Monday, August 14, 2017

Re-visiting Goals for 2017

It's 5 months before the Holidays!

Can you believe it? Sobrang bilis ng panahon!

Imagine! August na ngayon? How could it be? Samantalang parang kahapon lang nung nag birthday ako?!

So how're your goals doing? Are you on track or lost? Last month was the perfect time to reassess your goals and re-visit the plans you have listed down. The next best time is today. We still have 5 months before the year ends and for me, there's still a chance to go back on track.

If you wish to look back on the goals I have written early this year, please feel free to read through.

I seriously had some ups and downs this year and there were areas that I felt I achieved earlier than what I expected while I lack some courage to push on the other.

To make my goals a lot more manageable, I divided it into sections.

Personal Goals

I wrote down 7 goals and I am at 3 out of 7 at the moment. I am looking to accomplish more than that for the remaining months of 2017. I am happy how it turned out so far and I'll do my best to make it happen. =)

  • Attend Workshops -  I haven't done anything related to baking so far since I got so busy and focused with my new role in the office. Gusto ko muna kasing magamay ang lahat although I am looking to go back to baking anytime soon since it's almost BER months were baked goods are at its peak.
  • Hair Transformation - Eto wala pa talaga because I have a lot of financial things going on at this point that are much more important. However, this can be done throughout the year.
  • Vaccine -  rainy days are here and virus are everywhere due to inclement weather. Last year, we were able to get a cheaper price here in the office but it's different now. It's 50% price increase so I decided to look elsewhere. Good thing Jami isn't catching any virus just yet. I will have to contact his pedia for a cheaper flu vaccine in the coming days/weeks.
  • Loose Weight -  I was able to loose 8kgs in a matter of 3 months. I stopped at 57kgs since I am hearing a lot of side comments na wag na daw masyadong magpapayat. Honestly, I like my body now, I just need to have to work it out to make all muscles firm. Next move: Maintain the weight. :p
  • Read another book - I wrote that I want to read new books about finances. I haven't done one but I was able to read Harry Potter books - all of them. Next move: Read another book.
  • Be Punctual - This doesn't apply to my work at this time since we have a flexible schedule. I am part of another team now that handles back office tasks so schedules aren't that strict. Just as long as we go to work at a time we are expected to, all's good. I would like to tag it success because I was able to limit the amount of late to only twice in the first 3 months of the year which resulted to being promoted to work. =) Next move: Continue the hard work.

Family Goals

Family  is really important for me so to strengthen the bond, I separated my goals for my family. So far, we were able to reach 3 out of 5.
  • Travel - this year, we had more travel than what we have expected. Having that said, I could say we could stop at that for the year and plan na lang where to go next year.
    • Calaguas Island, Camarines Norte
    • Stilts Calatagan Beach Resort, Calatagan Batangas
    • Gigantes Island in Ilo-ilo
    • Guimaras Island
    • Bacolod City
    • Next Move: Save up for for travel fund (for next year).
  • Family Time - I am glad to say that we are spending more time together because we only have limited time everyday. Daryl started working last month so we barely see each other during weekdays or weekends. His rest days are on weekdays and mine is on weekends. Even so, when we get the chance at home, we often cuddle and make time for each other including Jami. Next Move: movie time. =)
  • Home Cooked Meals - We have been working on eating home cooked meals. Aside from the fact that we are trying to cut cost, I want to make sure that the food they eat are clean. So far, I would say it's a success since I am planning our food sometimes. Next move: Consistency in planning meals! 
  •  Staycation and Photoshoot - are the two least priority of all. When our finance allow, we'll proceed with it but surely, I can go by without these muna because I need to focus on building funds first.

 Relationship Goals

  • Eat Out/Date Night/Movie together/Spa Together - Well, Daryl started working and we have different rest days so we really can't do this soon. Quite frankly, we don't have a budget for it and we are trying to live below our means so this can wait. I sure enjoy the days we spend kulitan in the house and I am contented with that. 
  • Cuddle and Kiss more often - Yes! We are cuddling more than the previous year! Hahaha. I mean, we fight less now since we have one thing to stop fighting about - money. I also realized that we have to cuddle and kiss often to keep the fire burning so if there's a chance, before he goes to sleep or vice versa, cuddle cuddle muna. =)
  • Complement more - I do complement him not that often but if I get the chance and he does something really need to praise. I thank him for his hard work now that he helps with the bills and rent. I also say nice things when I noticed something new with him like hair. 
  • Understand each other more - It has always been me who's hot tempered among us so I did a lot of effort to at least minimize the amount of negative thinking. When we are about to argue, I am trying my best not to let the arguments get longer or if I am being sensitive to what he's saying, I am trying to think less. Although I am hot-tempered on some minor things, I could easily forget what I am mad about after some time. With that, we kiss and make-up quite easily pero he has to get ready with explanations when I remembered why I was mad 2 weeks ago. hahahaha! Baliw lang.

Financial Goals

  •  Beef up Emergency Fund -I know! Eto na naman tayo sa emergency fund hanggang ngayon wala pa rin! Hahaha! We just had a lot of expenses the last 7 months so it was really a struggle to save money. Also, I don't know what happen but because of debts, I was so scared to budget our money because I know it's going to be negative. It turned out really bad for the last couple of months. Good thing Daryl started his new job in June which means we will be able to catch up on this part. We still have 5 months before the year ends so hopefully kahit 1 month worth of expenses lang makapagtabi kami. Next move: Save at least a month worth until December.
  • School Fund - I was really looking to pay for Jami's tuition in cash however, the second quarter of the year went quite bad so we took the installment instead. The amount is manageable and since I started budgeting the money again last month, it's going really well and never felt a burden. Next move: Start saving in November up to May for next school year.
  • Coin to Piggy Bank - Just last month, I got hooked in saving 10 peso coins! I have read a lot of 50 peso challenge where every 50 peso bill that comes in to your hands, it's invisible for spending and should go to savings immediately. Since money is tight, I know the most that I can manage is 10 pesos and so far, I have collected some that I am looking to deposit to my ATM which will be used for the coming holiday season in December. =) Next Move: Continue collecting and deposit the money on ATM for holiday fund.
  • Travel Fund - No travel fund for the rest of the year since we had a lot of traveling for the first 6 months. I am looking to save some when our debts are fully paid. Next move: Plan our next travel and save for it before summer next year.
  • More Sideline/Additional Income - we are restarting our business so we could pay our debts faster and get more money saved. Next move: Earn from these sidelines to finish paying our debts.
  • SSS Loan Update - I was able to take advantage of SSS' loan restructuring program late April so I am now paying my old salary loan slowly. So far, I managed to pay 4 consecutive months which I'll share with you on a separate post. Next move: Continue paying for the next 20 months.
These are the goals I have listed down when the year started and the status of each goals so far. I am so glad that I am making progress in most of them. It's a good thing to look back at them once in a while to make sure that these goals are up to date and will have at least a tiny progress.

How about you guys? Kamusta ang mga goals? Buhay pa ba? Hehehe!

Tuesday, August 8, 2017

Day Tour in Guimaras Island

Guimaras is so close to Ilo-ilo city, it's 15 minutes away so our original plan was to make it on the second day for a tour then early morning for our island hopping. However, we got all tired after our Gigantes Island and the way back so we enjoyed our stay in Circle Inn Hotel for the remaining hours of our day two.

Early morning of our third day, we skipped breakfast and headed to Ortiz wharf which is walking distance away from the hotel. My sister paid for our fare that costs Php14/head while the kids are free. We were asked to register our names then headed off to the docking area. Immediately, a boat is available to pick us up. It was a big passenger boat where bikes and motorcycle can be transported to and from Guimaras. We left couple of minutes after when every one else have settled down.

We only waited for about 10-15 minutes when we reached Jordan port in Guimaras. Transportation are available every couple of minutes so commuting isn't a problem.

There was a man who offered a tour in Guimaras. Since we didn't have reservations, we bargained with him. Of course bago mag tawaran, we took pictures where a Guimaras sign with a big mango was. It was a good thing it's quiet hidden, wala masyadong tao kaming kasunod. Lol!

Going back to bargain, the manong offered us the multicab tour for Php 2,000 but we managed to bring it down to Php1,500. Perks ng may ateng charming! hahahah. Well, sabi nya kasi "bakit sa online Php1,500 lang?" Hehe. So the manong gave in and just ask us to wait for couple of minutes until the multi-cab is ready. We were a total of 6 adults and 3 kids so we fit in to the cab comfortably. Oh by the way, we decided to take the light house and skipped the wind mill since it's quite far daw and we have to make additional payments. Due to a very constricted time, we would rather visit the light house since we were able to see the best wind mill so far - the one in Ilocos - Bangui Wind Mill (Farm).

Smallest Plaza

The Smallest Plaza is just along the way so we had our stop over for some pictures. The driver said that it's in the Guiness book of record for making it to being the smallest plaza there is. It was just a quick stop over so I don't have a nicer photos. We used my sister's phone and opted to go to Island hopping first before going to island tour.

We headed straight to Raymen's beach where our driver made an arrangement for our island hopping. We were expecting for it to be about Php500 for the first hour then Php150 for the succeeding hour. The driver went back and said that the resort ran out of boat for hopping but he managed to convince another boatman for Php1000 for 3 hours of island hopping. There's a Php200 difference but to avoid anymore hassle, we said we'll go. We didn't have a reservation, you see so we can't be so sure if the driver made additional profit of Php200 out of it. Just so we can get over with, we decided to take the offer.

Ang hirap mag maintain ng bangs ha! :p

Alubihod Beach

Raymen's Beach Resort is located in Alubihod beach. This beach has a fine sand with nice and clean water so the family could definitely enjoy it. There were a lot of people going on swimming that day so to save time, we decided to proceed with our island hopping tour. The boat picked us on the farther left of the photo above.

The boatmen said that waves were kinda rough so there were places that we can't go to. We passed by Turtle Island (where Turtles lay their eggs), Baras Cave, and Fairy Castle. We weren't able to go to Baras Cave because of the strong waves, while we didn't drop by to Fairy Castle and Turtle Island. Instead, the boat men brought us to Ave Maria where we had a little swim.

Ave Maria Islet

Mejo mabato at some part so better to wear an aqua shoe. There was also food for merienda being sold but expect it to be quite expensive.We spent a good 30 minutes swimming on the shallow part. Alam nyo naman, di ako marunong lumangoy. Haha!

Oh by the way, we save a dead pawikan on our way to Ave Maria Islet. Sabi ng boatmen, dead na daw yan! =(

I had a mixed feeling seeing this turtle this close. It made me sad na its dead but I am so excited to see it. The last time I saw one alive eh nung bata pa talaga ako, around grade 2? It made me so much more excited to go to Apo Island in Negros Oriental tuloy. hahaha! #travelgoals.

Our next stop was Lamurawan island. This island has a view deck where you could see 7 more islets.Take note that there's no entrance fee but a donation box placed before you descend back to your boat.

The view deck. Sayang naman, merong kahoy! =(
Our last stop was a newly built floating deck. We spent all the remaining hours of island hopping there because we can't visit the other location in our list. Please be reminded that the tour will depend solely on the condition of the sea. The boat is really small for it to go in an the open water specially if the waves are too risky.

Although our island hopping wasn't as exciting as it sound since we only visited a few, we had fun time on the floating deck where Nanay got the chance to jump 6-8ft high. Haha! The floating deck had a jumping site for some adrenaline rush.

Exactly 3 hours after, we head back to Raymen Beach to wash up. It was around lunch time when we came back and the sun was scorching hot but there were a lot of people enjoying the beach. I think there were also team building going on when we were there.

There were restrooms available near the beach but since there were plenty of people around, we have to wait for our turn. The worst part was, the water supply was very limited! As in malakas pa ang ihi ko compared to the pressure of water coming out of the shower. Sobrang frustrating at some point since you can't take a bath properly. Anyway, what you can do? Pagtyagaan na lang. I wondered if the supply inside their rooms were also like that?

Anyway, after some time, we were done so we head on to their restaurant to have lunch. Sorry no photos again, I don't know why I wasn't taking photos of our food. Sobrang gutom na, I guess? =D

I want to commend their restaurant. All the disappointment I had on their bathroom water supply were gone because they served delicious food, we enjoyed it. Take note that you can't trust me with food tasting ha? Mejo bias ako eh bilang picky eater talaga ako sa tunay na buhay! hahah. :P Mejo maliit nga lang yung restaurant nila so you have to wait during lunch time kasi mejo madami yung tao.

After our lunch, we headed back to our multi -cab so we could proceed with our island/city tour.

Guisi Light House

Since Guisi Light house is the farthest, this was our first stop for our city tour. From Raymen Beach Resort, it took around 20 minutes before we reached the location. Please be reminded that the multi cab can't take you to the actual Light house so you have to trek a little bit. It's a short trek by the way and the path is shaded naman so there weren't so much to worry about.

View along the way

When we get there, several group of people were there too not to mention that it was after lunch time so mainit talaga. What you'll see there was a light house ruin and the beautiful view of the beach with fresh air and cool wind.

I don't have much photos of the place since Jami fell asleep on our way here. I have to carry him on our short trek since I can't leave him alone sa multicab so tiis ganda talaga ako going up! hahah. I was so glad to finally see the end part and ang view, talaga naman nakakawala ng pagod. We spent arouind 20-30 minutes in this place just to cool down a bit. Guisi Light house asks for donation that you can drop on a box along the way. There were also souvenirs and local snacks being sold on your way. 

Our next stop was Trappist Monastery where souvenir items are being sold. Somewhat, this was Guimaras' most known souvenir store. There were ref magnets, bags, hats, local food pasalubong available at around Php35-Php150. 

I actually can't wait to try Mangoes of Guimaras at this point. Kating-kati na akong kumain ng mango being a fan myself! Our driver dropped us off in a small store on our way back to the town proper. He said it's cheaper there since the store have their own mango farm compared to the one's in the town proper na mejo pricey na. 

I bought around 1.4kgs of Mango as pasalubong. The price per kilo is Php65. O.M.G I can't believe it samantalang dito sa Manila, sobrang expensive na. Gusto ko talaga bumili ng madami kaso iniisip ko, it's just Jami and I on our way back to Manila so I can't carry all of it myself, so sad lang. =(

As soon as we got down the multicab, biglang dumami yung tao! Pakyaw levels din sila grabe! I said to myself, iba siguro talaga ang mangga ng Guimaras! Gusto ko na talaga kumain kahit 1 piece lang habang nasa byahe eh. Haha!

Our driver also dropped us along the highway with this wonderful view!

Our next stop was the Pitstop which was a restaurant that is known for their Mango pizza. It was in their town proper and can easily be found. It was around 2:30pm when we get there and I would say na blockbuster din pala talaga ang place. There were a lot of people probably because it was just right after lunch time. The place was quite small I would say and can get a little crowded on their peak hours. 

Haggard look na naman si ako! :D

My sister ordered their mango pizza (right photo) which is for me tastes quite interesting. Eh mango fan ako so syempre na enjoy ko diba? Instead of using tomato sauce, they used a mango puree (I think) with nuts and bell peppers. It's sweet so swak din sa mga kids although Jami is not a fan of mango so di nya gusto, mas prefer nya ang Hawaiian pizza (nothing fancy).  Don't ask me the price, nilibre lang ako jan! Hahah! 

After our merienda, my sister realized that we are behind schedule because she has to check out on our hotel in Circle Inn Iloilo. She booked for a half-day so the kids will have a place to rest while they pack away the luggage in the car. Hehe! We were rushing inside but the driver asked if we want to take pictures in Guimaras Sign.

We headed back to Jordan port which was quite a breezy experience although there were lines piling up. I would just like to add that it wasn't organized since you have to line up or make singit at your own risk so be careful when you are with kids. 

It was a quick ride back to Iloilo and this is where our Guimaras tour ends. I know it was just a short trip but pretty much everything on our itinerary that we wanted to do were accommodated except the island hopping which was out of our hands to decide on. 

To enjoy most of Guimaras, you may want to stay overnight near the beach. Raymen's beach is a famous one but there were other hotels around. There was also this big hotel that are being built when we were there. To sum up the expenses, please check below. 

The price of multicab can be divided in the number of people inside the cab but if you're a family, sulit na din naman. Also, please don't forget that your island hopping is solely based on how the sea's condition is. Better to go there on summer months to make the best of your island hopping.

I am really glad that finally, I stepped foot in Guimaras Island that I only get to hear or read on books or online. This was the 16th Philippine province so far and I am looking forward to at least visit half. Hehe. =)