Friday, September 25, 2015

The Year I Skipped

I realized that it's been a year since I posted anything. That somehow tells you how busy that past year has been. 365 days. How can so many things happen in what seems like such a short span of time?

The year I skipped was really rock n' roll. Arnaud and I decided to become friends, and I faced a new "Boracay Season" with a little heart ache. But, as with every new season, the winds and the tides brought in a beginning of sorts, along with new friends, new experiences and new opportunities.

 Aaah the kites up at Bulabog. The view we look forward to every year. 

The island's party folk greeting the sunrise after a mad Halloween party. 

The famous Boracay sunset that steals the show every single day.

Laid back days in the sun, wild Full Moon parties, island drama, more kindred spirits--that season was everything it promised to be. And for me, it was the best one yet. I could specify the many events that happened this past year but I think it's better to mention the most significant one:

I moved to another island.

Wait, what?

I believe I've been hinting at "graduating" from the island in past posts. I guess I was just waiting for an opportunity. I moved to Boracay to get out of my comfort zone, then it turned into a comfort zone. So after 6 priceless years in paradise, it was time for a new adventure. And that's how I ended up here, in Bali. :)

Rice paddies in my neighborhood. 

Me practicing on a scooter--the best way to get around Bali. 

Hanging with the girls after an afternoon with the waves.

Bali. Wow, this is a whole new story. 5 months in this place and I already have a book-load of tales. But we'll save those for another time.

Truth is, Bali doesn't feel very different from Boracay. In fact, it feels like Boracay on a bigger scale. Wider beaches (though mostly dark sand), more parties, more tourists and more groceries! Haha! So although people would consider moving countries a leap, I consider it more of...(you guessed it)a skip. A happy one. The kind you do when you're strolling along to your favorite song. The kind you do when you excitedly want to get to where you're going to. 

Tuesday, August 26, 2014

Blown Away

I promised myself I would blog more about my adventures in France. Well, I failed. I found it more convenient to snap photos and share them on Instagram than to spend more time in front of my computer as I already do that for work. I've been busy -  shooting photos and videos and enjoying my trip. So to make up for not blogging, here's a compilation of the events I've managed to keep in my little camera.

Maybe you'll understand how this windy little region swept me off my feet and blew me away. Enjoy watching. 

Blown Away from Denise Tolentino on Vimeo.

Thursday, June 26, 2014

First Dip

I stood in knee-deep water clutching my shoulders and moved about an inch deeper every 2 minutes. I looked back at the old woman on the beach. She was staring at me with concern, probably because I looked more like someone contemplating suicide than someone about to go for a swim.

I've been in France for more than a week now and I figured it was time to face my fear of "cold" water and just go for it. After all, how could I (pardon the pun), fully immerse myself in this country if I didn't soak up (there I go again) every bit of it... including 18°C water. Okay, I exaggerated, maybe it was around 21°C, I don't know.

I gazed around one last time, at the vast parking lot filled with holiday camper vans, at the senior citizens tanning beside their striped beach parasols, at the sparkling water in front of me with little boats bouncing up and down, and then up, at the clear sky with the sun toasting my skin. It looked like summer. It was summer, but the f*cking water didn't get the memo.

Oh well, here we go
. With one deep breath I finally took the plunge, wiggled around the water for a bit and then got out. It wasn't that bad. In fact, it felt really nice. Refreshing and awakening, as proven by all the hairs of my skin standing at attention. 

Like many of my experiences here so far, this was another first time.

You know that famous motivational question: "When was the last time you did something for the first time?" Here, my answer is always: yesterday or just a while ago or just now.

It's been really wonderful seeing, tasting and experiencing things for the first time. Most especially the things that Arnaud only used to tell me about. "One day we'll take my van and drive to the salt area of Guerande and you will see, it's really nice."

It wasn't nice, it was for me, breathtaking. And realizing right then and there that I was experiencing something that I only used to imagine in my head, that was really something. And so, continues (as our friend JonJon says) "Les Aventures de Denise Nicole". To many more firsts and to many more dips for the rest of this trip... I'm ready. :) 

France is full of lovely homes. This one belongs to the equally lovely Reitzer family. 

Merienda time in their lush garden

First time: raspberry picking (plus other fruits from the Reitzer's garden)

Camper Van Culture in Quiberon - we live in a camper during weekdays too (it belongs to Arnaud's mom)

Sailing in Saint Nazaire

Sun worshippers of Quiberon

The boys at the Marais Salants, Guerande

 After work beer and sunset

Arnaud leading me to the "secret spot"

Finally, overlooking THE secret spot (which I'm not allowed to show here :)