Our plane finally landed in the Ninoy Aquino International Airport after a 12 hour flight. I could already feel how warm it was outside. Martin and I looked at each other, both tired but giddy. We’ve arrived in the Philippines!
My whole family was there: my mom, brother, sister-in-law and all three nephews whom I haven’t seen for more than two years. For a moment, I thought of my dad and felt his presence. I knew he was watching us and he was happy. I blinked the tears away and just enjoyed the moment of reunion.
The afternoon was spent in the following order:
1. Unpacked the paslubong and handed them out to my eager nephews (their parents and lola included ;-p ). It was a hefty mix of Italian spices, Easter eggs, dark chocolate bars, sausages of all sizes, smoked cheese and other treats. Nope, no boerenkool this time around.
2. Had a hearty lunch of sinigang and take-home ‘inihaw na baboy at atay’ (charcoal-grilled pork and pork liver) from Aling Nene’s at Vito Cruz. It didn’t matter that even the act of chewing produced sweat.
3. Checked-in our apartelle in Makati (a stone’s throw from my brother’s house) and showered even though our eyes were falling off the sockets from happy weariness.
4. Slept deeply for a few hours and forced ourselves out the bed to have dinner with the family.
5. Went to the CCP grounds, which has been transformed to a lively and fun hangout for everyone with its tiangge, restaurants and well-lit boulevard. Reminisced with much sentiment when I frequented CCP to review art exhibits, smoke and recite poetry at ‘Breakwaters’.
6. Got to drink my fave cold coffee concoction – espresso frappuccino (at long last!), while a light breeze from Manila Bay cooled my senses. I must admit, drinking cold coffee (from Starbucks or whichever café) it’s one of my more frivolous habits and something I miss here in Holland.
7. Did I mention that our eyes were falling off the sockets?