Life in the Fast Lane


10-Day Challenge: 6 Places

By 10:46 AM , , , , ,

Hello, #10DayChallenge follower! Welcome to Day 6, and thank you for your continuous support. So let's move on to this entry.

Initially, I wasn't sure of what this "6 Places" list should feature: the places that mean a lot to me? Or the places in my bucket list?

I decided to go with the former because I'm in a throwback state of mind; even if it's not Thursday. So the places listed below pretty much refer to my childhood/growing up years.

1) Baguio

So many childhood and family-related memories involve the City of Pines. I have an entire entry on why it means a lot to me, which was written last year, so do check it out.

Photo from here.

2) Aklan

Apart from the world-famous Boracay, Aklan means a lot to my mother's side of the family. The Caticlan airport was named after my grandfather, Godofredo P. Ramos; in fact, he was given the title "The Father of Aklan" (after he separated it from the province of Capiz). A number of distant relatives still live in Kalibo, and a few years ago on what would have been his 100th birthday, a statue of my grandfather was unveiled.

With my mom, my brother, her siblings, some cousins, and distant relatives.
Taken during the unveiling of the statue last November 2011.

3) Quezon City

So "generic" in terms of listing a place, but I've always been a QC girl in terms of where I've lived, where I've studied, the friends I've made and kept, and so forth. Because of Quezon City, I have fond memories of building faux-treehouses with my brother and cousin when our families used to live together; of the days my neighbor-friends and I would have sleepovers, solve cases like the Ghostwriter team, and do Leonardo DiCaprio movie marathons; of all the years I spent wearing a gingham uniform with my classmates, batchmates, and best friends from kindergarten 'til high school; of opening up my mind to different worlds as a communication major alongside my friends and coursemates (plus developing my love for the Spanish language as a Hispanic Studies minor). Today, QC is seriously congested and flooding has become a major problem (among other problems), but there are still reasons to love and live in this city, such as countless hole-in-the-wall restaurants, parks, and the like.

Photo from here.

4) The XS Sea Dragons Swimming Pool

This one is pretty specific. Not just any lap pool (and I have been to so many because of my competitions and where I've tried to train in recent years), mind you, but this particular pool. Because back when I was still in Poveda, they didn't have a swimming varsity (I don't even know if they have one today because they don't have the space for a lap pool). So I trained with my brother, who studied in Xavier at the time. I was one of the few non-Xavier/ICA swimmers. I competed as a Sea Dragon for ten years (not even counting the years it took for me to learn how to swim), with twice-a-day training sessions on the days leading up to a swim meet. I have memories of minute man workouts (which, to this day, still conjure up images of stress and absolute dread), dry land training sessions, our coaches shouting at us to go faster while we were being timed, duck walks around the pool when we didn't nail our personal bests, teaming up and doing relays, having lunches or dinners out with teammates and parents, diving into the secondary 12-foot deep pool to search for coins or toys at the bottom to practice our breathing, and so on.

Photo from here.

5) CCF

Our church first started as a series of Bible studies held in a garage. As more and more people began attending, the leaders decided to find a venue to hold Sunday services. When CCF was 2 years old, that was when my parents first came to Christ and then found a home in this church. Needless to say, my brother and I were two of the first Sunday School kids. Since then, CCF has been blessed in unimaginable ways. Aside from how CCF has been a blessing to my family and me all these years, I also gained friends and siblings-in-the-faith in this church, and it's where I discovered a bunch of my God-given gifts and have been using them for ministry. This month, CCF will be celebrating its 30th birthday and I can't wait to see what else God has in store for the main church, all the satellite churches (I serve in CCF Eastwood along with my family members; my sister serves in CCF Makati, which is near her office), the campus churches, the churches abroad, and our missionary partners. To Him be all the glory!

Photo from here.

6) Hong Kong

I have nothing but warm, fuzzy feelings associated with Hong Kong. It was my first international destination when I was in the 4th grade, and the place where one of my childhood dreams was fulfilled (which was to visit Disneyland; thankfully, Hong Kong Disneyland opened its doors to the public a few years ago). I love the busy metropolitan vibe, all the places where one can shop, the amazing food, the fashion (when it's cold, that is), and the fact that there are so many things to do. It's been a couple of years since my last visit and I hope to go back soon with the family — hopefully by then, my nephew will be big enough to appreciate and have fond memories of Disneyland and Ocean Park.

Photo from here.

I will be taking a mini-break from this challenge for the next few days because I'll be helping out at a retreat. Please say a prayer for us, if you could spare a minute or two; that God will be glorified and that lives will be changed forever because of this retreat.

See you in a few days! The next #10DayChallenge will be about something very close to my heart: FOOD. Can't wait!

P.S. Most photos here were taken from Google solely for illustration purposes (with links attached). No copyright infringement intended.

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