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The reasons why we returned to Hawaii

Yes, we booked ourselves a return trip back to Hawaii. Heck, we used our points (an average of 17,000 points and $11 in fees per person). Unlike our past trips to Hawaii, this one was booked far in advance. I knew back in January that it’d be another crazy busy Spring and Summer for the family, loaded with lots of activities. As if we really needed reasons to go back to Hawaii. Here’s a quick recap of our Winter and Spring crazy family schedule.

  • Trip to Japan

We spent our Spring Break in Japan, there were 19 of us, and what a blast it was. We went from Tokyo, to Osaka, to Nara, to Kyoto, and then back to Kyoto and had the best of times!

Arashiyama Bamboo Forest
  • Basketball and Track & Field

Evan had an awesome basketball season from January to March. He was also selected to play for the all-star team. Shortly after his season, Madison and Caitlin also had their track and field season with the Camarillo Cosmos and Camarillo High. Nancy and I also volunteered on a few home meets. We’ve been part of the Cosmos family for a few years now. Ethan and Madison also ran for Cosmos.

  • Back to Cheerleading in the Fall

Two weeks after returning from Japan, Madison decided to try out again for cheer. After one week of practice, she tried out on a Friday, and learned later that evening that she made it on the JV squad. Cheer has taken much of her remaining few weeks of school as they had began practicing for the next season from May to June.

  • Back to back birthdays
    • Caitlin and Evan celebrated their birthdays at the end of June. Evan was born June 26, Caitlin on June 27. We were in the midst of preparing for Ethan’s graduation party, and didn’t have much time to celebrate their birthdays. We took Evan to Denny’s and The Cheesecake Factory, and later that evening, the entire fam went to In N Out Burger to celebrate his birthday.
    • The following day was Caitlin’s birthday. Caitlin also had her expanders for her braces, talk about a fun way of celebrating her birthday. That evening, per her request, we took the entire family to Souplantation.
  • Madison and wisdom teeth – to add more pain to the week, Madison had 4 of her wisdom teeth pulled out. That was fun. She was put to sleep, and was in pain for 2-3 days.
  • Ethan, Ethan, Ethan

It was all about Ethan and his last few weeks as a Senior at Camarillo High School

College acceptance

Prior to leaving for Japan, Ethan began receiving his college acceptance letters. He applied for a dozen of colleges, and had to decide which one to pick. He was accepted at:

  • CSUCI – California State University Channel Islands
  • SFSU – San Francisco State University
  • UH – University of Hawaii
  • CPP – California Polytechnic State University Pomona
  • CSUMB – California State University, Monterey Bay
  • CSUSM – California State University San Marcos
  • CSULB – California State University Long Beach
  • CLU – California Lutheran University

In the end, he chose to attend and committed himself to Cal Poly Pomona. He will be majoring in Biology.

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Niya’s Debut

Just a few days after we returned from Japan, one of Ethan’s childhood best friends, Niya, celebrated her 18th birthday by having a debut, a coming of age party celebrating her life as she entered adulthood.

It wasn’t your typical food and socializing party, but 18 of Niya’s friends  had prepared for weeks and learned their cotillion waltz and urban dance routines. Nancy and I, along with many of the parents and families, watched all of their hardwork when they performed during Niya’s debut. This was the waltz which they danced to “A Million Dreams” from The Greatest Showman.


Senior Prom

His date for the prom was Ashlyn. He has known Ashlyn since they were in elementary schoo. They both had a great time with the rest of their friends during their prom at Spanish Hills Country Club.

Grad Nite

Unlike my grad nite from a lifetime ago (where my class graduated on a Friday afternoon, and by 7pm we all left for Disneyland for our grad nite), Ethan’s Grad Nite was more like a Grad Day. The Senior class went to Disneyland for the day and evening, and it took place weeks before graduation.

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Grad Nite at Disneyland’s California Adventure


After 4 years at Adolfo Camarillo High School, Ethan finally graduated on June 14. He was in the Senior Cabinet (Senior Class Treasurer). He was able to speak and introduce himself to whole school (along side with the other Senior Class officers), and announced his plans for college. It was a memorable evening for the whole family.


Salute to the Graduates

When you’re a Filipino in Ventura County, you have an opportunity to join Salute To The Graduates, an event sponsored by FCVCI (Filipino Community of Ventura County) that honors Filipino-American high school graduates and celebrate their achievements. There were 44 graduates all over Ventura County who chose to join this year’s program. These young adults learned the Philippine National Anthem, danced to native folk dance (Tinikling, Maglalatik, Estudiantina), and performed hip hop routines. These kids spent 3-4 months of their high school lives and bonded along the way.

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Two parties, one weekend

A week after Salute to the Graduates, one would think that we’d be done, but no. The family had two parties all in one weekend (just a a couple of days before we left for Hawaii)

  • Rovee and Armily’s Wedding Shower – our nephew, Rovee, and his fiancee’ Armily had a wedding shower last Saturday. They held their party at the Clubhouse in our neighborhood. It was all hands on deck between families where we entertained their close family friends who are part of their wedding this August. There was a little program, I was the emcee for the evening. Looking forward to their wedding in a few weeks.

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  • Ethan’s Graduation Party – we’ve been planning on Ethan’s party for awhile and couldn’t decide when to hold the party. We had the shower, graduation, Salute to the Graduates, church events, etc. We also had this trip to Hawaii planned. We had to work around all of those dates and decided to have his party last Sunday, the day after Rovee and Armily’s wedding shower. Crazy? Perhaps. But it was another all hands on deck party. It made it somewhat easier to know that we had the Clubhouse all to ourselves, we had most of party materials already there, the tables/chairs were already laid out, so we thought it was a good decision.

Looking back, it really was like killing two birds with one stone. We ordered quite a food items to serve, while I decided to prepare Beef Sirloin Tip Roast, Cebuchon (Roast Pork), Bow Tie Chicken Pasta Salad.. It was all a blur. An afternoon of seeing many friends and family who came out to celebrate a major milestone in our son’s life. Thank you to all of who celebrated with us.

So there. A crazy busy life these past few months. When we thought of going on vacation, it was unanimous. A trip to Hawaii was in order. We know Kauai well. We have our own pace. We know exactly which beaches to visit and most of all, we know lots of local foodie places to eat. No need to make extensive plans…Kauai is home. We are home.

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