There Is No Place Like MANILA

While we call Bangkok our home now, Manila is a place I want to go back and settle sometime in the future. This is our first trip home after moving and three weeks definitely were not enough.

It definitely was the busiest three weeks of my life, and boy it took a toll on me. There would be days when I'd tell Jed I'd rather stay home that day. We stayed at my family's house in Bulacan so my mother could spend more time with her only grandchild but this means we had to commute to Manila every day. And with a toddler who is also adjusting to a different environment, taking him with us is a challenge.

Since he was reunited with his car seat, some days went well.

Sitting happily in his car seat while watching Barney

I had been wanting him to ride that carousel at Shangri-la Plaza mall. I just didn't think it would make me dizzy.

Round and round...and round and round.

Javi gets his best haircut in Manila.

Finally enjoying his haircut

My sister loves playing with Javi.

Showing his new toys to Tita Via

For two years in a row, our visit to Bulacan/Manila coincided with All Saints' Day. For Filipinos, it is a tradition to visit your dead relatives in the cemetery. It was that time again to visit Tatay's tomb.

On our visit to my mother's siblings, they threw a small get-together for Javi's second birthday. I miss those birthday cakes from Red Ribbon. And the pancit from PAsig is always the best.

With our relatives from my mother's side of the family

Very happy to set foot in my favorite places.

Hello Ayala Avenue and Serendra

Friends Meet-Ups! Sadly, the photos I have are less than half of the people we met. It was too chaotic for me to pull out my camera and take photos. 

With Neyza and the gang at Serendra

With the Atienzas at LJ's The Lollicake Factory

An absolute MUST: Lunch with Cheryl at CIBO

Oh, diet was thrown out the window. I was an eating machine. So many food I missed - from the taho vendor and lugaw from Tita Pining's to excellent food at Antonio's. I created my own rule of eating those that I missed but definitely no to second servings. There's is no room for seconds when I have a list of what I wanted to try.

New restaurants. Sweets. Old favorites.

I ♥Filipino food. And Vietnamese. And the others.

I had to have my haircut in the Philippines where I could explain what I want to happen and the stylist would get it.

Thank you, Ogie Rayel and TFE parlor in Balagtas

We checked out new places such as the Ayala Triangle. So much has changed in this area. This used to be my constant view when I was still working and the embassy held office in Allied Bank building. I love every minute I spent with my family.

Brunch with my family at the Ayala Triangle before we head to the airport

Presenting our mini sari-sari store in our luggage.  Wish I could have brought more. But those cans of Purefoods items and bottled sardines are heavy. My happiest times during our visit was going around the local supermarkets - SM, Landmark and Waltermart.

Yes, you are coming with us to Bangkok

Filipinos celebrating Christmas way too early was an advantage for us. We definitely felt the Christmas spirit.

Early Christmas in Manila

My apologies to friends and family we did not see. We really wished we could clone ourselves and meet every single one of you. There's always our next visit.

Looking forward to visiting Manila next year.

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