She blossomed this year in a most special way. Each day in the past 12 months became an opportunity for her to show us, her family, how good and faithful and perfect the Lord is. He really weaves the best life stories! It is amazing being witness to the one He is making for Sophia.
Because of all this, my husband and I decided to have a nice celebration for Sophia's birthday. It was a toss-up between a theme park adventure or an island getaway. We chose the second. We figured, we've just been to Legoland last December, but we haven't really taken the kids to the best beaches in our own country. Plus, we weren't bringing a nanny this time, so I honestly dreaded the day at the theme park. Hehehe.
We flew to the most beautiful place in our country--Palawan. This province will always be our family's happy place. This is where we had our honeymoon, our first trip as new parents, and most recently, our sixth wedding anniversary.
This time around, with kids, we chose Coron. We booked a few nights at Club Paradise Palawan. We never regretted a minute of it. The resort is set in a stunning, spectacular island--paradise as a name was just so apt. It was the perfect backdrop to make happy memories as a family.
|Our birthday girl gets acquainted with sand.|
|Whatever time of day, my kids were free to frolick in the sand because of the many big trees around the resort.|
|They played in the sand together every chance they got. This was right after breakfast. They snuck out of the table while Julius and I finished our coffee. Then we saw them slumped here.|
|Sophia relaxing in the hammock of our cottage.|
The island boasts of white sand beach that stretch for a couple of kilometers, and pristine waters that is home to a vibrant marine life.
|So much peace greets us in the morning. We spend a few minutes here before getting ready for breakfast :)|
|We stayed in a beachfront cottage that has the most wonderful view of the sunset.|
I love the resort! Club Paradise has been around for quite a while, so the facilities are understandably due for an upgrade (which its new owner, Discovery Leisure, is undertaking later this year). That said, I must commend the staff for keeping par with the best resorts in our country in terms of cleanliness, warmth, and quality of service. Awesome people this resort has.
|My nanay pose, complete with milk bottle and Yakult in one hand :D|
|The resort staff always prepared little surprises for us. This was their treat on our first night. Then we had cookies, fruits, Pinoy rice cakes. And yes, they even had those framed photos of our family. We felt so pampered!|
|The kids give their huge bed 2 thumbs up!|
The kids love their pool with their inflatables (including a giant swan), the clubhouse (where they played foosball, pingpong, and made friends with other guests and hotel staff), and their restaurant (where we had such happy meal times). The resort had a Kids Center, but Jaden and Sophia seemed to prefer playing in either sand or water.
Julius and I took delight in seeing our kids happily playing in the beach. Sophia reveled at her new surroundings and we took the opportunity to teach her about God and nature. Jaden was a pleasant surprise because he acted like a real kuya all throughout the trip. He was very helpful, picked up after himself, and was generous to his sister.
On our third day--Sophia's actual birthday--we took a boat to Calauit Island where we had a Safari Party! Just the 4 of us with our two guides :) We had sandwiches, soda, and water. The animals had leaves. Hehehe :)
This was such a memorable experience for our family. The kids were so excited seeing the giraffes and zebras. They had the grandest time feeding them. Sophia was squealing in joy. Jaden was laughing in excitement.
We went back to Club Paradise just in time for dinner. We were in for a surprise--the staff prepared a special moonlit dinner by the beach for our darling birthday girl! They sang her the birthday song and even had a cake and candle for her to blow! Kilig na kilig si Sophia :)
|Her reaction when she first heard the strums of guitar and voices singing "Happy Birthday". Feel na feel!!!|
By the time our trip came to a close, my kids were so sad and kept asking us if we could stay for one more day. Of course we said we couldn't, so they just made us promise we'll go back. Hehehe.
I can't recall one bad memory during our stay. Everything just panned out so well. I returned home to Manila with a grateful heart--for our daughter Sophia and for the celebration that God allowed for all of us to enjoy!