Hi! I know I’ve been missing in action for quite a while now. If you follow me on Facebook and Instagram, you know that I went home to the Philippines a month ago for my brother’s wedding, and of course, take a holiday while I’m at it.
Today’s post is all about that trip. Yeah, yeah, it’s been long overdue, but better late than never, right?
We spent a total of 19 days in the Philippines. I’ll try to make this entry as brief as possible.
We had a short layover in Vancouver, and a fairly long one in Korea. We planned to take the Korea Transit tour, but we ran out of time so I just did lots of Duty Free shopping at the airport.
When we arrived in Manila, my mom, dad, brother, and then future sister-in-law greeted us with warm hugs and kisses. We were all in tears. It was a very emotional moment for our family, especially for my mom, who has been enduring a knee injury for more than a year now. We went straight to Shakey’s to have our post-arrival bonding. Van and I missed eveything on the menu!
Sumptous meal at Shakey’s
My days in the Philippines were basically planned out right before we even arrived. I already booked my friends to meet me at specific dates and times. I had to make the most of of my short stay! See the photos below.
My Friends Since Elementary and Highschool
Former Workmates At My Nursing Copywriter Job
My Cousins From The Doctor Side
I also watched live Philippine volleyball action. I so missed watching live. Because the game was held in the far south of Manila, my friends and I had to ride the PNR, which stands for Philippine National Railway. The experience was far from comfortable. In fact, I would never ever do it again. However, because the train passed all throughout Manila, I was able to see the city in its raw form – the slums, the big buildings, the jampacked highways. I was immersed back to my roots.
I also brought my family to the Feast, a gathering of the Light of Jesus family every week. I am happy that I was able to bring them there. It was a wish granted in the perfect time.
The Feast Bay Area PICC
The Feast Pioneer With My Fellow Bosconian
The Feast Ortigas Galleria- Monday With My Former Schoolmate/Workmate
My favorite parts of the trip were my family’s bonding moments whether at home or outside.
Bonding At Home
Jeepney Ride To Divisoria
Van Reunited With Childhood Playmates
Araneta Center And Live PBA Game
We also went to my in-laws house to have some BBQ and simple get together. We missed each other so much! It was a fun day of catching up, especially for Van and his cousin, Amara.
Bonding With The Doctor Side
The day before my brother’s wedding, we checked in at a hotel near the church and reception. We bonded in the hotel and also had time to go to a nearby mall. More bonding!
Day Before My Brother’s Wedding
The highlight of my trip was my brother’s wedding. I was so proud of him and his wife for pulling off everything. It was one of the best weddings I’ve been to. No bias. It was well planned and it was an enjoyable one. It was also a milestone for our family that we will forever cherish.
My Brother’s Wedding (Raw Photos)
The remaining days were just pure bonding. We even saw The Lion King movie on our very last day in Manila. Talk about stretching the time!
On our way back, we were able to avail of one Korea Transit tour. We went to Gyeongbokgung palace and Insadong. It was a mix of traditional field trip and shopping! It was so fun to finally walk on the streets of Korea. It felt like I was in a K-drama or something.
On this trip, I realized that apart from God, it is only our family who can give that sense of warmth and joy in our hearts. Although Canada is our home now, I can’t help but question myself, every now and then: “Should we just go back for good? I miss the comforts of having my dad, mom, and brother with me. I miss our daily bonding. I miss having a noisy house. I miss being physically part of something I know I truly belong to.” But then again, there was God telling me to shrug off the superficial feeling of emptiness. He repeatedly said, “My child, you have to go. You have to trust me. I have a plan. Follow what I say.” It is only God who can fill the void in my heart, and I know that as long as I keep on running to Him every time I feel down, I am good.
There you go. My Manila trip summed up the best I could. I also made a vlog about it. Watch it below if you want to see our adventures in action.
Thanks for reading! Let me know what you think about this entry, and I hope to see you in the next post. Ciao!