Not all my posts have to be business. In fact part of this blog is for us to get to know each other. I decided that I would share some of my vacation to Bicol, Philippines with everyone and give some insight on what we did in June. This part of our 3-part trip was to go home and see my wife’s family in their small village. It was an 11 day visit that I had dreaded at first because I knew going in there would be no internet, no comforts of home, and no way I was getting out of it.
I am writing this post on June 26, 2015 and I have 4 more days left till we move on to our next leg. You won’t see this until sometime in the first week of July when I finally get some kind of internet access that would allow me to login and post this.
We traveled from South Korea on the 15th of June and had a few days in Manila before flying out to the province but we finally got here on the 19th and quickly traveled to our local “resort” where we would sleep. So I at least had a foam bed, a proper toilet, zircon, and a TV with a few Filipino channels. If only I could understand and speak fluent Tagalog. I know enough to get myself into trouble and to find my way home if I get lost. They say everyone speaks English here, but I can assure you that is not true.
This is my 17th trip to the Philippines and I always enjoy my time on the islands. This is only my second time out this deep into the province though. Last time we stayed for 24 hours and it was back to the cushy Oriental Hotel in Legazpi City. I should also note that I don’t know which is proper, is it Legazpi or Legaspi? They spell it both ways here so forgive me if it’s not the right one. I like using the letter Z I guess.
Having the opportunity to spend so much time on the beach and swimming in the ocean is truly a refreshing experience. I grew up in CT and RI and spent a lot of time out on the water either fishing, crabbing, or just hanging out. The Philippines is still much different than where I grew up and I sweat a LOT! I adapted quickly though and the heat didn’t get me down.
While I was here we were able to take my Kuya’s banka (brother’s boat) over to a small island and go swimming with the whole family. The guys sat around drinking Tanduay and grilling fish while the ladies enjoyed the water and scooped out rice for everyone to eat. Everyone talked and enjoyed the unique opportunity for all of us to be together. Even my mother-in-law’s sister made it from Manila on a 10-hour bus ride.
For 11 days we ate breakfast, lunch, and dinner together and traveled back and forth from the resort to about a mile to the family’s house. Most of the time I chose to walk the beach to get there. I took a casual 20-minute walk to get there in the morning. I could only go during low-tide otherwise I couldn’t cross the river that separated the beaches. This meant that I could walk back at the end of the day. I still enjoyed a full backpack and the sounds of the waves crashing.
I did get to paddle the small boat that my nephews picked my and my wife up at the resort with. This picture is below as one of the nephews stayed ashore and snapped a few good memories.
Through all the mangoes, fresh fish, and the kindness I was given by so many people here, I will truly miss this small village. I have an awesome family and to spend 11 days with a part of them is special, but more so for my children that need to know all of their family. As it grows it becomes difficult to reunite them around the world. More nephews and nieces are born all the time it seems and I wouldn’t change it for the world. I can only hope to see them soon. I will be heading to Cebu next in a few days and I can’t wait to share that with all of you.