Tuesday, July 01, 2014

All Roads Lead To Fun In The Philippines

Once again, it’s been a long while since I last blogged. I feel like I have to say that with each entry I write. Inspiration to blog like I used to doesn't hit me that often but I do think about it. Be that as it may, this is yet again another entry about a recent trip to the Philippines. A trip filled with a whole lot of fun and experience. Traveling can be slightly stressful when it comes to planes, airports, and dealing with various personnel, not to mention those moments in the air when the plane ride is way too bumpy for my liking. My love can somehow sleep through it all but I have a hard time doing that. The plane ride to the Philippines is typically pretty smooth. Sometimes you might have one or two moments of turbulence but it’s pretty cool. It’s that ride back to the US when you really encounter the severe turbulence. Not sure why that is but despite all of that, being in the Philippines is always pure heaven and the anticipation of arriving there makes you feel like applauding once the plane lands.

On this trip, I truly couldn’t wait to arrive in Manila. I looked forward to this time spent with my love, Lorna. We would end up spending our one year wedding anniversary and also my birthday. Both celebrations were wonderful and on my birthday we had what has become an annual event for us. We fed many of the local children and families near the house in Pangasinan. I don’t believe we entertained as many children as last year but we still had close to one hundred show up for pancakes, eggs, peanut butter and jelly sandwiches and spaghetti. Can’t beat that combination of goodness. Great time and always interesting to see the kids one year later. Many of them have grown taller. Some have changed as only children do to where you’ll see them take on new attitudes and personalities. Some that were outspoken and playful last year have become quiet, reserved, guarded. Some that wanted to be photographed constantly had become camera shy and didn’t want the attention. It was interesting to observe. Of course these children; the ones that couldn’t get enough of being photographed made it a challenge for me to actually get some good shots in. They were a little too anxious, running into every shot they could. It was all in good fun and I enjoyed every minute though I wished for moments when I could focus upon one or two. It's cool to compare shots from the last few years with the ones from this trip. Children grow fast.

This trip, I seemed to capture less moments with the camera. Instead, I wanted to enjoy the moments more by walking and visiting with the local people while in Pangasinan. I also struggled with capturing great shots because we have a driver that drives super fast. Makes me always wonder why we’re in such a hurry, especially when it’s not necessary and we don’t need to be anywhere at a certain time. One of these days I plan to do some driving or perhaps ride via bicycle or motorcycle so I can really explore and capture the images I see with my eyes but miss out on with the camera. With my eyes I probably captured thousands of images. With the camera it was something like three or four hundred…

As always, food is a huge part of our journey in the Philippines. Funny thing, hamburgers seemed to dominate this trip. Whether it was the HUGE burger I ate on our anniversary or the many delicious burgers cooked by our caretaker, Efren. He has mastered the little burger with cheese. What gives the burger extra goodness is the little buns we find at small bakeries along the way.

We enjoyed a few side trips and special return visits to places like Manaoag, Agoo, Calasiao, etc. I visited with a fried of mine this huge cemetery in Manila called the North Cemetery where you'll find people actually living in tombs where people are buried. It's a strange sight to see for someone coming from the US where you know they would never allow this to exist. People raise families there in the cemetery. There's even a "good side" and a "bad side" where you'll find happy families on one end and drug dealing and dangerous situations on the other. I saw this one kid who kept smiling at me. There was something about him to where I felt like I had to take his picture. I asked him when normally I would just try to capture the moment without asking. He said yes and continued smiling, which he kept doing whenever my eyes met his. They later told me that he had been abandoned by his parents, one of which I imagine is african american.

My love and I visited Cebu and Bohol for the first time. We never have enough time to explore and enjoy these places but its still a lot of fun. Despite the occasional rain we encountered, the scenery was still amazing. I loved the countryside in Bohol and later on, I really enjoyed the Crimson Resort. Talk about a relaxing environment. I wished we could've stayed there much longer but time is so short when you're on a three week vacation. 

Shoutout to the beautiful children near the Crimson Resort who noticed me in the distance. I pointed my camera at them even though I knew I couldn't get a good shot and still they smiled and waved in my direction. The kindness for the camera always blows my mind in the Philippines. 

These are only half of the highlights of our trip that we managed to squeeze into three weeks time. I should've written about it sooner but no matter how much times passes, the memories remain fresh in my mind and heart. I'll close with a few more images from what was a magical trip. Thanks again to my love for spoiling me not only on my birthday but also it was really cool to spend our one year anniversary in paradise. It's a true blessing to be able to think of paradise as home… I look forward to next time…

#Philippines #Pangasinan #More fun in the Philippines #Travel