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.


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