First visitors in the Philippines

Last week we hosted our first visitors since we arrival in the Philippines, and they were my favorite people of all time. My uncles!!! They’re like my second parents. I spent so much of my childhood and teenager years in their homes. They treated me like their own and taught me so much about family values. It has been over 15 years since we were so close living under the same roof.

Lizzy and my uncle bounded immediately

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Sofia already knows grand uncle very well… he accompanied her to school bus many times

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Sofia loved their grand uncles and enjoyed having them around

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we explored the neighborhood after dinner

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we visited malls together

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these two girls melt their heart

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they enjoyed our condo and the pool

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every evening my uncle would take Sofia for a pool time

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laughs filled the house during these 5 days

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Tony took them to see the city a bit

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On last day Lizzy had high fever

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but 10 min after taking tylenol, she was alive again 🙂

We also celebrated Tony’s birthday before they left

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Untie made crab noodles that was soooo good. They loved the crab, they even took some cooked ones to the plane

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what a lovely celebration, with good food, fantastic companies, and very sweet and yummy chocolate mocha cake

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they left Friday evening… very sad 😦 I wished they stayed longer because it felt we were a big family, loving each other so much, and having so much fun together.

Lizzy woke up happy on Sunday, I stayed in her crib for a while to chat with her

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then we practiced piano with Sofia who started piano lessons with a great teacher

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on Tony’s birthday we started with his birthday gift this year, golf lessons and golf set. I think he liked it a lot 🙂

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specially when his girls accompanied him

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we finished our leisure Sunday with a Christmas party at one of my colleagues.

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As I get older, I appreciate more family time. There’s nothing that brings me more peaceful happiness than being with my folks. It’s hard to describe, but it gives me so much sense of union, belonging, blood tie, specially after I had my own children. Seeing them bounding with my mom and my uncles brings me so much joy. I hope they all live long and healthy so my girls can grow up with them, and also finds joy being with their family.

 

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Travel: amazing time in Bohol

We had our first beach experience in the Philippines right after an important meeting at work. I booked it to reward myself for the hard work leading to it. 🙂

I chose Bohol over Boracay and Palawan to find something between overly commercial and virgin islands and it turned out to be perfect!

Our flight was around 11am, national terminal was packed. Fortunately thanks to the traffic we didn’t spend much time there

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after a short flight (1hr) and a car ride (30min) we arrived Hennan alone beach resort around 2pm. Sofia couldn’t wait to go to the beach

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then we spent the afternoon exploring the hotel facilities which was amazing, many pools, one just besides the beach.

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our first dinner was at the buffet restaurant… so much food

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Sofia loved the mango

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Day 2: island hopping & dolphin watching. I booked the tour with Wow Bohol and it was a good experience. We just walked to the shore

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we had a private boat for our family… quite a nice view for the sunset

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everyone was super excited to watch the dolphins. Obviously they were in nature so it took us a good hour trying to find them. We almost gave up and then our guide spotted them, there were three jumping. Amazing!

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then we arrived Balicasag island to do snorkeling. We were given a short presentation and then gathered our things and hopped to a canoe style boat. I was a bit nervous because the boat was really tiny and each of us had to sit on one spot only to balance out the boat. Tony hold Lizzy who could only stand in the boat. But well… there we went. Our boatman was a young boy. He first took us to the sea turtle side. Then I got into the water and looked at where he pointed me and yes! there it was… a gigantic turtle swimming down to the deep ocean. Then Sofia, Tony got to see it. We spent half hour then before moving to the snorkeling fish place and even Lizzy got into the water. We all had a lot of fun! Then it was time to get back.

Sofia found few sea stars

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on the ride back, both of girls crashed

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water was so clear. There was shallow part in the middle of the sea, the boat had to stop the engine and just moved very slowly. That was interesting

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after a nap and some swimming, we went to a Italian restaurant for dinner

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Tony had a mini accident when getting to the boat, he was holding Lizzy and slipped on a rock and fell sitting. His butt was really painful so the face expression 😉

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Day 3: countryside tour

First visit, butterfly house

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then the hanging bridge

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Tarsier sanctuary was next

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this little creature is so tiny, only 23 grams

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chocolate hills

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lastly a cruise by the loboc river with a buffet lunch

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crab was the star

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there was live music so the whole experience was relaxing, calm, perfect way to end the tour

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Day 4: chocolate hill adventure park

it was more an adult adventure park but Sofia and Lizzy was happy to tag along

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it was great to see chocolate hills without the crowd

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Tony and I both got equipped

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I accompanied Sofia to do some climbing

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then I did the obstacle course first. That was challenging!
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my support group

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then Tony had his share

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Sofia had her own obstacle course

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totally crashed on the way back

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once home Lizzy demanded to go to the pool

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since it was our last night in Bohol, we had to experience the street food

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the roasted chicken was beyond this world!!! so good! I’ve never had so much chicken in one sitting

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Day 5: we spent the morning between the beach

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and the pool

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before we head to the airport. Once we landed, we spent three hours in the car from airport to home. Fortunately the girls were singing, playing, entertaining themselves. 🙂

What an amazing trip! Everything was perfect, from the location of the resort, the resort, the food, the variety of activities we had. Tony did great too! He took care the girls most of the time. Love traveling with my folks. Can’t wait for our Thailand trip in December. 🙂

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We finally got our things!

Two days after we came back from Shanghai. our shipment finally arrived. That day was crazy at home… so many boxes and unwrapping

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2 days later…. everything was settled and I got to do some reading on the couch while Sofia had a playdate

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these two girls spent the whole afternoon together playing, and Lizzy tagged along happily

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it was funny to see her following her sister and friend, trying to participate with the language and signal skills she poses, as if she’s part of the play date… she’s definitely not shy

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Sofia loves her new friend Karis, who happened to be her school bus seat mate

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we finally got the piano… surprisingly Sofia remembers more songs than I expected

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Lizzy is enjoying more and her her school… her favorite person is Teddy, the first classmate she had when she started… a very cute boy

 

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Sofia continuous to love her class, I love this picture of her playing guitar at school… so relaxed and so enjoying herself

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then we got our painting framed finally… love these that we bought in Bali

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we finally feel settled and at home again. 🙂

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