All posts filed under: Philippines

Family, a Wedding, Tigers, Zip Lines and Parasails

It has been a while since my last update. Suffice it to say that it has been a busy time, but I am glad to be writing here again. I recently took a trip back home to the Philippines for my cousin’s wedding — it was a special occasion, as she’s very dear to me. In addition, all our cousins who now work and live in different countries as well as different parts of the Philippines went home to be a part of it. The wedding itself was beautiful, a traditional ceremony between two individuals radiating in love, witnessed by family and friends. It doesn’t get any more special than that, really. Since everyone was home and it’s a rarity these days, we took advantage and went on a family trip a day after the festivities. We headed off to Subic (it was only a few hours drive from our home town and wouldn’t take that much of a toll on everyone having come from travel and the occasion the day before). Zoobic Safari There were two standouts …

Home(sick) for the Holidays

Christmas carols and countdowns starting the very first day of September. Holiday decorations everywhere you go: lanterns, twinkling lights and for me personally, a Christmas tree that was already up by the time I celebrate my birthday in the middle of November. Even smells coming from traditional holiday rice cakes, puto bumbong and bibingka, remind you of the season. Everyone looks forward to simbang gabi or nine mornings, midnight masses where friends and family all try to wake up early and complete all nine masses, and if you do, a blessing is believed to come your way. The Philippines has what is said to be the longest Christmas celebration in the world, beginning in September through the Feast of the Three Kings, January 6th. It’s one of the things I miss the most about the holidays — the anticipation for the most joyous time of the year. When I first moved to the US, not yet hearing holiday songs on the radio and seeing decors when they were already having daily countdowns in the Philippines …

Pizzas from Around the World

On a quintessential Eat, Pray, Love scene, Julia Roberts tells her friend Sofi: “I’m so tired of saying no and waking up in the morning and recalling every single thing I ate the day before. Counting every calorie I consume so I know exactly how much self-loathing to take into the shower. I’m going for it. I have no interest in being obese. I’m just through with the guilt. So this is what I’m going to do. I’m going to finish this pizza and then we’re going to go watch the soccer game, and tomorrow, we’re going to go on a little date and buy ourselves some bigger jeans.” I don’t recall exactly how it was written in Liz Gilbert’s book, the title character Roberts was playing, but the gist of it is the same — giving yourself permission to enjoy life’s simple pleasures without conforming to society’s ideals of beauty. I personally believe in allowing myself to indulge — after all, we only live once and there is no sense being unhappy. In the …