Mabuhay! Just wanted to post an update in regards to my absence while on vacation. Back from my vacation in the Philippines, 2 weeks wasn’t enough, and I have a ton of editing to do from all the video footage of our travels. There’s hours of video footage, so my plan is to break it down into a series of our vacation based on the locations we visited. I will be posting part 1 of that series to my YouTube channel soon!
We spent most of the time in Balaoan, La Union, which is where my wife is from. This is where I enjoyed our vacation the most with the fresh air, spending time with the family and eating fresh food. There’s this one dish they made, which was my favorite, of this green vegetable grown on their farm with tomatoes and onions, lightly salted. Good clean eating! What I love most about the food there is nothing was processed. Everything either came straight from their land or from the local market where everything comes freshly grown. They have plenty of delicious food from the land to the sea. Speaking of sea, I also had this seaweed dish that was naimas (Ilocano word for delicious). Every time we visit Balaoan my stomach is very happy. And of course, every meal comes with a healthy serving of rice.
One cool thing I saw there was the process of drying the rice seeds before they are planted. While we were riding along in the trike, I noticed some of the locals laying out some yellowish bed of seeds on the ground along the sides of the streets. My wife explained that this is rice seeds, and they lay them on the ground to dry before they can be planted. You can see this in one of my videos.
During the first week of our trip, we spent a night in Baguio. For those who don’t know, Baguio is a popular city in the mountains in the northern Luzon region of the Philippines that’s popular for its colder weather. It is also known as Summer Capital of the Philippines, as you can see from my profile picture. They also have a strawberry farm that is popular there, but unfortunately we didn’t have time to visit Baguio’s popular strawberry farm this trip due to time restraints. Most of our time in Baguio was spent trying to hail a taxi to get around. Maybe due to it being Valentine’s Day and there were a lot of people out and about enjoying the day of love with each other. We had the hardest time trying to get taxis.
One of the taxi drivers said most of his customers that day were from young couples getting a ride to hotels, which also seemed to be getting a lot of business during our stay. I’ll let your imaginations take it from there. However, I was able to get some amazing scenery while in Baguio and experience a little bit of native history at one of the markets.
The rest of our trip was spent in Taguig, a heavily populated city in Manila. We also have family there. A main attraction in Taguig is on of their malls, Market Market, fully loaded with shopping and entertainment for everyone. One of the interesting events we attended here was a family member’s 18th birthday known as Debut. Think of it in comparison to a sweet 16 birthday for Americans.
This 18th birthday celebration contains 3 main event parts, 18 treasures, 18 roses, and 18 candles. Just as it sounds, during the 18 treasures part, the birthday girl will receive 18 presents from 18 guests. The next portion, 18 roses which I was invited to participate in, is where 18 guys will take turns dancing with the birthday girl after presenting her with a rose. Thirdly, 18 candles is where 18 friends and family members will take a candle and wish the birthday girl a happy birthday in their own special way. At the end they all blow the 18 candles out at the same time. All of this of course followed by food, socializing and karaoke. We had a lot of fun celebrating the birthday girl’s special day.
I will post videos of all these events to my Conscious N Sight YouTube channel once I get through hours of editing. Needless to say, our vacation went by in a blur. Missing the Philippines already! Anyway, back to work.