Back to the roots: the Philippines

san jose beach

After two months in India I was heading to my second home – the Philippines. I had been visiting the Philippines every other year since I was born. Though I cannot speak the language apart from a few words, I know the culture and people very well. I planned to stay here for two months until end of january.

My parents also had their vacation here and they just arrived a day before me. It was nice to see them again but also very challenging to get thrown back into reality after India.

We stayed at a friends place north of Manila, the capital city. At that time a typhoon hit the islands. This is quite normal for the Philippines, they were always target of storms. But western people get quite sensitive to such news after the horrible typhoon “Haiyan“ in 2013( which killed about 6,300 people). I received a couple of worried messages from Germany. But really, all we had was some rain, wind and low temperatures.

Back to our place in San José, Antique

San José, Antique

We flew to Panay in the Visayas and arrived in our house in the city of San José, Antique, deep province. Panay is known for the airports Calibo and Caticlan in the north as a kick-off to Boracay. But in the South there are hardly any tourists. Here, in the province you find the real filipino life: markets, small businesses, the city’s big events at the central plaza, lonely beaches with black sands. It’s the place my mom was born and raised until she met and married my dad.

 

It’s actually a nice story how my parents met…

My german dad went to the Philippines and met his future wife

In the late 70’s nobody really visited the Philippines. But my mom had this vision that a man would come to her from far away lands.  My dad was a long term traveler at that time and had been to many places before. He wanted to take a boat to Palawan island from San José harbor that would leave once a week. But he kept on missing the boat due to different reasons and one week became two – became three…well, he never made it to Palawan. Her vision came true and they met, weirdly enough on a funeral gathering… to cut the story short, they got married a few months later.

my parents
My parents on my cousin’s wedding

Today, she still kept the same house from her mother. The whole family lives on the same compound. I had been here on my last vacation a year ago, but it felt like it was just yesterday. This time there was also a very special occasion to come this long way to the Philippines: my cousins wedding, Ellie-Rose.

My cousin’s colorful wedding

wedding_aisle wedding_posing

wedding_san joseThey married in a catholic church in a very american way: brides maids were all wearing the same blue, the men in a Barong, a traditional upper garment. Everything was so organized, make-up, flowers, pick-ups, music, paired walks down the aisle, camera crew…I felt like in a movie. I found it quite surprising how my cousin handled all the attention, I mean I know that she is so super shy, but you just had to look at her, so gorgeous!

After some chilly days with my family we headed to boracay island, the most popular spot in the Philippines – but definitely not the most idyll one anymore.

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