cruisin' the waters of cagraray

When you say Albay, Bicol, people automatically think, "Mayon Volcano".  While Mount Mayon is a truly awesome work of nature with its breathtakingly perfect cone, there are actually a lot of other places and things to see in the province.  Definitely, a visit to the pili nut capital of the Philippines won't be complete without dipping your feet in the waters.

I pretty much learned how to swim in the beaches surrounding my mom's hometown, Sto. Domingo.  But even though I spent almost every summer of my childhood there, there are still so many islands beyond the town that I haven't explored yet.

During our recent four-day visit, my uncle arranged for us a tour of the Cagraray group of islands in the municipality of Bacacay.  While the waters of Cagraray aren't as clear as Palawan's and its sands aren't as white as Boracay's, the island hopping proved to be a whole lotta fun for us.

Dear Mama Betty and Papa Apin...

My grandmother, Beatrice Rodriguez,
and my grandfather, Serafin Rodriguez.
This was how I would always start my letter to my grandparents when I was a kid.  Almost every summer, my parents would "deport" me, my sister, and my brother to the family compound in Sto. Domingo, Albay for at least a month.  I grew up bonding with my cousins.  During the summers my siblings and I weren't able to visit, I would write my grandparents long letters. (Although, I honestly can't remember what they were about!).

Then one vacation, my grandfather, Papa Apin, called me to his rocking chair.  He said, "You know, hija, in writing, there is a thing called protocol.  When you write to a couple, you always put the name of the man first followed by the lady's name."

That would be my first ever lesson in writing.

Years would go by and I would continue to develop my love for the craft.  My grandfather wanted us to be lawyers. (At least I remember him telling me that I should be a lawyer.  Years later, I would find out that he also told my brother that.)  For some reason, none of us felt inclined to take up law.  Nevertheless, I knew that he was proud of my writing.

And this post is all about thanking him and my grandmother not only for that encouragement but for all the love we were showered with growing up.  Last weekend, we had a family reunion in Sto. Domingo and during the lighting of the lanterns, I know we all felt a ripple of gratitude flow through us towards the two people who made sure we grew up knowing the value of family and togetherness.

The Family Legacy.

So to our dear Papa Apin and Mama Betty (I got that right!), THANK YOU.  Like my niece, Jann, said, "We're all right where we should be."



I'm attracted to bright hues like children are to candy.  From clothes to accessories to bags to notebooks--the more colorful, the better!  Heck, I even have a set of Faber-Castell Colouring Pens which I use to update my planner with.

So I decided to indulge my fancy for colorful stuff today and went around the house snapping photos of my favorite eye-candies.

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