Friday, April 14, 2006

Trippin' (Volume I)

i haven't been updating my blog lately. not because i don't have anything to write. thing is, i have too many things i want to include that i just don't know how to begin. so, i guess the most logical thing to do is to divide my posts per category: out-of-town trips and parties. :D

anyways, i've been to a lot of places since the schoolyear ended. would you believe i've been to tagaytay three times already since the end of march? and it hasn't even been a month since then!

Meet Me @ The Crossroads

it was my community's first Crossroads Retreat for Men & Women last March 25-26 at my favorite place in Tagaytay - Angels' Hills.

i invited tet and several friends i met during Bo's Lenten retreat last year to attend. vi brought two of her housemates while lida actually brought all of her students in her Group Dynamics class. what a blessing!

the retreat was led by the ever hilarious and inspiring, Kuya Glen Glorioso (from Ligaya ng Panginoon), who was also the retreat master of the last year's Crossroads Retreat for Men.

i haven't been in this place for more than two years. which is why it was such a pleasant surprise to see all the new areas and structures, particularly the villas in the San Lorenzo Ruiz village. each villa houses 10 guests, with one bathroom and an aircon (although the Tagaytay air was more than enough for us).

i stayed in 33A with a bunch of my favorite crazy people. hahaha!

the Crossroads was actually a condensed version of the Christian Life Series. when i was a participant back in 1993 (ok, i was a college freshman that time, you can stop computing now), we attended the CLS every Wednesday during U-break. even if i had my share of my own discussion groups, hearing the talks was still refreshing for me. that weekend was no exception. i felt like i was experiencing the CLS for the first time...i was even tempted to be a member of a discussion group instead of handle one. hehe.

of course, we (the committed bros and sis) were there to serve...and we did. my members are actually four of lida's students. ahh, yes, i felt like i was back in college again, handling members (almost) my age. haha :D

if i was asked to describe the retreat in one word, it would be...well, just one word will not suffice...


a breath of fresh air



yes, fun. :)

although i had to restrain my trigger happy alter-ego, i did give in for a while...hehe.

well, the Crossroads Retreat was a blast, in more ways than one.

i can't wait to attend the next one!

Ending the Year Right

we (the LEAP School staff) had our annual 3-day year-end evaluation at Canyon Woods, Tagaytay last March 27-29. yup, it was right after my retreat. fortunately for me, i didn't have to drive again like i did that weekend. all the teachers stayed in the van of one of the owners of the school. field trip, field trip! :D

unlike our mid-year evaluation (in Tali, Batangas), we got to relax and unwind more on our most recent trip. the first day was spent poring over the evaluations of the different school events and planning for the schoolyear ahead. this was followed by a very revealing and funny round of the pick-a-question-from-the-jar-and-give-your-most-truthful-answer game. even if i've been with these teachers for three years already, there were still a lot of things i didn't know about them. of course, the most popular and scandalous questions revolved around the embarrassing and love stories. but i'm keeping my mouth shut. :D

we spent the second day lounging at Terrazas de Punta Fuego. wow! this was actually one of the regular places for our evaluations but i can never get tired of this place. and the food! too bad i left my camera...sigh. photo opportunities down the drain. ah well, there's always next evaluation.

when we got back to the cottage, it was time for the routine "hot seat," where each staff member was called one at a time to talk to the three owners. hhm, can you say Pinoy Idol? hehe. i chose to go first because i wanted to get it over with. during our mid-year evaluation, i was actually the last. it was an excruciating wait and i didn't want to go through that again!

on our last day, we just had to answer a checklist evaluation on ourselves and our partners. and then we were set to go back to Manila. we had lunch at Alabang Town Center (finally, i get to hang out there...Rica gave me the grand tour before but we really didn't stay very long). i'd say this was the grandest idea because we ran into Bamboo (well, it was more of he passed by us), who was looking way too cute in a blue cap and cotton shirt (sigh)...

A Day of Prayer...and Photos

our cellgroup went on a day of prayer last April 8 at, you guessed it, Tagaytay City. my papa's most recent quip is that Tagaytay has become my new Makati. only with a better view. and fresher air. :D

anyways, flor, lyn, and i stayed in the Franciscan Missionaries of Mary house, one of the favorite places of prayer of the SOLV community. you can actually stay there for the day for free, as long as you ask permission and nobody is occupying the gardens. well, we were lucky because the whole area was all ours! (bwahahahaha!)

after our individual prayer times,

i rounded up the group in the cemetery for our pictorials.

this area has been newly renovated

and landscaped

and is actually a beautiful place

for camera shy people like us...

by the time we were done with our session, it was time to fill our already complaining stomachs. we drove to Chowking and had a very sumptuous lunch. which was followed by an interesting discussion on life...and love. ahem. :)

i'm glad flor thought of spending a day of prayer. it was the perfect way to usher in the holy week.

have a meaningful week, friends.

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