Because Lia was promised before I left, and the entire week we were not together, and right before and even during the plane ride from A. Soriano Hangar to Lio Airport, that she is going to where the beach is, it was imperative that we go to the beach the very same day she arrived.

I like hanging out at Makulay Lodge and Villas because:

1. I know the owners so I am comfortable hanging out there without being a guest.

2. It is quiet in Caalan. There is also a good, though relatively rocky, beach, with clean sand.

3. It is the first lodge you see when you turn the corner in Caalan.  The entire Caalan beach is also somewhat extensive and there are so many things to see and places to be at there too.

It was nice that my 2.5 year old goddaughter, Hiraya, was there too. Hiraya is Likha’s daughter. Likha and I were together a lot when I was living in El Nido back in 2005. He, my co-teacher Eric, together with Derrick, our neighbor who also happens to own a boat and is also a licensed tour guide, and I, could be seen together frequently back then. I first saw Hiraya back in 2010 when she was just 3 months old. She is a quite the replica of Likha’s wife Dada.



Trellia and Hiraya meet each other for the first time. And even though Hiraya is known to be a bully, she and Lia got along well enough.


I do not have any worries with Lia getting along with other kids, or even grown-ups. I have been traveling with her ever since she was born and she is used to different people and different environments. I have yet to see a person she cannot get along with or she does not charm enough to like her. I am quite proud of this little girl of mine. She is so much a better person than I am!


They were playing together in the sand. Lia even got Hiraya to swim with her later on. Hiraya got scolded by her father, but I just laughed. Lia was already swimming in the water with all her clothes on and Hiraya was there with her, just standing but knee-deep in water nevertheless.

I had brought a swimsuit for Lia, just in case she wanted to swim, but she just got in the water without changing. I also brought change of clothes so that was still fine with me. I can never be seen walking in town without a big backpack, or even two bags in tow, because I always have to bring my camera and accessories, my laptop, and Lia’s many things! Having traveled with Lia and brought her everywhere with me ever since she was little, I have gotten used to that. I don’t even notice how big and heavy my bags are until someone points it out to me. That’s okay though. I like being prepared for all kinds of things – such as sudden urges to be in the water.

Lia spent a lot of time playing in the sand though, with her borrowed toys. Her father did not send with her her own beach toys so we just had to look for some in town.


Lia has known all this time where her mother was, and that she was going to be with her soon. She said to her father as she was about to leave, “Papa, I’m going to miss you.. but I’m going to the beach!”

And because of that, Lia has to go to the beach everyday.