A Philippines Birthday - Skillful Cook
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A Philippines Birthday

Alrighty! As of yesterday, I'm 27 years old. And I have peace like a river in my soul, even though I'm getting wrinkles from laughing so much around these kids.

Hallelujah is right.

A Very Happy Birthday To Me

On Saturday, we headed out of town with some friends on the motorcycle. I took this picture from the road. Beeeautiful!

Beautiful ocean view.

And this one, too. This was about the time I stopped feeling anything from the waist down and thought about letting my backpack “slip off” my back. Three hours on a motorcycle is basically the same as a workout. Don't even argue that.

Shadows of people riding on a motor bike.

These are our biker gang friends, Brad and Kirstin. They're from California which is why I chose a cool California-esque filter for their photo. They are living in Cebu for a year just like us, working with some really cool ministries like an at-risk birthing clinic, public hospitals, and programs for street kids. They also do video, and they do it well.

People with helmets standing near the street.

We stayed at a cute little place that was built kind of into a mini-cliff over the water. We loved it, although I did see one lizard in our room but how weird is it that I no longer fully freak out about these things? I think I've lost my true self somewhere along the way.

This was the place where we went swimming, right off the mini-cliff. Specks = us going for a romantic swim. And by romantic I mean sunburn paranoia, jellyfish stings, and fear of everything that moves in water. I am really fun to swim with.

Ocean water.

And these are the Kawasan falls.

Well, these aren't the falls yet. This is the little river we walked along to get to the falls. You can't really see it in this picture, but there's a woman washing clothes in this river. The quiet sounds, the simplicity, and the fresh air of this place was so sweetly refreshing from the chaos of the city.

River running through the jungle.

THESE are the actual falls. I tried realllly hard to get a picture of the falls without a random person swimming in the photo, but no such luck. This man was intent on floating in one place for ten minutes.


Annnd then I had more chocolate chip cookie brownies. I just didn't want you to forget about them or anything.

Dessert bars.

There was driving, driving, and more driving.

Two people wearing helmets.

Followed by an absolutely breathtaking birthday lunch. Seriously still can't believe that was real.

People sitting at a table.

We were only in this little beach town for one night, but that's all you need to get one of these delicious sunsets.

Ocean view during sunset.

And then there's this.

The most heart-tugging thing of my whole weekend was a homemade photo book given to me by one of my students. She made this construction paper-ribbon-sticker-photo book with all her beloved crafting materials and her very own photos. The thing about this that gets me is that these girls don't have lots of crafty supplies to work with. They have a handful photos that belong to them, a few stickers, and they keep all of it in their only safe and private place: under their mattresses.

When I saw that she had used her cutest, newest, and most prized Angry Birds stickers on every page of this book, my heart just burst, in a happy thankful completely humbled way.

What a gift these kids are to the world.

Birthday Book.

I was far from home and missing all my friends and family, but it was a supremely happy and memorable birthday. Thank you for all your wishes and I hope you all had a great weekend, too, wherever in the world you were.

PS. I have a hugely huge quinoa decision to make. Help?

Filed Under: Living Abroad Travel

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  1. Skillful Cook Logo

    The pictures of your weekend are wonderful, but the picture of your handmade present – priceless!!! Praying for you as your year comes to a close.

  2. Skillful Cook Logo

    Wow, what a gorgeous place and what a sweet gift from your student! It seems as though you are truly living life to the fullest. Happy Birthday!

    I have Mediterranean Quinoa recipe that I love but I don know how fitting it is for Cebu…what about black bean & quinoa tostadas with mango salsa and cilantro-lime yogurt sauce?

  3. Skillful Cook Logo

    Ohhh my goodness that looks like the most beautiful place on earth! What a great way to spend your birthday. Side note: your new picture on the top sidebar is adorable but I love the one of you and Bjork! Anyways, happy birthday!

  4. Skillful Cook Logo

    Mexican quinoa casserole, please. 🙂
    A lovely birthday and gift!
    I could listen to that video over and over and over.

  5. Skillful Cook Logo

    Those kiddos are adorable Lindsay!!! And happy birthday! I had no idea I was a year older than you. I look up to you so much regardless. Sounds like a perfect birthday! A gorgeous motorcycle ride, chocolate chip brownies, and an amazing lunch. You deserve it!

  6. Skillful Cook Logo

    Happy Birthday!! Welcome to my age 🙂 What a beautiful place you traveled to. Simply breathtaking!

    While you were busy having fun on the other side of the world, I was busy making your Creamy Cauliflower Garlic Rice. It was amazing!! I even have leftover sauce to make a pasta dish this coming week. Win-win!

  7. Skillful Cook Logo

    I grew up singing that same song in church! And we had little dance movements to go with all of the verses too… Peace like a river = hold up a peace sign on both hands and shake our faces back and forth. Love like the ocean = heart sign in front of your chest; then jump into a surfing position. Joy like a fountain = point our fingers at our big smile; then pose on one foot like “I’m a little tea pot.” (Yes, my mom was the children’s choir director… We’re a funny bunch!)

    Looks like a beautiful & blessed day — happy belated birthday!!

  8. Skillful Cook Logo

    Hey Lindsay…
    Happy Birthday 🙂 [belated 😉 ]

    I stumbled upon your blog many times during last year for one recipe or other (Although I rarely get chance to make any!)

    Your blog is a real inspiration to me.. Specially the way you and Bjork work so sweetly and smartly on it!! .. I want to make a blog too.. I am really amateur in this field but reading so many blogs give me lots of hope to do it someday soon! I still don’t have a job so I can’t really afford much ( don’t want parents to invest!! lol ego! but soon it’s going to change for good *yay* hehe) ….

    Well Just wanted to say this on your special day 🙂 Hope I made you smile…

    See ya.. keep smiling and cooking!! 🙂

  9. Skillful Cook Logo

    Happy Birthday! I can’t believe I’m older than you, you seem so much more mature than me! 🙂

    That water looks so beautiful. I would have never believed all the things I also fear are lurking around.

  10. Skillful Cook Logo

    Happy Happy Birthday Lindsay!!! Looks like you had a wonderful Birthday and what a sweet gift you were given.

    I’ve not been on a motor bike but you’ve totally convinced me that it’s a workout.

  11. Skillful Cook Logo

    Happy birthday! Beautiful photos. Is there a way I can send you some crafting supplies for the kids?

    1. Skillful Cook Logo

      Thank you Sarah! That’s so sweet. Maybe it would be best if you emailed me so I can help you figure out a way to make it happen! lindsay at skillfulcook.us

    1. Skillful Cook Logo

      Every time we drive somewhere that takes longer than 10 minutes, I feel like I need to go home and sleep for an hour. It’s exhausting!