On a bed at the artsy Silangan Gardens of the Pinto Art Museum.
This vacation was like no other -- it's because I had to settle a lot of issues, try to seek out solutions to a lot of problems, familial that is, and find answers to so many questions. This was a 'mission', in a way. Needless to say, I won't go into specifics, but, what I'm saying is that, the LORD answered all my prayers and He made all things possible for His glory . Yahweh is so good!
Thankfully, the time spent with my family was an enormous blessing filled with so much fun. Brushing aside issues that need some strong gut to confront, I wasted no time feasting on some of my favorite foods like balut, taho, chicharones, my favorite summer dessert Halo-halo, fresh coconut juice, isaw and inihaw na liempo (me, taunting a swordsman whose job is to catch pork devourers in Saudi Arabia). Hmm, yummy!
Of course, visiting some of the places in Manila that interest me should figure in my itinerary. So, first stop was the Philippine National Museum which is adjacent to the Luneta Park where my fascination for Juan Luna's Spoliarium and other great Filipino masterpieces like Amorsolo's, and Hidalgo's never ceases. I could have strutted further to some other significant and historical places but I thought I have overstayed quite a bit in the museum that I lost track of the sun fading.
Although I've been to SM Mall of Asia (or popularly known as MOA), its sheer size and its imposing structure and beauty still continue to amaze me. It so happened that I was to meet up with a person for a purpose and so the ambience at the mall was extremely vibrant that it helped me while my time hours before he finally showed up. Another mall that I frequently visit is the SM Mega Mall along EDSA -- another humongous mall that seemingly never stops to expand (evidenced by an annex built where the once huge parking area was). Of course, it's no brainer that these changes never escape me --it is where I get off a bus, taxi or whatever and head to a terminal beside it when going to my home in Antipolo. Since one high-end mall is just situated nearby, I saw to it that I join the frenzy of window shoppers and legits alike to cool down in the famous and luxurious Shangri-la Mall.
Frequenting these places in Manila is like meeting an old friend -- the thrill of its experience is one thing, but getting there is another. I took the MRT and the LRT to get to those places. I have never been a fan of David Blaine but I sure was like levitating while entering and exiting the coach because of the enormous current of crowd that spontaneously carried me like my feet never hit the pavement. Another peculiar experience that vouches you are indeed in Manila is the heat and humidity that still gets under my skin -- my pet peeves that I still can't figure how to tame, the same that I usually hear from most people while I was there.
If one thinks Manila has everything under its wings, make no mistake, in suburban Antipolo City where I am currently settled, there is also a place that competes with the more famous ones in Manila but replete with amazing works of art, the Pinto Art Museum. Every time I visit this place, there are always new masterpieces that mesmerize its visitors. I particularly love the bronze Calesa at their garden and the bed which I had a photo with while I was on it. I also love that new installation called 'Forest' by Antonio Catral Leaño.
Not to be missed in my itinerary was a further trip down south in Cavite where i basically grew up. I went there to visit my father, some family friends and personal friends as well. It was not all fun just like any other as we were met with a news of the death of my former high school classmate who died of brain aneurysm. It was a surreal feeling seeing him in a casket while reminiscing the days when we were full of youth and seemingly invincible. The vivid pictures kept on flashing as I forayed once more down memory lane and how I realized how blessed I am to have unlocked the secret to confronting fear of death, and that is through my Savior Jesus Christ. His demise all the more gave face to the reality that death beckons every human being, young and old, rich or poor -- and it is only a matter of time, "for it is appointed unto men once to die and after this the judgment." (Hebrews 9:27)
That was deep. Anyway that concludes the story of my happy, crazy and sometimes sad Philippine vacation of 2014. I'm hoping that my next vacation, (God willing) will be a more spiritual one. What I mean is that, that I could do some witnessing to other people or do more bible studies to my close friends and relatives, and be the light to people who are in this dark world. By the way, the bible studies we had at home every night was wonderful. Teaching my children and my wife about the gospel was really great and I know that the Lord will do more great things in their lives. Thank You Lord Jesus for everything. Hallelujah!
I had so much fun with our dog Chloe.
With my daughter Celine.
With my childhood friend at Malen's Restaurant in Noveleta, Cavite.
The National Museum of The Philippines in Manila.
At the rear side of the SM Mall of Asia with the view of MOA Eye & Manila Bay.
My eldest daughter showing her newly acquired ATM from the company she works for.
The entrance of Pinto Art Museum.
My favorite Halo-halo at Max's Restaurant in Antipolo City.
The video I made at the Pinto Art Museum in Antipolo City.
Delight yourself also in the LORD,
and He shall give the desires of your heart.
~ Psalms 37:4