I Love the Philippines

Top 5 Things I Love About the Philippines:

1) Family 
I mentioned this in an earlier post, but I love how closely knit our family is here. On my dad's side, they're so distant that the only way I know they're still alive is the requisite Christmas and birthday cards that show up every year. Its sad, but we're just not close at all with them. However, visiting the Philippines is the polar opposite - I've got so many cousins, second cousins, aunties, and uncles. I just got used to being called "manang" again (it means older sister in Ilocano). Its such a lovely feeling knowing so many people who are there for you and care about you - even if you only visit every few years.

2) Food
To list a few: bibinka, halo-halo, tocino, toron, ube, buchi, adobo, sinagang, fresh coconuts, delicious mangoes, and the list goes on and on. There are so many foods here that are just simply impossible to recreate in Idaho. 

3) Jeepneys
Okay, this might be an odd thing to love, but seriously, I do. I'm a girl who has an intense, personal bubble space that I like to keep, but these jeepneys make it impossible to have that. So why do I love it? Well, I like how it pushes me to be uncomfortable and experience something new. Normally, you're crammed shoulder to shoulder in these vehicles, and I find it amazing how people can squeeze into a spot when its seemingly full!

4) Weather
I dreaded the moment I would step outside the Boise airport. From balmy, humid, tropical weather to freezing cold? I think my body went into shock. I'd been absolutely soaking in the warmth in the Philippines - I'm just not a winter kind of girl. My fingers are permanently frozen and I can never get warm enough here! 

5) Attention
Okay, I'd be lying if I didn't admit that I kind of secretly like the attention I get there. It can be uncomfortable at times, but...well, it is rather flattering too. From being an average American girl to some sort of local celebrity, it can go to a girl's head. My cousin told me that he'd overheard what others were saying, and he told me they said, "Wow, she's so pretty - she looks like a celebrity!" Seriously, everywhere I went, I got attention. Actually, just a couple nights ago, while I was walking with my family to dinner, some random guy on the street declared his love for me. No joke, after he waved and said "Hi," to me, he continued to call out, "Mahalkita" (I love you) as I walked on by. Its been interesting handling this sort of attention...
I don't let it go to my head because I know they're just not used to seeing foreigners. But it was still nice to hear every now and then! ;)

Anyway, here are a few more photos I wanted to share. 
This is my beautiful lola and her amazing tattoos. The story behind them represent one of tribal pride. As she described the tattooing process used and mom translated, I couldn't help cringing. They used needles dipped in paint and then proceeded to "hammer" it into her skin. She had to stay in a separate room to recover after the process and was so swollen she could hardly move. I can't believe she went through that! All in the name of beauty. These tattoos represent a trend from her day and age and also meant that her family had money. Only the rich could afford tattoos. 
Check it out. Guess who can check off something from her resolutions list? This girl! Haha, I did karaoke with my cousins during my last day with them. We went swimming at a local pool and burned through stacks of pesos to use the karaoke machine. It was so much fun!
I'll never forget that day - it was one of my favorites.

I'm back home in the US now, and its odd settling back into my life here. Everything feels both familiar yet different. Every little thing that I took for granted feels like a blessing. Like being able to use running water or having a shower head and microwave. Don't take these comforts as a given - not everyone is able to enjoy them! This is why I love going back and visiting the Philippines - it reminds me to be grateful for little things. 


Jenee C. said...

Okay those Jeepneys are the best thing I've ever seen!! Are they just a form of public transport over there? So awesome.

xx Jenee C.
{camo meets couture}

Caitie Schlisserman said...

everyone looks so friendly, happy, and the food looks delicious! still jealous about your trip!

Lady à la Mode

Katie Q. said...

I love this post, it made me smile so much. (And I can tell how much fun you had there and how much you love your family, your smile is so infectious in every photo and you look so happy!) I'm so happy that you did a big post on your trip, it's so fascinating to learn a little bit more about your heritage and mother's culture. (and ahhh, that sunshine looks amazing!)

Your grandmother's tattoos are amazing, I always love hearing the stories behind other people's tattoos and hers is so fascinating as a cultural reference to the past. I hope you don't freeze too much now that you're back home, brrr! that's rough going from the lovely sunshine to the cold. :)

Lisa said...

Aww it's so nice to see how much you enjoyed being in the Philippines! The food pictures looked delicious and the pictures of your lola were awesome! Her tattoos are amazing.

The Lovely Memoir

Katie Cervantes said...

Awww! I hope you had a great time visiting PH :)


Islandia Lane said...

I love it! and what? halo-halo - awesome. I was there a few years back with my bff who's filipino and we had such an amazing time. Wish I could be there again - great photos!

Sarah Mira Park said...

Ohh, I love your grandma's tattoo! I also like that it's meaningful! I've heard of the traditional way of getting tattoos and I thought it sounded pretty painful too, haha! Looks like you've had such an amazing experience visiting your family in the Philippines!

The Weekend Diary

This comment has been removed by the author.
This comment has been removed by the author.

Wow quite a story about her tattoos. So glad you had an amazing time and appreciated the time well spent. :) /Madison

Jessi said...

Welcome home girl! Im sure you're absolutely hating the freezing cold weather! That warmth and humidity sounds amazing right now. That food looks so good too and all that attention does sound nice ;) I seriously can't imagine not being able to shower, amazing how they live like that! That's something im definitely grateful for.

BelatedBloomer said...

I love the Philippines too!!! Okay, just most of the time...because I live here. Haha! :D

It's great to see Ilocos from your photos! My mom's Chinese but her family lived there for a number of years. I've never been, but it looks clean and picturesque!

twitter and instagram: @BelatedBloomer

czarianonuevo said...
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czarianonuevo said...

this is a very nice post Linda! a good round up of your recent trip! i enjoyed reading it :)

paint it stripes

Mia said...

What lovely pics my darling :-)

Baci ♥

Stylish By Nature said...

Another great post !! Everyone looks so happy and friendly :)


Hanna & Christel said...

great post!


Mira said...

I would love to visist too. Looks like an amazing place <3


Victoria said...

Wow this is so inspiring, especially the women with the tattoos! Wow

Sarah Hartley said...

I'm really loving these photos. I feel like I was there with you. Welcome home!

Patrycja Photography said...

Very cool blog. Interesting posts. ;)
Nice atmosphere guests with you here on the blog. ;]
Yours. Have a nice day. !

Follow me on facebook fanpage and blog
I'm very concerned about this, please. :) said...

You're so lucky, looks like you had greta times ;)


Izzy said...

ahh I love halo halo! feel like having some now as it's boiling in Aus. and it's so cute that you felt like a celebrity over there :) that must've been fun!

Metallic Paws- New giveaway up on my blog!

Sam said...

Hi doll, thanks for sharon these amazing memories of your holiday with us. I have personally learnt so much about the Philippines from your posts and narrations, things I'd never have otherwise seen. Your family looks like such a wonderful bunch, and your lola is fascinating, so amazing to see her pride of tattoos! P.S Would loved to have seen the karaoke in video *winks*

LaraBeTheOne said...

seems interesting :) I love meeting new ppl and exploring other cultures. great post!

Sandra Leiva said...

Amazing pictures, dear!
Everything looks great :)))

indie by heart said...

Loads of great reasons to love the Philippines! I'd love to visit someday too ...
Heh I've done karaoke only three times, and it has been quite awful every time! But fun.

You lola seems really sweet and beautiful person. I admire her tattoos, too.

OHH and the food, yummyee. ^^

Indie by heart

Ali Hval said...

Ah, Linda! I can only imagine how wonderful of an experience this was for you. Welcome back to the US, by the way!

All the names of the food... so interesting, but I bet it was such a neat experience to try so many different things. It's funny how in different parts of the world other things are staple foods, huh?

Kim (A Very Sweet Blog) said...

Linda, this post is so awesome! I'm so glad you visited your family and connected with everybody. I love how they use a lot of fruit in their desserts. It looks so good! WoW, I can't get over her tatoos. What an amazing woman (such a joy to be connected to you doll). We take way too much for granted! We must be thankful.

Renae at simple sequins said...

hi Linda! It looks like you had a very nice time and I do appreciate getting fun information in your blog. Thank you.

Elsha said...

Oh yeah, ID is blah for food :( And they don't believe in spices up there either! How could you have left the Philipines for there girl, and I can say that because I was born and raised in ID :)

Samuel Morris said...

I love how you admit about liking the attention, I'm the same when I go to the states and they love my accent, we all love the attention deep down. Looks like so much fun, it's always been on my list!

Nancy said...

This is an amazing post. I really love the photo of your lola. What an amazing woman!

Maiken said...

oh, such a lovely post again :) all those tales about your trip are just so sweet and sincere, so enjoyable!
btw, I know the life where you don't have running water and it sure is tough but that was summer when I experienced it. don't even want to think how it would be right now when there is -30 degrees C outside..

Maikeni blogi - part of me

Ramona said...

oh, what a wonderful memories and photography.You had such a bless in Philippines. Gosh, and now you are celebrity there. That's cool!

xoxo Ra

Mademoiselle Mode said...

Lovely travel :)

New post - Kisses

Kati said...

SO need to go there one day!

Girl and Closet said...

What fantastic photos - you look lovely and so happy in all of them. Looks like a marvelous trip + yes, the food looks amazing! My favourite part of travel! Happy Friday! xo

Marina H said...

Such gorgeous photos and there's nothing like visiting family.

<3 Marina

Sam said...

Hiya hun...thanks for your thoughtful comment, have a great weekend!

Mica said...

Such beautiful photos - sounds and looks like an amazing trip! Nothing like being able to catchup with family.

Hopefully it's not too long before you can visit them again soon and enjoy the sights and foods and quality time :)

Plami said...

you're so lucky to have been there! I really wanna go someday! Thank you for sharing your experience:)))


Lenetta Carnes said...

Hi, Great post. I found you through the blog hop. Now following you.Please stop by and say hi when you get a chance.
Be sure and check out my new Blog Hop that we just started, It's Weekly Goals Link Up. It's a great way to stay on track. Have a great day. :) Here's the link in case you want to check it out. Thanks again

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