My body's internal clock is all messed up from my trip to the Philippines. I tried to sleep at 11pm last night but ended up awake and alert at 1:30am. So here I am, with a tummy full of instant ramen catching up on my Weekly Updates.
Since I missed last week, this one will be a bit longer. Bare with me as I try to entertain you enough to get to the bottom of this page. Here are the 5 main highlights of the trip.
1. TAAL VOLCANO
The Philippines I experienced is definitely different from the one I remember as a 10-year old kid. Even though we were only there for a short amount of time, we got to visit landmarks that I've never been to before. Like Taal Volcano! It's a volcano in the middle of a lake. I know, pretty cool right?
If you're not already familiar with the Barrel Man, it's a staple Filipino souvenir - (they were selling a bunch of novelty items at the summit.) It's a wooden male figure that's covered with a barrel. When you pull the barrel up, his arms pop up to the sides and his boner pops up too. Yeah, I know, wth right? But yes, it's a thing. But apparently, just straight up wooden penises is a thing too?? I mean c'mon.
Manila is the Philippine's capital city. It's part of the larger region of Metro Manila. I won't give you a history lesson because I don't know enough. Google it if you want to know more.
The one major impression Manila left me? TRAFFIC. Like, not your normal rush hour traffic, this is crazy traffic. I won't go into too much detail but always give yourself 1.5 - 2 hours of travel time anywhere in the area.
I LOVE weddings! I love witnessing love. And these two are one of the most in love people you will ever meet. Sigh... so happy we got to be part of their special day.
Check out their amazing same-day-edit video:
We stayed a Dos Palmas Resort - an island that we had to take a 1-hour ferry ride to after a 1-hour plane right to Puerto Princesa from Manila. So all in all, it took us about 5 hours to get there. But it was definitely worth it.
Insane sunsets every day. Matt and I were going photo crazy.
We left the island at 6am for our Underground River tour, so they packed up breakfast to go.
Ok, so the Underground River was pretty cool. BUT, I didn't expect it to be so touristy. It was almost like a Disney ride complete with audio tour guide (no kidding). Nonetheless, it was a great experience, and our boat guy was really really funny. He kept making the cheesiest but finniest jokes the whole ride.
We also did a Mangrove Paddle Boat Tour - not pictured, but I'll have official photos for it later on. Stay tuned.
We're so happy that we got to spend time with our families. Matt and I also met each other's relatives for the first time. His Tagalog skills were even put to test. I'm more fluent than he is and it's good to know that we can both still carry full conversations in our native tongue.
This is my Ate (Ateh) Dors. She pretty much raised me the whole time I was growing up in the Philippines along with my brothers and sisters. We may not share the same blood, but she is definitely family.
Now, it's time for random moments montage...
My cousin brought home food from Wooden Spoon for our last dinner in the Philippines. THE BEST meal we had hands down. Not the best photo - but trust me. SO GOOD.
Ok, so every restaurant in the Philippines gives you these super tiny napkins.
I got random snacks at Narita Airport during our layover back home. One the best finds is Tokyo Milk Cheese Factory! I cannot rave enough about this stuff. Luxurious buttery cookies with cheese in the middle - sounds kinda weird but they're my new favorite cookies! If you're ever in Japan, please please please get these for me. Or let me know if they sell them anywhere in the Bay Area.
Clearly, I can spend hours writing about the Philippines. So I will leave the rest for another time, and another post.
Want to see Matt's version of our trip?
WATCH THE VLOG BELOW!
Thanks for reading. And see you next week.