Tuesday, November 21, 2017


I first met Rita on a Sunday, at Church. Saw her from afar, her hair neatly tucked away from her face, sporting a sleek, casual outfit and running shoes, as she greeted everyone around her with a smile and peace. She was simply glowing amongst the crowd. That left me wondering who she was, where she's from or what she does, only to find out moments later that she was indeed a good friend of my Tante Marilou.

I had very minimal knowledge of Deutsch at that time as we got into conversation. But it felt so light and so natural chatting with her (auf Deutsch!). I had nothing to be intimidated about. She said, she was once just like me, an Ausländer who moved to Germany, learning the language, seeking greener pastures. 

I thereby learned, Rita is a lovely lady from Lithuania whom I'd closely liken to Lady Diana. Strong but sensitive. Classy but cool. Refined but not restricted. And with a passion for beautiful spaces and delectable pastries! The kind of all-around (Ladyboss) woman I aspire to be.

She truly inspires me every time we talk and reminds me to look into the future with a new light. This was my very first Frauenabend (Ladies' Night), where she invited us along with her closest girlfriends, who are also every bit their own Ladybosses. Everything from the table setting, to the decorations, the presentation and the cake (oh the cake!) had a touch of 'Rita' on it. So, it would be unfair not to share that lovely evening. As well as celebrating this wonderful woman today.

Sunday, November 12, 2017

Split : Brač & Hvar

Our Croatian Series continue! Ning and I didn't waste a minute, as you will find us on-the-road again from Plitviče heading South towards Split, a town along Croatia's historical and coastal region of Dalmatia. We were chasing the sun and the warmth Croatia has to offer. We arrived just when the sun began to shed light over the Town, the little Cafés and Shops just started to open up welcoming another torrent of tourists and the Ships and Ferries docked by the Pier greeting us. My kind of vibe. We were on foot in search of our Hostel which gave us an ample amount of time to rummage through this small town. The Split Garden was an airy and peaceful home for our 3-day stay. We were at a perfect location from the City Center. Away from noise, but close to the party zone and just a walk away from The Diocletian's Palace - a UNESCO World Heritage. What sets this town apart, from being a very hip and modern tourist place that it is today, is it's fortresslike complex and sprawling remains of the Roman Empire which we are lucky enough to enjoy this day. Truly you get the GOT feeling. It's the place that gave life to the series. Though I have to admit, it's a shame I haven't seen any episode of it.

Being an #IslandGirl and #Waterbaby myself, the Croatian Islands are not to be missed. We have unpacked and packed again for an island adventure and were aboard Jadrolinija off the Adriatic Sea.

After an hour ferry ride from Split, we arrived at the main town of Supetar in the island of Brač. We were greeted by friendly locals who let us try their fresh produce of the day. Croatia is also producer of our favourite home goods such as Olive Oil, Honey and Lavender. When asked about where we are coming from, we proudly say the Philippines, then we get the wide eyes and cheers for having come so far. Hell yeah, We bring the Asia in Croatia! That said, our traveling wasn't over as we had to take another bus ride heading South of Brač to Bol, where we aim to reach the Zlatni Rat or Golden Cape. Zlatni Rat is famous for it's white pebbled beach, windsurfing activities and spit of land which formed a pointed shoreline. I was looking down at the white buildings with orange-bricked roofs bestrewing the bottom of the mountains. The landscape surrounding us made us gasp in awe. With the mountains behind us and the beach before us, it was perfect to lay down and take everything in.

The following day was spent at the island of Hvar located just below Brač. That took us about two hours on a ferry from Split. Staying at the open air deck of the ship gave us darker skin with a tint of red cheeks, the best views of the deep blue water beneath us and the lush green landscapes to our sides. Catch and Release by Matt Simons playing on my iPod. Our ship finally docked in Stari Grad and our wandering began through a walk in the woods. We'd stop by for pictures of unique flora and hints of the beach. When we arrived at the inhabited area of this quaint little town, souvenir shops, little cafés, small boats and pastel-coloured buildings welcomed us. This place felt as if it was held back in time.

Croatia shows very strong Christianity, as evidenced by the presence of a Cathedral in the City, Churches on the Island and debossed crucifixes on limestone walls, which are vague to even notice. It was quiet and there were barely any tourists on this beautiful island. We came upon the Trvdalj Castle, a fortified Renaissance-era building which served as the Summer home of the Croatian Poet - Petar Hektorović. The home was filled with his poetry, mostly in Latin, carved on it's walls. 

Our walk lasted for an hour until we stopped at a perfect 'camping' spot. We found a smooth, even rock by the sea to lay our towels as makeshift sunbeds and the pine trees served as umbrellas. The opal-blue beach all to ourselves! We had our own little paradise while snacking away or getting lost in a book. I, meanwhile, swimming the waters of the Adriatic Sea.

The closure to this Sojourn was the flaming sunset on our ferry and the double rainbow painted from the sky to the sea. Crazy. Beautiful. Our last night in Split was spent over dinner with a warm and hearty Diocletian Risotto.

Ning and friends and I, recently had homemade Raclette, Tiramisú and Glühwein at her flat which turned to a night of spontaneous Jam Sesh singing to our favourite acoustic songhits. English and Tagalog. Current and Old School! And I'm glad for this, for friends who make home away from home...

Friday, November 3, 2017


I guess, we've all heard it more often than not to: "Live in the Moment" or simply "Be Present". But in this age of digital media, fast food and consumerism makes it as hard as a task. Because, I do try so hard. I try to switch off (sometimes!) and do things away from bright screens. Now that I have more free time than ever, I could squeeze in more writing and aufräumen. I've been keeping this story for so long and looking back on these pictures reminded me to see life as an adventure, be spontaneous and live the moment!

It was June and my birthday was just around the corner. I have nothing special intended, but the thought of growing a year older in the place I was born, 17 years after leaving, could mean something right? It's such a blessing to have met my Friend Ning here in Hamburg, who is also a Proudly Pinay and a Pro in Travelling. An "Angel in Disguise" if I may say. A Typical Sunday Afternoon in Church led to planning and booking furiously for a 5-day backpacking trip to Croatia. I can't count how many Debit/Credit Cards we pulled out from our wallets! And when I describe Ning as a 'Pro in Travelling', I meant Expert. In one table meeting, our bus connections, flight tickets, hostels and itinerary are as good as gold. I could rely on her for my life! I think, the only thing I contributed was finding a Couch we could sleep on for a night in Zagreb.

Twenty-one hours of bus ride (and a Krimi Bus Drama) later, we've arrived safe and sound in Croatia's Capital and Davor's humble home, who welcomed us with open arms just like his two wonderful Daughters. We were on-the-road again early in the morning to make our way to a UNESCO World Heritage - The Plitviče Lakes National Park. 


I was only reading Blogs and seeing Pictures of Plitviče years back and wished to see it myself. What a gift to receive on one's Birthay! And I am glad that I am sharing this dream with a friend. 

The Plitviče National Park is a Forest Reserve located in Central Croatia. It's Walkways and Hiking Trails that wind the Forest made me realize that we are in the midst of Terraced Lakes which are then joined by countless Waterfalls. It's evident how rich and protected this Site is, given it's thick green foliage, free swimming fishes and enchanting blue waters. Taking a dip is forbidden, however, I can't help to test the waters and get my feet wet. The endless rush of water keeps you company as you hike. And before you know it, there is a Waterfall waiting for you just around the bend. 

Aside from hiking, Ning and I rowed a boat and decided to eat our baon aboard near a little Waterfall - all to ourselves. The challenge during our hike, is when the rain poured hard that we had to stop and find shelter under a tree, but then just accept the fact that we got a natural shower. But the adventure didn't stop there, when we almost decided to keep ourselves dry and stay somewhere warm, have we found a signage that reads "Big Waterfalls". And our chasing for waterfalls has been satisfied. Our shivering bodies and tiresome faces have brightened up and our eyes wide again! It was such a reward to discover that beauty, if it weren't for a little more step and curiosity. 

We ended the day with a warm Croatian dinner at Restoran Lička Kuća and blew my cake in Plitviče Lakes! Now that I've seen the Lakes in all its sapphire and jade glory in the Summer, I wonder how frosted and crystallised it would be during the Winter. The Enchantment of Plitviče never left us.