Over Empanada, Okoy, Burgers and Hell-ish Stories – My Key Takeaways from Our North Adventure (Last Part)

Cheese and Rice. This is an overdue post but let me explain.

I actually have a draft, but then I got sick for the whole week, and then the laptop that I was using suddenly crashed the next. Whew! What crazy weeks I had. I am yet to retrieve the files but that might take up another week so I’m making a new one. Sounds good? Great. Let me start.

If you haven’t read the first and second part, please click the links.

As I have said, this would be the last part of our North Adventure.

We got so tired that we woke up late. Lucky for us, we were still able to avail the breakfast. You can say, we had a brunch. It was ok, but it wasn’t as good as our dinner! Fair enough. After all, I wouldn’t want to fill my stomach so much because well, we’ve got miles to cover for the day – literally.

After our breakfast, we decided to head back to Vigan for a simple reason – to try out their empanada and okoy. It was a good choice by the way.

Authentic Vigan Empanada and Okoy.
Authentic Vigan Empanada and Okoy.

And then what?

Oh gosh! What now? We were running out of ideas, seriously. Maybe we were just too tired to think or the heat of the sun exhausted our thoughts. I wouldn’t know. But then we went to Baluarte. I’m not much of a zoo – fan, but what’s there to lose?

Quick flash back. I went there a decade ago and was privileged to see the interior of the massive house at the top. My dad even had a close encounter with the tigers. When I say close encounter, I meant exactly that.  

I wasn’t really impressed, but the ice cream made up for it. After finishing the cold treat, it was time for us to leave. But of course, a little ‘pasalubong’ shopping wouldn’t hurt. We had a quick stopover at Marsha’s Delicacies and realized, the money spent for bagnet and bibingka was more expensive than the cost of our trip. 🙂  Oh and by the way, Kuya Regan was still with us. Our friend turned local tour guide is highly recommended. BWAHAHAHA

On our way home.
On our way home.


On our way home, we had our dinner at Surf Shack La Union. Oh holy bread crumble! We ate like there was no tomorrow. It wasn’t intentional. We were caught off guard and was in shock seeing their food servings. ANG LAKI!

Massive serving!
Massive serving!


Anyway, we tried to wake up our senses on the road by telling scary stories. But we had to stop after a few. You know the feeling that someone is watching you and ‘gulp’ any moment would pop right in front of your car? That was what I felt. And well, Cha felt the same so we opted to talk about positive things.



Our last stop was at Starbucks in NLEX. Cha and I, being the older ladies in the group, gave few lessons in life to Carie and Honey. Specifically about work – life balance and happiness. Not that Cha and I are expert on this. But you know, we’ve been through a lot and I can say we have the license. Don’t get me wrong. I learned a lot from the young ladies too. But let’s just summarize the learnings at the end of this post.  Again and again, it was a meaningful conversation.

And as we had our last gulps of fattening beverages, it marked the beginning of a real friendship.


Cha and I work from home, Regan works for the family business, while Carie and Honey work in the confinements of an office. And as much as we are all similar in some ways, we still have different views about values, happiness and how to take up life’s challenges.

Key Takeaways from Honey

This brainy girl knows things from ‘aardvark to zucchini’. She is our walking encyclopedia. But that’s not really what made her likable. Apart from being very smart, she is a very responsible sister to her younger brother. Well, you all know I’m a young mom, right? But I never thought that Honey is acting like one too – and started it even while she was still in school. To my surprise, she is handling it pretty well. In fact, better than I do. And I am definitely inspired.

Key Takeaways from Carie

I have worked with Carie for almost 2 years and I must say, she’s a workaholic.I treat her like my little sister who, at times, acts like the older one. If you want to know my deepest darkest secrets, you can just torture her (haha). But what I like about Carie is her dedication. Man oh man. She carries her work at home – on a weekend. Aside from that, Carie’s self – control is just amazing! That’s something that I am still learning. Maybe I should get tips from her, right? She’s very responsible and I am sure to see a very bright future ahead of her.

Key Takeaways from Cha

The only married lady from the group. What I like about Cha is her stubbornness. Or maybe it’s a trait youngest children have, right? (haha) Actually, it’s not really stubborn. It’s more like, knowing what you want and sticking to it – regardless if other people say NO. Her stories from the past inspired me so much. She had her share of heartaches, trips and bruises along the way, but she managed to stand up – gracefully I might add. Her insights about choosing lifelong partners made a ‘mark’ too. Her maturity is just beyond our years. And her kikayness is contagious. She’s the perfect epitome of ‘Bawal malosyang’!  Ok Cha, I will put on some colors from now on.

Key Takeaways from Regan

Back in college, it was rare that I would talk to Kuya Regan. His ‘hiphop’ look was quite intimidating *laughs*. Well, I don’t think we even talked before, right? So it came as a surprise when he started talking about ‘love’ during our booze session. I said to myself, “He made sense”. I honestly thought I couldn’t get anything from a rich kid who has everything in life. To date, we still haven’t figured out his real age. But I bet he looks younger than the numbers because of his positive attitude – which I need to be consistent at.

So ok? It’s not a bad idea to invite friends from different groups. I would actually recommend it to everyone. You’d be surprised how they get along. We might do it again, but please girls, no more white ladies and freaky stories on the road.


And after a couple of weeks, I was invited to hold a training for a rural bank. It was so much fun and I’d write about it soon.


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