My tiny human’s Little feet

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My Tiny human’s footprint in the shores of Arabian Gulf

One of the things I missed from living near the beach is having  lazy early morning beach walks. Unhurried, calm, serene and the most special thing, barefoot. Away from the chaos, and free from the hustle and bustle of the city.With the wonderful backdrop of the beach, my thoughts oftentimes drifts away and going places as the gentle wind touches my cheeks while holding my daughter’s hand.

There’s something so therapeutic and calming whenever I step on the soft, ticklish sandy shores along Arabian Gulf.  I’ve always been a beach girl  and you can imagine my glee when the day comes that my tiny human finally put her tiny toes in the shores and feel the waves and sand…for the first time. She loved every second of it. It was such a precious moment. She left her footprint, a precious mark —unscaled and raw . This tiny foot mark that I have excitedly captured in photo before the waves swept it away . Looking at her tiny feet made me realize that she had a big world ahead, waiting for her to explore, and that she had to stand firmly on a big feet in order to thrive.

But right now, she’s still so tiny, her feet still so fragile, yet so special.

That once in her life back in Kuwait, she had walked baby steps there, watched the sunsets, and sunrises too, played  barefoot, and waddled her tiny  feet in the shores…making memories.We  made thousands of  footprints in the beach… a beautiful chapter in our Expat life.

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My tiny human’s little  feet over mine.

With the beach front far from where we live right now, she now walks on different grounds. She’s stomping happily on pebbles & cobbled stone pavements and running though the lush grass fields. She’s making her own stride,taking her time to feel the ground,and walking confidently in her own feet. She even learned to jump into muddy puddles and walked on the crispy autumn leaves. She’s still making foot prints, leaving traces of her childhood-in her own tiny world.

As I’ve said before; the Littlest feet makes the greatest footprints in our hearts.

Do you like walking in the beach with your little ones? How was the experience?

This post is in response to this week’s Daily Post- Photo Challenge |Tiny

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Persian Gulf sunscapes

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Persian Gulf Sunset from Ras Salmiya in Kuwait

One of my favorite thing  to do  on Fridays back then in Kuwait is just watching the splendor of the sunsets along the Ras Salmiya strip . People jog or run here but it is a great place as well to walk on late afternoons.Here I can have  the best views of the Persian Gulf or also known as Arabian Gulf. It’s always guaranteed to have a great picture, all you need is the frame.You know it’s gonna be a great day when the temperature is just right ( better ones are in Mid October~March ) and of course, free from sandstorms.This is the most photographed site in in Kuwait aside from the Icon of Architecture in Kuwait, the Kuwait Towers.

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Arabian Gulf sunsets -Expat stories in Kuwait

I had beautiful memories of the metamorphosis of the sky turning into a wonderful work of art within seconds.My mind just drift away whenever I’m watching the calm waves gushing along the waterfront of Scientific Center in Salmiya.

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Arabian Gulf Sunsets-canvass in the sky

Couldn’t believe that the same waters have been the battlefield from 1980~1988. Would you appreciate this if its filled with oil spills and dark with gloom during the oil fires from Kuwait invasion?

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Arabian gulf sunset-Canvas painting in the sky  

If the weather is dust free you can even have a rare beautiful view of the Kuwait Towers further along the Marina crescent. This is the best time to sit along the banks and just leisurely watch the jet-skiers do their moves and enjoy an afternoon dip in the beach.

Aren’t simple things are the best ones? natural beauty, unspoilt.

Take it from me, no sunset is the same as the other. Everyone is different from the rest.

Where is your best sunset memories in your area?

 

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What real Summer looks like in Coco Beach

What’s your summer looks like?

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Our room cottage overlooking the beach in Coco Beach.. Going primitive and yet very close to nature. In here, I don’t mind not having a Wi-Fi.. .

I frequented many times the beaches of Puerto Galera, but this is my first time to set my foot in Coco Beach.Puerto Galera is one of the most diverse and abundant marine life in Philippines. Tucked away in a luscious greenery and beautiful landscape, this is indeed one of my tropical paradise.This exclusive private resort themed with Coconut materials and various cabanas,  huts and gazebos with quaint decor has a unique charm,  yet very Filipino ambiance.Coco beach is also famous for romantic beach weddings.

Coco Beach lies in the shores of Oriental Mindoro. If there’s any place that I would like to spend some peace and tranquility, then it must be in an island with just a few meters away from the beach.There is really something about the pristine clear waters against the powder sand that brought healing to my soul.When I am in the beach, there I feel pure Bliss.Although the beach is a bit rocky compared to Boracay or Palawan, still, the beach, the sunset and all of it is beautiful.

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As we arrived to the resort from our boat trip ,we were warmly greeted with welcome drinks of coconut juices & iced tea and  hand-made shell necklaces with matching music . You can really feel the warm hospitality. And as we gazed through the reception, I had a glimpse of this beautiful main pool with turquoise waters.It’s so enticing!

What I liked about this place is that its very private and yet it has all the amenities you need for a short or long stay in this island.

Coco beach has the lagoon-shaped main pool which is located at the center of the resort and only a few feet away from the beach.We swam & sunbathe and enjoyed lounging here. Guests can enjoy  all sorts of activities at the pool like pillow fights, pool volleyball, scuba and swimming lessons! Beside the main pool is the small Children’s Pool with a slide.

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As the ocean is never full of water, so is the heart never full of love.

We had our Boat trip the following day , we passed by through the neighborhood of the small village where the fisherman and their family are busy tidying up their fishing nets while their kids hopping aboard the fishing boats. That is the simple life.The childhood of these children revolves from playing in the boats and swimming in the sea. The place we were brought to snorkel and swim is our  in our very own island for a day. It’s so secluded.This is one of the spots were guests can explore the island, and do water sports as they wish. Unfortunately,the weather was not so good during this time and the waves are strong but it didn’t spoil our island hopping.One can never be bored here as they have so many activities line up to maximize your stay. You can explore the nearby water falls, trek, learn to scuba and so on.DSCN0364

I want to run the beach’s length, because it never ends… {Deborah Ager}

I feel nostalgic watching these boats coming by and leaving the shores of Coco Beach. Each one has bunch of tourists and all of them wearing the smile that I also wear. Each one has packed memories and wishing to stay longer to recreate some beautiful moments of staying close to the beach & nature.

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Luscious greens surrounding the whole resort

The whole resort is surrounded with so many different types of plants. Some even I haven’t seen in my entire life. This is the shot I took while I was climbing uphill and I just love how these greens blend with the native cottages. It’s like one wild forest.

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The Main Pool
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Silent Pool in Coco beach

While enjoying our drink, we just watch the time goes by, not a care in the world.This resort has a Spa, a Main swimming pool and one Silent Pool located on the upper location of the resort.My favorite pool is the Silent pool,It is more secluded and private which is a few uphill steps  on the top of the hill. It has a great view of the sea, a jacuzzi and a bar. It is open from 8:00am to 6:00pm. This pool is more exclusive and as the name suggests, they highly encourage you to keep silent.

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While being here, you can even learn soap-making! Coco beach offers workshop on how to make soap.The soap used in their rooms are 100% made by hand  with real virgin coco oil where in they were pressed themselves by the staffs. Beside the many variation of soaps, they have other products for sale at the Shopping Arcade which includes Shampoo, After-sun Lotion, Insect Repellent.Really interesting. This is such a great bring home gifts!

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The theme of this resort is all about Cocos Nucifera or simply the coconut!Everything is designed to complement each facility and its natural surroundings. All made of natural materials like wood and bamboo for that tropical feel and decorated with native artifacts, Coco Beach’s accommodation definitely gives the of being feeling at home while away from it all.

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One Hazy  dawn in the islands..

To go out with the setting sun on an empty beach is to truly embrace your solitude.                                                          {Jeanne Moreau}

 

I adore exploring Coco Beach, and wished I could stayed on longer. I wanted to go Dolphin-watching and learn to scuba dive. I wanted to go on a trek and visit Tamaraw Falls & Takuran Lagoon. I managed to take snaps of the plants that i liked. I even got a henna tattoo on my legs! This is one of the things I’d like to do in every beach trip, to get a souvenir henna. I designed this myself and just let the artist copy it. I stayed in one of the rooms in the hilltop so we have a spectacular view of the beach every morning. I just ordered breakfast to be brought to our cottage and we have an amazing morning gazing at the sea.

I hope to visit Coco Beach once again, when my daughter is old enough to go on an adventure trip with us there. I’m looking forward for more real Summers like this..

What’s your favorite Summer getaway? How well did you spent your time for solitude & relaxation?

 

 

Embrace the Change (Chronicles of Lessons from the Beach Pt.1)

 

IMG_2998I lived in a place where the beachfront is just 10 minutes walk away . Every morning i love to peek through the curtains from our bedroom window and look at the beach . The beach is one happy place for me. I am always wondering how it looks today, as its always different from yesterday and the day before. This year i started something new  as part of my morning routine. I began to collect my thoughts and look at the beach and took a photo of it…everyday. I wanted to freeze each moment. The beach has so many facets that even my camera failed to capture all. Looking at these photos made me feel so lucky to have the beach so close to me.

On weekends that i normally have my morning  walks , I encounter so many life lessons that the sea have shown me. The more that I stayed on the shores, the more I am engulfed with its wisdom. I want to share these with you.

As I walk through the beach , i see lots of stones and beach rocks. The part of the stretch of the Arabian Gulf around Ras Salmiya is more of a rugged, rocky beach. When its low-tide, many stones are exposed. Ugly ones, sharp ones. There are dull, dark ones, but some are striking. There are some uniquely-shaped, colorful and with odd textures. Some are soft, some are really hard.

Lately, my life have met Changes.

Changes that have come along because it was self-imposed, others just come along the way. In a way that it was so unpredictable. Some changes have been fierce. With these,I have learned not to be afraid of changes and the uncertainties in life. Embracing it is more rewarding rather than resisting. Have you ever felt like you are constantly questioning why certain situation happened in your life? These changes often leads to miraculous new worlds. Allow time and life experience to shape your thoughts and beliefs. Allow difficulties shape a different and better you, like the beach rocks that surrender to the forming power of the waves. Remember that we aren’t always in control of what comes in our life, and what’s waiting ahead, if we allow it to unfold, may be far better than we could ever have imagine. Changes are scary, yet it can be so kind too. It patiently waits to form us into a better being.

I want to tell you not to judge people around you  superficially, or by first glance. Many times, things really aren’t always what they seem to be. A person may prove to be a treasured friend, once you get to know him well. A seemingly bad and difficult to cope with situation may prove to be a great opportunity for your personal, family or business life – just like a rough beach gem whose worth is concealed under an uninteresting and dull appearance. It takes time…It takes patience.

“When you’re finished Changing, You are Finished. “

 

Have you ever had a time of reflection when you walk through the beach?

 

 

Coron , a fantasy island that actually exists.

I am not a savvy traveler, but my love for natural, virgin beaches and lakes brought me to a fantasy island that actually exists– it’s in Coron, Palawan!

Just look at these photos I am going to share with you, no filters, all exuding in beauty that left me in awe that I revisited this place not only once, but twice in a row. I am already looking forward for our next trip to this tropical paradise. If there is a place I wanted to bring my foreign friends, then it would be here.

Coron has a distinctive charm, it has a rich cultural history that it’s no wonder it’s on the Tentative list in Unesco World Heritage Centre.  It’s the best kept jewel for  beach enthusiasts and nature lover like me . It won my heart , and I’m sure it will capture yours. It already captivated millions of tourists .Well why not , Coron is simply wonderful !

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Approaching Busuanga island, Palawan
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No words…

Coron is just one of the beautiful travel destinations in the island of Palawan .What makes it quite unique from others is its virgin beauty and part of the cultural heritage of the Calamian group of Islands.  Coron covers half of the Southern part of Busuanga. It is the Island of Tagbanuas , natives or the local tribe inhabiting the vicinity , they are descendants of some of the oldest people in the Philippines . Coron has  steep limestone cliffs ,our friendly guide told us that every year, these mountain grows an inch . As your boat cruise around , you see breathtaking rock formations , crystal clear & white sand beaches , green virgin forests , and 7 mountain lakes. This place is so diverse .

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Tropical Paradise Banol Beach

The best way to explore this place is by Island hopping  and explore the Islands of your choice . To get into the famous Kayangan Lake , you need to do a short  by trek  uphill into the wilderness in order to gaze  the amazing views .This can be done with a guide. While boating , you can  also see magnificent views of the steep mountains and the bird’s eye view of the sanctuaries which are protected by the local tribe . It is an Untouched Paradise .

The Twin Lagoon is one of the many beautiful lagoons in Coron. This masterpiece of nature has two lagoons, one where boats dock and another where tourists swim in.To get to the other lagoon, you need to either swim under an opening or climb up makeshift stairs and jump into the lagoon.Just like what you see in the movies. The lagoons are embraced by towering limestone formations. The mix of warm and cold waters of the lagoon adds to its mystique. Totally amazing experience!

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Twin Lagoons

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The majority of Coron Island is still off limits to tourists  who do not have permits to be there. In 2003,  Coron Island and its surrounding waters was declared ancestral domain for the Tagbanua and they now restrict where people can visit on the island . We are told that many of the most beautiful lakes on Coron Island are sacred burial grounds for the Tagbanua and only those Tagbanua who own land on the island can visit them. A photographer and traveller Jacob Maentz , wrote a very nice article about  Coron , as well as Up close & Personal with the Tagbanuas  and their way of life. To view the full article and his amazing photography , See it Here .

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Azure blue , crystal clear waters surrounded by mountains

It’s serene and away from the crowds . A perfect setting for slowing down and just do some reflection. It’s just between you and nature . Isn’t it one of the reasons why we are taking a vacation or a breather? To have a moment of peace . Here , you can  just swim to your heart’s delight , snorkel ,kayak and paddle yourself while gazing to the beauty around you while you hear the birds chirping. If you are interested in wildlife safari and game reserve,you can visit the Calauit island . It is home to various species of exotic African and endemic Palawan flora and fauna where hundreds of giraffes, elans, waterbucks, Calamian deer, monkeys, fresh water crocodiles, zebras, bear cats, bushbuck and a variety of birds roam freely.

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Little fishes in Siete Pecados

For years  now , Coron has also been  a popular destination among diving enthusiast and it has been listed in Forbes Traveler Magazine`s as one of the 10 best scuba diving sites in the world. It boast its unique underwater topography . With clear water as this, you have the best view underwaters!!! It’s like peeking into another world to see the colorful colors and fishes. Snorkeling here is absolutely the best.

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Barracuda Lake

Ever dreamed of owning an island for a day? that you can have the whole island by yourself?In Coron , you can have an island by yourself  for a day… and the options are priceless. I am so grateful that through traveling, I’ve got to experience this.

You can arrange with your guide and  if the island is free , then you can have the whole island for yourself .We were so lucky to experience the exotic Malcapuya Island to ourselves! This beach , with its rugged beauty is really a paradise. One word to describe it is ,WOW! Our guide arranged for us a packed picnic , barbecue , tons of tropical fruits & drinks and the whole beach front as our threat . We retreated in the hammock while sipping fresh coconut juice  while we watch our guide climbing and picking it fresh from the tree. We  also had a huge fresh catch fish .

For me, this is a perfect island getaway and  I had a beach overdose on this trip. The horizon is so beautiful, endless like a painting larger than life where the beach touches the blue skies in infinite contrast. My mind wanders off and my eyes never get tired of this beauty.

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Malcapuya Island with its pristine powder sand beach

Visiting Coron would not be complete without  climbing Mt.Tapyas and having a wonderful Sunset experience . Here you can have a panoramic view of the Coron and just enjoy each moment  while you see painting in the sky.With 700 concrete steps ,this requires endurance & patience .Mt.Tapyas is the 2nd tallest mountain in  Busuanga .

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Chasing the Sunset on top of Mt.Tapyas in Coron

Coron is a wonderful place . Life is taken in a slow pace and it seems that simple living makes the people here appreciate life more. If you spend some time exploring the markets , small native houses along the fields ,the quaint shops ,the neighborhood , the delicious food and the warm friendly locals ,then you would appreciate them more .

Waking up each morning with a view like this from your window is priceless .

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My morning view  from the window  in Coron

Travel Tips !

  • Coron is accessible all year round but its best to visit on the months of March to June where you can enjoy the most of good weather especially on your Island-Hopping trip. At the start of rainy season , and typhoon seasons , Flights are often cancelled.
  • Wear sensible clothing and water shoes.The treks could be slippery and you need to protect your feet from the sharp limestone rocks.
  • Watch the big waves during your Island Hopping .You can even watch a local fisherman get his catch of the day .
  • Experience diving in the sunken ships and diving spots and just enjoy the beauty of  underwater topography .

Where is your next tropical island destination ? How was the experience ?

Thank you for reading , my friends.