One thing I like about Americans is their ability to stay "cool" even in a heated discussion. Well, most of the time. Unlike most Filipinos, they usually carry a conversation or an argument rationally and with a sense of respect. They talk to strangers... they are not intimidated (maybe they are!) by intruders who want to talk to them. They honestly welcome and answer your questions, as opposed to a lot of Filipinos who think that a stranger has no right to smile, greet or talk to them. I have heard a common comment in the Philippines like, "Why is she talking to me? Do I know her?" Often, what Americans call confidence is cockiness to Filipinos. Anyways, this just came to mind because I was fascinated at how people respond to Ray Comfort and Kirk Cameron when they suddenly appear to individuals and start interviewing them. People are amazingly responsive!
Check this video out...
I really enjoyed watching it! It explains relativism and how illogical it is!
Paul and I spoke at a Pastors and Church Leaders conference in Tandag, Surigao del Sur, Philippines on the 12th of this month. 120 of them made it to the said event. We had to say “no” to those who didn't register before the seminar day because the venue could only accommodate a maximum of 120 people. It was pouring heavily on that day and some areas of the city were already flooded. But the bad weather could not stop the people from coming.
The conference went really well. Paul has grown so much as to being a teacher and as to public speaking. In fact, he was a different person up there. He spoke with eloquence, boldness, convincing power and a clear message by God’s grace. I knew it! I was very optimistic that he would do well because he is such a passionate study-er and is obedient to God’s call in his life, which definitely are signs of being a good teacher. He has mastered his topics and applied it on himself. He spoke on three different topics and I reinforced each one and moderated forums and group dynamics. My job also included showing our power point presentation and videos from the Way of the Master. Anyways, the simplicity and clarity of Paul’s message attracted the people in the conference hall. It was amazing to see them being quiet and all-eyes to Paul. Well, as Filipino, I could easily tell when a Filipino audience is not interested and not learning anything. They usually talk to each other, look at the floor or ceiling, sleep, go in and out of the conference room when what you speak on doesn’t interest them at all. But that time, people were very attentive and you could tell that they were pondering on what we were speaking about. Most of them were taking notes, too. So it was very encouraging.
Every time we showed videos, every body got excited! The Way of the Master videos are very well done- creative and fascinating. They message is conspicuous! Very understandable! Any body could easily identify with the situations given.
We had time for people to voice their thoughts and reactions when we wrapped the conference up. We were more encouraged when we heard their very positive responses.
We offered to provide for most of the financial need of the conference. Paul and I have a special love for the pastors in Tandag. They were the ones who supported me with faithful prayers and finances when I was in Mongolia. It was great to be able to treat them that way. We gave all of them books and cd’s and provided them food for lunch. We believe that God blesses His children who care for His servants. It was wonderful to hear that they were blessed and felt loved by us through that event.
We thank God for placing every aspect of the conference in place. We really felt His hand upon it. For its big success, we give Him the glory and praise! Also, we are thankful for my brother, Dan, who coordinated it. He is quite an event organizer. His fellow pastors and the churches in Tandag trust and love him so much that they don’t hesitate to participate whatever event he endorses. We are also grateful for Pastor Tom Adino, the chairman of the Ministerial fellowship in the city, who helped coordinate it. He came, welcomed the delegates and Paul and me, sat all day with other pastors to learn from what we had to say and finally spoke about how he was blessed… to our encouragement. We are honored and humbled to be used by the Lord to minister to these veteran men and women of God and to be able to “give a glass of water” to each them.
I thought of the Bible verse that says, "So teach us to number our days, that we may apply our hearts unto wisdom." (Psalm 90:12) and asked P why we celebrate our birthdays each year instead of each day. Why didn't King David use "years" instead of "days" when he wrote that prayer? Well, I have to throw that question to him when I meet him in heaven someday. Anyways, I celebrated my 16th (???) birthday on Saturday. I still had jitters from our long flights and couldn't figure out the time. I was awake at 3am and got sleepy at 8am. I slept until 1pm. Paul had to take care of Izzy's breakfast. He and Izzy cleaned the house. When I woke up, every thing was nice and clean. We went out for lunch because I was too lazy to fix it at home. After lunch, we went to the fitness gym for swimming. After getting enough exercise in swimming, we then drove to Hoban Korean Restaurant in Eagan to officially start celebrating my birthday. Exactly three years ago, we also had my birthday dinner here. Hoban has changed a lot. It has now a nice ambiance- brighter, cleaner and more spacious. The service has definitely changed too. The authenticity of their food has also improved. I was so happy with the restaurant.
FYI, Korean food was my comfort food when I was in Mongolia. I always went to a Korean restaurant in Ulaanbaatar when I get bored with the Mongolian food and when I feel lonely. I have very beautiful memories of God's faithfulness and great friends in Seoul, Korea and every time I eat Kimchi, I remember them and it brings smile to my face and heart. The Korean people I know are just wonderful blessing to me! They are the most helpful and thoughtful people I've ever met. I love them!
So, I ate until I had a big party in my tummy! I was so full... but wasn't really feeling guilty of overeating. The Bul Go Gi and the side dishes in lettuce wrap had definitely made my night!
My birthday bash continued at home with DQ ice cream cake that Orgil bought for me and opening of presents that P and Isabelle got me. Then we played scrabble until midnight. No, I didn't win!
I can't believe I am one year older than last year! Well, I thank God for the blessing of new friends, lots of peace and joy and lots of free time to enjoy life and family last year. I have already submitted my wish list to Him for this new year in my life!
January 26- Orgil brought us to the airport here in the Twin Cities for our 13-hour flight to Tokyo, Japan. During the entire flight, Isabelle only napped for an hour. That means her mommy and daddy had almost zero sleep! The little girl was very excited to be in a 747-400 aircraft, even though it wasn't her first time to be in a huge plane. Paul and I were excited about a different thing- that's to be with family and friends in the Philippines. The flight seemed like forever! I think it's just because we couldn't wait to get to our destination. In the plane, we got Izzy busy with reading books, drawing and coloring, listening to her music in her daddy's ipod, watching her movies in my laptop, playing with other little people in the plane, playing with her dollies and teddy bears and snacking. She would do anything but sleep. That was a little bummer!
January 27- We finally arrived at Narita International Airport in Tokyo, Japan. We were so dog-tired that we didn't mind making a bed out of the hard floor by the boarding gate of our next flight. We had 2 hours to rest before we boarded another 747-400 plane bound for Manila, Philippines. Isabelle continued sleeping until we landed at Manila International Airport. It was a 5-hour flight. At the airport, my only sister and "bestest" friend, Grace, and her husband of 6 months, met us. They flew in a day earlier from Thailand. We got to meet her husband, Clif, for the first time. He looked much bigger than every one in the Philippines with his 6 feet height. Isabelle called my sister, "Tita Grace" right away. She also didn't complain when Clif picked her up. From the airport, we headed to our favorite hotel, Kabayan Hotel. We always stay in this hotel every time we are in Manila. It's a little different now... it's bigger, cleaner and decorated better.
January 28- We stayed another day in Manila. We visited the Intramuros, the Spanish headquarters during their colonization of the Philippines. We toured around the historic area and enjoyed the company of an expert Filipino historian as our tour guide. We also went to Manila Zoo, where Paul got to see crocodiles for the very first time. In the afternoon, we left our husbands and Izzy sleeping in our hotel while we went shopping at the Mall of Asia. We ended up not buying anything but a pair of flip flops for each of us. All we did was walking around the mall while talking... we would stop and sit in sidewalk benches when our conversations got more emotional. When we got back to the hotel, the three were still sleeping. We woke them up and went to Glorieta for dinner. We took the MRT light rail train. Oh, you should have seen how excited Izzy was to be in a "Cho-cho" ride. Anyway, we were up for Korean food so we ate at a nice Korean restaurant in Glorieta. Oh, the food was awesome! I didn't realize how much I miss Bulgogi and Kimchi until that night. With the "party in our tummy", we went to the park in the mall so Izzy could play with Paul and Clif while Grace and I went to do more shopping and talking. After Izzy's playtime, we went to Greenbelt, the mall where we could easily spot popular Filipino celebrities for a walk and coffee. Grace and I had Starbucks coffee. Oh, the coffee there tasted much better than their coffee here. I don't know why.
January 29- We woke up at 4 and had a very early breakfast because we had to be at the airport for our flight bound for Davao City at 7am. The 1.5-hour flight was very long! We couldn't wait to see the rest of the family (except for Nemrod and his family, who later joined us) waiting for us at the airport. When we finally saw them, we got more excited! My Mama and Papa looked much healthier and stronger than when we met them two years ago. My nieces have grown so much. Some of them were taller than me! From the airport, we headed to a restaurant for lunch, hugging and talking! Isabelle enjoyed the attention she got from her lolo and lola (grandpa and grandma), cousins, titos and titas (uncles and aunts). She gave each a hug and a kiss! Nemrod's wife and kids came and joined us for lunch. After lunch, we drove to Red Knight Gardens where we rented two apartments for our accommodation for 4 days. The said apartments were in the same building and were turned into some kind of hotel rooms but each one is fully-furnished. It felt like we were all in the same house... perfect vacation spot for a big family. We spent the rest of the day resting and talking.
January 30- All guys brought Papa for shopping for his attire for their 50th Wedding Anniversary the next day. All ladies also went shopping with Mama to buy her her special dress. All the kids stayed at the apartments to play. Nemrod arrived later in the afternoon. In the evening, we had Grace's Wedding Reception at a private room in one restaurant. It was a cute party with lots of food, laughter, singing, dancing, speech-ing and praying. We got to formally welcome Clif into the Maliza family. Oh, and I was the MC. Also, three of my high school buddies came to see me and my American family. Oh, how they've changed. They looked bigger and happier! All three of them have really good careers. I was so happy to see them and to get a chance to introduce my handsome hubby and my lovely daughter. After the reception, we were so tired that we couldn't wait to get to our apartment to sleep... and we did... but before we ended that day, the drama of our laptop started! Check it out here... The Drama of our Laptop.
January 31- God woke us up with His miraculous way to answer prayers! A knock on our door announced the miracle! What a morning that was! It sure did gave us a strong jump start for that day. It's our parents' Golden Wedding Anniversary and we were very ready to celebrate it. We did our last minute shopping for the big event in the morning. At 3pm every one was dressed in his/her best. We drove to the Waterfront Hotel where we were going to have the celebration. We had our picture taking for an hour and at 5:30pm the ceremony was started. The reception followed right after the ceremony. For more of the event and photos, check this out... Golden Wedding Anniversary.
February 1- Nemrod and his family left for Bislig City early morning. The rest remained at Red Knight and later visited the Crocodile Park and Tribal Park, where we ended up dancing with the folk dancers in the park. Paul had a great time at the Crocodile Park. I also got to see a real water dragon. Oh, it looked very ugly... the ugliest animal I've ever seen in my entire life! We also did some swimming at the pool at Red Knight Gardens in the evening. Oh, and we also had a worship service at one of the apartments we rented because it was Sunday. Paul and Clif spoke during our service.
February 2- We drove up to Tandag, Surigao del Sur in the morning without Grace and Clif(they went to visit my uncle in STo. Tomas, Davao del Norte). It was an 8-hour drive. It could have been shorter if it wasn't raining hard. The roads weren't all paved yet so there were parts that were very muddy. Dan definitely did a great job of driving his van, despite his few backseat drivers. Paul also tried driving and I instantly became the backseat driver! It was already dark when we got home (my parent's house).
February 3- Rest day. Ate a lot of grilled tuna, chicken soup with all kinds of green veggies and lots of mangoes, papayas and very sweet bananas.
February 4- We rested more but had a lot of conversations with Mama and Papa and Dan, who was off from work for three weeks to help us get to places where we needed to be and to help organized our meetings with groups and individuals. We had a mid-week service at Dan and Papa's church where Paul spoke again. We got to meet our friends from church that evening. It was great seeing them and catching up with updates in their lives.
February 5- We did more preparations for the Pastors and Church leaders conference where we would be speaking at. I started making the Power point presentations. Grace and Clif arrived in Tandag from Davao City.
February 6- Lunch with two of my closest friends from college with Paul and Izzy and Grace, Clif and Queenqueen. We ate at a restaurant at the beach. I spent time with my friends until evening, while the rest went home and rested.
February 7- We went to Tago (30 minutes away from Tandag) to buy the famous casava cake and sweet potato balls and to watch Dan and Paul's basketball match. I don't want to tell who won though. Later that day, Nemrod, joined us in Tandag. It was sad that his wife and kids could not come with him due to the heavy rains that made it difficult to travel.
February 8- We attended the service at our church. Paul spoke a little bit. Clif was the main speaker that morning. For lunch, we all went to a nice restaurant by the beach and had a long conversation over our Filipino food. We had lumpia, fish soup, rice, pancit canton, fried chicken and mango shakes. We were so full and definitely happy! Later that day, I spoke at a women's meeting at our church. It was such a blessed time with women pouring their hearts out. I prepared a whole outline of things to say but God redirected me into speaking what they needed to hear that afternoon. We all had chocolate fondue right after the meeting. It was such a joy to see them enjoy their first experience of fondue. Oh, and Grace spoke at the meeting too! She had such a powerful testimony of God's faithfulness and healing power. It was a great time with the ladies!
February 9- Grace and Clif flew back to Thailand. I was sad to see them leave. It felt like I couldn't get enough of Grace's company. She was such a happy and creative soul. Her joy was very contagious and I enjoyed every minute of our time together. I enjoyed all her sad and happy stories. She's quite a story teller! To say "bye-bye" to her was not very nice. It would be another two years before I see her and her very nice guy, Clif. Anyway, it was raining so it was nice to rest at home with lots of Filipino food to munch on. In the evening, we had a get together at our church for a few of my very close friends from college. It was fun to see some of our photos back in college. We all looked thin and innocent. We had a nice restaurant do the catering for that party. The food was awesome! I'm glad my friends could make it with a short notice.
February 10-11 We did a lot of preparation for the conference on the 12th. It was also time to get more rested. We went to the beach but couldn't really swim because it was high-tide. It's been raining and the temps were pleasant so we got to rest well at home and play scrabble in between napping, eating and talking with our family.
February 12- 120 pastors and church leaders came to our conference for Biblical evangelism. For more of it, check this out... Conference!
February 13- We left for Maragusan, the town in a valley in the northern part of Davao, where my family lived for the first 15 years of my life. For more of it, check out Maragusan.
February 14- We drove back to Davao City and stayed at Red Knight Gardens with every one in Dan's family and Queenqueen (Grace's daughter).
February 15- We said good bye to Dan's family and Queenqueen at the international airport in Davao City. We made the "bye-bye" session as short as possible to avoid shedding tears. We flew to Manila and stayed one night at Kabayan Hotel.
February 16- We flew back to Tokyo, Japan then to the Twin Cities. The flights were shorter. Isabelle and I slept well. Paul was reading more than sleeping.
I spent the first 15 years of my life in Maragusan Valley, Davao del Norte. It was in this town that my growing up memories were formed. I literally learned how to walk, run and climb mountains here. I went to grade school and high school here. My love for people and the beauty of their different cultures was shaped here. I discovered the the importance of having an inner circle of friends in this place. I fought the battle of peer pressure as a teenage girl here. The circumstances around me here had pushed me to be close to my Creator and God.
As far as my memory serves me well, I cried more than I laughed in Maragusan. I was not happy that I had to bathe in cold water before I walk to school every morning. It didn't please me that we had to eat lots of sweet potatoes or casava with salt when we ran out of rice and fish. The place seemed very remote from the bigger city. I got frustrated that we didn't get to watch TV because electricity didn't come to town until later in my high school time. I was stuck with my little radio listening to some silly journal broadcasters and audio plays aired from Davao City. I also had to share my radio with my siblings, which made it very complicated because each one had his/her own favorite station. We ended up fighting over the little radio. I didn't like the low temps in Maragusan. It felt like I would freeze to death. Yes, it's cooler down there because it is highly elevated. Growing up, I thought it was the coldest place in the world. No kidding. I dreaded our high school parades around the town. The heat from the sun at 12 noon could easily cause me a stroke. The hardest time in my life was when my mom would ask me to do food shopping where I had to walk from our house to the market for about 15 minutes each way. There was no public vehicle to use for commuting and the roads were not paved... dusty on dry season and muddy on rainy season. I walked like crazy in this town. I hiked to school every morning and ran back home late afternoon. I climbed mountains with friends to pick coffee beans and guavas. I was always skinny growing up... no wonder!
Maragusan was a melting pot of different ethnic groups. Here, I was first exposed to different languages and cultures. Quite a few tribes settled in this town. Thanks to that, I have learned that communication does not depend solely on someone's fluency and eloquence of words. I have also learned not to be ethnocentric but appreciate the uniqueness of each people group. In fact, being ethnocentric is being ignorant of the reality and beauty of life. Maragusan was a home of the Mansaka, Waray, Boholano, Mandaya, Moslem and Ilonggo groups of people. Very interesting! It sure did prepare me for my trips to several countries.
My family left Maragusan 20 years ago, just right after I graduated from high school. I was kind of happy because I didn't have to deal with its "cold" weather. We moved to a city by the pacific ocean... plenty warm and humid... lots of fish and coconut. However, after a while, I started complaining about the typhoons and floods. We never had such things in Maragusan being that it is in a valley- surrounded by high mountains that were covered by virgin forests. I also started getting sick of fish. I so longed for the fresh brewed coffee and the huge variety of fruit we could get in Maragusan. I began to miss bonding with different ethnic groups. Tandag was very ethnically homogeneous. I became homesick. We only got to visit is once in a few years.The last time I visited the place was 9 years ago.
On our trip to the Philippines recently, we got to squeeze in a day to drive to Maragusan on the way to Davao City from Tandag. The drive was terrible. It was raining and the roads were in pretty bad shape. But I would say, they were a hundred times better than 20 years ago. Dan, who was driving, had to be the best driver in the world to deal with the rough roads with deep puddles and soil erosion on both sides. Arriving in Maragusan brought back quite a bit of memories despite the many changes in the town. One important change I noticed was the presence of banana plantation. It used to be all coffee trees. It was also nice to see the closest mountain to the town developed into a mountain resort, now called, Haven's Peak. We stayed at one of the beautiful cabins there for one night. The temps were so perfect. It's maybe about 75 degrees Fahrenheit. It was great to see 4 of my closest friends in high school, my close friend when I was 2-10 years old and the people who were very close to me growing up including my nanny and her sister who was the closest person to me growing up. One of my high school classmate who also was a good friend until college prepared a big lechon (roasted pig) for us. It was really great to be specially treated that way.
I would like to bring my family again to Maragusan in two years. This time, I want to be the one giving all those who are very close to me a special treat.
To all of you who I got to meet in Maragusan the other week, thank you very much from my heart of heart!
Ate Kims (close/best friend, big sister, nanny, partner in everything growing up)
Ate Abet (my nanny)
Jingjing (my close friend from age 2 to 10)
4 of my closest friends in grade school and high school: Ferdinand (Enan), Bembem, and Mar Ulysses
One of the main reasons why we flew to the Philippines was to be at my parents' 50th Wedding Anniversary. We had the said event on the 31st of January at the Waterfront Insular Hotel in Davao City. I and my siblings planned it for 2 years and I was tasked to be the event organizer. I had lots of fun putting the details of the event together. A sales representative from the hotel did a great job of preparing the venue and the food. I made the program for the ceremony and the reception with the approval of my siblings. Our goal was to make it super special, elegant and a "big" surprise for our parents.
We didn't tell them how we were going to celebrate it. They thought we would just have a simple dinner at a simple restaurant. When we bought them their attires- a Barong Tagalog (official formal dress shirt for Filipino men) for Papa and a Filipiana (official formal dress for Filipino ladies) for Mama, they were wondering why they had to wear them. When they saw the men dressed up in Barong Tagalogs and the women in formal long gowns, the two still had no clue what we were gonna do. We drove to Waterfront Insular Hotel, a 5-star hotel, without telling them what we were up to there. As soon as they read what was in the backdrop in the beautifully decorated party room, they realized that we would celebrate their 50th Wedding Anniversary there. They were so stunned and moved that they had tears of joy in their eyes. They didn't have the slightest hint we planned a special celebration for them. The photographer and the videographer we hired didn't waste time and started the fun in picture and video taking immediately. We had pictures taken outdoors... oh, it was blazing hot! We were practically bathing in our own sweats but we gave our best smiles anyway. My parents looked stunning in their attires! And watching them posed for the camera was very cute!
We started the ceremony as soon as Papa's brother, Uncle Josh, and his wife arrived. Papa and Mama looked very cute on their processional march. We all stood for them as they walked down the aisle. Auntie Leah, Uncle Josh's wife, opened the ceremony with a prayer. It was followed by Kuya Dan's (our oldest brother) speech to welcome every one. Then, Kuya Dan's wife, Ate Babette, led us in singing a worship song. After that, Papa was called to recall and tell us their love story. Oh, it was very romantic! I will write it here sometime. He also said his special message for Mama. Then it was her turn to say her message to Papa. As soon as they were done with their messages, I and my siblings sang their favorite song. Growing up, we heard them sang that song over and over. It was our chance to sing it to them. It's called, "I'm going higher someday". The rest of the ceremony was Uncle Josh officiating the reenactment of Papa and Mama's marriage vows and the promenade of their grandchildren to pay respect and honor to their Lolo and Lola with their presents and flowers. Kuya Nemrod was our MC, so it was a "knockout!"
For the reception party, we had buffet dinner and talent time. The food was excellent and more than enough... we got to bring quite a bit of left-overs. The kids got to show their talents in singing and dancing and dedicated them to Lolo and Lola. The big people said their love speeches to Papa and Mama. The two also had a cake and wine thing, which I think was adorable. Then, we danced the night away!
It was a dream-come-true to all of us in the family, who wanted something special for our parents. It did come to my parents as a big surprise. And I am pretty satisfied with how the whole thing turned out. It was memorable, beautiful and inexpensive.
On our way to Red Knight Gardens in Davao City, where we rented two apartments for the whole family, Isabelle was sleeping in the taxi. It was 11 at night. As soon as the taxi stopped at the gate of our apartment, I said, "Honey, would you help Joy (my adopted sister) carry Izzy to our room? Be careful, so you won't wake her up." And he did. We were so worn-out from all of our activities that day and from Grace's Wedding Reception that Paul couldn't wait to hit the bed. I was still up talking to my siblings. After sleeping for 30 minutes, Paul got up and announced that he left the bag with my laptop in the taxi. We were shocked! We did all our best to recall the name of the taxi but we couldn't. It was very important that we recover that laptop because it's got our personal information that could be used by others on our behalf. Clif thought of the guard house in the entrance of the subdivision where Red Knight Gardens is located. Dan didn't waste time, he drove to the guard house and the security guard on duty gave him the name of the taxi and it's number. Later, he also gave the name of the taxi driver. The next hour was spent on making calls to the office of the taxi company, 911 and the police headquarters. The taxi company refused to give the contact info's of the said taxi driver for reasons he won't disclose. We were so desperate to get our laptop back before the one who got it open it and uses our credit card info's. We called our bank and requested to put our credit card on hold. Dan and Nemrod drove far to personally talk to the person on duty in the taxi company office that night but didn't get any more info's about the driver. When they got home, we were so hopeless! The impossibility to get our computer back just got more real. A month before our trip to the Philippines, Dan was telling me how people in the Philippines have become so desperate to survive in a very depressed economy that thieves and robbers were everywhere. He warned us to make extra effort to protect our moneys, credit cards, passports and other important belongings on our trip. In fact, a thief broke into my parents' house a few months ago. With that in mind, I was just very hopeless that our laptop would be recovered. We had the name of the taxi and the driver but to try to trace him could take weeks. That's just how system in the Philippines work. Our final effort was to gather in the living room and prayed. Every one, except the kids who were soundly sleeping, was praying. After lots of prayers and Paul promising to give all the cash he had that night to the driver if he came back with our lappy in the morning, we all slept like a baby. Around 5 am, my mom heard a hard knock on our gate. She got up and opened the gate and lo and behold, she saw a taxi driver with a bag in his hand. He came back with our laptop! Mama woke us all up to announce the great news! We got our lappy back! The driver said that he was driving home very far from where we were and found out about the bag. He said he couldn't sleep that night at home and that he felt really convicted to look for us and return the bag, so he drove back to us very early in the morning. Every one was full of joy! Paul gave him all the cash he had and the driver felt very appreciated for his integrity. What a story of God's faithfulness to answer our prayers! That's just the God we serve and love! And oh, when we left for Tandag, we left the power cord of that laptop somewhere in Davao. We couldn't trace where we left it and thought it was lost. We bought a new power cord for it. But when we went back to Red Knight Gardens, they said they had our power cord and gave it to us. We called them before to ask if they had it but they said, "no". It's crazy... but yes, that's the drama of our laptop! We cleaned that lappy and gave it to Dan.
Oh, it's nice to be back home. I miss my family and friends in the Philippines though. Three weeks seem very short... too short and too precious. I said "NO!" to an urge to go online and blog! I told myself, "Blog if you want, but there is family and friends to have endless conversations with, siblings to play competitive scrabble with, super cute nieces to play with, places full of memories to visit, Filipino food to eat... slowly (to celebrate the taste of its authenticity), meetings to speak at and heavy rains and flooding to enjoy! Blog if you want, but as far as I am concern, there are more important things to do than blogging." The whole time we were gone, we revisited memories and made more beautiful ones.
I promise to put the stories and photos from our trip together and share them with you here. For now, I'm off to make calzones... my hubby will be home from work in a few minutes.