May 19, 2022

17th of May Celebration in Norway During COVID19

It’s been more than two years of dealing with COVID19 but I’m glad that we are starting to go back to normal. We’re still in Norway so we were able to experience the 17th of May and I was so happy because we were part of it again. For the last two years, Norway was not able to celebrate or follow its old traditions because of corona restrictions. Fortunately, last May 17, 2022 they were back to their regular program, they have events from morning until evening. 

Since the last week of April, the weather is not good so we rarely go out of the house. Seeing Mr. Sun again makes me happy and I’m thankful for the good weather. And because of that, we were able to watch the children’s parade at the Sentrum, though the parade lasted only 10 minutes compared to our previous experiences. 

It is nice to see their National Costumes; the clothes, shoes, and accessories are not cheap, para na ko bumili ng second-hand car sa Pilipinas sa sobrang mahal. You can check my old posts about Norway National Day, here and here.

We always celebrate the 17th of May at home but two days ago, my aunt invited us to have lunch at her home. We did not cook any meal and my mom just brought pavlova dessert. May 17th is not complete without Pavlova, this is one of my favorite desserts here in Norway. We enjoyed our food trip at my aunt’s place, though nabitin lang because we need to go home early kasi may pasok pa kami ng midnight, need to sleep early.

May 09, 2022

Puerto Princesa: Paradise Regained

The Royal Treatment at Puerto Princesa 

With safety protocols firmly enforced, Puerto Princesa is poised to again welcome tourists with open arms. In recent years, the highly urbanized city and tourist haven has been paralyzed by the Covid-19 pandemic, then pummeled by Typhoon Odette. But it is now on the road to recovery---as spectacularly as its scenic, romantic and gastronomic attractions. 

“The tourism industry is the lifeblood of Puerto Princesa, along with agriculture. Almost 15,000 people directly or indirectly benefit from tourism. In varying degrees, most of the recent construction and development projects are related to tourism: hotel-building, parks, cruise-ship ports, street lights, roads, and many more. Unfortunately, some of these have been on hold since the onset of the pandemic,” discloses Demetrio “Toto” Alvior Jr., the city tourism officer. 

The Royal Connection 

Puerto Princesa, the capital of postcard-perfect Palawan, sprawls across 253,982 hectares of captivating coastlines stretched over 106 kilometers. Due to its strategic geographical location, it has sufficient depth to allow ships of all sizes to anchor, earning a reputation as a “Princess of Ports,” or in Spanish, “Puerto Princesa.” 

There’s no contention that Puerto Princesa is one of the country’s greatest pleasures. A holiday destination universally beloved by travelers, beach-combers, and trekkers; a bustling business center with a rural allure; a provincial vibe with modern amenities; and a clean and green city recognized for its lush forests, fresh air, and frontier character. 

Rising Above Covid-19 

The city of Puerto Princesa has been struggling to get to its feet since the outbreak of Covid-19 in early 2020. The lack of tourists, which is the main industry, has forced hundreds of tourism-related businesses to close, leaving thousands of tourism workers unemployed. 

“The public-health crisis forced them to find alternative sources of income, which was made more difficult because of the restrictions of movement due to several lockdowns,” Mr. Alvior reveals. “One factor of low tourist arrivals is the fluctuating number of Covid cases, which in turn affects the determination of quarantine requirements and national government intervention policies.” 

Today, Puerto Princesa is experiencing record lows in terms of economic losses, losing around P5 billion a year for the past two years from potential tourist receipts. 

“The City Tourism Department has been strengthening its social media campaigns to encourage local tourists to visit local attractions, in a bid to boost much-needed revenues to the ailing tourism sector,” a cautiously optimistic Mr. Alvior says. “We have one important wish in the City Tourism Department, and that is to prioritize the aids for the Typhoon Odette-affected tourism industry here.” 

The goal is to regain the city’s glory as an eco-tourism capital. “Our 2022 goals are full restoration of all the tourist attractions affected by Typhoon Odette such as the completion of the construction of the cruise-ship port and other man-made tourist attractions. There will be wide, extensive, and aggressive promotions of Puerto Princesa to the local and international market.” 

The Last Frontier 

Puerto Princesa has a plethora of tourist spots. But many tourists who visit the city put the Puerto Princesa Subterranean River National Park, one of the New7Wonders of Nature, on top of their list. As the jump-off point for exploring the world-famous Tubbataha Reef, the city also hosts a fair share of adventurers.

“Since the Covid-19 outbreak, we have never ceased to hope that the future will be better. This year 2022 is no different. And while what we want is a full recovery, we cannot afford to be careless when taking big steps. As we begin to truly understand the gravity of the situation, we also come to realize that our moves must be consistent with the bigger picture such as the national situation,” Mr. Alvior says. 

Since February 10, the city has been happily welcoming more visitors once again, hoping that the arrival numbers will soon be back to pre-pandemic levels. In this initiative, the tourism department shares the privilege with the private sector. 

“While the government is the administrator of the State, the private sector is the bloodline. The government and the private sector are two inseparable factors for Puerto Princesa to prosper, and more importantly, to recover,” Mr. Alvior says. “The key to recovery is to enable and support the private sector to keep or resume their business operations. When it comes to the city’s biggest partners, apart from government agencies, it is the collective impact of small-business operations.” 

Puerto Princesa maybe “The Last Frontier,” but the City Tourism Department is confident that it will always be the first choice of every traveler.

Read: 3 Days in Puerto Princesa with Kids

May 02, 2022

Angel Wings Memorial

It’s been two years already since my sister passed away and the pain is still there. As the quote says, “Normal is having tears waiting behind every smile when you realize someone important is missing from all the important events in your family’s life.” Sometimes it is hard celebrating family events because I know someone is missing and it is hard to accept that this is now the new reality. 

Anyway, before I left the Philippines, I made this Angel Wings Memorial project for my late sister’s second death anniversary. I know that I won’t be able to do this during my vacation so I try to finish it but because of my limited time, I was not able to finish the project. Despite that, I still packed my unfinished project so I can continue it here in Norway.

I purchased the 3D Angel Wings Memorial SVG File and this includes a tutorial video. You need 6 layers of cardstocks and I just used whatever colors that I have. I cut everything before I left and I assembled everything here in Norway and that is the only time I realized that I forgot to cut the words after “In Memory of My”. So my mom just printed the word daughter and paste it into the space. She also bought a frame for it. 

When I go back to the Philippines, I will redo this project so I will have my own Angel Wings Memorial for my late sister, father, and grandmother. Last year I’ve made a pillowcase for her which I also brought here, so at least she was able to travel to Norway. 

“If we love, we grieve, that’s the deal. That’s the pact. Grief is a terrible reminder of the depths of our love and like love, grief is non-negotiable. - Nick Cave