Home for the Holidays

November 5, 2013 at 9:00 AM | Posted in Lifestyle, Travel | Leave a comment
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view of Mt. Mayon from the car

view of Mayon volcano from the car

So my recent trip to my hometown in Bicol just ended. It was a flurry of activities the whole time I was there. The road trip with my sister and cousin was nice and comfortable despite the fact that we had to travel at 2:00 AM for the long journey. I hadn’t any sleep the night before the trip because I’m usually a night owl. I was wide awake for most of the journey and enjoyed the stillness of the early morning, breezing through the empty streets of Manila and passing by mountains and rice fields. My cousin was the one driving so my sister and I were able to relax throughout the trip. But I was nursing a headache by the time we got to Camarines Sur at around 9:00 AM due to the lack of sleep. By noon, we finally arrived home in Albay. We were greeted by the pleasant sight of our newly renovated ancestral home, which was divided into several units to accommodate six families.

Weena's road trip to Bicol

This is me during the road trip

The succeeding days were spent shopping with my mom, sister and aunt for things needed at the house, bingeing on food I hadn’t eaten in a long while (including Bicolano dishes), and preparing the unit of the house where my uncle was due to settle in. I was also able to meet with my old college buddies, although two of them couldn’t join us due to conflict of schedule. But I had such a great time with my college buddies and I spent Halloween with them reminiscing our good times together back when we were at the university.

Weena, Cielo & Ails

My college buddies and I at Embarcadero de Legazpi

My uncle and aunt arrived from Manila just in time for All Saints’ Day. So we had a small family reunion there at the house. It’s a tradition in our family to make food offerings to our dead relatives during All Saints’ Day, and I was able to witness it again after a long time.

My sister and I also helped our uncle settle into his new home when he arrived. It was the first time he saw the renovated house after he suffered a stroke and he was so pleased on how well the renovation turned out. We filled his unit with stuff he needed and my younger brother who looks after him also helped organized his things. There are still a few things in my uncle’s unit that need fixing, but all in all he was already quite settled there when my sister and I left for our trip back to Manila.

Weena with Mt. Mayon viewMe at the bay side of Embarcadero de Legazpi

I felt a little sad when my sister and I finally left the province to head back to Manila. I will miss it for sure. What I love the most about my hometown is its rustic and pastoral setting including its laidback atmosphere that Manila obviously lack. I can see myself retiring there eventually.

Our house in AlbayOur house

Road Trip

October 15, 2013 at 1:52 PM | Posted in Travel | Leave a comment
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Later this month I will be traveling to my hometown in Bicol with my sister. We’ve been planning about this for a long time and I’m excited that our trip is getting nearer. This time though we’ll be on a road trip instead of taking the bus. My sister and I will be traveling via our uncle’s car. It will be about nine to ten hours drive and I’m fine with it. I like road trips because it gives me the opportunity to see the sights along the way, aside from the fact that you can have a stop over any time you want.

You see the purpose of our going home to the province is not only because we’re visiting our family there but also because we’ll be helping our uncle settle into his house. Ever since my uncle suffered a stroke almost two years ago, he’s been wanting to go home and live in retirement there. He has been working in Manila all his life and now that he’s retired, he will be occupying his newly renovated house in Bicol. Most of his stuff here in Manila – furniture, appliances, clothes – have been shipped there two months ago. My sister and I will be helping him unpack and shop for new things he need. His house here in Manila is already up for sale.

I am definitely looking forward to coming home. This time my sister and I will be staying a little longer so that means I will have more time to spend with my family there. This will also give me the opportunity to meet my old college buddies there whom I haven’t seen in a long time. I still have contact with my friends there but mostly we only communicate through text messages and occasional hellos via Facebook. Hopefully I can gather all my friends while I am there and catch up with what’s going on in their lives.

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