Travel Recharge: Ultrawinds Mountain Resorts

For almost two years now, my husband and I have shunned from travel and relaxation. We just got so busy with our daily lives, being new parents, exploring new jobs and generally adjusting to our new kind of life. I am honestly having some issues including health ones from not taking a break. 

Finally, we have decided to take a weekend off. We picked somewhere near and have easy access because we have to be home by the time work starts. I was so excited and up for the slight planning of our trip but so shocked of how much we brought for our daughter. It ranges from the nappies, sterilizers, baby bottles, water bottles, her soap, her dishwashing cleanser, her brushes, vitamins, maintenance medications, etc. How much do toddlers actually need? I am hoping this is just a stage.

From our city in Iligan, my husband and daughter fetched me from work in Initao and had lunch in Panagatan, a seaside restaurant located in Opol, Misamis Oriental. She wanted to jump in the water and swim with the fishes, luckily, she got distracted by the food. I have never seen her so excited before. I mean we go to Cagayan de Oro a few times to do some errands but I think she can sense that this is a different kind of trip. Maybe she can sense that we are super excited, too.

Asking people for directions was the kind of thing my husband like. I am a little techy, so I used my phone’s GPS and he laughed so hard when it prompted him to turn left or right. He funnily joked around and said that it will somehow prompt him to go home while doing his happy hour.

It is a 40-minute drive from Cagayan de Oro although it is located in Bukidnon. You know when you drive from the city and it changes location to a province and the air changes, like it mellows down and became cooler although we can literally see the city behind. The drive felt like that. And I never felt like that for a long time. 

I just wanted to pop out the car and take some picture, if not for my daughter who is sleeping beside and grabbing my hand. So I just enjoyed the greeneries and the bodies of water while I am holding her hand thinking how she have grown so big. I thanked the Father countless time for His glorious creations and for our lives.
We arrived but not without my heart pumping to the 1st gear only roads. Yes, it has been a long time since that sense of fear and excitement with the feeling of relief when you finally arrived. Fresh air, cool view and finally sometime to ourselves.

We reserved a double bed room. It was so simple but I liked their glass door installments. It made the room felt so big and I so loved that I can see the greeneries. Marley explored the room and she inexplicably loved it. She loved that she can climb up and down the bed. She owned the room like a boss. 

We just slept for the afternoon and went strolling when the sun came down. My girl was ecstatic especially when she saw a pony. She laughed at how it neighed. She actually wants to pet it but we were afraid to touch it. 

We had dinner at their restaurant and opted to do night swimming but it was too chilly and Marley was shivering so hard that upon 5 minutes of swimming we stopped and returned in the morning. This is the highlight of the resort, their infinity pool. It is relaxing overlooking Cagayan de Oro and Bukidnon. Though the water is chlorinated, we did enjoy a lot and my daughter’s happiness while flapping in the water was something that money can’t buy. 

For the rest of the morning we had breakfast, strolled around, met some new acquaintances and swam until she got to too tired to even climbed to bed. And from there, we ended our travel and head home. With our heart and soul recharged after a long time of a break-less-monotonous-life.

From this trip, I have relearned that sometimes taking a time-off and spending some money on a trip is not bad. We were different when we came back home. It felt like we reconnected and my daughter loved us even more. This is something she will definitely she will look back on. Hoping it will be one of the many.

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Dating My Little Human: Burp Diner Edition

Because her father is not around for a seminar, I decided to take her around the city for some errands. And because it was almost lunch when we finished one of the tasks, I decided to take her to a newly opened diner, Burp Diner. It is located at the back the St. Michael’s Cathedral of Iligan City.

It has a mixed fairytale-like feel on the other side while it looks contemporary industrial on the other side. It would be lovely to have a coherent theme. And since the place is quite small, it will be much spacious if some sort of bar table is installed and attached to the wall with high chairs to save space.

The service was okay. It is important that the waiters are courteous and accommodating. Maybe because they just started, they scrambled around especially when a lot of customers came in. At the time that we came, the menu was still written in a chalk board. It would have been nice if they have a physical menu.

We ordered Tuna Carbonara Pasta, Yema Cake and a pink lemonade with it. The pasta was too sweet and creamy for me. Marley liked it though. I would appreciate if it had some herby taste, something that will make it fresh and a splash of lemon would be nice. The cake was too sweet that I felt nauseous after eating one slice and Marley can’t even take it. She had her pink lemonade for dessert instead. I will prefer if they have fresh juices, shakes and tea to offer

We may return after a month or two and we will see if there will be improvements but we enjoyed. The sugar made Marley too hyperactive though. 

Dating My Little Human: A Series

I found out that I can bring my daughter on dates a few months ago. She is like a proper child now. She will sit on chairs, appreciates good food, she interacts and asserts on what she wants. It can be tricky sometimes though, because children like to explore every nook and cranny. It can literally turn your life upside down too especially when most of our restaurants are not kid-friendly.

Iligan City, ever since I was born, has been flourishing with good restaurants and among the biggest is sunburst which has franchise all over the country. And today, the gastronomic feats have markedly improved with artsy, quaint and industrial restos. I would like to bring my daughter once in a while to these places so she will have lots of memories and experiences to look back on.

One of her instant favorite is Tedt’s. It has been around for a long time, I think I was still in high school when I knew it existed. Among our favorite are their pasta menu and scrumptious cupcakes.

Another dainty stop is Pinch aka ‘Duterte Café’. The interior basically screams quaint and artistic. It is one of the shabbiest chic place I have seen and the owners are lovely. She marveled at their interior and had the best laughs while eating. I love that they have unique meals, desserts and tea.

Another place that we have been to is another artsy coffee shop, The Homebrew Café. It is memorable to us because my husband and I took one of our engagement shoots here. And it is so wonderful that I am able to share this place to my daughter. I love their pizza and tea.

I want to document these moments, having our alone-time because I want to have a relationship with my daughter. I want her to treat me as a mother as well as her friend. I hope someday she will look at these as treasures.

Marley at One

Last March, we spent our time preparing for my daughter’s first birthday. She is our first child and it is exciting for first-time parents to prepare for this kind of event.

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First stop was here prebirthday photoshoot. I hired our wedding photographer, Ravie Wong, who loved shooting her. Ravie is a friend and wedding and lifestyle photographer. If you want to see her work, go to her website.

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Next we hired our other suppliers. The venue and food was at MaRro’s Cocina who happen to have great food and services. Unfortunately, they have already closed down due to legal matters.

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The host and entertainment from Dexter’s party labs. They provided the fun and games as well as a bubble show which the children enjoyed. They also have other services.

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Marley’s cake and cupcakes was made by the very lovely Miss Karen Lucasan of Zozo’s. She made this intricate designs of flowers and grasses. Her cakes are to die for. I think she is the best there is in our town.

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The decors and stuffs we made by me and my husband’s precious hands with things like here milk cartons, paper flowers, etc.

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There is nothing more enjoyable than doing something special for your child. We are very thankful that my daughter celebrated her first birthday. She is truly a blessing and I thank God to fullest for her wonderful presence in our lives.