10 October 2005

Jo-Lo's Baptism, and a new place to wind down

Jo-Lo is now a member of the Christian World!

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In case you were wondering. Jo-Lo's full name is Jose Carlos Orioste Ballesteros. His name was derived from a combination of his lolos' (grandfathers') names. It was an overcast Saturday (October 8) when Jo-Lo had his christening at the same church where my wife and I exchanged wedding vows.

Good friends and family from Baguio, Manila, and La Union were present to witness this momentous occasion. Bloggers Dessagirl, Chu, Pauline, Sarah and Jo-Lo's 6-month old cousin JayJay were also there. We also invited a couple of other blogger friends but did not make it due to unavoidable circumstances. It would have been great to have a mini blogger's EB in Baguio! More photos can be found in Jo-Lo's Blog.

Speaking of EB, I was walking down Session Road last Sunday with friend-now-also-kumpare Harry when I saw a familiar face in front of Don Henrico's. It was BongK! He was with a friend, and they had just arrived from Sagada. I have never been there myself, but I'm looking forward to planning a trip there. They say Sagada is a wonderful place, especially in November when migratory birds from Austrialia visit there for respite from the winter.

Anyways, I was also able to meet my wife's colleagues and Nora as well, who I knew way back in my Library Assistant days in college. My best friends since high school Leo, Sonny Martin, and Elmer; Tina's friends from Quezon and Manila and her colleagues were also there.

Tina's friends

Tina's good friends: [L-R] sitting down are Lea, Pnet, then standing are Upang and Marlon with son Lee.

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This is a shot from the Condotel. Can't find a photo in the reception where they're complete. Starting from the lady in front going clockwise: Gen, Dessa, Francis, Beth, Gay, Pauline, Sarah, and Harry

Tina with UC

Sitting are Tina's colleagues: [L-R] Art, Sheryl, Nellie

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[L-R] Eric, Sir Renan, and Donald. My office colleagues and good friends.


[L-R] Nora and Marilyn, also Tina's colleagues from UC

tita rem and ninong cesar

Ninong Cesar and Tita Rem

Sonia, Tina's colleague from Saint Louis College in La Union

[L-R] Fe, Othie, I forgot his name (sorry!), Joseph


[L-R] Chu, Tatin, and Sir Roger

After the reception, Leo treated us to coffee to a wonderful place right in Session Road. The name of the place is Vocas, and is located at the topmost floor of La Asotea Building. You wouldn't believe such a place exists in Session Road! After climbing four floors' worth of stairs, the regular-looking entrance gave way to a high-ceilinged open space with wooden structures scattered generously with chairs and tables, staircases going here and there, a stage for performances, a wooden watermill turning ever so gently, a small bridge crossing a pond where fish are illuminated underneath the water, and an art gallery! It's like you're in a place far from the bustling city. It's the perfect place to wind down.

After our coffee break, Leo went back to his crafts store in nearby Porta Vaga mall while Elmer and Sonny rushed off to catch up with their students (they're college professors). I knew that I simply had to show this place to our friends as well before they leave Baguio. So after a couple of hours, I was back there with my office colleagues and Tina's friends.

We were able to meet the owner who was oh so kind to have his photo taken with us and with this huge carabao sculpture who was, incidentally the mascot of popular newspaper Inquirer. The owner is no other than the artist Kidlat Tahimik. He was a very gracious host and gamely answered our questions (the place is in existence for over a year now! But they are currently finalizing the cultural programs that will beregularly shown there. He thought it amusing that visitors think that this is a coffee shop with an art gallery, when it should be the other way around).

with Kidlat Tahimik

The guy at the right is Kidlat Tahimik!


It was truly a delight to be there. Visit Vocas when you visit Baguio some time.

In-between rains, they managed to do a little shopping. The girls would show-off their finds and boast about how they managed to haggle the price to further stretch their now-dwindling resources. Yep, they were cash-strapped after all those trips but they were happy nonetheless.

Harry and I drove off for Manila yesterday evening. By 7:30PM we started our trip via Marcos Highway. We took "the road less travelled" and ended up in the North Luzon Expressway three hours later! And that's with two stop-overs. It normally takes 4.5 hours to cover this distance. We would have made it in record time but Blackie no longer wanted to cooperate at the NLE so we had to reduce speed. Wish I can brag that I did all that driving, but I'd like to thank Harry for taking over :-).


To everyone who wished us well in Jo-Lo's christening, thank you!
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