Manila: Arrival & A Surprise

After Hawaii, I left and went to Manila! It was a total of a 10 hour long trip, as evidenced by my bags shown below. But it’s all good. I’m so excited to come back to Manila. Processed with VSCOcam with a5 preset Arrival Touch down. I arrived in Manila safely. I looked around the NAIA airport and they did some major remodeling and upgrading. Although their wi-fi seriously sucks, it was a nice change. When I went outside, I was surprised that I wasn’t welcomed by the putrid smell of the city garbage. Maybe it was the night time, or it’s because it’s rainy season that the smell outside wasn’t bad at all. But again, improvements. I was picked up by my uncles and we then ate at a great Chinese restaurant called Luk Foo. Of course, we ate tons of dim sum! It was all delicious of course. I went to my uncle’s house to stay the night and get ready for the great surprise the next day. Processed with VSCOcam with f2 preset Surprise My grandparents were expecting a package the day after my arrival. They didn’t know that I was coming to Manila to visit. What my Tito Bembol & Tita Wendy did was they helped us set up a breakfast at Romulo Cafe at Azumi Boutique Hotel (which was soon chic!). My Tito Bembol told my grandparents that they’re going to do a tasting for their wedding, while Tita Wendy and I are in the restaurant waiting for them to come in. Processed with VSCOcam with f2 preset After waiting a few moments, my grandparent’s car drove by to the parking lot. It’s so exciting! They really have no idea that I’m here. When they walked in the restaurant, I greeted my Lola (grandma) and she said “hi” back not realizing it was me (she wasn’t wearing her prescription glasses). As she got closer and took off her sunnies, she couldn’t believe it! Her granddaughter is here! My Lolo (grandpa) followed her afterwards and of course he greeted me with his laugh and smile. My Lola kept on pinching me and hugging me afterwards, really thinking if “this is all real.” Afterwards, my grandma still kept looking at me and she eventually started tearing up tears of joy. I think she’s really shocked and she kept smacking me, hahaha oh how it’s great to be back. I have the whole video up (Here’s the link: SURPRISEEEEEEEEE) Processed with VSCOcam with f2 preset Spa & Family Time After the surprise, I’m definitely ready to meet more family. It’s hard because they always associate me with my parents. Without them, it was a little hard for them to recognize me. But before I do that, I went to one of my tita’s spas and got myself a really good mani & pedi! Our group then went to my Lola’s sister’s hub. I call it a “hub” because multiple families live here. We all ate dinner and of course my uncles had drinks. The greatest thing of me here is being able to eat balut again. It’s so strange!  I eat these things all the time when I was young. I got a little nervous eating it again after not eating it in so long! It’s such a weird feeling. I thought to myself, “I’ve eaten this before. Why not go for it again?” When I ate it, it’s good to know the familiarity that came with it. Although I still had thoughts of “this poor baby chick” or “Is that the beak and feathers” running through my mind. Processed with VSCOcam with s3 preset Processed with VSCOcam with f2 preset Updates on Projects…  Project: Redefining Me While driving through the streets of Manila, I notice both improvements and stagnation. The air seemed to improve (I know this because I’m not coughing or having an eye allergy from previous experience). But there’s still poverty. There’s still beggars on the road. The overpopulation still resides in this city. I heard this government official in the Philippine News said, “We just need to hope for the better.” Hope isn’t enough for this country. It needs more than hope for Philippines to get better of this disease. It needs constant treatment, cure and it takes it’s own will power and people do make things better than yesterday. No more hoping, there needs to be a consistent action for change. Lesson Learned: Things don’t improve overnight. Somethings change for the better, and others for the worst. But we always must hope strive for the better constantly and consistently.  I had a really really really good experience when I surprised my grandparents. I’m very happy to have caught them off-guard. I never really liked surprises, maybe it’s because I’m never really surprised. But giving surprises is really the best! It’s so hard keeping this under the radar, but we made it work! In life, I think it’s good to surprise people of good things. Surprise them with your presence or your talents. Be creative and have fun with it! Lesson Learned: Surprise people in one way or another.  Project50Series: Manila There’s definitely tons of things to be seen here in Manila! I have my photos in my camera, but I haven’t gotten around to editing it. Hopefully I’m able to update today or tomorrow. Project50Series: Honolulu is still on hold. But just watch for it! 😀

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