Reminiscing Christmas Travels

It’s not yet December but here in the Philippines and I believe in many parts of the world, the Christmas season has already invaded the air 🙂

This season is a continual reminder about the wonderful love of our God who gave us the greatest gift of all: His son (John 3:16). This season also brings to mind the memorable Christmas times my husband and I have spent together while we were away from our home.

Hubby & me, pausing and posing inside one mall in Gensan.

Technically, our first Christmas together away from home was in our home province, Bohol in 2009 (my husband and I are both born in Bohol, I was born in the capital city while my husband was born in the quiet and scenic town of Dimiao). But the atmosphere was quite different then as my father passed away that month and was buried 4 days before Christmas. So I would count our Christmas in Bohol in 2010 and in Gensan in 2011 as the more relaxed and happier ones.

As to our GenSan trip, I remembered feeling giddy exploring the malls there 🙂 My enjoyment of malls goes back to my Cebu days where I moved after finishing high school. Malls were also places where I could unwind when I was based in Bangkok, Thailand and then in Davao before moving to Butuan. Well, thankfully, my older sibling and her kids were just as glad to drive us around to check out their malls.

My sister and I just enjoying a fun shot in front of one of GenSan’s malls.

But it was not all malling time in the Tuna Capital of the Philippines (also home to People’s Champ Manny Pacquiao and former home town of beauty queen, Shamcey Supsup and for those familiar with dancing groups, of course, it’s the home of XB Gensan). We also went around to see some natural spots. We even went to Sarangani province and also visited a resort there.

GenSan City Hall in its pink glory with the city park just across it.
While GenSan City hall is all about pink, Sarangani Provincial Capitol is all white.

Another plus in this travel was that on our way home to Butuan City, we stopped by Davao City and met up with a very good friend from my Davao days. Mae invited Daryl and me to have lunch with her daughter while we were there. We then had some hours of catching up (it was her first time to meet the hubby). And then in was good bye time.

Majestic Mt. Matutum in South Cotabato

Well, I look forward to another Christmas time travel in the years ahead, one out of the country would be nice (we have traveled abroad together but not during December). But this coming December, it will be our first time in our new address in the city and we remain grateful that God has given us our own home here 🙂

Travel and Translation

During certain times of our lives, we will need the help of translators.

While I was travelling in Bangkok several years ago, the unexpected happened: I was robbed and physically injured. My passport, unfortunately, was also among the items stolen from me. And although the Thai police provided me thereafter their police report which would be useful for me should I take legal steps against the crime perpetrators as well as to get myself a new passport at the embassy, it was all in the Thai language. I had to find a good translation service to provide me its English translation. Finding a good translation service can be such a challenge but how much more if you need legal translation.

Legal translation, many would say, is one of the hardest, if not the hardest among all translation work. One needs to have the services of translators who not only have a solid knowledge of the languages which will be involved but also of the legal language, the legal system. One needs to know if they have a proven track record in terms of accuracy and efficiency.

Well, thankfully, I did find a good translation service back then in Bangkok. My painful and challenging experience made me understand better the safety issues involved when one travels alone (and as others would say, a woman travelling alone can be an easy crime target). It also made me appreciate the importance of language translation.

Our Trip to Phuket

A few months ago, my husband and I flew to Phuket, Thailand 🙂

Though I have been based in Thailand before for 3 years (while I was still single), I haven’t really had the chance to explore Phuket. And what makes this trip extra special is that my close friends, Gloria and Alice (together with her husband, Geoff) were also with us. Actually, it was Alice who “cooked up” the whole trip and we’re all glad that she did 🙂

Below are some shots taken at our hotel:

Front view of Marriott's Phuket Beach Club where we stayed.
Front view of Marriott’s Phuket Beach Club where we stayed.


At the Sala Sawasdee lobby bar.
At the Sala Sawasdee lobby bar with my hubby & friend, Gloria.


This is just a few steps from the lobby bar.
This is just a few steps from the lobby bar.


I just had to take a shot of this view again :)
Viewed from another angle 🙂

Suffice it to say that we loved our hotel 🙂  Marriott’s Phuket Beach Club is located at 230 Moo, Maikhao, Talang  Phuket Island.

More posts to come about our time in Phuket. Stay tuned 🙂

**This post is also linked with Monday Mellow Yellows 🙂