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Christmas 2016



I spent my first Christmas away from home all alone. Last year, I got to spend Christmas with my family. And this year, I spent it again away from home, not all alone now but with my friends my second family.

2014: A Look Back on the Year That Was



Warning: This post will be picture heavy! :D

It's the last day of 2014! Yay! I know I'd been too mushy during Christmas Eve, well I'm just missing home so much so I guess that's alright?.


I'm still missing home, I don't think I'd ever get used to being away from home, but I decided to do away with all the sadness because as I tried to look back, 2014 has been so wonderful and there's a lot to be thankful for. I was blessed beyond belief!

It's the Most Wonderful Time of the Year!!!



December 24, 2014. It's the day before Christmas. My day has just started while more than half a day has already passed back in the Philippines.

1477939_10153626306345640_1079689004_nChristmas 2013 with my family back in the Philippines

I've just finished my breakfast and I'm preparing for my lunch as I write this post, while I'm sure my household back home is now  busy preparing for tonight's Noche Buena.

I'm living alone away from home, Mark and I won't be seeing each other until the weekend, both my flatmates are out on vacation, add the fact that I'm in a country who doesn't celebrate Christmas, so it's a bit of a struggle, no, make that it's definitely a struggle, for me to get through today.

And even just going through some old Christmas photos is giving me tears. And yes, I am missing home, big time!

Dubai: My Home Away from HOME


Living away from home has got to be the most heart-breaking and life-changing decision that I ever made. But please don't get me wrong. I've been living in Dubai a little over two months now, and so far, I'm very much okay with my life here.


I have a nice house, I still get to buy things that I want, I eat good food, and Mark has been taking very good care of me here.

I also have nice neighbors, it's safe everywhere, there's no traffic, and I get to visit different places.


Surely life here may be easier, but as I've said before, it's actually my first time in 28 years to be away from my family, and that for me is the hardest part. Although I'm not the very sociable type, I'm also not used to being alone. Yes, I have Mark with me, I have neighbors around, I've already made friends here, but I'm sure you'll agree with me that nothing really compares to the bond that a close-knit family has.


If there's one consolation, I just love how I can still communicate with my family and get updated with them through the internet. And because of having been away from them, I now appreciate and miss even the littlest things.

A photo posted by kriska marie (@kriskamarie) on

I miss how my dad would enthusiastically greet me whenever he comes home. I miss how he always checks on me when I'm out. I miss morning chikahans about Zumba stuff over breakfast during weekdays with my mom.

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Afternoon Dip at Daranak Falls

After visiting Regina RICA, we went on a 15-minute drive on the main road and about 5 to 10-minute drive into the mountain side until we reached Daranak Falls.

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We all were excited as this would be our first time to swim into fresh water.  We pulled in into the parking lot and the lush greens surrounding the place added up to the excitement. After paying for the entrance fee and picnic shed, we walked onto the bridge leading to the falls right after the entrance.

Photo Diary: Afternoon Dip at Daranak Falls


Date of visit: March 28, 2014

Read full story HERE :)

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Mother's Day Lunch at Blackbeard's Seafood Island

Because we already had a pre-Mother's Day dinner at home last Saturday (will post that on the blog soon), our family celebrated Mother's Day yesterday by having some lunch out. After hearing mass at SM Marikina, we started to scout for a restaurant for our lunch. We wanted to already have a table reserved, because we know that every restaurant will be packed with families also celebrating Mother's Day.

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We all agreed to celebrate it by having a boodle feast at Seafood Island. Mark and I already tried one of their boodles in their Cubao branch and we both enjoyed it so I was pretty sure that my family will also enjoy it here.

Hearty Lunch at Julia Bandoma Vista Restaurant (Halamanan)

I've said in my last post that a tour in JE Camp hotel and Resort would probably take around an hour, depending on how you want to explore the place. Well I guess we were so much captivated by the beauty of the whole place that we finished our tour after almost 3 hours haha! :p


We were supposed to go to Daranak Falls and Regina Rica, both still in Tanay, but because it was already getting late, we just had to drop them off. And so right after the tour we headed to Julia Bandoma Vista Restaurant, or Halamanan as what it's well-known for, to have our lunch, a very late lunch that is. :p

Family Bonding at JE Camp Hotel and Resort

It was just an ordinary day when Mark suddenly thought of heading out for another adventure. My dad, who's fond of asking our whereabouts from time to time (yeah he's sweet like that :D), did his morning routine of asking what we (Mark and I) plan to do for the day, so I told him that Mark wanted to visit JE Camp in Tanay, Rizal. I guess my dad was also up for an adventure that time that he thought of going there too with the whole family.

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And so there, after breakfast, we found ourselves all packed up and set for a family bonding. :D We arrived at JE Camp in Tanay, Rizal, after around an hour-long drive from our house.

Good Job, Jaoey!

Got to witness another feel-good and "proud Ate" moment last Saturday. My baby brother, Jaoey, received recognition for being the #1 Best in Math among the whole batch of Grade 5 students in their school! Yay! :D

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All of us in the family actually got giddy when Jaoey announced the news! I even joked on going up the stage with him with some tarps and banners and Daddy also said about contacting some media men to cover the event. Hahaha! Yup, we were all that excited for Jaoey's accomplishment. :)

Pre-birthday Lunch at North Park :)

Please forgive me for another long overdue post. I'm just trying to cross out each one of my backlogs. :D

Part of the series of the pre-birthday celebrations that I had was another lunch out with my family. It was actually an impromptu lunch out. I guess Daddy was just feeling a little lazy to cook that time that he decided to eat out.

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I already knew that we will have to dine at a Chinese restaurant, as that is the only cuisine that somehow keeps up with my daddy's meticulous palates. :) Good thing the Chinese food choices within Antipolo are already expanding. We now also have North Park here in our place. Yay!

Pre-birthday Dinner at Army Navy

We were supposed to have some ice cream and snacks at the ice cream house in Robinsons Magnolia after our lunch and a little shopping, but we'd still have to endure a long queue so we decided to just dine elsewhere. We decided to leave the mall and dine somewhere that's already near Antipolo so we won't have to worry about braving the traffic anymore.

Mommy and I wanted some burgers so we suggested to dine at Army Navy in Cainta.

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I first got to try Army Navy when I was still working in Makati. My first time didn't leave a good impression though because the burger tasted bland and was a bit try. But I enjoyed their Freedom Fries and Libertea on my first try!

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