Philippines: On My Visit After 16 Years

I’ve been wanting to blog about our travels since the day we got to the Philippines. I’ve mentioned before that I have so much to blog about (travel reviews being the main thing on my mind). Now my hubby, Miggz and I are back to the States, enjoying the comfort of our familiar home (but not the jet lag). I have yet to write my detailed travel logs, but here’s a short list of what we’ve done during our past two-and-a-half months in the Motherland:

– Celebrated Christmas and the whole month of December with my grandmother 🙂

– Braved the crowds and bargain-shopped at Divisoria, a shopping district notorious for its dirt-cheap goods (with prices less than 50% off or more than those you’d see at the malls)

– Ate at our old-time favorite places to eat (Jollibee, Chowking, Shakey’s, Greenwich, Goldilocks, Red Ribbon, The French Baker, etc.), and tried a million-and-one other food stalls/eateries/restaurants (Mang Inasal, Shawarma, House of Minis, Racks, Breadbox, Bibingkinita, Tia Mare’s, Cygma, Kogi, Conti’s, Vivian’s, and a few more I’ve yet to recall)

– Visited relatives from both Terrence’s and my sides of the family

– Shopped some more at Manila’s many malls (from the posh shops of Eastwood, The Fort, Podium, to the mid-range stores of SM Megamall, Robinson’s Metro East, Sta. Lucia, and even the bargain stalls at Tiendesitas and Greenhills)

– Visited our old neighborhoods in Kaimitoville VV2 and in Marikina, if not just to see what has changed on the outside edifices of the places we used to call “home”

– Met up with childhood friends, old schoolmates and cherished acquaintances

– Visited popular Philippine vacation spots (Boracay, Cebu, Bohol, Camarines Sur and Albay) and enjoyed what this country is all about: its natural beauty

– Experienced Philippine traffic and pollution, though we could have really done without those…

– Watched a local concert by the ASAP Sessionistas

– Flew nine flights with a toddler (Phoenix to Honolulu, Honolulu to Manila, Manila to Caticlan, Caticlan to Cebu, Tagbilaran to Manila, Manila to Naga, Naga to Manila, Manila to Honolulu, Honolulu to Phoenix), rode a SuperCat ferry somewhere in between (Cebu to Tagbilaran), and SURVIVED each one!

– Learned to pack our luggage within the constraints of Hawaiian Airlines, and carry them through check-in, security and customs with finesse, I must say, thanks to my hubby

– Had the trip of a lifetime

When a friend of mine inquired through email how I felt about returning to the States, she asked if I were “excited? sad? or satisfied?” In a sense, I was all three combined. I felt excited about coming home to our usual comforts (the main things being our well-appointed bathrooms, wide roadways and Miguel’s high chair), but I was also extremely saddened by the fact that we were leaving (though THIS did not hit me until we were at the airport…saying good-bye to my grandma was tough!).

All in all, I was…satisfied. A couple of friends and relatives questioned why we chose to stay there that long, and after this experience, I must say that I would not have had it any other way. I am happy for the chance we were given to come home and enjoy every single aspect of our trip, and have enough down time in between to just, well, LIVE there. Having Miggz enjoy the company of my grandmother is probably the biggest “pasalubong” I can give her, and the memories of which the best one I can bring back.

For myself. For my family. And for Miguel.

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2 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. nadia
    Feb 18, 2011 @ 10:15:08

    16 years! That’s a really long time 🙂

    But looking though the gorgeous photographs (I am totally jealous of your speedlight), it appears like you all had a grand time in the Philippines. Even Miguel doesn’t seem to mind the long trip.

    Thanks for sharing your vacation with us 🙂


    • newmamma
      Feb 21, 2011 @ 12:15:46

      Hi Nadia!

      Thanks so much for stopping by… we’re quite thankful Miguel loves to travel also. You never know what you’re gonna get with these babies, you know? 🙂

      I enjoyed your travel photographs as well. Keep ’em coming!

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