TRAVEL // Back to Baguio

I'm feeling quite sick today and didn't feel inspired to come up with a particularly fabulous outfit. Instead, I thought I'd do a different sort of post reflecting on a trip I took last summer.

So in case you did not know, I am half Filipino. 
My mom occasionally goes back to visit family and if I'm lucky, I'm able to tag along. I've gone to the Philippines four times now, and this last trip was one of the best!

First, know this. We do not stay in a hotel like tourists. Since so much of our family is there, we just stay with my Auntie Hilda who has an extra bedroom.
I got to experience and live like the average Filipino does for two months. And let me tell you what I learned.

We Americans are incredibly spoiled.

The Philippines is a third world country, so while rich in beauty, most of it's people live in poverty.

A boy hunting for tiny fish called kaling in a river.
My cousins told me when they go down these steps when it's raining (which believe me, it does a LOT of that in the Philippines), they call it the Steps To Hell. Ha, there were thousands of steps to climb!

This is how they transport their vegetables to the market. Haha, pretty nifty huh? The mountains are so rugged, this is the easiest way to send their chaote to the market.

My little cousin John Art was more brave than me. Here we are looking down on the city of La Trinidad.

I don't know why it didn't hit me until this last trip, but I'm so glad it opened my eyes!
Instead of John Deere tractors, I saw wooden plows pulled by caribous. Instead of flashy shirts and mini skirts, I saw worn out, second-hand clothes. And instead of a complaining attitude, I saw smiles and genuine happiness. 

I know this doesn't apply to every Filipino there, but many live incredibly simple lives. And get this. They are happy

I got to hang out with my penpal Roan at her school for a day! Now that was fun :)

My adorable younger cousins, from left to right: Junior and John Art

Haha, so Junior doesn't look very happy in this one. The older boy is my dear cousin, Makoy, and to the right, my other cousin, Mylene.

Okay ladies. This was entirely a tourist thing to do. But hey, I thought why not? These "warriors" were fully costumed in Igorot wear and were cajoling me to take a picture with them. Apparently since they draped two scarves on me, this meant they dubbed me a princess!

Finally. These two boys give me so much grief when I try to get them to smile for the camera. As you can see, Jayvee (on the far left) was still struggling to maintain a tough composure. Yeah, didn't work too well ;)

Once again, the smiliest and sweetest cousin, John Art. That boy is just too adorable. He liked to walk with me whenever I went out and I called him my little bodyguard.

So often I find myself thinking how unfair it is that so-and-so has their own car, or how others in my school are so lucky to have a bottomless credit card. 

But then I stop and think back to Baguio and the lessons I learned there, and I realize what a spoiled brat I am. Harsh words, but it's true. I always want something more than what I have, most of which is totally unnecessary. 

However, I am slowly learning to appreciate what I do have and make the best of it. My trip to the Philippines has definitely affected my perspective for the better!

I cannot wait to visit again!
So, to end this post, here are some more pictures I took while I was there. Hope you enjoyed this one. 

Mmmm, I absolutely loved eating all the Filipino foods available! Babinka is one of my favorite, and they have so many different kinds.

The traditional Igorot clothing they used to wear. Igorots are a tribe in the mountain province that my mom is a part of. So that makes me an Igorot too!

Walking around the market

I welcome you to the bathroom I had to endure with for two months. On more than one occasion did a cockroach sneak up on me while I was in here too. Horrible memories...

Oh yes, see those buckets? That's the shower. You fill em up and pour, pour, pour until you're clean. When I got home, I went into my bathroom and almost wept at how beautiful it was. Haha, just goes to show, you don't what you've got until it's gone!

PS: Thank you to all my new followers! I'm so grateful for the growing feedback on my blog. You all make it so much more fun blogging! 


Kassi said...

Thank you for sharing such a beautiful piece of your heritage with us. It is such a beautiful place and you're right we don't even begin to know how lucky we have it here in the US.

skippysays said...

That sounds like such an amazing experience! I would love to visit one day. Hope you feel better soon!

Lil Bells said...

nice place! thank you for sharing :)

Jess said...

Wow.... so enlightening. Really I hate to think what other people are going through in the world, because it makes me sad, but its also a wonderful reminder to see that they are happy. lovely post :) and thank you so much too :)

Loretta Nguyen said...

these photo are amazing!

Loretta xx

TheGirlAtFirstAvenue said...

These photos are brilliant.. And you are so right. We are so caught up in the comforts of our lives that we fail to realize what the rest of the world is going through. Very touching post!


thisladybehaves said...

so youve been here in philippines? thats nice... :) i hoped you enjoyed it.. not manila of course, manila is too crowded... but the beaches and islands... i hoped you like that.. great blog hon

Carrie said...

What a great place to be able to visit!
Thanks so much for your comment!

Style in the City

NaNa said...

Thanks so much for sharing this. It must be such a meaningful and memorable experience for you. And you delivered how you felt and what it was like so well with your words. It really does make you realise what you have is a lot more than other people in the world, and you do learn to appreciate them a bit more.

love from the NaNa girls x

yiqin; said...

the scenary is SO pretty

The Key To Chic said...

Wow, it looks like a beautiful country, and puts so much into perspective. We're so lucky to have the basic things we take for granted: paved roads, roomy showers, comfortable cars, etc. Loved reading about your experiences. So eye-opening!

Mode_de_rue said...

Wow! what a beautiful photos!

Walking on Sunshine said...

very nice post! check out my blog and if you like it we can follow each other xoxo

UnicornBlog said...

Great photos :)

The Delhi fashion blogger said...

New to your page :) , Lots of love from india :)

Jenna said...

Love this post! It's always to great to get out of your comfort zone and explore the world and appreciate all the little things. <3

poziomka said...

Very nice pics!

Velvet Bloom said...

love the pic with the warriors

Rebecca from See Me Rwar said...

Fabulous pictures! Looks like such fun! Those stairs look exhausting though! Haha.

See Me Rwar

The Daily Fashionista said...

Wow!! This post is so amazing!!! It looks like a very eye opening experience. A friend of mine from high did a KickStart campaign a couple of months ago to raise money to send him and his sister to The Philippines in order to see their grandmother one last time, and it turned out to be a really nice success. Maybe next time you are wanting to go back, you can do that and have people you know contribute to the dream :)

thestyleflux said...

Hope I could see you here on your next trip! :) Would love to meet you personally! :)


Josie said...

Amazing photos! Thank you soo much for sharing! It's great to see photos from a first hand experience! :)

-josie, 8bitgrayscale

Jeenee said...

Yah Pinoy bathrooms and the "tabo" and pail thingy are common shockers for foreigners! Very nice post! I was glad to came about this lovely blog of yours. Mabuhay ang mga Pinay (even though you're just half)! :)

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