Friday, January 30, 2015

Catching Up: Philippines | Winter Vacation Edition

Philippines. I can always count my trips to the motherland to be filled with family, memories, and good food. After all, Filipino culture does revolve around family and food ;)

What was even more special about this trip is that it involved New Year's Eve which is one of my favorite holidays when I'm in Philippines. Seriously, it's the best. It was even better this time around because I had Russell with me to experience it. I tried taking photos but some moments are impossible to capture. Just image seeing fireworks coming from every direction you look, loud noises everywhere, all the neighbors awake, and the smell of barbecue and food.

Here's one photo of Russ and I holding sparklers in Pampanga, Philippines on New Year's Eve.

I saw and visited many places in Philippines but that all seems kind of meaningless and redundant when it's family that made all the trips wonderful. I love being with my cousins, Titos (uncles), Titas (Aunts), Lolos (Grandpas), and Lolas (Grandmas). It's the best feeling to sit around a dining table with them and laugh and talk. Russell picked up so many Tagalog phrases that he would use at the right circumstances, delightfully surprising my family. This made my heart soar even more. To have a husband also embrace his wife's culture and family is one of the best feelings.


Subic Beach

Writing this all down makes me miss my vacation there so much. I still ache for it. Sometimes I catch myself calculating the current time in Manilla/Pampanga. I count those 16 hours ahead and wonder what my extended family is currently doing. Are they sleeping? Eating? Laughing? And then I'm pulled back to my current state and to my current time zone, and I get just a tad bit sad. I'm chasing the impossible time lapse.

Anyways, I'm all caught up. Readjusted to America and all it's glory. I remind myself that the majority of the world does not look like Southern California. And that I am spoiled for living here. But then I am also thankful.

One day I'll visit again. When I have kids (and when they're old enough to not cry and whine on an airplane), I'll be sure to take them there. I want them to see the beauty and joy of family, to eat until their stomachs hurt, and experience a culture that's warm and inviting.

Saturday, January 24, 2015

Catching Up: Singapore | Winter Vacation Edition


I've been away from blogging for awhile. And the more I don't write, the more I don't want to write because there's so much catching up to do. So here it goes...

Russell and I left California on December 23rd for a three week vacation. It was wonderful, tiring, heart-warming, and lovely. The first part of that trip was a 5 day trip to Singapore. I lived in Singapore for about two years of my childhood so it was a treat being able to take my little brother and Russell there--both of whom have never been to Singapore.

We walked down Orchard Street (main street for shopping and a tourist area):

Walked around Marina Bay:

Went to the aquarium:

James walking through the shark tank 
This is glow in the dark cotton candy
The Singapore Zoo:

And the Singapore Night Zoo Safari, definitely a unique experience:

Singapore is not that big of a country. I think we did everything we possibly could in our 5-day stay there. We came curious and ready and left satisfied and tired.

Look out for the next post where I write about the motherland: Philippines!