Romantic Engagement and Fine-Dining By the Sea at Shangri-la Mactan

I’ve just been engaged! And it’s a different kind of engagement, way, way better that how I thought it would be… In case you’re interested to find out, you can check my 2 previous posts. This is about our unique engagement and this one’s about our bespoke engagement rings… 

For this blog post, I just want to make a special shoutout to Shangri-la Mactan for creating a one-of-a-kind engagement / romantic fine-dining experience for us. And in case you want a similar one, I’ll share with you the inclusions and how much a set-up like this can cost. Read on…

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OUR BESPOKE ENGAGEMENT RINGS

When it comes to jewelry, especially rings, I don’t like surprises. I want jewelry that I consider one-of-a-kind, truly beautiful, symbolic, and something that I will never get tired of looking at for the rest of my life. I think this is one of the reasons why Mahal doesn’t like surprising me. He wants to please me as much as he can and wants only what’s best for me and what can make me happy.

And so, we chose to have our engagement rings customized. Normally, it’s just the girl who gets an engagement ring, right? But as you may know, if you’ve been following me for a long time now, you know that I don’t follow the trends or what’s considered normal (lol!) I personally wanted us all to have one ring each to symbolize our promise to each other that we will soon become one legal family.

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A DIFFERENT KIND OF ENGAGEMENT

As J. Lo wrote in her inner circle newsletter “On the JLO: “Life is an art… and we are the artists… make it as beautiful as you want and create it exactly as you want it to be…” ❤ ❤ ❤ 

Growing up, I never really had a clear vision of what getting engaged and getting married should be like for me. I remember attending very few weddings during my childhood and teens and it always left me with feelings of lack and sadness coz I felt like I can never have that kind of wedding. My automatic negative thoughts were: “I’m too poor to be able to afford that.” “That will never happen for me”… etc. True enough, you attract what you think. Despite the amount of money I’ve had in my early adult years, I never had that kind of engagement nor wedding. 

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How We Celebrated Valentine’s Day Throughout These Years

I was planning to have a repeat of how we celebrated Valentine’s Day last year because I really liked it so much. But because we are in Cebu City today (we’ve been here since Feb. 11 doing a different kind of shopping spree and running some important errands), and we won’t be traveling back home until probably evening of Valentine’s Day itself, I just thought of sharing with you here some of the things we did to celebrate the love occasion throughout these years. 

This post is actually a long dedication to my Mahal, who stuck with me throughout all these many years (we’ll be celebrating the 10th anniversary of our best friendship this March and we are now on our 90th month of being together as life partners); who loved me and continue to love me through thick and thin; who, despite all my flaws and craziness, continue to show his patience, dedication, and commitment to me and our little family. I just want to declare to the whole world how much I appreciate everything he does for me and our son, and I thank God every day for him coming into my life…

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Typhoon Rai (Odette): Nightmare Before Christmas 

Just when you had everything planned out for the remainder of the year — your tasks, projects, finances, celebrations… the biggest typhoon of your life hit you — metaphorically and literally. 

We were minding our usual business… I was working and finishing my deadlines for the week and getting ready for client meetings. Mahal was busy with the resort. Everyone was working. Though we were getting news reports about an impending typhoon, upon checking, the eye of Typhoon Rai or locally known as Typhoon Odette won’t be hitting us but instead, it will head straight to Cebu City which is 3-4 hours away from where we are. We had plans of doing our Christmas shopping there that weekend so we figured that we just had to reschedule. Plus, we’ve already experienced so many kinds of weather conditions here that we became complacent. We felt confident that it’s just another one of those storms. There could possibly be a brownout (electricity getting cut off) that will last for an hour or two, or at the most overnight, but that was it. We didn’t do any kind of preparation at all — we didn’t save water; we didn’t charge our phones and electrical devices; we didn’t check if we still have enough gas; we didn’t buy supplies… nothing. It was as if it was just another day in our beach kind of life

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The Root of Happiness (And How I Found It Around Halloween)

I’ve been listening to Rob Dial’s podcasts. He’s a mindset mentor and one of the things he discussed was about happiness and the root of it or the key to achieving it. He based it on what Will Smith said before that it’s not the material things nor money that will bring you happiness (I think many of us know this already), but it’s peace. Peace is actually what I have been experiencing just recently, around Halloween time. It’s not because Halloween is my most favorite time of the year and this year’s celebration has been the happiest Halloween I’ve had so far (I thought last year’s Halloween celebration was the bomb! Didn’t think we’d top that off this year!), but it’s more than that. 

I’m not sure if I mentioned it here before or in some other diary of mine, but living here in Oslob, for as long as I can remember, wasn’t really a good idea for me because I know and I feel that there are people here who don’t like me… they don’t like me because I’m with Mahal… because I used to be married to someone else… and maybe because I am just the kind of person they couldn’t believe achieved so much in life without much help from others. The way people think here is that you can either only be successful if you work abroad or if you’re married to a foreigner. I’m neither, so, maybe that boggles them. Honestly, I don’t really know why they don’t like me. The reasons I mentioned above are just my assumptions. 

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ON SURVIVING THE 7-YEAR ITCH ON OUR 7TH ANNIVERSARY AND STRIVING TO LIVE A BEACH KIND OF LIFE DESPITE THE PANDEMIC

As our 7th anniversary was fast approaching, I was tapped by Mommy Ruby of CDO Bloggers Group to participate in a campaign by a certain insurance company. It was about being stronger now despite whatever it is that we are struggling with. What came to  mind was about being stronger than my demons because as I’ve mentioned before, my emotional and mental health haven’t been that well lately. 

Below, I am sharing with you the original draft of what I wrote in that campaign which in a way helped me recognize my power, my strength, and sense of resilience.  

And further down below, You can watch the entire video on how we spent our 7th anniversary despite the lockdown here in Oslob. ❤❤❤

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ENJOYING THE SARDINE RUN AT MOALBOAL, CEBU… A SCUBA DIVING ADVENTURE

Yey! We’ve now come to the 3rd part of our scuba diving adventure. Whew! It really took me a while, huh? So sorry about that. Aside from being so busy the past several weeks (which I told you about on my previous blog post), my mental  and emotional health haven’t been so good the past couple of months. So whatever strength and joy I still have in me, I just divert them to my priorities which are my work, Tuz, and our family.  

Anyway, I’m so happy to be publishing another blog post today and I hope to do it more frequently (Daily perhaps? Before I start my day at work like now? Hihihi! ) Writing about anything and everything about my life continue to be cathartic for me especially during these uncertain times and I’m happy to share whatever I can with you, my dear readers. Thank you for always checking me out!

So again, let’s dive in!

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Discover Scuba Diving: DAY 2 at CEBU SEAVIEW DIVE RESORT in MOALBOAL

Oh hi there! I know it’s been a while but I haven’t forgotten you. 😉 Work has just been so overwhelming (I just recently got another new client so yay for me!) but I don’t want to complain considering that we are on the 2nd year of this Covid-19 pandemic. Having multiple work, being able to pay the bills, and being able to buy stuff we need and want at this time is very much a blessing so I can’t complain. I must not complain! How about you? I hope you’re all still doing okay wherever you are. 

Me, I would just like to give myself a little more pat on the back than usual because I also take care of our home (a.k.a. chores); I take care of Tuz and his home school activities; I take care of Mahal and his needs… I’m a superwoman! Lol! The important thing is we are all still fine, healthy, and thriving. Just recently, a few of our neighbors have died from Covid so we are just really thankful that we are all still okay. Thank you, God! Of course I am worried all the time which adds to my energy getting depleted a lot faster than usual that I’d resort to watching Netflix (currently addicted to Grace and Frankie) to relax and chill after work is done instead of blogging, vlogging, and finishing all those online courses I bought (which was my original plan but all this anxiety is getting me bogged down). So today, I am ending my inertia (of blogging laziness) by updating my blog and hopefully getting started with Marie Forleo’s B-School (after I finish her book Everything is Figureoutable). Mondays and Tuesdays were supposed to be my blogging/vlogging days that got replaced by beach days. Yes, you can find us at Mahal’s sister’s private beach every Monday and Tuesday, swimming, snorkeling and picnicking (and soon paddle boarding once I decide to buy a paddle board online). Saturdays and Sundays have become our chore days (laundry, doing groceries, cooking big batches of dishes for the whole week, Mahal doing his hobbies like bonsai-making, and me planting herb seeds and taking care of our little herb garden if I’m not playing with my guitar or reading. I also plan to add painting to my weekend repertoire). Then Monday-Tuesday we’re off to the beach, then Wednesday-Friday is where I focus on finishing my work deadlines. It’s a simple but good life (for me at least coz being productive and busy with so many different things makes me worry less). I’ll blog about our Oslob life once I’m done getting you updated with our scuba diving adventure. 

So let’s dive in! 

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Cebu SeaView Dive Resort Review: Day 1 of our Scuba Diving Adventure in Panagsama Beach, Moalboal

OMG! A scuba diving adventure! Finally! I’ve been urging Mahal to try scuba diving since he has been looking at posters when we were in Malapascua last May for Mother’s Day. He likes doing adventurous stuff like me. I’ve tried scuba diving a few times before in my 20s and 30s and after my last stint in Batangas more than 10 years ago, I didn’t dare scuba dive again because though I like going into adventures, my heart sometimes couldn’t take the suspense of it all due to my hypertension. So, I’m happy to just let Mahal do it this time while I take take pictures and videos of him. 🙂

Anyway, before Mahal took his scuba diving lessons last month during Father’s Day, we first enjoyed the dive resort where we stayed — Cebu SeaView Dive Resort which is in Panagsama Beach in Moalboal, a place famous for the sardine run. I joined my diver friends back in 2010-2011 for a sardine run in Pescador Island, also in Moalboal and it has been fun! I wanted Mahal to experience it too and Tuz and I will just enjoy it from above by snorkeling. So that was the plan.

In the meantime, we enjoyed this little dive resort first off the coast of Panagsama, Moalboal in Southwestern Cebu.

Here’s our HONEST and DETAILED review about Cebu SeaView Dive Resort :

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