Pictures of My Manila Life

Bye, vacation!

I’m finally back in Boston after a very long trip.

If you’re reading closely or following me on Instagram, you might have noticed that I went on vacation in mid-December to go home to Manila for the holidays, then went to Japan with my family earlier this month, spent another couple of weeks in the Philippines, and now I am back in the real world (aka brain is now at work-mode).

Being on vacation for nearly two months (longest break I’ve ever had in my entire life!) gave me the chance to reset and really truly relax.

In Manila, my days were unhurried and slow. I enjoyed languid meals with my family, went to yoga on most mornings, and caught up with plenty of friends. I read books and magazines, I watched movies, I strolled around the malls just window-shopping. I met a lot of new babies, watched Tita Ine prepare her specialties, ate so many of my favorite things, and spent many quiet afternoons at home just sitting back and relishing the gentle breeze from the “cold” weather (“cold” meaning the temperatures would drop below 80 degrees F).

I felt very appreciative of our lifestyle. I’m not going to lie: I loved having maids and a driver. It was so very nice having someone else do my laundry, cook all the meals, do the dishes, prepare fresh orange juice every morning (!), clean up, etc, and having our driver just standing by, ready to drive me or pick me up anywhere.  This morning when I woke up, I half expected to see breakfast already ready for me!

Here are some pictures of my Manila Life. For you to see what I’ve been doing on the other side of the world, and for me to always remember the wonderful time that I had:

Christmas party with my college friends, my signature sangria, my sister Monica on her birthday with my dad (my dad’s birthday was a week earlier than hers, and mine was just last week, so my family celebrated 3 birthdays in 2 months!), my best gals Marcie, Fe, and Lora with Lora’s two boys (or three, counting her hubs in the background)

my favorite way to start the day at home: Filipino hot chocolate, our front yard at night, and lots of “lutong-bahay” or home cooked meals: cheese sticks, bean sprout stir fry, and shrimp and chorizo paella

my friends Carla and Jem holding the cutest twins, teeny little bananas (each the length of my finger), dark chocolate sansrival (a Filipino meringue torte), some of my friends from high school, the nail spa, and the boxing gym

the appetizer plate at one of my favorite Chinese restaurants, my family eating dinner at that restaurant, a couple of beautiful plates of food while I was out to dinner with my travel buddy

a look into our home from the back foyer, a pre-brunch photo with my sisters, Tita Ine, and Tess (one of our helpers who has been with my family for nearly 15 years), our adorable dog Max

Two months seemed so long yet so short. I had such an incredible time, and it was also great to be able to celebrate my birthday at home – the first birthday I had in Manila in 10 years! Today I start my adventure as a full time student again (finishing my master’s in Journalism), which I’m excited about. Especially because that means I’ll have spring break :) Vacation, see you again soon.


22 Responses to “Pictures of My Manila Life”

  1. #
    Michelle Lahey posted January 29, 2014 at 1:45 pm

    Congrats on going back to school to get your master’s!! And looks/sounds like a wonderful and relaxing vacation.

    • #
      Bianca Garcia posted January 29, 2014 at 2:58 pm

      Thank you! It went by too quickly :)

  2. #
    Meghan posted January 29, 2014 at 2:00 pm

    I loved following your adventures and look forward to catching up in person soon!

    • #
      Bianca Garcia posted January 29, 2014 at 2:58 pm

      Thanks, Meghan. Yes, see you soon!

  3. #
    yummychunklet posted January 29, 2014 at 6:37 pm

    Looks like it was a lovely vacation!

  4. #
    Pamela @ Brooklyn Farm Girl posted January 29, 2014 at 7:38 pm

    Love these pictures and looks like such a good time. I hope you were able to relax and feel refreshed!

  5. #
    Fe Olivia Mir posted January 30, 2014 at 5:33 am

    Cant wait to see you in June!! :) btw, win – i have 2 pics!! hahaha

    • #
      Bianca Garcia posted January 30, 2014 at 9:04 am

      3, if you count the big UP group picture hehehe. See you in NY!

  6. #
    Erin | The Law Student's Wife posted January 30, 2014 at 11:20 am

    What an AMAZING adventure! Best wishes as you start back at school, and I’m so happy you got to enjoy this relaxing time with your family.

    • #
      Bianca Garcia posted January 30, 2014 at 9:42 pm

      Thank you, Erin! I’m happy and excited!

  7. #
    Sacha posted January 30, 2014 at 10:12 pm

    Wow, what a life it was! Spending such an extended period of time with your family and friends was the perfect way to start your first semester. Congratulations and welcome back.

  8. #
    Amy (Savory Moments) posted January 31, 2014 at 6:27 am

    Your trip looks wonderful and I’m glad you enjoyed it! Happy belated birthday to you as well!! :-)

  9. #
    The Squishy Monster posted January 31, 2014 at 5:07 pm

    Happy Belated, Bianca! What lovely quality family time and yummy too!!

  10. #
    Joanne posted February 1, 2014 at 8:29 am

    Your trip looks like so much fun!! I’m so glad you got to spend so much time with your family!!

  11. #
    Jessica posted February 1, 2014 at 11:36 am

    Your trip looked amazing! Love the food- sounds and look delicious! :)

    • #
      Bianca Garcia posted February 1, 2014 at 12:42 pm

      Thanks, Jessica. I am starting to miss the food already! :)

  12. #
    Simply Life posted February 1, 2014 at 7:03 pm

    Sounds like a lovely time! So glad you were able to take this break and really enjoy the slower pace! And wow- that food looks SO good!

  13. #
    Natashalh posted February 2, 2014 at 12:05 am

    It looks like you had some yummy food! I know my man would love that chorizo paella. Good luck finishing your masters – I just got mine in December! It’s kind of weird not being a student right now.

    • #
      Bianca Garcia posted February 2, 2014 at 12:32 pm

      Thanks, girl! And congrats on finishing your masters :)

  14. #
    Jenny @ BAKE posted February 2, 2014 at 5:28 pm

    Your photos are amazing! it looks like you had an amazing trip!

  15. #
    Molly Galler posted February 4, 2014 at 1:49 pm

    Always love reading about your time at home. Beautiful pictures. Welcome back to Beantown reality!

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