How time flies. It’s already the third month of 2014, and this would only mark the first post of my year. I have been too busy, and accumulating way too much backlog for the blog. I’ve finally found some time amidst a busy school week and a hectic work schedule to properly sit down and go through August’s iPhone snaps. 7 months, has it been that quick?
The month of August was the last of my summer holidays before I returned to school to resume my third year of studies. And of course before that happened, I was sure to jam pack my schedule with lots of shoots and exciting escapades overseas. I struck off three new countries on my travel-bucket-list, and got together with the best man I could ever ask God for. August holds some of the fondest memories for me, and I will cherish these moments forever.
It has only been a few short days since my return from Bangkok, and my room was messy again. Strewn with clothes on the floor, I was busy packing for a 4D3N trip to Bali with Drea and Charlotte. We were going to be shooting lookbooks for 3 online stores – All Would Envy, The Tinsel Rack and Lollyrouge in Sanur and Ubud. We had a morning flight to catch, so our pseudo-family (N and Mattie) sent us to the airport and had breakfast together before they sent us off.
When we arrived in Bali, we were picked up by the concierge of Mahagiri Villas. We drove for 30 minutes before we reached Sanur, where our beautiful villa was. When we opened the doors to our villa, we were greeted by a private pool, 3 bathrooms (perfect for the three of us), complete with an outdoor shower and a living pavilion! It was such a beautiful and relaxing space to be in. We unpacked and got ready to start shooting All Would Envy’s lookbook.
As the last rays of light peeped from behind our villa, we wrapped up for the day and headed back to freshen up before having a welcome dinner that was specially prepared by the restaurant at Mahagiri. It was only 7pm but the skies had darkened beyond its time, and temperatures were dropping quick. We were seated at the outdoor lounge pavilion and soon the cold became unbearable. We quickly finished up, thanked and wished the staff goodnight before retiring to bed. Our day was going to start extremely early the next day.
It was a quarter to 6 in the morning when we boarded the complimentary bus service from the villa to Sanur Beach. In a flash of minutes, we arrived at our destination. The moon was still hanging brightly in the background, and the skies were stained deep blue and purple, with a hint of orange at the horizon. It was especially windy and cold in the morning so we huddled by the breakwater, waiting to catch a glimpse of the first light of the day. Sunrises are such amazing things. They say that sunlight is the most precious gold to be found on Earth, and I couldn’t agree any more. In the presence of such magnificence, it makes me wonder how insignificant we all really are. I guess sunrises make people pensive too.
So I tried to capture it all by trying to stitch several photos together but it was nowhere near successful. I wish you were there to experience the scene with me, to take it all in. It’s true after all, that beautiful things don’t ask for attention.
We finished shooting by 9am, and went back to have breakfast before checking out. Mahagiri was very hospitable, and even offered to have their concierge send us to our next villa in Ubud, which was an hour away. They also had cookies in the car, and we pigged out (occasionally) on the ride. When we reached our villa, Viceroy Bali, we were taken around in a buggy for a quick tour of the place. Ubud gives off a different feeling from Sanur; it’s surrounded with lush greenery, scenic rice fields and a patchwork of traditional villages, perfect for relaxing in tranquility. We were given the Deluxe Terrace Villa upon check in, and its luxurious interior immediately made us feel pampered. We also had a private pool just outside our bedroom, and what caught our attention was the Bale Bengong (Balinese Gazebo) that was perched over the pool. It was beautiful and overlooked the river gorge, and we would have our breakfast here the next day just quietly enjoying the morning air.
We photographed The Tinsel Rack’s lookbook for the rest of the afternoon and finished up during the sunrise next morning. Drea is the only person who is willing to wake up at the most unearthly hours to catch the golden light, and I’m so thankful for that. We lounged around for the rest of the morning, and checked out when it was time. Moving between different accommodations can be very troublesome, but we were excited to visit our next villa which was not too far away.
We arrived at our villa mid-afternoon at Kayumanis Ubud, and were served welcome drinks by the poolside after we had our luggages sorted. While waiting for our villa to be ready, we explored the vicinity and found the Ayung River right behind the compound. There, kids were playing in the water and they looked so carefree, unplagued by the worries of adulthood. Our villa was ready when we got back and we wasted no time in shooting Lollyrouge’s collection at the villa. The sun sets quickly in Bali, so it wasn’t long before it was dark again. We had dinner delivered to our villa and ate them by our private pool, talking our hearts out. This was already our last night in Bali, yet there was still so much left to see and experience. We promised each other to return to this beautiful island.
It was back to a hectic week of work and social life in Singapore before I was off jet setting to Cebu, Philippines with P. I don’t know what led us to choose that destination but we did, and we spent the next three days in a quiet town he had chosen, Moalboal. When we reached our resort, we rented a scooter and P drove us around the town to explore till the sun set. We rode to Moalboal’s White Beach, but it was quiet and devoid of people since the skies were already getting dark.
The next day at dawn P dragged me out of bed for breakfast, something that I have never practiced as a habit. He’d tell me that breakfast was they way to start your day right, but I’d grumpily disagree, as I wiped the sleep from my eyes. By 6.30am the skies were already bright, so we decided to go on a snorkeling trip till noon. P is a diver (read: really good swimmer) so water is his element and he enjoys being surrounded by the wildlife underwater; while I’m basically chicken – I panic unless I have a life jacket on.
By noon we were back at our resort for lunch before we took the scooter out for a half-an-hour ride to the next town, Badian to visit the Kawasan Falls. It was a really scenic ride as we passed by little villages, beaches and lots of rice fields. When we were finally there we put our belongings on the rocks nearby and sat ourselves in the cool water. For the next hour we were chatting like we were in our own world. It was here that he asked me to be his girlfriend, and of course I agreed. Now that’s a way to romanticize our story, haha.
We rode back to Moalboal quietly; my arms around his waist and head against his shoulders as the wind licked our faces. We had pizza and beer for dinner, and played several games of pool against each other. When time came for us to sleep, we held each other and cuddled till the cold night turned to dawn. We checked out the next morning and said our goodbyes before taking a 4-hour cab ride back to the airport in Cebu. Maybe not this sleepy town again but I guess I’ll be back, Philippines.
I finished up the last of summer with shoots and preparation for my upcoming trip to Paris with Drea which included getting my first manicure and changing my hair color. I’ve always had crazy hairstyles (having gone from waist-long to boy-cut to dying crazy colors and even shaving the sides of my head, so I was happy when my hairstylist suggested the new combination. I don’t have a good photo here but hopefully you’ll see better ones in my Paris photo diary.
It’s only been half a month but so much has happened already. What happened for the remaining month included me going back to school, and then skipping a week of classes to go to Paris with Drea (I can’t wait to share that on another post with you!). Emerging from the turbulence I experienced in life, I now understand that we all have the ability to make choices that makes us a happier and better person. Just maybe, maybe happiness can be forever.
P/S: An exciting change is about to come to this site… and that will be released mid next week, along with an exciting announcement. Please, please stay tuned! And thank you for reading my long overdue post! x