Saturday, 3 August 2013

Atimonan, Quezon

(1st- 2nd of August)

After spending some time with family on my Mother's side in Marikina, me and my family ventured to a magical place called Atimonan, in Quezon to visit some relatives from my Father's side. It is very much different to the busy and hectic life of Marikina. It is much more calmer and serene's by the sea which I love.

Before our expedition we stopped by my Lola's (Grandmother's) house. And there I met Mikayla and Ethan- my two baby cousins for the first time.

My family says I have an uncanny resemblance to Mikayla when I was a baby. Her eyes are the most beautiful. (Mikayla is my Tito Gary's little angel).

Ethan was also too adorable! Here, he was dancing Psy's Gentleman. 

I had a lot of fun playing with my baby cousins. Whilst we were there, we gave them a box full of toys and I just couldn't resist playing with them too!

We had a stop-over at the Lucena Bus Terminal. This is one of the places that we mostly visit when we are on our way Atimonan. From left to right is a random man who photobombed my picture, my Mum, Nanay & Lola (Grandmothers) and cousin Ate Ralaine.

Nearly at Atimonan we made a final stop at this place called Quezon National Forest Park.

In this magical place we had to drive through so many zig- zag roads. And on these zig-ziag roads were some people with flags directing us forward. When we pass through this park we always roll down the windows and toss coins for them. This literally was the best feeling- hearing the coins land on the concrete, the wind flowing my hair and me shouting "Mabuhay!" at the top of my lungs. 

Meanwhile in Atimonan...

We went on a quick visit to see some of my Dad's relatives. Here is a family bakery of where he used to work in his younger years. All I could do was just stare at the deliciousness.

There is magical mermaid that sits on the rocks by the sea. When I was a child I used to remember thinking that it moved when I wasn't looking at it. I actually still do think that. Here is me jumping and skipping for joy after seeing it again.

With my Lola Naty.

On the 1st of August there is an annual parade that takes place every year, where people show their pride of Atimonan. I ended up taking way too many pictures, especially children. I hope I didn't seem to creepy or anything, but I observed them carefully. It was quite upsetting to see that some of their faces were quite sad but there were a couple of smiles which also made me happy. Their innocence was what struck me the most.

There I realized that all Filipino people are so talented...I really admired this fact. 

We stayed at this place called Sea Breeze Resort & Village. Again, it was a wonderful place.

I painted by the pool side early in the morning. This literally seemed like perfection to me- drawing/painting, reading Roald Dahl's autobiography and listening to music whilst in paradise. The water I used was from the swimming pool.

Whilst there, I discovered my favourite flower. According to my Lola it is called a Gumamela. Before I found it something happened and when I saw it (and also its pinkness) I just knew it had to be my favourite flower. It is unique.

Quite recently I have become an early riser. I woke up just before six and I felt so inspired by this place that I just had to draw. This is the finished piece- to me this seems too chaotic. I think I should have been more softer with the mark-making to signify that relaxed atmosphere. I guess this just shows how jumbled my thoughts are. 

A praying mantis! Maybe it's a sign...

I went exploring around the resort and I fell in love with the surroundings. I usually love being on my own and just going where my heart takes me. 

A tradition in the Philippines is that we sometimes eat with our hands. I love doing this! Makes me feel all native...

Before we left for Marikina we visited my Grandfather Glecy as we do every time we go to Atimonan.

On our way back...

We always eat at this restaurant whenever we go back. There are these huts that float on the water, which we then eat inside. I love native stuff like this. 'Kamayan' means to eat with the hands. 
You like my Hello Kitty bag? I call it my exploration backpack. ^_^

We had another stop over shortly afterwards in a place called 'Kamay Ni Hesus', in translation meaning the hands of Jesus/ Christ. 310 steps lead to this 50-foot statue of Jesus at the top, and along the way are also some statues that tell the story of Christ.

Yes, it was tiring to get up those steps but I enjoyed the journey and also the view...

Whilst we were walking back down those steps I found it quite daunting looking down. To help me distract myself I sang random songs I made in my strange mind and also some nursery Humpty Dumpty.

At the bottom there was a Garden of Eden and also a playground with a slide! I do love my slides.

I shall end this blog post with this lovely sunset...

Gianne x

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