Coffee and Cream, goes to … Tugawe Island Cove Resort (honeymoon 101)

Coffee and cream? Yes, that’s how my mom used to call us, “Kape at gatas” whenever she looks at my husband of 28 years. Being married for that long years doesn’t give us a credit as a perfect couple. Like other couples we have the ups and down of marriage and as my friend puts it, we should believe in the sanctity of marriage, no matter what situation you are in. To rekindle the romance, we decided to go to an island for our “honeymoon 101”, so; here we go…the perfect place for honeymooners and the enemies alike.

shores of Tugawe cove

Tugawe island cove resort is in Caramoan, Camarines Sur. We travelled by plane (1hr and 10 min) from Manila to Virac, Catanduanes, and then by land (1 hour) to Codon port

Codon port

where we were fetched by Blanca, our super butler in a small boat of Tugawe resort,

Tugawe boat with Blanca- our super butler

around 45 min from Codon to Tugawe. We were greeted by staffs politely and were ushered to our Cabana with welcome drink of ice tea in a pitcher.

Cabana-front balcony view

The place was amazingly clean, refreshing and so serene, aha! I told my husband, I can shout, curse…Let it all out and no one would even care and he said the same but with more love and affection that he can do whatever he wants (wink! you know what I mean).

first day upon checked -in

We are both beyond our golden years and we’re glad we came when our knees are still in good condition otherwise we would just be happy in our cabana balcony looking at the blue sky and the clear ocean.

infinity pool

Going uphill to the infinity pool and up more to eat in the restaurant was a bit troublesome but worth every step. The foods are fairly great considering the remoteness of the area.

lighthouse

We went up more to see the lighthouse which is still under construction, the place is unbelievably awesome.

Let no one who loves be unhappy, even love unreturned has its rainbow -James M. Burrie

Though there was no spectacular sunset, there was rainbow, I just wished I had a better camera to begin with but I think my canon point and shoot did fairly well.

my first red wine

At night, the lights at the pool and the sea breeze was so romantic to say “I do” once more, but they said don’t commit the same mistake, so we didn’t (hehehehe), nevertheless, my husband with the help of the staff gathered some fresh flowers and open a bottle of red wine to celebrate a never-ending story of love, hate and affection. Whoooh oh la Ia…I bet at one point reading my blog, I can see a smile on your face. Perfect evening for an imperfect couple equals a happy ending. Achhinnng!

People are not perfect… very often the relationships that are strongest are those where people have worked through big crises, but they’ve had to work through them. So the challenge to us is to work through that.
Patricia Hewitt

The following morning, after breakfast we went island hopping, as usual Blanca (with Pay mario and pito) were there to guide and help us to have a whole day of fun and made sure everything was in… like kayak, snorkels, table and umbrella and of course

picnic a lacarte (bicol style)

the foods were wrapped in banana leaves, different drinks in cooler with ice ohhh Blanca you made our day!thank you so much.

katanghawan island

First stop: Katanghawan island, 30 minutes boat ride from Tugawe, a part of the island serves as a venue  to shoot TV episodes of “survivor US”, white sands, clear blue sky and sea, snorkeling, fresh coconut drink. 

Clear blue
tinago island

2nd stop: Tinago island, 40 min from Katanghawan. As the name implies “tinago”meaning “hidden” marvelous island surrounded by rocks and green mountains.

Kayaking

A perfect place to camp for a couple who love nature. We did Kayaking, swimming and ate our “baon”packed lunch. The next time we come around, oh yes, we would love to come back again with full camping gear and a charcoal for grilling a freshly catch fish of the day!

fine sand, clear water so perfect!
tayak lake

3rd stop: Tayak lake 30 min from Tinago island. We hiked for about 15 minutes from the shore lines and walla! from blue water to green water, amazing Tayak lake!

Pitugo bay

4th stop: Pitogo bay, as i ran out of camera battery, i also ran out of words to describe the hidden paradise of Caramoan islands.

stones lines the shores

In here, instead of white fine sand, piles of smooth-edged white and red-black stones line the shores as if, it was purposely laid out. Remarkable beauty of nature!

this photo was taken with iphone4

Oh before i forget, let me introduce Kevin the great horn-bill of Tugawe, coincidentally same name of my youngest son.

Kevin- the great Horn bill

On the way back to Manila, the weather was not that great so we have to re-route,it took us about an hour by boat to reach the nearest town from Tugawe,

3 in one, not an easy ride to up and down the hill and zigzag road

another 40 min motorbike ride to Guihalo port,

2 hrs in ferry-boat

2 hrs ferry-boat trip to Naga and another 9 hrs bus ride to Manila. Would i take this trip again?Oh yes! an adventure of a lifetime, Thank you coffee and cream, let’s drink to that, Cheers!

Herzon(Supervisor) and Blanca (butler) Thank you so much!

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Hot to breeze to chill: Boston, Massachusetts (part 3)

view from skywalk observatory
Boston Harbor

From Atlanta to New York, the weather is not forgiving, My flight was delayed for 45 minutes due to heavy rains, I wonder, why oh why I brought my spring clothes instead of winter clothes! And why do I have to travel always in last minute? I have a meeting to catch at 1 in the afternoon and its 11 in the morning and I am still here in New York.

Atlanta to New York is 2 hrs and 10 min flight and from New York to Boston is 1hr and 15 min flight. Ahh, after so many trips. I still don’t get used to the fact that I came from Saudi Arabia, land of the desert and camels where life stands still five times a day though I live in Jeddah which is more tolerant and cosmopolitan than other cities in Saudi Arabia.Confused? me too!

inside Quincy market

I arrived in Boston with more heavy rain which is predicted to last for a week, Great! From hot and dry… to breeze  and showers… to chill and wet! Yey! Got an excuse for shopping clothes…. ha  ha ha oh well, my hands are tied or should I say I am on continuing educational trip ( which mean…on budget) Do you know how much to attend a dental workshop like this? the first course in Atlanta was US$ 2598 and the 2nd here in Boston, US$1550, plus ..plus..the ticket and hotel accommodation, all these expenses for the sake of giving the most updated, skillfully done Cosmetic Dentistry!

AACD members inside the Hynes' convention Center

Would it be safe to say ; as technology advances, Dentistry advances too… rather than… we (fifty and above) have to keep up with the ever-changing trend and innovation…Young and old has to keep learning and collaborate to give  and share the knowledge and skills for a better oral health of the public. Beautybeyond fifty getting serious 🙂 let’s go back to my escapades.

Massachusetts State House

Boston is the capital and largest city of Massachusetts, the buildings are made of brick and brown stones which gives a more historical essence, the streets are clean, garden and parks are big and green. My room in Sheraton was on the 20th floor overlooking the Back bay view of the city, I can see the roof top of each buildings which were all amazingly clean.

My attention is divided into the great dental workshops and to the beautiful city itself. Every day I just  wished that the rain goes away and comes back again when I’m gone :-). I attended the welcome reception in Jillian’s Boston (near Fenway Park), a social night for about 2,000 dental professionals around the world.We dine, dance and drink. I asked the bartender ” do you have anything without alcohol?: she smiled at me “MINOR’? 🙂 you bet! never had a drink in my golden years! laugh, I know your eyes are wide open, huh!

sky view of greater Boston

Every morning I waited for the sun to rise, the third day, I got a glimpse of sun and hurried up to Sky walk observatory (50th floor of Prudential center) which is just adjacent to the Sheraton Hotel. A spectacular 360 degree views of greater Boston. Oh! Got a bit dizzy up there (good excuse for the outcome of my photos) but not bad as an amateur photographer. What do you think?

Fenway park

If my boys (husband and sons) were with me, we will surely not missed the most awaited game event, Red Sox vs. Cubs at Fenway park, they all love baseball! Towards the end of the week, the sun shines a bit so I did have a time to tour around the city, next blog  please! The Boston Duck tour!

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Friday the 13th: Hot to breeze to chill! (part one)

American AIrlines

May 13,2011 Friday. If you’re superstitious, I bet you won’t choose this day to travel because it holds to be the day of bad luck hmmm let me take you to my journey. As I was preparing to zip my luggage I was talking to my boss who doesn’t have any superstitious belief at all, his main concern is to keep the ball rolling on his side. “If anything happens to me, please take care of my children; give them what is due for my 24 years service in the clinic”. To make the story short, I’m off to airport at 6:30 in the morning. God forbid! I am ready to whatever comes to my way. Waiting to depart, I was invited to join (as a gold member of AA advantage) first class lounge, with free breakfast and Wifi ,ahhh  friday the 13th this is a good start!

Well, as always, I felt all eyes turned on me, what is she doing here? If you’re a Filipina working in Saudi Arabia, you know what I mean, the stigma attached to women…. it’s either you’re a Nurse or domestic helper…or you’re married to a foreigner, oh my! We’re already passed millennium that was then! Alright, as I moved my eyes, true! There’s a Filipina traveling with his foreigner husband on a seat not too far from me…there’s another two blond lady reading a novel and mostly are business men (on their best suit) either busy on their phone, reading newspaper or just engaged in a conversation with another man. Only a few second look and everyone is back into their own business.

On boarding, mostly of women still wears their abaya (a black robe we have to wear over our own clothes when were in public) as the plane (British Airways) takes off, abaya is off too. My flight is about six hours and forty-five minutes from Jeddah, Saudi Arabia to London Heathrow. Heathrow is the busiest and biggest hub airport in UK, It has five terminals and I thought I have enough time to my connecting flight (AA –American Airlines) to Atlanta in terminal 5 to my dismay, there’s a long line for security purposes, they are scanning all passengers and hand carry baggage. The express train that will bring me to terminal 5 comes every 15 minutes and I have only 10 minutes left before boarding gate closes, Yes, Friday the 13th are you on me?? I approached the security and showed her my boarding pass and she called immediately the airlines to wait and Walla! I am on my way to Atlanta. If it wasn’t for her, I would have missed my first day of training.

It’s a nine hours flight from London to Atlanta…again a long line for security check but I was not worried this time because I have no connecting flight to catch on, as the immigration officer stamped my entry, I heard a call “Dr. Suarez please approached the customer service” now what??? Friday the 13th…come on…”Dr. Suarez, we’re sorry your baggage was left behind, we will deliver it to your Hotel tomorrow evening” Oh no! I only have my jeans and shirt and my training starts at 8:30 the following morning. I have extra shirt and underwear on my hand luggage but not decent clothes for my meeting. The officer handed me a debit card worth of US$50 (huh! What can I buy for 50?)Your guess is right; my next blog would be what to wear under such circumstances.

The weather is not as I expected, it’s breezy..a little rain shower along the way, as I went to my room and jump on to my bed, Friday the 13th was not so bad after all. I got my luggage after 36 hours of my arrival.

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