are currently based in Thailand, visits the Philippines and we never fail to meet with them when they’re in Manila. We always meet in SM Megamall and this year the meeting place was no different. We ate a very sumptuous buffet in Sambokojin which I enjoyed. It’s my first time to eat in that restaurant and I thought it was just like any other DIY grill buffet we’ve been to. But they had food choices that were not available in Tong Yang (the one we more frequently are able to go to) and that made my dining experience an enjoyable one.

May

05.06. CONNECT MINISTRY OUTREACH. Every month in 2017, the different Growth Groups of the Connect Ministry take turns in conducting an outreach to the children in the community of the International Graduate School of Leadership (IGSL) in Quezon City. We joined one Growth Group once and met with the kids they were ministering to. They also reach out to the parents of the kids as they simultaneously conduct a Bible Study to the parents while waiting for their kids. (Sorry for the very abstract photo. I couldn’t find a group shot).

05.08. MANIPON-SANTOS NUPTIALS. For the second time, we served as secondary sponsors in a wedding of a couple from the Connect Ministry. Alex and Ray’s wedding was a simple one but very heartfelt. It was held in GCF Center.

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05.13. TRIP TO MAJAYJAY. We (friends from the Connect Ministry) went to Taytay Falls in Majayjay, Laguna. We left Manila early in the morning but reached the place at 4 PM so we just had a very short time to enjoy the place. I actually didn’t swim at all. I just dipped into the water to take this picture then got out right after the shot. The water was too cold!

05.20-31. MINISTRY IN DUMAGUETE. Eugene got invited to serve as speaker for the Youth Camp of Dumaguete Christian Church (DCC). The camp was held in Camp Seasite in Brgy. Banilad. Read details of our trip here. After the camp, we stayed a few days longer for a much-needed vacation.

05.29. MY BIRTHDAY. We celebrated my 37th birthday with a simple dinner with my family-in-law in Lantaw Native Restaurant in Dumaguete. I think Lantaw is one of the best restaurants in Dumaguete as they are always full regardless of the day or time of the week. I think it was my first time to spend my birthday far out of town.

June

06.01. EUGENE’S BIRTHDAY. As always, we celebrate either of our birthdays (which is only three days apart) by dining in a restaurant that serves a buffet. We went again to NIU by Vikings for hubby’s birthday this year. Their free meal for the birthday celebrant makes the cost so worth it.

06.03. MEMORIAL SERVICE FOR BABY NOAH. It was a very sad moment for Eugene and I as we sympathized with Shyam and Cristy Negi when they lost their newborn son, Noah. Baby Noah was born with a heart condition called transposition of the great arteries. He lived just over a week. During the memorial service, Shyam gave a testimony and have proven his big faith in God through which a lot of people, I’m sure, was blessed. The memorial service was held in GCF.

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06.10. MIGUEL-AÑONUEVO NUPTIALS. We just took a quick picture with Dags and Joan right after their wedding ceremony in Sonya’s Garden, Tagaytay, as we needed to leave right away to rush our LO to the hospital as she was sick. Too bad we weren’t able to stay for the rest of their celebration.

No photo: 06.10-14. 3RD HOSPITAL CONFINEMENT. I didn’t take pictures when our LO got confined again because by that time I was (emotionally) tired of it. It was the third time she was admitted for pneumonia in a span of just four months that I already knew the routine we had to go through when we got in The Medical City’s pediatric ER. This was the last time she needed to be admitted in a hospital but it was not her last sickness. We had one more visit to the ER where she was again diagnosed with pneumonia (in July) but thankfully did not need to be admitted. And she had three more other instances of getting sick with respiratory infections (in October, November, and December). Thankfully, she didn’t need to be confined during those times but she needed to be nebulized with Salbutamol at home. I am hoping 2018 will be a healthy year for all of us.

July

07.01. SISTER ACT. My brother Blas treated us to the play ‘Sister Act’ which was shown in The Theater at Solaire. It was also my sister Ruth’s birthday that day so it was a double celebration for us. The show was really a good and fun one. They sang all original songs and the story had a good twist from the movie version.

07.09. OUR WEDDING ANNIVERSARY. We went to our first beach trip as a family in Lobo, Batangas to celebrate our 7th wedding anniversary. We didn’t go to a resort (we were on a budget) but crashed an old high school classmate’s house which was located beside the sea.

07.21-23. CONNECT MINISTRY CAMP. I thought I won’t be able to go with Eugene to this camp because our LO got sick a few days before this. Thankfully, the doctor allowed us to travel as long as I give our LO her medicines. This was the camp of the Connect Ministry of GCF held in Word of Life in Calauan, Laguna. I am very grateful to God and give him all the glory for how He is using Eugene to reach out and minister to professionals in the BPO industry. Photo by Phoebe Guerra.

August

08.07-09. GCF STAFF RETREAT. A retreat and team building activity for the GCF Staff held in Ten Cents to Heaven Leisure Camp in Tanay, Rizal. Photo by one of Eugene’s colleague.

08.21-22. KHO’S HOUSE DEDICATION. Eugene officiated the dedication of the house of his high school friend Mary Ann Kho in San Pedro, Laguna. We stayed for a couple of nights in their new house.

08.27. WEST SIDE STORY. My brother treated us again to a play in The Theater at Solaire. We watched The West Side Story this time. I am familiar with the story as I have seen its movie version a long, long time ago. The performances during the song and dance numbers were good but I personally felt that the conversations in between were a bit bland. But it was still a good show, nevertheless, even if it didn’t get a standing ovation.

08.27. RAJSH’S BIRTHDAY. While I watched The West Side Story, Eugene took care of our LO and joined the birthday celebration of one of our good friends, Rajsh, in Vikings in SM Megamall.

September

09.06. BABY SHOWER FOR THE DEL ROSARIOS. There’s a baby boom among the pastoral staff of GCF. The pastors’ wives’ showered Mark and Kris Del Rosario with blessings and prayers for the birth of their first-born daughter, Baby Maddie. She was born on September 25. This is the 5th baby born to a pastor in GCF in just a span of one year. There are two more babies on the way in 2018. Photo by Mark Del Rosario.

October

10.15. THE SOUND OF MUSIC. The 3rd musical play which our brother treated us to. I’ve seen the local production of The Sound of Music a few years ago but I will never get tired of seeing this classic play. We saw the international production shown in The Theater at Solaire. Photo by Blas Tiangco.

10.28. MATTHIAS EHMYRR’S DEDICATION. Eugene officiated the dedication of Baby Matt, first-born son of Jerry Mhe and Pearl Francisco, members of the Connect Ministry. The event was held in Kowloon House in West Avenue in Quezon City.

November

11.04. ELORA CELESTE’S DEDICATION. It’s another baby girl for Ernest and Gayle Acar. We celebrated with them the dedication of the newest addition to their family, Baby Elora. It was also a time of catching up with the rest of Ernest’s family who are Eugene’s extended family. The celebration was held in La Creperie in Forbes Town Center in Burgos Circle, BGC.

11.08. BUSINESS DEDICATION. Eugene officiated the dedication of a newly-owned parlor establishment of Yan (left most), a YACIES Growth Group member. Try to catch and get your hair done in Emmanuel Salon along Aurora Blvd. (near J. Ruiz LRT station) in Quezon City. Photo by PJ De Leon.

11.18. PASTORS’ WIVES’ CHRISTMAS PARTY. Ate Li Pantoja was very kind enough to join us and share to us a message on Christmas for our pastors’ wives’ Christmas fellowship in GCF. Photo by Chette King.

11.25-26. CONNECT MINISTRY CORE TEAM RETREAT. I’m happy I always get to tag along in Eugene’s travels and ministry. This was a time of refreshing as the core team of the ministry Eugene leads took a break from the daily grind in Balay Indang in Cavite. Photo by Rajsh Velasquez.

11.29-12.02. CBAP BIENNIAL CONFERENCE. It’s my first time to join the Biennial Conference of the Conservative Baptist Association of the Philippines. I was happy and grateful to God that I was able to tag along Eugene and a couple of his co-pastors (even if I was not able to listen to the sessions because I was chasing a toddler around). The event was held in Crown Legacy Hotel in Baguio City. Accommodation was okay but the service was really bad.

December

12.08-09. BHGG CHRISTMAS PARTY. This Growth Group that Eugene leads every Monday evening (Burning Hearts) had a videoke night as a celebration for the past couple of Christmases. This year, they decided to go out of town. We visited a farm/resort of one of their Growth Group-mates in Bataan and spent a couple of nights there. We drove up Mt. Samat (where this picture was taken) which was very near from where we stayed. It was a relaxing time. It was just too bad we were not complete.

12.09. NATHAN ELIJAH’S DEDICATION. Eugene officiated the dedication of Elche and Fhang Dela Peña’s first-born, baby Nathan. The celebration was held in Max’s Restaurant in Forbes Town Center in Burgos Circle, BCG.

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12.13. BABY NO. 2. Though I was already suspecting that I was pregnant, I also had doubts since I had PCOS which makes it hard for me to get pregnant. In fact, it took us five years after we got married before I got pregnant. Confirming this second pregnancy has actually been quite a suspense because it took me three home pregnancy tests (and three days) to get a positive result. The first one didn’t give any results. So I waited another day to do another test but the second one gave invalid results. We waited another day and only confirmed it after the third test I took.

12.16. CONNECT MINISTRY CHRISTMAS PARTY. I’m in the picture but I came in late. Actually, I arrived a few minutes before they ended (lunch time). Tried to catch the lechon only to know that they’ve eaten it first thing in the morning as part of their program. I should have known about their schedule, of course, as this was a Christmas celebration of the ministry that Eugene is leading, the ministry to professionals in the business process outsourcing (BPO) industry. Their party actually started at 7 AM in the morning in GCF. Photo by Robert Claudio.

12.20. GCF STAFF CHRISTMAS PARTY. It’s my second time to join GCF’s Staff Christmas party. It was a simple celebration where they had lunch in Aracama in BGC. Ptr. Lloyd Estrada was our guest who gave a message on Christmas. Food was good! Especially the adobo! Photo by Chette King.

12.20. MOMMY’S BIRTHDAY. It was a blessing that our family got to get-together to celebrate my mother’s 76th birthday. My brother-in-law and niece and nephews were able to join us so it was quite a big celebration for us. My sister followed later on. We dined in Yabu in Robinsons Galleria. Eugene, not seen in the photo as he was feeding our LO, is behind my brother Blas. My mom is already old. She fell hard last July (missed the last two steps in a stairs) and broke a pelvic bone and has been in bed rest since. She has been in pain but we praise God she is now able to walk albeit very slowly and with a cane. We also praise God for her good health. At her age she doesn’t take any maintenance medication and her sugar and blood pressure are normal. She also looks very young for her age. If she didn’t had a fracture, she would still be very strong and active. Photo by Blas Tiangco.

12.25. CHRISTMAS. My mother, sister, and brother spent Christmas with us. We had a very simple celebration at home on Christmas Eve then for Christmas Day, we went out for dinner at Ba Noi’s in Estancia Mall. I wanted to go to Estancia to see their Christmas lights display in their Vast Imaginariums but the line to go in was long and we were already hungry by the time we got there so we were not able to see it. Photo by Ruth Tiangco.

12.29. LUNCH WITH GGS. Pastor Erik and his wife, Ate Ruth, invited the Growth Group Shepherding team for a year-end lunch. Of course, we spouses were invited, too. We had lunch in Burgoo in Robinsons Galleria and just had fellowship and exchanged stories with each other. Photo by Ptr. Erik Dizon.

12.29. DINNER WITH CONNECT MINISTRY COUPLES. It was a triple date for us as we celebrated Alex Manipon’s birthday and dined in Oasis Garden Cafe in Solaire Resort and Casino. Oasis is a fancy open-space resto in Solaire but I was actually quite bothered because the entire place smelled smoke (which came from the casino) but the food was really, really good (and expensive! ‘Eto ‘yung tipo ng restaurant na nagiging Chinese ka sa pagbasa ng menu… you read from right to left. Haha!) We were supposed to have dessert and coffee at a nearby Starbucks afterwards but ended up in Starbucks Nuvali instead. Photo by Rajsh Velasquez.

12.31. NEW YEAR’S EVE. And this was how we ended 2017. Can anything be more simpler than this? We had siomai, nilagang baboy, and liempo for dinner. All meat. That’s what happens when you ask hubby to take care of dinner. At least the sabaw had vegetables so I’m happy with that :). I think this is the only (or 2nd) time we have ever celebrated a year end alone as we usually spend it with my family in the province (or we had Nanay with us when we were not in Batangas).

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