Thursday, March 8, 2012

Cebu photo diary (0226-0307)

My Beauty and Beyond godmother, health/fitness freak & kindred spirit, Jen. 


David and his cool DIY mask

Neil made his own mask, too!

The Beautiful Cebu Movement Foundation recently organized a really grand masquerade ball last February 29 at the Waterfront Hotel in Cebu. It was the main reason why I visited for a while but the trip had to be extended since I had to fix some papers and I wanted to take a break from everything. The event was amazing! Everyone obviously prepared for it and I think I enjoyed the free-flowing champagne too much (my excuse for the lack of better photos of people). A lot of personalities from Manila flew in and I loved how they decorated the ball room. 

Mia made my dress and it was done over a couple of e-mails and some inaccurate measurements I took myself sent over text. I only had a day to try the dress on and thankfully they fitted it properly the morning after. I went for the safest design and color-- black with a plunging neckline and a slit (that I forgot to pose with ala Angelina) in front, plus a long trail. I don't even have a decent photo of it and these photos don't do it justice (I have this but it's not clear & it just highlights me stepping on some girl's gown) . I guess I ate too much champagne an hour into the program. I managed to walk out without tripping and proceeded to Gilt with friends right after, only to find out that I impulsively ate fries and left the contents of my purse in Mikel's car! 

That night was too much fun and I'm glad I actually stayed for it. Some of my friends know that I had to battle some issues during the first night of my stay, and I guess that experience was a prerequisite for an amazing week in Cebu. 

My mom is the total opposite of me and thought that I was having a hard time coping with my horrible first night experience, so she made it a point to send me to the beach while I was away from Manila. I amazed everyone (including myself) at how easily I was able to overcome it, and my friends were all wondering where my emo tweets went (LOL). I guess I was able to remind myself quickly that I have more than enough to be thankful for and that I knew myself well enough to survive. As I've said before, not everyone is as privileged to have choices in terms of love, career, lifestyle, etc... I am super grateful for my parents and friends who've instilled a deep sense of faith in me at an early point in my life. I don't think I would've recovered in a couple of hours if it weren't for Him and my spirituality. I know faith is something that can't be forced on anyone. I'm not a perfect Christian myself (I am so far from it) but it's what gives me the most amount of confidence in myself. It's the only thing that truly fills that void. 

Back to my trip... 
The original plan was to join my father in Boracay for a meeting but I didn't have enough time and had to catch an event that week. 

I stayed at the Shangri-la Mactan Resort and I seem to have forgotten how beautiful it is!!! I guess I took those beach trips for granted when I was a kid. Growing up in Cebu makes it possible for you to travel a mere 30 minutes to get to any beautiful resort you want. The management was also really kind enough to upgrade me to a room with a seaside view!

I invited my friends who were free that day, and most of them arrived at night.

My brother visited the next morning and only stayed out with me for 30 minutes! He went back to the room to study for his biology exam and then left the resort before lunch. I hated him for ditching but it reminded me of how much of a nerd I was when I was his age. I never used to like the beach as well because I wasn't fit or confident enough to don a swim suit. I did the same thing during most beach trips- stayed inside hotel rooms and ate my heart out at the buffet. Much has changed since high school.

The goggles are cool, okay. I spent so much time snorkeling since the fishes were too pretty! So glad my contacts didn't fall out or dry up during this trip. I really need to get laser eye surgery. 


I'm so happy that I actually stayed in Cebu for a while. This trip made me realize that I really didn't take time to see my good friends during the past visits. I got to hang out with people I haven't really talked to since high school plus I got to spend more time with my mum. At times I ask myself why I chose to give up my life there, but then I get reminded of how much I want to grow and really push myself to be in a bigger, more fast-paced city. I've never been one to stay in my comfort zone. I am so thankful that I have an island paradise to come home to, and I am even more grateful for the wonderful people I get to see each time I go back. 


Viva La Manika said...

Your photos are always so unique, Raleene. They really tell stories. Always looking forward for more posts from you.

Raleene said...

Aww thank you!! Your comment just made my day :D

Anonymous said...

A true-blue Cebuano here and a big fan of your blog. Keep it up!

Raleene said...

Anon- thank you :)