We finally made it back to Houston, and Brent and I are definitely missing the tropical life and good food from the Philippines. I actually felt that I got spoiled while I was there with my family. My mom and brother cooked food for us (all of them were yummy!) and my brother drove us around with the kids. The most amazing thing of all for me was that I got to rest whenever I wanted! This is because my family and relatives would help take care of my kids, and they loved doing it. 😉 It was my dream vacation. I thought to share some of the highlights that my family and I enjoyed while in the Philippines!
Tres Reyes Beach
This beach is in my hometown of Marinduque, a small island province in the Philippines. We drove from my family’s house in Marinduque to the town of Gasan. From there, we rode a boat that took us to the island where Tres Reyes Beach is located. Brent really loves this place, and it was my kids’ first time going there. They were scared being in the boat, but once they were on the beach, they immediately started playing with the kids who lived there. If you are planning to go there, we found a “bangkero” or boat driver that you can inquire about. We paid 1,000 Pesos or $20 USD round trip.
It’s a simple river that has a man-made pool, which overflows like a mini-waterfall. I like how they made small cottages for visitors where you rest, hangout with the family, and have a lunch or snack. The water is pretty cool, but once you are in it, it feels good to swim in! There are a couple of families there who still wash their clothes in the river and dry them on the big rocks by the water. We paid 30 Pesos (less than a dollar) per person to get there.
This is Miki, my kids and my husband love it!
Halo-halo “mixed together” – a Filipino dessert
(Grilled Milkfish – this photo was taken few years ago when my mom was here and made it for my husband’s family)
“Ginataang Crab” (crab with coconut milk)
Sweet and Sour Fish
My mom is a good cook, especially when it comes to Filipino foods; most of the moms in the Philippines are! I loved when she made us “Ginataang Crab” (crab with coconut milk) and grilled milkfish (a boneless fish with delicious stuffing inside). This is something that visitors should try when in the Philippines! Brent also loved to eat fresh fish like “Blue Marlin” or other fishes that my mom bought directly from the fisherman near where we lived. There is also a restaurant in the town of Boac that serves delicious Filipino foods. It is located in the Boac Hotel in Marinduque. Unfortunately, there are no good Western foods in this province, but if you are in the capital city of the Philippines, Manila, there are plenty of Western and other types of food that you can choose from.
My kids totally loved the experience of taking a bath in a “palanggana” outside or or “timba” (basin) if they are in the bathroom. It brought joy and laughter to their faces. It was such a good feeling for me to see that they were able to share in this experience from my childhood.
Lunch at Bahay Kubo (Nipa Hut)
My grandparents who passed away, have land in a small place called Duyay (still in the province of Marinduque). We went there to bring the kids to see the more country-side life with the coconut tree areas and to have lunch in a bahay kubo (nipa hut). It was great to have a simple meal with my family together with chickens, pigs, and dogs around us… Maybe a snake as well. 😉
My Eldest Son Attending A Filipino School
(recitation on the table..)
(my youngest son looking for his big brother)
My eldest son had the chance to join a daycare class where my family lives in Boac, Marinduque. He was always excited to go to school and be around the kids ever since I mentioned the school to him. Even though my kids’ father is American, I always try to speak to and teach them my native language Tagalog. I also teach them Filipino songs and about Filipino culture ever since they were very young. Even though the classes were short, I think it was a good experience for him to interact with other Filipino kids and teachers. I’m also glad to have met fellow moms in the classroom and make friends with them. They were very sweet to my son.
One of the items on my agenda for my kids, was to for them to play some Filipino games with the kids there like “jackpot / rubberband game”, chinese garter, “tumbang preso” and running in the field. My eldest son was also able to have an early 3rd Birthday celebration. It was a simple gathering, but we all wanted him to experience celebrating his birthday with Filipino kids and food that we normally prepare for birthdays there.
( NOT happy about our ride 😉 )
Being able to visit my hometown again was something that my husband and I are so grateful for. We realized just how fortunate and blessed we are to have a good place to live, food, and the things we have here in America. It was also a great for my kids to see a different part of the world to witness the culture and lifestyle of the Philippines, a third world culture.
Have you ever been to the Philippines? What activities and food do you want to try there, and where would you like to visit there?
P.S. We are still in jetlagged! Since it’s a big time difference, my kids have been waking in the middle of the night and have been having a hard time going back to sleep. Hopefully they will be back on their normal schedule soon!