Tuesday, October 31, 2017

Trekking the hilly heights of Doña Susana

Whenever I pass by Susana Heights Access Road (or simply Susana Heights) in Muntinlupà, I always get curious at that long stretch of road filled with trees between the old national highway or Maharlika Road and the toll gate leading to the South Luzón Expressway (SLEX). The road goes up a hilly path and crosses the SLEX via an elevated path or bridge. When one goes to Alabang from Maharlika Road, one will have to turn left to the toll gate that curved towards SLEX. But there's a road that goes straight farther upward that has since caught my curiosity because it's filled with trees and other flowering plants. Daddy Pepe told me that it leads to a gated community and a cemetery, making me curious all the more.

For many years, we remember a gigantic balete tree at the corner of Maharlika Road and Susana Heights. We've been wanting to take a photo of ourselves there. But one day, we were surprised when it was cut down to give way to the Muntinlupa Hall of Justice. We were so disappointed and devastated because we've been admiring that tree for years. According to Daddy Pepe, Susana Heights was named after Doña Susana Paterno de Madrigal, the grandmother of former Senator Jamby Madrigal. The Madrigal family used to own that hilly spot where now stands the tree-filled road connecting Maharlika and the toll gate leading to SLEX. When one is going to Alabang using that road, one should notice a stream towards the right. Daddy Pepe told me that it used to be the border between San Pedro Tunasán and Muntinlupa until 1914, when the government of San Pedro sold that part of what is now known as Susana Heights to Muntinlupa. That is why San Pedro Tunasán today is now known only as San Pedro while that land which Muntinlupa had acquired from San Pedro became Barrio Tunasán.

Yesterday, I led my family to a morning trek to the hills of Susana Heights. Since there had been less sunshine these past few days, I thought that I needed to have a doze of it to at least heal my shortness of breath. I do not have asthma, but since I was sick last month, I feel like I am still weak. That's why I really felt the need to refresh myself with some clean air near our place by having a doze of sunshine while walking amidst trees. Maybe I could bring back my energy by doing that, I thought. So off we went to Susana Heights.

We reached the place past nine. The sun was shining brightly. We walked by the sidewalk that led upwards, together with the road, because Susana Heights is actually a sloped hill overlooking Laguna de Bay. Both sides of the road are filled with trees. We didn't mind the vehicles running past us on the road as we were mindful only with the trees and the grass by the sidewalk. One thing I noticed is that some trees beside the highway are painted white from the root to the middle part. My hubby really hates it and thinks that it is just mindless and a waste of public money. I hope that this will be put to a stop because paints will just ruin the health of trees.

It was really an enjoyable walk! On our way up, we saw a smaller but wide hill covered with low grass. It was part of Águila Homes, a non-gated private subdivision. We stopped for a while and had the kids run around the grass that was still covered with morning dew despite the immense heat that was starting to begin. They chased butterflies and gazed at the small spiders and grasshoppers, things 
that many children living in urbanized areas rarely see today.

Afterwards, we continued with our road trek and reached the farthest end of the road that I was talking about earlier. We even saw a giant acacia tree there and had our pictures taken. Then continuing further, we reached a gate with two security guards. The gate actually led to Susana Heights Subdivision to the left of the road and Lindenwood Residences to the right. Farther down the road was the cemetery. I asked the security guards if they could allow us to enter, and they did. Anyway, all we're really after were the trees, the flowers, and the grass.

Junífera Clarita is fascinated with the macahiyâ grass.

After enjoying the trees and the flowers, we walked back to where we came from. The sun was already high by the time we had ended our trek, but it did not hurt our skin because of the shade of trees protected us along the way. We then proceeded to Muntinlupa's town proper for some pizza.

The morning walk that we did was really fun and enjoyable even if the place is not a tourist spot. But the part that we really enjoyed was Junifera Clarita touching the small leaves of the macahiyâ plant (Mimosa pudica). She was really fascinated with them because the leaves close upon being touched by human fingers. It was so cute that I took a video clip of her! We even saw several varieties of plants and wild flowers that people have been ignoring and taking for granted every day. They didn't know that they're missing quite a lot. Daddy Pepe said that Susana Heights used to be part of a huge forest, and we could still find traces of that forest because we saw some really old trees along the way. If only people could find time to enjoy nature. Our walking tour of Susana Heights proves to me that walking is traveling too, that walking can be exciting. I remember what my husband told me, that whenever people are inside a mall, they do not notice that they have been walking for miles on end. They just don't know it because they are entertained by the shops and food stalls all around, not to mention that malls are air-conditioned. But walking through nature is much more enjoyable compared to malling because you get to see and enjoy God's creation for free. You get to witness living things moving about in their natural habitat. You get to feel nature itself and feel the wonder it gives to us, not to mention that the memory of enjoying nature lasts for a lifetime. It's for keeps. 

Walking is bonding; walking with nature together with your family is a complete moment to treasure.



Thank you so much to Yellow Cab area manager Karen de Guzmán for the pictures!

Monday, October 23, 2017

Happy fourth anniversary to our blog!

Belated happy fourth anniversary to our blog! (our first travel was on 23 October 2013 while our first blogpost was on 21 October 2013)! To GOD be the glory!


Saturday, September 30, 2017

No travel for this month

Resulta ng larawan para sa sick
Image: Rheumablog.

To our readers:
I apologize because our family has not made any travel for this month, and it's a first since we started this blog four years ago. You see, we make it a point to travel at least once a month. For this month, our only free time was supposed to be today. We were planning to go out for some pizza tonight somewhere in Muntinlupa, but that might not happen anymore. It's because of my fever, cough, and colds. I've had it for two days already. As of this time, my temperature is normal, but just this noon, my fever got back again. I am checking my temperature from time to time. If I still insist for my family to travel to Muntinlupa, there might be complications to my health, and that is something that I do not want to happen.
It's really hard if you're sick. When a father is sick, he will only take a rest and do nothing. Same with the kids. But if the mother is sick, she still needs to do the household chores and other matters at home. That is the big sacrifice of being a mother.
But don't worry. Just pray for my quick recovery, that my temperature as well as my body's system will go back to normal.
To all my loved ones in heaven, to all the saints, to all the angels, to Mama Mary: please pray for me to get well as soon as possible.
To almighty GOD, please heal me. I need to have energy and I need to feel OK so I could take care of my family with much radiance because I love them.
Thank you very much in advance for your prayers, and may GOD bless us all!!! 👼 👼 👼
Sincerely yours,

Wednesday, September 13, 2017

Happy 18th and 4th anniversary to us!

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It is almost midnight and I need to post this before the day ends because me and Daddy Pepe have to drink in a short while to continue our anniversary celebration. So, I will just share to all of you our hilarious anniversary message in Facebook this morning. Some may have read it, but I'll post it again for the benefit of those who haven't yet...

* * * * * * *

Happy 18th anniversary (and 4th wedding anniversary) to my one and only Probinsyana wife, Yeyette the Wildflower! Ikaw Lang Ang iibigin nitóng dating Pusong Ligaw, that's The Promise of Forever. I am Destined to be Yours, debajo de La Luna Sangre. You and I, we have A Love To Last
¡Te amo mucho, mi amor Jennifer!
Pepe Alas

And here is my reply:

Naunahan mo ako ah hahaha! Naka-mud pack ako nang binabasa ko ang komento mo, ayon napangiti tuloy ako at nag crack ang mud pack ko, hehehe! Pero huwag kang mag-alala, kasi mag crack na ang mud pack ko, wag lang ang Pag-ibig ko. 😱

Asahan mong andito 
lagi ako sayo: 
Sa saya at tawanan. Sa sigawan at awayan. Sa viaje at pasyalan. Sa diskusyon at bangayan. Sa pagmamahalan at lambingan. Sa kulitan at inisan. Sa La Familia Viajera at Buong Angkan Nang Familia Natin. Sa yaman at karangyaan. Sa bagong kakilala at hindi pa mga kilala. Sa tikisan at di pag-iimikan. 
Sa gimik at sa imbitasyon. Sa patimpalak at pagtitipon. Sa galit at poot. Sa paminsan-minsan at madalas. Sa bungisngis at halakhak. Sa lamig at sa ulan. Sa taglish at jejemon. Sa summer at sa beach. Sa buwan at sa bituin. Sa pelikula at social media. Sa writing at editing. Sa iba pang bagay at etcetera. Sa expressions at LOL. 
Sa dulo at walang hanggan...

Andito, andito ako... 

Ako, ako ito... 

Nagmamahal pa din at laging sayo.... 

Te am tambien, and Happy 18th Anniversary and 4th Wedding Anniversary, mi amor Pepe😍
Yeyette Alas— 😘

* * * * * * *

Many couples today are facing a lot of struggles, obstacles, and problems. Me and dear husband Pepe are no different from the rest, but we have stayed stronger than ever, calmly facing the realities of life. And I am always hoping that we could surpass every trial that we encounter and still stay strong until the end, still in love with each other, and continue to keep the love and in our hearts, together with our children. May GOD continue blessing our family.

Again, Happy 18th Anniversary (and 4th Wedding Anniversary) to us!!!


Friday, August 11, 2017

¡Feliz tercer cumpleaños, Junífera Clarita!

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With the old municipal hall of Biñán (left, now a museum) and the Church of San Isidro Labrador (right) at the background. Both structures date back to the Spanish era.

When they were still babies, all of my kids adored Jollibee. But among them, our baby Junífera Clarita is the most excited whenever she sees the Jollibee sign. She would mention the name "Jollibee" with much delight. Whenever we are out of the house and ask the family where we should eat, Junífera Clarita would immediately scream the name Jollibee. So today, on her third birthday, we had a simple dinner at a Jollibee outlet. It was her request, to eat at Jollibee. But to add some historical flavor, my hubby Pepe chose to eat at a Jollibee outlet in historic Biñán, La Laguna, just a few feet away from the ancestral house of national hero José Rizal's mother. He said that this historic house will be reconstructed soon.

The rainy night did not stop our simple celebration. I prayed to Saint Clare of Assisi not to rain. Thank God it did not rain on us. Thank you so much for praying for us, Saint Clare! And happy feast day to you!

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I never thought I would experience life again after my fifth ceasarian delivery. You are our miracle baby! We are both enjoying the world together with the rest of the family. I will not tire of thanking all my family members, relatives, and friends who prayed for us, as well as all my dearly departed loved ones who are now in Heaven who I know had prayed for me. I will also not get tired of thanking all the saints, angels, and Mama Mary who helped me survive just to bring you here on earth.

Thank you most especially to our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ, our Almighty GOD, for all the miracles and blessing you have given us!

I love you my "koala baby", my "pokemon",  my "baba labs", my baby Junífera Clarita. The smell of your skin eases my problems away. You always make my day. Your smile removes my stress, and you are the main reason why I'm always happy.  

Happy third birthday to you, our sweetest darling!  We love you so much, and may you have more wonderful birthdays to come!

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When we got home, her Abuelo Daddy, Jaime Perey, was waiting for her.

Thursday, July 20, 2017

¡Feliz 17° cumpleaños, Krystal!

¡Feliz 17° cumpleaños, mi hija Krystal!

Thank you for always being there for us, for always helping me in the household chores, for being my number one fan in my cooking (especially my specialty pastas), for all your sacrifices in our small home. There is no perfect family, but you still tend to stay strong too just like me.

Thank you for all the trials that you have endured with us. Thank you because you always maintain your respect for us your parents. Of course you are not perfect. But still, I can call you a good girl in spite of that imperfectness. Thank you for listening to our advice, for opening up your feelings to us. Please open up your feelings more to me and don't hesitate to ask any questions because we are both ladies, OK?

Jennifer Perey-Alas

We'll always be there for you and support you. Follow your dreams, reach for it, and strive to be successful. May you have many more birthdays to come, my pretty and precious eldest daughter! Hugs and love from all of us! 💜💚❤💗💓💘 Mommy Yeyette

Tuesday, July 18, 2017

¡Feliz 38° cumpleaños, mi amor Pepe!

Happy birthday to La Familia Viajera's writer,  young historian, joker, and our "Mr. Know It All", the head of our family,  ¡mi esposo Pepe! May you have more birthdays to come, and may you always stay responsible, loving, honest, and faithful to us! We love you so much! ¡Muchos besos y abrazos! ☺  ☺ ☺ ☺ ☺ 

Ho Chai Lai (Muntinlupà, Metro Manila).

La Cruz de Tunasán (Iglesia de San Pedro Apóstol, San Pedro Tunasán, La Laguna).