Balik-Pilipinas: What Makes You Miss Home?

Missing home is a feeling we often experience, especially as an OFW living far away. Home is where the heart is, ‘ika nga nila. At para maiparamdam na mahal mo ang pamilya mo sa iyong hometown, subukan mong magpadala gamit ang BeamAndGo.

To learn more about BeamAndGo and our services, click here.

Tinanong namin ang ilan sa mga Beamers what it’s like to live in each of their hometowns — from their simple experiences to the memories they cherish the most. Ito ang kwento ni Raizza, Tom, Angela, at Shelly.

Raizza, Bicol

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Raizza is from Albay, Bicol, home of the infamous Mayon Volcano. The last time she’s been there was a year ago, October 2016. Swerte raw kapag nakikita mo ang Mayon ng buo. Kadalasan kasi, natatakpan ito ng mga ulap. Fortunately, Raizza always gets to see Mayon’s true beauty every time she visits.

For someone who spends so much time in the city, Raizza enjoys the slow pace in Bicol — yung feeling na hindi nagmamadali o minamadali. She says it makes one appreciate the little things that go by your day even more. Here’s how she describes coming back to her hometown of Albay:

“As cliché as it sounds, maririnig mo sa umaga ang mga tumitilaok na manok. I’d still be half

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Raizza’s favorite: tablea chocolate & binugtong

asleep by then, but I’ll always remember that my provincial home would be alive and bustling as early as 4:30 am. Maghahanda si Lolo at Lola para sa 5 AM mass at para mamalengke. ‘Pag 7 AM na, halos lahat ng nasa bahay ay gising na upang magsalu-salo. Siguradong nakahanda ang paborito kong tablea tsokolate at binugtong, a Bicolano delicacy made of glutinous rice with coconut cream wrapped in a banana leaf. Very similar to suman, only creamier.

After breakfast, I’d usually have somewhere to be in the city. Either bibisita ako ng mga friends ko from childhood or iikot lang ako para magliwaliw. Ang masaya diyan is there’s barely any traffic. I prefer going around the area via tricycle or jeep.

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Raizza’s family at Biggs

‘Pag in the mood si Lolo at Lola, lalabas rin sila kasama ang rest of the family. Usually, in the afternoon mamamasyal kami sa LCC Mall in Legazpi. Sasamahan ko ang Mommy ko at Lola ko na mamili sa department store. Kapag dinner, walang tatalo sa iconic Biggs food chain. Meron nito sa LCC Mall kaya it’s good narin na nandun kami. Biggs is a famous diner (and the biggest fast food chain in Bicol) that serves western food with a Bicolano twist.

 

Maaga natatapos ang araw kapag nasa probinsiya. By 7 or 8 pm, handa na ang lahat na matulog at mapahinga para sa susunod na araw.  No pressure at all thoughout the day, kaya you always feel so relaxed.”

We also asked her what she misses the most. Sabi niya, it’s being around with her grandparents. Besides the satisfaction of having her favorite people around, the calmness and serenity of the environment. Fresh na fresh and hangin at hindi masyadong mainit dahil sagana ang mga pananim at puno sa paligid, as she would say.

Tom, Iloilo

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Tom is from Jaro, Iloilo City. Ang huli niyang punta doon ay noong May 2016. Iloilo is known for it’s virgin beaches, batchoy,  heritage sites, and modern jeepneys that roam around the city. Coming back to his hometown always excites him. And whenever he does, he makes sure to spend a lot of time with his family and friends.

“Every time I visit Iloilo, I always make sure that I’m doing something each day. In the morning, Its either I try new restaurants, maybe visit the beaches or maybe just chill outside my home and enjoy the fresh air. At night, we go out and drink because the night life scene in Iloilo’s crazy.”

Tom remembers how delicious the food is in his hometown, especially the seafood. He even says, “you can never go wrong with the seafood in Iloilo. They’re huge and you can get them for a very cheap price.”

Angela, Negros Occidental

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Angela was born in Escalante City, Negros Occidental. The last time she visited was three years ago before she entered college. The province of Negros is quite known for their festivals: Pintaflores at San Carlos City, Panaad and Masskara at Bacolod, Manlambus Festival sa Escalante City, and a lot more.

Angela shares with us her favorite memories in Negros:

“I feel happy whenever I’m on a vacation in my hometown because I get to see my family and friends. Nakakapag-bonding kami. Catch up catch up, ganon. Andun ‘yung nostalgic feeling everytime uuwi ako. Ang sarap sa pakiramdam.

Simple lang ang buhay sa probinsya. Doon, kapag may vegetable garden ka, mabubuhay ka na! Ang hanapbuhay ng mga tao ay simple lang din, kumakasya lang ang kinikita nila sa pang araw-araw na pangangailangan. Laging kumakayod, bawal magpahinga. ‘Yung iba, umalis na papuntang ibang bansa para magtrabaho, tinitiis nilang malayo  sa kanilang pamilya para lang mabigyan sila ng magandang buhay. Kaya saludo ako sa mga mahal nating OFWs na kinkaya lahat matustusan lang ang pangangailangan ng kanilang pamilya. Mabuhay po kayong lahat!

Para makatulong sa mga OFWs with families in Western Visayas, may partner merchants ang BeamAndGo sa regions na ito. Kasama na dito ang Gaisano Capital, Iloilo Supermart, at Prince Retail.

Marami ka pang ibang puwedeng pagpipilian dito!

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Ang pagpapadala mo ng BeamAndGo Supermarket GC ay isa sa paraan ng pagpapakita ng pagmamahal sa pamilya mong, miss na miss mo na. Here’s what Angela misses most about her hometown:

“The spirit of Bayanihan. Sa probinsiya, madaling lapitan ang mga tao, lalo na sa panahon ng pangangailangan. Namimiss ko na din ang fiestas doon. May sayawan kasi doon sa ilalim ng buwan at mga niyog kapag fiesta, dito wala kasi di naman uso ang maingay na fiesta, at wala namang puno ng niyog dito sa Maynila, haha! One of the memories I cherish is nung nagpunta ako ng Panaad Festival sa Bacolod City, kasama ang kaibigan at pinsan ko. Pakiramdam ko halos nalibot ko na ang buong Negros Occidental!

Siguro kung may namimiss man ako ng sobra sa probinsya ay ang pamilya ko. Naalala ko, bago matulog ay ang pagdadasal namin ng sabay-sabay. Pag-gising naman sa umaga ang routine namin ng mama at mga kapatid ko is magwalis sa bakuran. Iba kasi talaga kapag kapiling ang pamilya, lahat gumagaan.”

Shelly, Davao

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Shelly at GMall, Davao City

Shelly is a proud Davaoeña. Her hometown is in Davao City, a coastal commercial center near Mt. Apo, the Philippine’s highest peak. It is also notably famous for Philippine Eagle and a place where you can get a lot of fruits and crops. Shelly tells us that aside from the numerous beaches and resorts, maraming mall sa Davao: Abreeza Ayala, SM, NCCC and the famous GMall. We also asked Shelly how it’s like in living in her hometown. Ito ang sinabi niya:

“Waking up in the Land of Promise is a great feeling. You are truly home safe with the people you spend everyday with. You can just go around and plan what you need to do for the day without worrying too much because the city has friendly beautiful men and women who love peace.

A typical day for me would be waking up with my coffee, doing routines at home, going to the mall. I actually like going to GMall, the place has variety of items from their supermarkets, food chains, to department stores. It’s a one-stop shop. And this mall really has a lot of affordable things to offer. Jeepneys pass by the mall making it convenient for commuters and shoppers. Taxis are everywhere too. It’s amazing to be here and every place is definitely accessible in the city.

Sleeping at night is one of my favorite things. Karaoke is limited to 10 PM so you can sleep soundly, hearing the chirping birds and animal friends in the background. And yes, I am living in an urban city but I can still feel like I’m in the countryside too. That is what most of us desire, I guess.”

Shelly misses the peaceful environment in Davao the most — how people treat you kindly, how they follow rules, and the lovely weather to match.

Ito ang mga namimiss nila sa mga lugar na kanilang kinalakihan. It’s such a good feeling to look back on those moments and places that have significant places in our hearts. And just because we don’t come back regularly, doesn’t mean we can’t show the people we miss how much we care for them. Sending Supermarket GCs using BeamAndGo is one of the ways to do so. Kahit saan pa man ang hometown mo, siguradong may option ka dito!

Send Supermarket GCs now!

 

Ang magaling na OFW, marunong mag-budget ng grocery!

Masarap magtrabaho sa abroad dahil mas marami ka nang pera. Mabibili mo na ang mga hindi mo noon mabili para sa sarili mo at para sa asawa mo at mga anak mo. Ngayon, makakabili ka na ng gamot ni Nanay at ni Tatay at hindi na nila kailangang magbawas ng dosage o kaya lumiban sa pag-inom nito. Maganda na ang buhay.

Dahil naman sa BeamAndGo, mas makasisiguro kang may mga grocery na puede nang puntahan ng mga mahal mo sa buhay.

Puede ka rin namang pumunta sa aming partner na I-Remit para masilip mo ang aming menu at ang aming grocery partners. Dahil sa I-Remit, puede kang magbayad ng diretso sa kanila at kami na ang bahalang magpadala ng BeamAndGo gift certificate sa pamilya mo.

Pero meron bang malapit na grocery partner ng BeamAndGo sa inyo? Eto sila:

Gaisano Capital 1 (2).jpgGaisano Capital

Branches: Gaisano Capital has more than 27 branches in Visayas and Mindanao. List of branches, store hours, and addresses can be accessed here

Review: Sikat na sikat na supermarket chain in Central Visayas, particularly Cebu.  It has a wide selection of grocery items. Our secret is use it for department store purchases!

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GMALL (Gaisano Mall of Davao)

Branches: GMall has branches in Davao, Tagum, Toril, Gensan, at Digos. List of branches, store hours, and addresses can be accessed here.

Review: Davao OFWs are one of the most resilient, honest, and respectful Filipinos. We asked our members in Davao which supermarket chain they prefer, and unanimously, they picked G Mall. There’s no need to wait because G Mall is now part of the Beamer family.

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Iloilo Supermart

Branches: Iloilo Supermart is a supermarket chain with 8 branches in Iloilo City. List of branches, store hours, and addresses can be accessed here.

Review: Did you know that Iloilo is a world’s recruitment haven for seamen? More than 180,000 Ilonggos are now working overseas! If you are one of them, this is your chance to try Iloilo Supermart!

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LCC Supermarket 

Branches: There are LCC  branches in Daet, Iriga, Legazpi, Masbate, Naga, Sorsogon, and Tabaco. List of branches, store hours, and addresses can be accessed here.

Review: Ang mga taga Bicol, kilalang kilala sa kanilang masasarap na pagkain gaya ng pinangat at laing. All the known ingredients can be bought at LCC. Best of all, it’s affordable.

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Prince Retail

Branches: Prince Retail is a Hypermart which has branches in Negros Occidental, Cebu, Silay, Leyte, and Zamboanga. List of branches, store hours, and addresses can be accessed here.

Review: If you want to start your own Sari-sari store, look no further. Prince Warehouse is located even in the outskirts “sulok sulokan.”

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San Roque Supermarket

Branches: San Roque Supermarket has 10 branches in Luzon. List of branches, store hours, and addresses can be accessed here.

Review: This Supermaket is BeamAndGo’s first merchant. We love it because OFWs get the best prices. No further explanation needed.

supermarket_BeamAndGo_Super8.jpgSuper 8 Grocery Warehouse

Branches: Super 8 Supermarket has branches in Laguna, Cavite, Metro Manila, Tarlac, Pangasinan, Pampanga, and Bulacan. List of branches, store hours, and addresses can be accessed here.

Review: This place is “super!” The prices are affordable and what’s best is the variety of items. Everything you need in your household can be bought here.

Supermarket_Johnson_1024Johnson’s Supermart

Branches: Johnson’s Supermart has 2 branches in Laoag City, Ilocos Norte. List of branches, store hours, and addresses can be accessed here.

Review:  Nothing can beat a neighborhood favorite and that is exactly what Johnson’s Supermart is. Trusted by most folks in Ilocos Norte, this place has gained both the popularity and hearts of many.

Jsupermarket_BeamAndGo_Jenraumbo Jenra and Jenra Supermarket

Branches: Jenra Supermarket and Jumbo Jenra has branches in San Fernando (Sindalan), Dau, and Angeles . List of branches, store hours, and addresses can be accessed here.

Review: This is a no frills supermarket!  That makes it the most affordable in Pampanga. It’s so popular among sari-sari store owners, they even have a special lane!

Let’s make a plan!

Ngayong alam na natin kung sino nga ba ang mga partner ng BeamAndGo, budget muna! Hindi naman puedeng gastos nang gastos. Plan muna tayo.

Ano-ano ba ang mga pangangailangan ng bawat isang anak? Ng asawa? Ng magulang? Sino pa ba ang ibang tao sa bahay ninyo? May kailangan ba para sa kanila?

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Magkano nga ba talaga?

Ngayon, gawa tayo ng plano. Dapat ba ang shopping every week, every two weeks, o every month? Kung hindi naman malaki ang refrigerator o bahay ninyo, sa weekly shopping na lang tayo. Mahirap na ang daming binibili kasi nakatutuksong ubusin lang ang lahat. Baka manakawan ka pa. Better siguro, para sa marami sa atin, weekly budget na lang.

Tignan mo naman kung magkakano ang mga puede mong ipadalang amount gamit ang BeamAndGo.

Hangga’t maaari, kailangan mong ilista ang lahat ng pangangailangan nila tapos, sa maaabot ng makakaya mo, subukan mong tandaan kung magkano ang bawat isa. Sa gayon, mas matatantsya mo kung magkano nga ba ang dapat mong ipadala.

Take note ha: Wag maging hero. Hindi ka si Santa Claus. Kung ano lang ang kailangan. May panahon para sa party. Everyday needs lang muna. O may rough estimate ka na?

Ready na? Let’s go to BeamAndGo!

Kung gusto mo rin naman, punta na sa I-Remit branch na malapit sa iyo at tignan ang aming menu doon.

Kapag may karagdagang katanungan, we’ll be happy to attend to your needs. You may email us at support@beamandgo.com or call the numbers below:

Mobile(SMART) / Whatsapp / Viber: +63 949-839-3322
Mobile(GLOBE): +63 927-817-2855/+63995-321-7377 (new)

Beamer from Bicol? Para sa indo ini!

Mga kaibigang Bicolano! Saan ka man naroroon, mas sigurado at ligtas na ngayon ang pagpapadala ng tulong sa mga minamahal ninyo sa buhay! Members of BeamAndGo, ang ating mga magaganda at magigilas na mga Beamer, you can now send everyday needs and goodies to their family through our partnership with Liberty Commercial Center (LCC). Ang matagal na ninyong inaasahan at pinagkakatiwalaang LCC ay ang panibagong offer namin sa pagtulong sa inyong mga minamahal na nakatira sa Bicol.

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Hindi lang iyon. Dalawang uring BeamAndGo gift certificate and pwede ninyong bilhin para malinaw sa inyong pamilya kung sa LCC Department Store ba sila pupunta o sa LCC Supermarket. Malabo naman yatang may bitbit silang bayong kung bibili ng damit para sa graduation di ba?

Related: did you know that BeamAndGo has more to offer than just supermarkets? Click here to find out

At totoo namang ang ganda ng ating timing ano?

Daraga

LCC Branch in Daraga

Maulan nananman sa Pilipinas at for sure, may mga kakailanganin ang pamilya mo pang-handa. Wala kang dapat katakutan kung gusto mong pagpadala ng pagamahal sa mga mahal mo. Bili lang ng LCC gift certificate sa BeamAndGo at siguradong ligtas at sigurado ang kanilang magiging pagbili.

Related: Kung BeamAndGo member ka na, silip ka muna uli sa ating website para ma-review mo kung anu-ano nga ba ang mga pinadadala mo.

Pero sandali. Bakit nga ba dalawang uring GC ang pwede mong mabili para sa LCC? Dahil pinagsikapan ng LCC mula pa noon na makapaglingkod nang lubusan sa inyo, meron silang department store at supermarket. Kailangan ba ng gagamitin para sa salu-salo? Sa supermarket ka. Kung kailangan naman ng mga kagamitan at mga kapote o payong, sa department store meron niyan lahat!

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Hindi na bago sa buong Bicol ang LCC. Matagal na itong pinagkakatiwalaan at unang nagbukas ng kanyang mga pintuan noon pang 1945. Noon pa nito naipagmamalaki na kabisado nila ang pusong Bikolano sa kanilang paglilingkod, serbisyo, at sa katotohanang madali silang mapuntahan. Para sa kanila mahalaga ang buhay pang-araw-araw ninyo kaya pinagbubuti nila ang paglilingkod nila para espesyal ang inyong araw-araw. Di ba? Parang parati na lang piyesta.

Dahil dito, tunay na pinagkakatiwalaan sila sa buong Albay at sa kabuuan ng kabikulan!

Game! Paano ba ito gawin?

Sigurado kaming maraming gustong maging Beamer ngayon sa pagsama sa atin ng LCC. Kung hindi ka pa Beamer, o may kilala kang gustong maging Beamer at nais mo siyang tulungan, eto, pag-usapan naman natin kung paano nga ba magpadala sa Pilipinas.

Una, kailangan kang maging member ng BeamAndGo.

Mag-Sign Up sa aming website at sagutin ang mga tanong doon. Kailangan kumpleto ito.

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Halina at mag sign up na.

Pag member ka na, pwede ka nang bumili ng digital gift certificate. Piliin mo muna sa website ang Groceries (kapag LCC Supermarket ang nais ipadala) at Department Store (kapag LCC Department Store naman ang gusto nila). Click ka doon. Tapos, kailangan mong piliin sa susunod na screen kung saan mo planong magpadala ng gift certificate. Dahil Bicol ang pinag-uusapan natin, click mo ang Bicol Region. Makikita mo naman ang LCC sa mga puedeng mong piliin. Ngayon naman, isipin mo lang kung ilang Php 500 gift certificate ang ipapadala. Siyempre, hindi naman isa lang ang pwede mong bilhin. Puede ang isa, pero mas happy ang lahat kung mas marami! Kung lampas sa isa, pindotin mo ang Quantity para dumami. Tapos, pili ka ng padadalhan mong tao. Cell phone number niya ang kailangan mong ilagay. Kung nagawa mo na ito dati, nakalista na ang mga dati mong napadalhang cell number.

Kung tapos na iyon, bayad na. Maraming payment option na puedeng gamitin. Tandaan lang na may kaunting convenience charge ang BeamAndGo na USD 1.99. Pag nakapagbayad ka na, magpapadala kami ng SMS sa napili mong cell number na padadalhan. Para sigurado, mag-email ka o mag-text sa pinadalhan mo kung nakuha niya ang text message namin.

Once nakuha na niya ito, pwede na siyang pumunta sa LCC!

Ipakita lamang ang SMS sa mga sumusunod na LCC Redemption Centers:

LCC Legazpi- Peñaranda St,. Legazpi City

LCC Naga – Felix Plazo St., Naga City

LCC Tabaco- Ziga Avenue Tabaco City

LCC Sorsogon- Magsaysay St., Sorsogon City

LCC Masbate- Zurbito St., Brgy. Bapor, Port Area, Masbate City

LCC Market Plus Daet- Barangay 6 Market Site, J. Lukban St., Daet Camarines Norte

 

IMG_9678Pagkatapos ng confirmation sa tauhan nila, maari na mamili ang iyong kamag-anak sa kahit alin na LCC Supermarket (LCC Expressmart, Market Savers at Store Plus ay kasama rin) para magamit ang Supermarket GC at sa kahit alin na LCC Mall Department Store para sa Department Store GC.

Ang serbisyo na ito ay tiyak na mae-enjoy ng mga mahal mo sa LEGAZPI, TABACO, NAGA, PILI, LABO, DAET, GOA, IRIGA, NABUA, POLANGUI, LIGAO, GUINOBATAN, CAMALIG, BACACAY, TIWI, SORSOGON at MASBATE.

Okay na? Punta na sa BeamAndGo website at magpadara na kamo sa inda!

*************

Click here to send LCC SUPERMARKET GCs

Click here to send LCC DEPARTMENT STORE GCs

(For the complete list of LCC participating branches, visit their website!)

Jonathan E. Chua and Mount Iriga

Hula Hoops, Ping Pong Balls and Tennis Balls

The City of Iriga is located at the heart of the Bicol Economic Growth Corridor and is one of the fastest growing cities in the region. It has evolved into an eco-tourism, agro-economic and educational hub with two big universities within the city. Surrounding the area are more than thirty natural springs giving the city the name “City of Crystal Clear Springs.” Iriga is also referred to as a “Character City” and its citizens have earned the reputation of being warm, friendly, and industrious.

But that’s not why I was there …

Recently at Singapore Management University, I gave a talk about Overseas Filipino Workers (OFWs), their families, remittance, and BeamAndGo. After the talk, I was introduced to the Honorable Ronald Felix Y. Alfelor, the Mayor of the City of Iriga.

Turns out the Mayor and I share the same advocacy – fiscal responsibility and financial literacy. As a result, he invited me and the BeamAndGo team to a visit and speak with the Iriga’s business, education, utilities and healthcare leaders.

With the wind at our backs, Albert Go (Marketing Director), Jasmin Co (Business Development Associate) and I packed our bags and headed to Iriga for a 3 day, 2 night adventure.

On our first day in Iriga, we spent the afternoon talking with a group of city leaders and business people, discussing the social issues that OFW families are experiencing. We presented the BeamAndGo platform as an agent of positive change and spent time fielding questions and exchanging ideas.

Everybody say

The gang is all here

The merchants, schools, hospitals and utility companies provided great feedback on implementation, concerns, and adoption. It was encouraging to see both the private and public sector acknowledging the plight of OFWs and the willingness to work together on a solution. Love it!

Gawad Kalinga Character Village

On our second day, we were given a tour of Iriga’s Gawad Kalinga Character Village. This village was, and continues to be, the pet project of former Mayor Madelaine Alfelor-Gazman.

Situated along the hillside facing Mount Iriga, the Character Village was built by the poor and less fortunate. Those who participated in the building eventually became the residents. The village is clean and well-maintained. And over the years, through the hard word of the dwellers, this community has become self-sufficient. Power!!

GK Steps

The Steps of Gawad Kalinga Character Village

At the top of these steps is a wonderful vista of Mount Iriga. I have a bunch of pictures of the view, but I think it’s better if you visit it yourself and enjoy the scenery with your own eyes.

A word about Madelaine Alfelor-Gazman: she is the former Mayor of Iriga and served that position for 9 years, ending in 2013. During those years, she was responsible for much of the city’s progress. She is also a member of Kaya Natin and an avid proponent of good governance.

When there was free time, there was good food …

C’mon, this is the Philippines, you know the food is going to be delicious! We were lucky enough to have the time to enjoy 3 meals a day and each meal was yummy: crispy pata, dinuguan, corned beef hash, pancit, manok inasal, kare kare, sisig, bulalo, inihaw na posit … these are a few of my favourite things!

masarap!

masarap!

In one of our meals, we had the pleasure of tasting the Bicol speciality pinangat. I was already full before I had my first bite, but the pinangat was soooo good, that the taste of all that coconutty goodness made me hungry again.

By the end of the trip, the Mayor noticed that I had gained weight. And he was right!

So what does all that have to do with Hula Hoops, Ping Pong Balls and Tennis Balls?

On our last night in Iriga, we were invited to the surprise birthday party for the President of the University of Saint Anthony. We arrived a little late and missed the surprise part, but we didn’t miss anything else …

Highlight #1. A group of very talented singers and dancers did an Iriga version of Your Face Sounds Familiar. One word: Bondying.

Bondying relaxing

Bondying relaxing! Couldn’t find a better pic, so this will have to do. I think this is from the movie The Little Big Boy (1989)

Highlight #2. Lechon and home-made ice cream.

Highlight #3. Well-sung, really fun karaoke lead by ma’am Madelaine and Romy. While they sang, we danced.

Highlight #4. Three parlour games: the first game involved passing a set of hula hoops through 10 of us, while we were holding hands; the second game was to shoot ping pong balls into a cup, which rested on top of a person’s head; and the last game was a relay race where the participants had to run around a chair while dribbling a tennis ball.

Our visit to Iriga was productive and the party was great way to end the trip. To paraphrase Arnold Schwarzenegger, “we’ll be back.”

Shout outs to Mayor Ronald Alfelor, former Mayor Madelaine Alfelor-Gazman, Nenet Berina, Nona Santiago, Peter Lagyap, Lilo, and everyone we met at Iriga.