It has been almost 7 months since my 3-week holiday in The Philippines. It has also taken 7 months to share just some of the photos I captured over there. There are a lot of reasons as to why I am only sharing them now and not earlier with the primary being.... my memories of the place are still so vivid, I personally felt there was no need to bring them to life again through photos. I can easily revisit the images in my mind, sounds and senses of my time there, I guess you can say, 'not everyone needs to see or hear them'. Normally I would immediately start editing photos and post them up in due time, but the reality of going back to work and going back to 'living life' got the better of me. And honestly, that didn't mind me at all.
I took 5 8GB memory cards full of photos and the idea of culling through them and editing felt more of task then a nostalgic attempt to rekindle those memories. Now 7 months later, I find myself revisiting past blog posts... and most of them being my travel ones of Thailand last year. I left part of my heart back in Thailand, and my fondness and desire for the place grows each time I re-read one of my past blog posts. Though my memories of The Philippines are still strong, I want them to endure just like my ones of in Thailand. So for my future self, I am going to do this. The Philippines is my Motherland, I owe it not only to you my dear readers, but to myself and my family whom I've shared these wonderful experiences with. Here it goes....
All photos taken by me on a Canon 550D, 28-75mm F/2.8 lens
During my first few days in The Philippines, we stayed in my parents' hometown, Lucban about 3.5 hours out of Manila. Having visited there when I was a little girl and again at 16 years of age, it was definitely a whole new experience to see the place again with adult eyes. I felt like I knew what to expect yet again, didn't. Would I recognise streets and be able to orientate myself with my surroundings? The answer... well yes. Not much has changed in 8 years, and to be honest... I don't think it will if another 8 years have passed. Having lived in a first world country my entire life (Australia), these previous visits to The Phillippines have already issued me a few culture shocks, which has in fact, benefited me and am hugely grateful for. Provincial life is a world away from the lifestyle we have in Sydney Australia and hopefully these photos show it. Life is simple. The day starts off early, with the sound of buzzing tricycles (tuk tuk style motorbikes with a side carriage), the cringing sound of grass brooms sweeping the streets, men and women screaming out different food for sale and even some neighbours already cranking the latest and overplayed Rihanna song at 6am. You can't even get a sleep-in at the main provincial hotel, which is suppose to be the best. I found myself having a few naps in the day to make up for it. Not to mention, the tropical heat adding to my afternoon naps followed by a refreshing halo-halo at the local Buddy's (popular dine-in family restaurant). My family and I went to visit the town cemetery and say hello to relatives whom passed away. The last time I visited the place, I was so scared to even place a foot within the gates. This time, I saw it in a new light. Nature had overgrown and flowerings and vines spruced up amongst the graves and tombs. My dad had always warned me I will see bones and skulls amongst the tomb stone walls. Normally this would make me feel at unease, but it didn't. There was so much beauty around every corner, I felt comfortable wandering the cemetery aisles alone. My sixteen year old self wouldn't have.
I gained a lot of insights from living in the province and 'how things are in The Philippines'. I could go on for days, but the main thing I took back from it is that my siblings and I are really lucky to live the life we have in Australia. We are so fortunate and being there in Lucban made it so apparent. It was once said going back to your roots can be good for you. I went all the way to the Philippine jungle and boy oh boy do I have more stories to tell.
I hope you all had a pleasant weekend. More posts to come soon!