A Place of Love: Being 31

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Thursday, November 20, 2014

There's a pins and needles feeling sitting on the nimble nails of my feet, inching slowly up my thigh as I write this. An eighteen-kilo toddler nurses on my lap, asleep, and I chase a deadline that has been so dead for two days. Articles keep piling up like sand in a sandstorm. I badly need to pee too, but one move and my daughter wakes up and all this quiet is over. I'd live better with a UTI than with five more minutes of shrill toddler whining. 

Admittedly, these are not the best times to write a blog post, but these moments - yet undetected and unpaid by my boss -  are the only time I find solitude requisite to compose non-marketing thoughts amid the Herculean chores, noisy cartoons, and relentless assignments that hound me every waking hour of the day.
Mary Solio is an island girl at heart (via Philippines and Guam) who now calls San Diego, CA home. She has traveled the world with two kids in tow while juggling a full-time job as a computer programmer and writing about the family’s travels with tips and guides on her blog, The World Is A Book. She loves national parks, cruises, castles and quirky museums.

Mary, cuddling a koala in the world's biggest koala sanctuary, Lone Pine Koala sanctuary in Brisbane. Photo by Mary Solio.
Formerly a PR and corporate marketing slave, Maritess Garcia-Reyes, or Matet, resigned from her job years ago to chase after her one dream in life: writing about travel, food and lifestyle. Her persistence paid off, and today she writes for several titles under Philippine Tatler including Best Restaurants Guide, Homes, and Traveller. Her pieces had also appeared on the prestigious CNN iReport and Choose Philippines, among many other renowned Asian and Philippine publications.

Peek into Dicasalarin Cove. Photo by Matet Reyes.
How exactly does she juggle between tending to daughter Akisha and her lust for globetrotting eco-consciously? Matet tells us in detail in this first installment of Travel Blogger Mom on Spotlight.
No cellphones. No journals to confide knee-jerk thoughts to. No NU107 to lull me to sleep. No phone-a-boyfriend or other lifelines. No stress-relieving cigarettes. No pocket money save for a hundred pesos. Nothing but the bare essentials. Just one classmate-slash-housemate in a house of rural indigents  in Real, Quezon that we shall now call our “foster family"for a week. 

Real, Quezon. Photo by Ador Prades 

For a semi-millenial baby like me, this abrupt unplugging from the comforts I've become accustomed to, that 360-degree shift, wasn’t just a nightmare. It’s the nightmare of all Freddie Krugger nightmares.

Tracing Back Steps To Hope

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Saturday, October 25, 2014

There are two kinds of days for those who have lost important people in their lives: the easier days and the hard days. Easier, because death always stays with you no matter how long it's been. It gets easier but not easy. 

On hard days, I find myself lost, lonely and aching behind smiles, bearing an urgency to trace back roads to places my stepfather held close in his life - for comfort, above all.

And one Sunday, I just did. 

Going Blind: Residence Inn Tagaytay's Dinner In The Dark

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Friday, October 24, 2014

About a decade ago, I was asked this question during an interview for a call center post:
"I'm blind. How would you describe the color blue to me?"

I was stumped. How do you describe a color shade to a person who doesn't even know what a color looks like to begin with?

You don't know what you don't know, Rico Blanco sings. If you aren't blind, you really wouldn't have an idea how visually impaired people perceive things, how they go through everyday living  - unless you experience blindness itself. 

The folks at Residence Inn had a solid idea on how we, 20-20 vision-blessed beings, can take in that experience. They asked us to dine in the dark.