Let's first begin with deciding what picture to post before I start to blog about our trip to the Philippines. Actually, it would be my daughter and I's first visit and my husband's return visit from over 30 years ago. With that said, there were quite a few pictures to choose from that had a different feel in each one. I had to go with Baguio City which is one of my favorite cities we visited.
We left to the Philippines on Thanksgiving 2017. Our original plans were to fly out of the San Francisco International Airport after spending time with our son at UC Merced. Plans did change as other grand opportunities were open to him. It made it a bit harder for us to know that he is now back home and we still have to drive up North to fly out without our son as the tickets were purchased far in advance. Also, he had other mandatories to fulfill. We flew out on Air Nippon Airways (ANA) which we had a wonderful experience. We landed in Manila and my husbands cousins Glen and Bhobet were so kind enough to pick us up. We headed to my husbands birthplace and hometown in San Miguel, Bulacan. We stayed at our Uncle Fred and Aunty Remy's home. We were able to lodge in one room where we stayed a couple nights before we ventured off with the big family to tour the different cities. We did get to visit my husband’s cousin, Sorwin’s farm and a cooking adventure! Unfortunately, we didn't get to go to Palawan to see the amazing beaches as the family was concerned of the risk and safety at that time. However, we do have future plans to revisit the Philippines with the beaches on our priority list. The cities we went to visit were a drive through Pampanga as we head to Baguio City, Bataan, Tagaytay, and Manila. We came in a bit late so we missed out on Ilocos.
Some of my experiences I had to get used to was the fact that the weather was humid. Let me say that again. HUMID. Sticky and humid. It's not what you think when you come across the well-known winter months and the cool down shall begin. So make sure when you visit the Philippines, dress loosely, cool, and breezy. Sunscreen and bug spray is a must! I don't believe you can have a 100% guarantee of a repellent, but I found that the one I used was really good. It was deet free and I believe contained Australian or lemon eucalyptus. Another pain point for me was that I was severely swollen especially in my feet. I literally felt like I was pregnant again towards my last trimester and I had cankles. You know, when your calves are the same size as your ankles. The heat and the flight just never allowed my swollen body to go down. The only time that it did was temporarily when I was in an air-conditioned room and my feet was elevated. Have any of you experienced this under these conditions? The average showers in homes are usually just cold water and with the heat and humidity, its actually refreshing and easy to get used to. Also, toilet paper is one you want to stash at all times. Not all places have toilet paper. Just saying. I had a hand sanitizer from Bath and Body Works dangle on a purse hanger from my cross body bag. My daughter had one on her bag as well but with hand soap. Holy grail!!
All in all, the overall outcome was an experience indeed! I miss it! The Philippines has so much culture in a whole different atmosphere. You know, the part that gives traveling its purpose. The palengke's (public markets) were so fun to get fresh ingredients for cooking, eating, and overall shopping. The food in the Philippines was delicious. Absolutely delicious! The nature you are surrounded with are greenery, rice fields, caribou's, street dogs and a whole lot of tricycles and jeepney's. There was so much to take in, so I did put it in vlogs. I tried to film what I can in the moment, but I also didn't film on a few occasions because I was living in the moment.
I have our Philippines playlist of vlogs so feel free to click the link below. We hope you enjoy as you journey through our trip with us visiting the Philippines.