Wednesday, May 4, 2011

Weekend of Friends, Volcanos, Velvet Dresses... oh, and a Pillow Fort

Last Friday, I met up with some of my girl friends from college. We've known each other since freshman year and we were stuck lived in the same dorm for 4 years. We managed to keep in touch all this time, always keeping updated with each others lives. We are all married-with-one-kid now. It's difficult for us to meet up because 2 of them live up north in Baguio which means a 5-hour drive from Manila. We visit them though. Baguio is a beautiful province, mountains all around, trees, flowers, cool climate (it's the only area in the Philippines that experienced something like snow last December).
Flower Festival in Baguio, 2002, shortly after college.
I can't remember when we were last together... and looking at the photos... I think it was 2002. Some of us met with each other after that (like I was in Baguio again for the Flower Festival in 2009) but I think not all 4 of us together.

And now, here we are (they look exactly the same! except for me... because I gained like 50lbs since 2002, tsk tsk tsk).
15 years of friendship... and counting! I am blessed.
Speaking of cool climates, I had a chance to visit another city in the Philippines with a cool climate: Tagaytay. It's around a 2-hour drive south from Manila. We attended a birthday party last Saturday for one of my husband's nieces who just turned 9 years old. We arrived there at 3:30 in the afternoon and when I got out of the car, you know what greeted me? A cool breeze. Like really cool. So while we in Manila would be sweltering around that time (did you know Manila reached 35 degrees Celsius yesterday? 95 Farenheit), people in Tagaytay are comfortably cool.

Since we knew it was cooler in Tagaytay, Andrea finally got to wear her velvet dress. This was a gift from my husband's Aunt and Uncle who live in this area. Andrea gets a little hot in this dress when she wears it in Manila but here...

... she seemed comfortable in it.

Notice the volcano in the lake behind us? That's Taal Volcano. I've read somewhere that it's the world's smallest volcano, but I'm not sure if that's accurate.
Photo taken using my phone's camera.
This view is visible from most parts of Tagaytay. You don't even have to go to a particular place to see it. You can be driving on a road and see this. Ok here's one funny (and somehow embarrassing for me to admit) thing. That small volcano-looking small mountain is NOT the Taal Volcano.
I mean this one... this is NOT the live volcano.
All my life, when I see pictures in  text books of Taal Volcano, this is what we see. A few years ago however, my husband and I with some friends took a boat to see the Taal Volcano and the crater lake and imagine my surprise when we went past this one. The boat man told me that this volcano has been dead for a long time. The real one, the one with the crater lake that people go to, is actually here:
See that island? The active volcano is somewhere in the middle of that island. And when I say active, I  mean active... I think I heard on a the news a few months back that there was some activity and a warning was issued on the residents of that island. It has not erupted yet though, good thing.  And to think that a few years back, a business man from Korea was fighting for a permit to build a spa resort right beside the crater lake. Crazy. You can see the volcano from the air, but apparently, not so much if you're on land. But if you're talking photos... then I must admit, the dead volcano (even if it is NOT the Taal Volcano, there is no lake in the middle of that one, just dry land) looks more dramatic.

Before I end this post, let me share one last thing:
Totally NOT related to any of the topics discussed above but I just want to share. We built Andrea a pillow fort for the first time last night. Three pillows formed the wall, and then daddy and I held a blanket over her head (that's why I was in the photo) for the roof. Can you tell she loved it? (Oh and please ignore our messy hair... we were in bed and in our pajamas getting ready for bed at this time).


Anonymous said...

Love the name Andrea :)
Hope you enjoy making the Barbie clothes! Thanks for stopping by my blog!


Life in Rehab said...

That baby is scrumptious in velvet or PJs.

LambAround said...

What cute photos! I wish I had such wonderful friends :)

I'm here with fun news tonight! Stop by my blog to vote for yourself - you've been nominated for my Best in Show award!!