2011: what a year!

It’s been a while since I posted anything on here so I thought I’d cheat and do a quick recap of (perhaps) the most amazing year for B and I.

Here’s a list of the significant dates for us this 2011:

  1. January 1
    B had a great birthday, a significant age milestone!
  2. January 6
    Received the email from New Zealand immigration, our NZ Residence visas, which we have been waiting 3 years for, have finally been approved!
  3. February 5
    Papa turned 70, had an amazing birthday party with the family complete! We also received great news that we have a new nephew on the way.
  4. March 19
    B and I flew to India for the first time. Beautiful country, amazing food, great people!
  5. April 9
    The big move to New Zealand. It was an emotionally charged day, and I cried like a baby on the plane. Sad to leave my family behind, but so excited about our future in NZ. Wow what a day!
  6. April 10
    Arrived in Auckland and had a first glimpse of our new country, beautiful!
  7. April 11
    Touched down at our final destination, New Plymouth. Our mouths dropped when we saw how beautiful the place was. Though it felt like we were in limbo for a few days, loved the place but we were living out of a low-cost hotel room, which I hated.
  8. April 15
    Moved in to our new apartment. Finally I was happy! We were sooo so lucky to get this place and we can finally say we are finally home!
  9. April 18
    First day on the new job. NZ is a great place to work, I love my Kiwi officemates.
  10. May 28
    The start of our weight loss journey, attended my first Weightwatchers meeting with a starting weight of 78.3kilos or 172 pounds, 6 months later.. we ended up losing 10kilos or 22 lbs each πŸ™‚
  11. October 3
    I turned 33 this year!
  12. November 11
    One of the best days of our lives, we got married surrounded by family and friends! It was absolutely the most perfect and beautiful day.
  13. December 19
    Honeymoon in Fiji, 9 days of pure bliss with the love of my life πŸ™‚

What can I say? We’re having the time of our lives! We feel so incredibly happy and blessed for this wonderful year!

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From exotic Bangalore to beautiful Boracay in seven days

Bede and I both love to travel.Β We have visited the different islands of the Philippines, but haven’t had the chance to go out of the country together.

The opportunity to visit Bangalore was unexpected and sudden. Even with a hectic schedule, Bede and I decided to visit India for the first time, and it was worth it!

Is it corny to say that having your loved one with you, makes the experience much much better? πŸ™‚ Excuse the photos if you see a whole lot of giddy Genas! More after the jump…

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Rediscovering Iloilo

I was born and bred in Iloilo City and I feel so lucky because of that. Our city is one of the oldest in the country, it has its own unique identity setting it apart from the other cities in the Philippines.

Here’s a few tips I would give friends who would like to visit Iloilo:

1. Eat as much seafood as you like (and can, without getting sick). My dad eats talaba (oysters) for merienda almost everday, one small serving if you order it roadside in Mohon, Arevalo, is about 30 bucks. If you want one whole sack, it can cost only around 750 petot. Make sure though that it’s well cooked and fresh, that’s what my Papa always say. πŸ™‚

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Day two in Boracay -Tired but happy!

Just got back to the hotel after a long and fun day at Bora. B and I woke up at 5:30 to run a 5k along the beach. It was a challenging run because it was raiiiining! We ran all the way to station 1 and back, though I asked B to stop for a few minutes because the soft sand and the uneven terrain were killing me. Oh well made up all of the 375 calories that I burned with a yummy breakfast of hotdogs and koko krunch! I love BHR πŸ™‚

The rain finally stopped an we all trooped to the beach to do our obligatory cam whoring with the pentax and snapsights cams. The beauty of the beach still takes your breath away even after all these years.

Lunch at the palengke where we bought fresh crabs prawns and scallops and had them cooked right away. That’s the best food trip tradition ever! I’ll see if I can post photos soon. Dinner at cafe med and enjoyed the show at m02 cafe with a dark chocolate gelato. Yumm!

Time to call it a night. I’ll see you again tomorrow Boracay.

In search of the perfect underwater camera: Part 1 – Snapsights SS01

I am a water baby. Always have, always will be! My brother Rich used to take my sister and I swimming a LOT, until we were dark little kiddies in bright red and white striped swimsuits.

My Poopsie has also instilled a deep love for photography in me, when we started playing with his 1970s Nikon F2. We went through a lot of film to get things right, especially since the camera had no light meter and we were just using a 50mm lens (NOT a big disadvantage at all).

Shooting the shooter. Played around with Papa's almost antique Nikon F2.

Well it’s no surprise that technology now allows me to combine two of my great loves, water and photography! No longer I have to buy disposable waterproof film cameras from Kodak, now we have cheap digital cameras and underwater casings galooore! I’m just OBSESSED with finding the right camera to fit my needs.

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