D A Y F I V E : DEC 29 2018 – GREENHILLS
With my cousins, brother, uncle, and pops – we spent the whole day at the Greenhills Shopping Centre in San Juan, Philippines. Something cool about this mall is that it’s just like any other mall you’d find in Canada, except there’s a flea market section, also known as “ukay-ukay” aka a bargain shopping mall. Asides from the shopping, they had tons of food places to try, one day wasn’t enough to explore the place. Not to mention, there was a Tim Hortons! (So to all my fellow Canadians reading this – if you’re ever in Philippines and need your Tim’s run – go to Greenhills in San Juan!
Once you get into the clothing, shoes, souvenir sections all we heard was, “Yes! Ma’am/Sir! Bili na kayo” (“Yes ladies and gentlemen, come and buy!”). Let me tell you, I spent the whole day parusing through clothes, shoes, and bags – all of which I purchased. I spent a total of 9000 pesos on 9 articles of clothing, two pairs of shoes, and two bags (a purse and a front sling bag), plus some food! Which, altogether adds up to about $242 CAD! One single pair of shoes would’ve been just half of what I spent!
We ended the day with a 1-piece chicken and rice combo from Jolibee, and a Timmie’s run. Bargain shopping – CHECK!
D A Y F O U R : DEC 28 2018 – FIRST TIME BONDING WITH COUSINS
We woke up early this morning to make it to the man-made beach at Azure Beach Resort. The place was great, but the personnel definitely lacked communication with management or consistent training. Let’s just say the process to actually get to the pool/beach took longer than it had to. (Check out my vlog to hear about our experience!)
After rinsing up and checking out, we drove about 2.5 hours north to Baliwag, where my mom’s family was. Today’s gathering was marked with karaoke, lots of food, and teaching my cousins how to play “Spoons”. Since only one room in the house had airconditioning, we jammed ourselves into that room and played Spoons with as much energy as we had despite the many bodies we had in there keeping us heated! haha.
One of my cousins kept losing to the rest of us because his focus was on getting the spoon, to which he was often the one without one. I think watching him get frustrated was more entertaining than the game itself. We ended the night with Ube-Keso (Yam and cheese flavoured ice cream) to cool us down from all the karaoke and Spoons.
I also got to meet my 13-year old inspiration who added me on Instagram and shared with me her comic creations. Anne, if you’re reading this, know that you’re a superstar and you’re more than capable of continuing to grow your creative talents and sharing your creations with the world! You may think Instagram is a small thing, but girl – keep at it and see where it takes you! I’m so glad we got to chat and hang out. P.s. Your english is pretty legit! So come to Canada when you’re ready 😛 Much love my dearest.
Day four – you’ve been good. But I’m definitely fighting to keep my eyes open so BAM. Good night!
D A Y T H R E E : DEC 25 2018 – MALIGAYANG PASKO!
Made it to Manila and reunited with my family! Super tired and hungry, so we pick up some chicken asado siopao from 7 Eleven and check into our airbnb condo.
The room starts lighting up from the sunrise and the air conditioning rarely feels like it’s on. The cars, jeepneys, tricycles and motorcycles aka “motors” are already roaring out there and I can’t seem to get myself to sleep anymore. I’m excited!
Today’s the day we go to my dad’s hometown and barangay (village) to celebrate Pasko with his uncle whom he grew up with and considers a father figure, and his family. My parents prepared care packages to distribute amongst the barangay. I’m really looking forward to the gift of sharing Jesus and His blessings for us through gifting my fellow kababayan with useful items!
Fighting to keep my eyes open. I’m still so jetlag I’m raising my eyebrows to keep me awake.
We spent the first half of the day in Balut, Tondo, Manila with my dad’s family.
D A Y T W O: DEC 24 2018 STILL TRAVELLING
Finally arrived in Seoul after 13 hours and met a new friend, Bryan. I learned that he was in his third year of university and traveling to Vietnam for the holidays. We shared stories about life and really just about anything and everything, even our faith!
It’s pretty cool how a complete stranger ended up being my food explorer partner for our 4 hour layover in Terminal 2.
Waiting in line at Gong Cha to satisfy my bubble tea craving while Bryan purchased a special Korean Red Ginseng tea for his grandma. He met up with me while I was in line still deciding and insisted on buying my drink as a gift.” Say what now? “Wow are you sure?” I asked. “Yeah. You shared candy with me.” LOL.
I felt a tap on my right shoulder. “Excuse me please pull up your chair.” Really? Just about to doze off and hold it right there, it’s time to eat. Dang it. Well I did as I was told and ate anyway. Couldn’t quite finish it all. I mean, I did have 4 pieces of spicy friend chicken and a bubble tea…
Officially landed at Ninoy Aquino International Airport. Since I’m seated near the back, I’ll likely not be moving for a few minutes, hence why i can type this right now. I’ve decided to go into this vacay have no expectations for this vacation. My hope is that this trip shows me more of God’s will for me and take time to appreciate the life He’s blessed me with.
Spending the holidays in Philippines with my family means so much to me. I’m excited to see the joy in my fellow kababayan.
Finally reunited with my family and settled in our airbnb for 2 nights in Paranaque. Pops bought some chicken siopao and ice cold water from 7 Eleven and mom’s thanking our family friend for the accommodation arrangement. Meanwhile I’m eating my siopao and vlogging at the table and really just happy to be spending Christmas with my family in their home country.
D A Y O N E: DEC 23 2018 – TRAVEL DAY
At 10:35am, I sat in the area close to my gate. Tuned into Jojo’s Remake of her 2004 Jojo album and couldn’t help but jam out solo reminiscing on my high school years. Top faves would have to be “Weak”, “Baby It’s You”, “Leave (Get Out)”, and “Never Say Goodbye”.
Definitely feeling super excited and hungry with a snack-size Matcha Monsoon and Lugaw (Filipino version of congee) for breakfast. I know great combo right? haha. Really looking forward to meeting my parents and brother in Manila, who’ve been there for the last 2 weeks. Who thought living alone with Cozmo and going to work could get so stressful! Lowkey, I enjoyed the stress of visiting friends, cleaning the house, and packing because it showed me how important time management is (even more!).