First for January first

I’ve spent ALL new years of my childhood and most of my adult years in our home with my parents and siblings. But this time, being married and having a baby, we decided to do it differently.

My past new year’s eves (back when I was a kid until a single adult) starts when we wake up on 31st of December and we start cooking for media noche. We always spend it at home. We make sure the lights are all open when the clock strikes 12 to signify a bright year ahead. Cooking and preparing the home are whole day activities for the entire family.

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My last new year as a single lady last December 31, 2011

We used to have lots of firecrackers and fireworks until we realized it was adding too much pollution and we can make better use of the funds spent on firecrackers as years went by. There were years we had to have wet cotton balls in our nose and ears because of too much noise and smoke. Ugh, can’t imagine that now! Especially when you have an infant.

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This stash has been greatly reduced compared to my childhood years. December 31, 2011

New year, whether it was with our immediate family or with the extended family, was always a celebration of thanksgiving and joy for the past and upcoming year ahead.

When the clock strikes 12, we jump and jump, kiss, hug, greet each other. Then we go in the house after firecrackers and fireworks watching to pray together as a family and then eat media noche together. These wonderful memories and togetherness will last more than a lifetime.

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Welcoming January 1, 2012 with our extended family

Since I got married, we spent the new year differently every year. This time, with an infant in tow, we want a peaceful and pollution free welcome to 2016. So we decided to go on our first long drive with our baby girl- a 5-day vacation in Subic.

We were excited since this is the first trip again out of town after I gave birth to our first born. I still always enjoy the view of the long drives. Well, as long as they’re not buildings and lots of cars.

Staying in a house in Subic makes it more relaxing than staying in a hotel. We stayed in Subic Homes. I know you can rent out houses there too. They have daily rates and long term lease rates too.

Although you still have to do your house chores yourself since there’s no room service in these types of accommodation, I really don’t mind. In my high school days, we don’t have house helpers anymore to train us how to be independent and responsible. My parents raised us really well. Now that I have a family, house chores are part of my daily life, not a burden at all. I admire my parents all the more now for all the things they do for us everyday back then especially now that I have a kid.

Our baby experienced the beach for the first time during this trip too! Her (and I guess ours too) reaction when she felt the sand and the water on her feet was priceless.

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We visited All Hands Beach Resort which is relatively nearer than most beaches in the area. Anyway, all we needed was a shore and a view of the sunset. We just got a day pass. She also got to see a good beach view of the sunset too.

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We also enjoyed the Subic Fiesta Carnival. Brings me back to the 90s when we used to go to Star City (the older version), Boom na Boom (which was beside Start City), and Payanig sa Pasig (where Metrowalk now stands). The rides included a cable car (overlooking the carnival), grand carousel, octopus, ferry’s wheel, bump cars, kiddie rides, roller coaster, and some other rides that will make you dizzy.

Classics are always fun. It’s nice to make the kids today experience these places too.

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The entrance fee was P30 per head and per ride costs P30-P40 each. We enjoyed the game booths and was able to bring home a teddy bear, candies (consolation prize), and a keychain. Tanjuatco cousins did their best to pop those balloons to get the teddy bear for our baby. Thank you boys and girls!

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Of course, trips to Subic won’t be complete without the sight of monkeys on the road. Remember, do not feed the monkeys and don’t touch them. The moment reminded me of the movie The Planet of the Apes, so I got scared a bit when I opened the car window. Haha!

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Another to do in Subic is to visit the duty free shops that surround the place. There will always be good imported finds there either for the home or personal stuff. Always be on the look out for promos and bundle packs.

But sometimes, some products are more expensive here than in Metro Manila,unless you buy the promo packs.  You just have to really know your products and their prices.

We visited  Puregold Duty FreeRoyal Choices, Royal Duty Free, Big Brands outlet shop, and a few more branded shops. I won’t detail what we bought but yup, we got good deals especially the disposable diapers which was buy 1 and get the next one for 50% off. Not bad right? TIP: best to go before lunch or lunch time during peak season

Another place we visit regularly when in Subic is Meat Plus. Eat here for good steaks and burgers! We didn’t get to take a good shot since everyone was rushing to close for new year’s eve.

Spending new year’s eve with the family was the most memorable part of the trip. The house was filled with memorable chit chats, funny stories, and not to mention food and drinks (lots of it!).

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By almost midnight, we drove near the bay (near the airport side). We watched Subic’s fireworks display from a distance from their barge on the bay. It was a good view. Not too near to smell the smoke and not too far not to see the beauty of the fireworks display. It lasted around 15 minutes while the family was enjoying the music, drinks, and picture taking. It was pollution free and peaceful just what we wanted.

Whenever we visit Subic as a couple, we always visit and eat in Vasco’s. It’s a pub by the bay. We always visit late afternoon to night time. It is situated beside the bay so there’s a good breeze and feel of the bay. They have good food too. This time we visited with our baby.

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I can say our trip was comfortable even if we have an infant with us since we brought the high chair, playpen, and stroller during this trip. Quite bulky in the car, but worth bringing. Good thing we have compact baby stuff.

That’s my first for January first. Another memorable time with the family. As we grow old and have kids, life becomes more unpredictablly fun and amazing. Treasure every moment with them everyday.

Happy New Year!

~Tina~

  • Subic – approximately 2 hours and 40 minutes travel time from Metro Manila via SCTEX
  • Subic Homes – Subic Homes website click their website for rates and details for a stay in one of their fully furnished homes. 
  • All Hands Beach Resort – located at San Bernardino Road, Subic Bay Freeport Zone. They have water  activities too – kayak, jetski and banana boat.
  • Subic Fiesta Carnival – located at Rizal Highway | Between Aguinaldo St & Security RdSubic Bay Freeport Zone
  • Puregold Duty Free – located at Palm Street Subic Bay Freeport Zone. It’s just like an SnR grocery
  • Royal Choices – located at Canal Rd, Subic Bay Freeport Zone
  • Royal Duty Free– located at Palm Street Rizal Hwy, Subic Bay Freeport Zone
  • Vasco’s – located at Lot 14 Argonaut Highway, Subic Bay Freeport Zone
  • Meat Plus – a good steakhouse located at Sampson Road, Subic Bay Freeport Zone