Lazy in Laguna

Let me begin this post by saying I don't think my work is that stressful. I mean, yes I go to work bleary-eyed at times since I have to be in the office before 5AM from Tuesday to Saturday, and yes I do get the occasional out-of-this-world cases but nevertheless I really enjoy what I do - especially since I get off work as early as 2PM. Sleep has become a luxury these days especially if I attended an event the night prior, but there's nothing a cup of coffee can't fix ;)

That being said, my teammates and I still need a break every once in while. Last week, we went to Laguna for our team building, the first out-of-town trip we've had ever since TL Carlo stepped in to be our direct supervisor last year. Why so? This is a bit complicated but let me explain our set-up the best way I can: we are eight people in the team but we have different rest days (for example, mine are Sundays and Mondays, Mich's are Fridays and Saturdays, Frank's are Saturdays and Sundays, etc.), so it's virtually impossible for the whole team to go out of town because there are some who would need to go to work the next day. For this specific instance though, TL Carlo made arrangements with the Ops Desk so that all of us were allowed to not be in the office last Wednesday :) We went to Laguna after work on Tuesday and got back to Manila the next day.

We rented Rhodora Resort, a private villa in Pansol, and it was so beautiful there! It has two pools, three rooms (two has four bunk beds, while one has one double bed and one bunk bed) with toilet and bath, a kitchen with complete amenities including a stove, hot and cold water dispenser and refrigerator, a barbecue grill, a billiards table, and KTV! Let me show you some photos:

Look at the girl so busy tweeting.
Oops, that's me XD
Living room and kitchen
You can always dive into the pool when you get tired of singing ;D
The three rooms are on the second floor.
Oh hai Frank! :)
This is the view from the veranda.
From seeing that marvelous view, look down, and there we are!
That's me with Mommy Arnz, Mich, Mommy Leanne, TL Carlo, and Ali :D
The waters looks rrrreally inviting, yes?
That's Watcher and TL Paul :)
We all chipped in for the rented van, resort, booze, and FOOD. Ali brought speakers, and house party music was provided by TL Carlo's and Mich's iPods. We were too busy eating/ singing/ partying/ drinking/ swimming/ what-have-you that we weren't able to take more photos when night-time came. But oh boy, it was so much fun! I laughed so hard that I barely had any voice left the next day :D Also, someone may or may not have drunk his way to oblivion... I won't say who he is any more to save him from *cough*further embarrassment*cough* but I got to say, he's got some killer dance moves! I especially liked the pole-dancing part HAHAHA!!!

To my dismay, the party broke off early as apparently, some people cannot hold their tequila. Unlike the overnight swimming party we had in Green Nature resort that ended at 5AM, my teammates this time hit the sack as early as 12 midnight! This is simply unacceptable for Mich and me as we waited for this for so long!!! We tried everything to wake them up and even resorted to blasting the speakers on their rooms' windows, to no avail. In the end we just gave up and sat in the veranda with Ali, talking over coffee with good music in the background.

I realized just now that I don't "drunk-dial" or "drunk-text"; I "drunk-post". But instead of posting inappropriate stuff on Twitter or on my Facebook wall, I post heartfelt messages. If anything, "spirits" make me revel in the moment more. Case in point:


and then, an hour of staring into the sky and talking with my friends Mich and Ali, I felt the need to share this:


It was around 3AM when we decided to go to sleep.

But because my body is already used to waking up early, I was alive and alert again less than three hours later. I loved the pool so much that I was the first one in that morning and the last one out, good thing I brought two sets of swimsuit haha. My teammates then woke up, and it was another round of eating and singing for us.

What a relaxing morning :)
This is me in my most au naturel look, without any hint of make-up, stress, or Photoshop ;)
We were ready to leave by 11AM. We were supposed to go back to Manila already but TL Carlo recommended we visit the Philippine High School for the Arts first, a school situated on top of the mountain! Very interesting, yes? The van wanted to complain at how steep and scary the location was, but we made it! (And since I am writing this post now, yes, we made it safely back heehee).

Chapel.
Gym and stadium in one.
I wasn't able to take photos of the classrooms, but let me describe them: instead of the usual classrooms-in-one-tall building we are accustomed to, their classrooms are in separate cabanas scattered all across the area. It looks like a mini village :)

Won't you look at the stunning view from the top:

I'm scared of heights, but I can't help but marvel at how beautiful it was there.
Very peaceful and serene; there was no one in the vicinity when we were there.
Mich and me :)
It's the perfect place to reflect and listen to your thoughts.
I can almost reach the cotton-candy clouds :)

We decided to leave when we noticed the sky getting dark - a wise decision as heavy rain started to fall soon after. We all recounted stories from the night before in the two hours' travel back to Manila but I still managed to squeeze in a few minutes' power nap in between. I got to my apartment a little after 3PM, where I just rested for a while before I had to get ready for another event.

I've said again and again that I really love the people I work with, and moments like this spent with them are treasures I will cherish always. They make it hard for me to leave HSBC but I do hope that when the time comes, we would still be able to schedule out-of-town trips like this one.

Special thanks to Frank for some of the photos.

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