It is a no brainer.  If you are single and loves the beach, Boracay is the place for you.  However, if you are traveling with family, it is a no brainer too -- you have to plan!  Our trip was legit so I figured out you would want to beg me for tips haha

Here we go:

1.  Go for 4 days and 3 nights - For any travel that requires a plane or a long bus ride, always opt of 4 days and three nights.  Trust me, the 2 whole days in Boracay island will make a lot of difference.  You have more time to explore the island, not to mention you will feel rested when you get home.

2.  Splurge on that one thing - There are many things you can spend your money on Boracay.  However, you can't have it all.  So my suggestion, pick one! And guess what? we chose food! We spent around 500 per person per meal. In some hotels that offer buffets, Risen is free, so we explored on those too.  We also had snacks, coffee and shakes in between.  I actually gained a tummy fold in Boracay!  The food crawl is so great, you won't have the time to eat what you want.  So much food, too little time.

3.  Choose a hotel near the beach - Long walks are good, but not if you are wanting to be in bed!  Since the shore is long, opt to stay in hotels near the beach.  Having a room near the shore is also better when you have kids that would want to be carried after a long day.  A 5 star hotel is not necessary because you will just use it for sleeping anyway.  There are rooms that cost 3,500php for 3 pax.  Not bad at all!

4.  Respect each other's non-negotiable - When you are traveling with family, though you are considered a unit, each has a want.  I made sure I have enough photos ;), Bryan had nap time and Risen had Mango or Chocolate shakes twice or even thrice a day!!  Just make sure everyone gets his turn.  Support the whims, and you will all end up happier!

5.  Make sure your kid/s are in another bed - Oh but of course!  Wives, you know what I mean, right?

6. Bring toys for the kids - There were plenty times I and Bryan allowed Risen to play the sand while we have coffee.  Most of the restaurants are beach front.  That means, you can catch up without any help from a gadget.

7.  Avoid the social media - Speaking of gadgets, wives, avoid the social media.  I know it is so tempting to post, but, that too can wait.  Experience the place in real time and not through the screens of your phones.  Funny on how we are always together but a trip can  make us realize there are many things we still do not know about each other.  We try to make time with Risen and with each other (me and Bryan) as much as we can, because why not?

8.  Lastly, wake up early!  The mornings in Boracay are so peaceful and clutter fee.  A perfect time to thank the Lord for and reflect on the things He has done and will continue to do!


**This post is a series.  The first brick that you have to lay is here.  Done reading? you may read along for the next brick.

GIVE AND TAKE.  This is one rule I have often heard given to married couples or to anyone in relationships.  And though this seem like a sound advice, I have realized that when you cut this in half, it becomes a better guideline.

When we think that we are to give and take, these things can happen:
1.  We become entitled because we have been giving but not receiving anything
2.  We tend to count the good deeds we have been doing
3.  We accuse our partners for being soooo good in taking

Or to make it more specific, IF we follow the "give and take" rule, we hear ourselves say the following:

1.  "ako nanaman?"  (me again?)
2.  "will I adjust again?"
3.   "Magaling lang asawa ko kumabig" (My husband/wife is so good in taking)
4.  "I am so tired of giving"

My unsolicited advice? Old rule out, new rule in:  JUST GIVE

When we focus on just giving, we stop ourselves from counting on how many we have done for the sake of our spouse.  We also lessen the Mathematics of who gave more.  Instead, we focus on the meaning of love.  This was actually modeled to us by God (the greatest lover ever) when He gave His son to us.  He did not say "Okay, I will allow my son to be die for you just be good to me!".  Jesus too did not ask for anything in return.  He just gave.

So the next time you are tempted to rant for your spouse not helping, not serving, not loving, not minding, just continue doing your part.  Imagine if a couple will have this mindset of just giving AND NOT taking?

So for this week, my challenge for you is to focus on serving and loving your partner.

Praying rooting for you! :) 


Has someone that you have never met impacted your life?

This is what happened to me.  I never had the chance to meet Lola Elring (Bryan's lola- mother's side). As for lolo, since he is based in the US, I only had the opportunity to see him twice.  However, this very short encounter  did not seem to be so small because of the stories shared to me by Bryan and Mommy Beth.  I know Lola baked the wedding cakes of her children, that she teaches Home Education, that we graduated in the same school PNU, and that she is so strict.  On the other hand, I knew lolo became a driver of Philippine Rabbit, a person who always have Skyflakes and banana in his bag and a brave soldier.

And do you know what else I know about them?  I know they have touched and loved many lives.  How do I know? because this love was extended to me and my son, Risen a hundred of times.  Every time we visit the north, both Paoay and Sanchez Mira, or every time I am introduced to a person on Mommy Beth's side I am "instantly welcomed and appreciated", not because I am a wife to Bryan but because I am a wife to Bryan who is a grandson of Lola and Lolo.  I have received many blessings, warm hugs and sincere "kamusta ka anakko?" because of Mr and Mrs. Bagasin, a couple that I have not really met.  But since they have invested so much time in people during their time, I and Risen are benefactors of their legacy.  Amazing on how their lives can still have so much positive effect 3 generations down.

It is my prayer that Risen can get to know his great grand parents too through you.  In his young mind, he already knows a clan loves him in Cagayan. And to be honest, though I am an "outsider" I feel very much at home, thanks to lolo and lola.   Again, to lola and lolo whom I never really met, I owe you two things:  I owe you Bryan whom you led to the Lord, and an amazing mom-in-law and her siblings.  I also owe you the love, generosity and warmth extended to me by your friends and family from Cagayan.  Lola Elring, Lolo Reno, thank you very much!