Um, how much swag does my dad have?! He’s the perfect postcard cover boy. Needless to say, I’ve finally found some free time in between roommate hunting, school and work to sit down and sort through my vacation pics, so here we go: a vacation recap as promised!
I didn’t take as many pictures as I thought I would, but then again, three weeks really fly by when you’re surrounded by good food and even better company. I spent the first week of my vacation at my dad’s parent’s home where I got to see my dad’s side of the family for the first time in 11 years. We were all there to celebrate my grandparents renewing their vows for their 50th anniversay (!!!) Such an incredibly touching and inspiring event. I’m truly in awe of how much love a family can hold. (Yeah, I know, cheesy, but so true.)
The second week was filled with various trips led by my tour guide grandma (on my mother’s side) who fearlessly led me to Divisoria, gladly accompanied me on all of my shopping conquests and made sure I experienced every single mode of transportation available in the Philippines–that means jeepney, tricycle, bus, van, LRT and MRT, people–I’ve ridden them all!
Our last week was spent in Manila visiting more family, meeting up with local blogger Kookie from Death By Platforms, tackling the Mall of Asia and, of course, visiting the firing range–twice. Kind of a good thing to have police officer uncles, no? Totes making a promise to myself that I will get a gun license one day.
Anyways, our flight back to Winnipeg for January 23rd was cancelled and rescheduled for the following day due to plane parts that needed to be replaced (narrowly escaping a Final Destination scenario). It totally effed up our itinerary and was a royal pain in the ass (FOUR connecting flights and 24 hours in transit is not fun), but that’s okay because everyone on our flight got shipped to Manila Hotel, where we were greeted by five star service, amazing food and you know–free wifi and a shower instead of a tabo.
First up, a blogger meet up with the lovely Kookie from Death by Platforms. I had a great time chatting with her about the Manila blogging scene and visiting some of her favourite Makati shopping destinations. Wearing an AA top, F21 skirt, vintage belt, bag from Divisoria and Nine West shoes.
For my grandma’s 73rd birthday, my dad, aunt grandpa and I headed to Subic for a day trip including a tree top canopy ride, a 60 ft free fall, a stop at Ocean Adventures and finished it off with an afternoon at a deserted beach. Perfect day!
Snapped on our way to dinner at Manila hotel. I’m wearing that cape dress that I also wore to the SANDBOX party. Just flip the capes (it’s actually in two pieces, not one!) to the front and belt it–voila, a new dress! It actually took me twenty minutes to decided which way I wanted to wear it, it’s that versatile.
All in all, it was a life changing trip and I’m glad I went, despite my initial hesitation. This trip not only allowed me to bond with relatives I haven’t seen in ages but taught me lessons I’ll never forget.
1) Humility. No matter where I end up in life, I will always remember the sacrifices that my grandparents made to give their children (and their grandchildren) the best futures possible. Because of them, I am a living a poverty-free life in Canada, free to pursue any path I choose–and for that, I’m grateful.
2) Pride in my culture. Filipinos are hardworking, friendly people and the country itself is so rich in culture. Going there and experiencing all that they have to offer makes me proud to be Filipino, that’s for sure. Also, being there reminds me of how Canadian I am, and that makes me proud too, haha!
3) Blood is thicker than water. Growing up in Canada away from my extended family has made this a hard lesson to learn, but going back showed me that family will still care about you, even if you’ve been gone for more than a decade! There’s really no bond stronger than family and I’m glad I know that now, even if it took me 11 years to realize it. (Love you guys, I know you read my blog!)