It has been more or less two weeks since I came back from my vacation in the Philippines. Since I arrived, I've really wanted to write about my experience back home, but those memories I have from my vacation, kept me from doing anything at all. I just don't have the drive to write. I miss my family already and it saddens me so much to leave them again now that my relationship with my family is starting to brighten up.
There are many differences between my 2011 vacation to this one, mostly because of the changes that happened to me. Most of them have something to do with my relationship towards my family, but I don't want to elaborate it much further. Whatever it was, I'll just let my loved ones and those people around me there to contemplate about it. I just want to thank the Lord Jesus Christ for changing me and for giving me a second chance. God is really good!
We've been to many places during my short vacation, some were far and some were minutes away from home. Just a few days after my arrival, we decided to travel to Occidental Negros for 5 days. It was I think the most exciting and I consider it as the 'centerpiece' of my vacation, so to speak. I was with my wife and my eldest daughter, my youngest could not come with us that time because of school. She's in first year of college.
While there in Silay, Negros Occ., we visited Balay Negrense, the Jalandoni Ancestral House, and the Eco-Tourism Area in Balaring where my family had the most fun, but the most memorable to me was when we went to a family friend, who's also a pastor. It was in their church where my wife Grace first accepted Jesus Christ into her life. We also visited 'The Ruins' and afterwards went straight to Robinson's Mall down south in Bacolod City.
Tagaytay City, Cavite.
After we came back from Negros, I took my youngest daughter to Tagaytay City. I missed the city so much especially its view of Taal Volcano, and not to mention Tagaytay's famous 'Mushroom Burger' where I used to go with my friends in olden days. The place hasn't changed a bit and they still serve that delicious meatless, all-mushroom burger. Of course when in Tagaytay no one would dare miss the famed grounds of Taal Vista Hotel, arguably the best place to be in if one wishes to be amazed by the view of Taal volcano, and also at the Picknik Grove where the faint-in-heart would dare not tread if only to be coaxed into venturing its dizzying zip-line ride. I've a thing with height (read as acrophobic), so you're not gonna see me up there just yet.
Island Cove & Digman's.
The National Museum of the Philippines, Manila, Philippines.
This was the first time I visited The National Museum again in decades. The last time I think was when I was in elementary as part of our field trip. I went there by myself because my wife and children were all busy. There was no entrance fee that time. I never realized that Juan Luna's 'Spoliarium' is humongous and the San Diego Exhibit at the Museum of the Filipino People was equally amazing. While I was there, I had a chance to see the director of the museum himself, Mr.Jeremy Barns; we were at the same room. I think he was touring some people around that time. It was a great experience to know more about our history! Visit the National Museum 's Facebook page.
The Manila Zoo & The Manila Ocean Park.
I also went to Manila Zoo, The Manila Ocean Park and Luneta Park with my friend Boyet from Negros Occidental. I still have that sadness every time I go to Manila Zoo because of the condition of the animals, especially the plight of one of the oldest residents there - the lone elephant called Mali. Know more about Mali!
Manila Ocean Park was awesome! It was my first time ever to visit the park. The ticket was expensive, but it was all worth it. I especially enjoyed the aquariums at the first floor where one can see different fishes coming from various depths of the sea. Then we went to Luneta (Rizal) Park, which is just adjacent from the Manila Ocean Park for some photo op.
Aguinaldo Shrine, Kawit, Cavite.
I also can't forget the time when I went with my daughter to Aguinaldo Shrine in Kawit, Cavite to meet with our pastor Erickson. I've been there many times before and not much has changed. The place is just overflowing with so much history.
In general, I enjoyed my vacation and I want to thank God for it. I also want to say I love you to my wife Grace, I'm praying for you always and I'll never stop encouraging you to have a relationship with Jesus. I love you Maria and Celine, read your Bible everyday and my father Felipe, I'm also praying for you and I love you too. Until my next vacation. God bless you all!