Welcome to My Blog

This contains snippets of my journeys from the most mundane to the most exciting. This will contain some reviews as well, mostly of hotels and places visited. At times, this could be filled with gripes and frustrations but in all, it will most likely show how truly fascinating life is from my vantage point. My personal mantra, however troubled or distorted things may seem to most, is rooted from the movie "3 Idiots" - - All is Well. Thus, I am a fervent believer of limitless possibilities. Live well. Cheers!

Friday, August 24, 2012

Of School Travels and Side Trips


2012 Iloilo, a set on Flickr.

 Our trip to Iloilo and Roxas City actually took place the week the terrible habagat struck Metro Manila in early August. Thus, although I had a pretty decent time in these places, half my mind was wondering how things are back home. I was wondering if my kids and other family members were safe, if everything's well, etc. I'm just glad that my mom took care of my kids the entire time and would regularly update me of their situation.

This time around, we decided to stay at Highway 21 Hotel. This is in General Luna St. Beside Sarabia Manor. It's a simple hotel that charges P 1,100 a night and had basic amenities such as hot & cold shower, cable television, a decent bed, and a spacious room. You may view http://www.ann2.net/hotels/highway21/ for details.

The minus points of this place is that during heavy rains, one side of our wall had this tendency to leak. I'm thinking that maybe the ones who constructed this place did not give the walls enough drying time before painting it. Well, that's my assumption. Anyway, on the second evening, I decided to turn off the air-conditioner and when we went back to the hotel in the afternoon, the walls were moist, and one side of the floor wet. The secret to avoiding this is not to turn off the air-conditioner but this can only give temporary remedy. The long term solution of course, is to fix the walls. Another downside is that the staff at the lobby had this tendency to watch television even if there are  guests having their meals in the dining area. I felt that they lacked courtesy and respect because they were not behaving properly. Maybe this type of behavior is also attributed to the manager's absence (or maybe the manager was watching TV too). Still, with or without a manager, they should have behaved properly.

The upside is that there is ample parking space and the food is really good.  Two thumbs up  to the chef who is in-charge of churning out amazing dishes for the budget conscious Filipino. There were particular orders that were in big portions but were definitely reasonably priced like their mixed vegetables and lengua.  One heavy meal for two is under P400 only and that is good for the quality of food served. More of that hopefully. There is also an area for our boxes of books so we are happy to have a storage area for our stuff.

We spent Sunday at the Jaro Metropolitan Cathedral. We also prayed to God and Nuestra Señora de la Candelaria [Our Lady of Candles] for blessings, guidance, and better weather. Do check out http://iloiloilove.com/jaro-nuestra-senora-de-la-candelaria/ for more information about this famed church. Since it was really old on the outside, I got the shock of my life when I entered the inside to hear mass. It has such lovely murals painted on its walls and ceilings and there were flat screens on several of its posts to ensure that everyone is able to view the priest and listen to his homily even at sides and the end of the church. All the speakers were also bose so you could only imagine how crisp and clear the sound was. Evidently, this is a well-funded church that allocates its resources accordingly.

After hearing mass, we ate at the ever famous Breakthrough Restaurant in Molo-Arevalo Boulevard, Iloilo City. I had my usual scallops and aligue rice and as expected, I was coughing like crazy after due to an allergic reaction. Masarap talaga ang bawal kainin  [Food that you're not allowed to eat are usually delicious]. The seafood in Breakthrough is really fresh and the beach front and clear waters is always something I enjoy viewing. Check out more food information at http://flavoursofiloilo.blogspot.com/. Looking at this blog even made me more hungry.  Maybe I'd go check it out in my next visit to this seafood haven.

The next few days were spent going to different schools to promote learning materials and at the same time, give out seminar invites. In all, we went to 26 schools. There are actually so many beautifully structured schools in Iloilo, some of which, look even better than Manila schools. This makes me reflect how educators in Iloilo [and Roxas] put a premium on their physical plant. This also brings me to the assumption that they most likely value quality education because they are bent on creating a conducive environment for their learners.  I really hope to gain more about instructional delivery and the best practices of teachers across the Philippines through these mini-encounters with schools and school stakeholders.  

I'm helping out my husband Jay in sales and sometimes we are welcomed with friendly faces and at times, we cannot even get past the secretary. The realization I get from such experiences is to be more accommodating to people [being an administrator myself] because it is somewhat a reflection of your school and the ideals you represent. I personally appreciated my visits to Ateneo de Iloilo, Iloilo Scholastic Academy, Cabatuan Parochial School, College of St. John, Capiz Commercial School,  even Filamer and Solomon. I felt the warmth, patience, and kindness of the administrators. It is so funny that after flying back to Manila and dealing with the day-to-day undertakings of talking to different types of people when in school, I notice myself being a little nicer and more accommodating, even offering them coffee or water.  I guess it makes me learn a thing or two about how it is important to give people the time of day even just for a few minutes (and how awful it is to feel rejection..Harhar...yeah, couldn't help to squeeze that in). 

I look forward to a hundred or even more attendees in our seminar and a smooth-sailing, well-appreciated activity (limitless possibilities). Special thanks to Iloilo Scholastic Academy for accepting to be our host school for the free seminar-workshop that we are holding late this year.


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