This was another “unplanned” trip. Long story. However, one day in July, Drew goes — “hey if you want to come home, you could by September”, and I would not NOT go home.

I hadn’t gone home in two years (since I moved to Dubai), so it was just right for me to push through, even if it meant going back to Dubai without Drew and starting from scratch in terms of adjusting with long distance (the separation anxiety was strong, still struggling a bit, and I can’t wait to be with him again).

For a change, I decided to stay up North with my in-laws. It was the best decision ever, and it turned out to be one of, if not THE most chill vacations (back home) that I’ve had in years. I was only home for two weeks but it felt like a month with our itinerary!

I’ve uploaded some of these photos on my Instagram (feed + stories), but I’m quite fond of them so I’m sharing the same photos here, and then some.

About two years ago, my in-laws gifted us with a Car. I KNOW. I can’t believe it myself, but it is a beautiful car (and it’s big, I like big cars and I cannot lie). It’s what we use to get around. So proud of Drew. Also, this is actually the first time we’ve driven in a car like this. MAJIDE?!?!

This is our Baby Doge (our WolfCat), Power.

 

Went to the movies with Family, saw Exes Baggage (yay), and then went to Rufina’s to have dinner after. Food was really good. If you live in Pangasinan, I highly recommend. + THE SISIG IS AMAZING.

For the first time in more than two decades of friendship — Ann, Carlo, and I decide to meet up in *drumroll* PAMPANGA! Kind of weird when we met and were like, “are we really not in Makati?” LOLOLOL. It was awesome though because Drew and I drove from Pangasinan, Ann and Kras drove from Manila, and Carlo (who lives in Pampanga) treated us to Lunch! IT WAS GOOD. I also enjoyed the drive with Drew very much. I felt like we were legit adults, driving around like that. I treasured every minute very much.

The next day, Drew and I drove to Baguio (stayed at my Sister-in-Law’s Condo Unit overnight, which she is renting out — hit me up if you need a place to rent at Baguio) — I had OFW duties to fulfill there, hrhr. Man, I missed Baguio so much and I loved how chill it was (literally and figuratively). I sent Drew a list of places to visit but SURPRISE SURPRISE who were lazy bums in Baguio??? At least we managed to EAT ALL THE FOOD WE WANTED TO EAT (our ultimate goal during these two weeks. Lelelel).

We love Café by the Ruins! We went to the Session Road branch this time for Breakfast, and then Arca’s Yard for Lunch. The view was amazing. Vibe, 10/10. We would have stayed longer if we had time, but we were going back to Pangasinan that afternoon, so we gobbled up our yummy food and WALKED to find a jeep, hrhr. If you don’t have a Car, you gotta find your way around — there are barely any cabs passing by. Got into a short one-sided argument with Drew (you guessed it, it was me), because the guy sitting next to me was manspreading his arms that I lost count of the times he nearly grazed my chest. I don’t know if I’m exaggerating, but you have to know I value my personal space so much and I get BEYOND annoyed at people who don’t seem to understand the concept. So yes, I lashed out at Drew (my innocent Husband, I’m so sorry) because I was expecting we’d be getting out of the jeep as soon as we saw signs of civilization.

Then it was time to go (boohoo)

P.S. – How did I get so lucky to be married to this person?

Stopped over at Bo’s for Drew’s Coffee fix. I planned for us to have Ice Cream at the car but we ended up eating it in bed later that day.

The next day (I know, right? We were on the go go go), we flew home to Palawan to visit Papa. He suggested San Vicente or Port Barton to check out (since we’ve been to El Nido and Coron already — still so much to see though), and it was such an experience!

I booked us a room overnight at the PEAK VIEW RESORT (good to fit three of us), and I read one of the reviews that said something in the context of “live like a true local”, and I knew why when I got there. There were no other resorts next to this, we were basically the only tourists in the area — the neighbours help the Resort Owner look after its guests (they actually prepared and cooked our meals for us), and we were treated like old friends visiting the place. WE WERE TOTALLY IMMERSED IN THEIR DAILY LIFE, even if it was just for a day. It was my first time experiencing something like that, so it was really special (the room was so clean and comfy).

I HIGHLY RECOMMEND if you feel like not being a tourist, while you’re a tourist. 5 out of 5 stars, hands down.  The owners are the kindest people you will ever meet — the most hospitable people EVER. They even drove us up to Batong Ningning (the closest hill/mountain — I can’t tell) the next day. We were definitely in good company (understatement).

They set up our table by the beach, and honestly, it was THE BEST. I actually miss it … big time. Imagine having Breakfast and Lunch there, while watching the local kids play in the sand, the dogs take their siestas … it was beautiful. I would have had more photos and videos, but honestly we were just taking it all in.

Had dinner with the family before our flight the next day. I HAVEN’T SEEN THEM IN AGES SO IT FEELS GOOD TO CATCH UP WITH THEM. The highlight of that evening was when, during the topic of “having Children”, my Tita Kleyr says, “don’t pressure them, that doesn’t diminish/define their value” — something in that context. And I couldn’t help but softly clap, and thank her. It then dawned on me that Tita Kleyr is definitely one of the reasons why you wouldn’t want to miss a Family Reunion. Imagine hearing someone speak rationally during Reunions. Imagine if all your Aunts are like that!!!!! There will be peace in the world.

P.S. — Badjao Seafront has not changed to this day.

Had Coffee with Papa before flying to Manila. We have a unit in Taguig, but it’s a 5-minute cab ride to Serendra, and I was feeling like actually just walking around BGC, so we rented a unit across the Mind Museum. I loved it so much because we were chill as fork, and had the privilege to walk over to Wildflour for breakfast every morning. If you’ve seen my Instagram feed over the years, you’d know that we are true loyal Wildflour and The Wholesome Table customers, so this definitely pleased me.

The Salted Chocolate Cake IS EVERYTHING

Man, look at that view.

Our Family Dinner / Reunion was set at Locavore in BGC (surprise, surprise, it was just at the Ground Floor of the unit we rented), but for some weird reason Drew and I were craving TWG so off we went (who does ‘Tea Time’ before Dinner? We do). Did a little MNG shopping too, yay.

The next evening, we meet Maya (my Darling Maya, who also rented a unit at the same building) and we have dinner at The Wholesome Table! I wore the same “pantulog” as Chie called my Silk Shirt (I use it as a Cardigan), so please don’t judge me for being an outfit repeater.

Had Breakfast with Maya at Wildflour before she headed back home (boohoo).

Later that day after going around High Street (it was so darn humid so we didn’t really feel like staying out long), we had Merienda at The Wholesome Table and did a little damage at Uniqlo before heading back home. At this point, Drew is as obsessed with Terrace House as I am — so we mostly spend time watching Terrace House at the unit.

Okay, Mecha Uma — UGH, one of my most favorite Dinners ever. I made a reservation the night before. I was drooling over the food for YEARS. You should’ve seen how Drew and I looked. We were barely conversing with each other, our eyes were focused on the magic happening at the live kitchen (we were seated at the bar — I call jackpot, because that was my aim).

Needless to say, the FOOD WAS AMAZING.

Before heading home to Pangasinan, we decide to go to Green Pastures for breakfast. It did not disappoint. I already miss the Eggs Benny. I want it now.

Drew and I take out Power for a run the next day, our Precious Boy. Or rather, HE TOOK ME for a run. Ha.

Look at my Boys

Part of why I loved and preferred staying in Pangasinan so much (apart from NO TRAFFIC, MORE CHILL VIBE, and DUH — being surrounded with Family), it was that there are SO MANY DOGS there to hug. Bruce is Ching’s and Alfie’s Pomeranian. They also have Shih-Tzu named Chloe who I wasn’t able to take a photo with, but she is the sweetest girl!

We get to the hardest part. You know what it is. So we try to make it as fun as possible.

So glad I get to spend time like this with Drew, it’s been more than a year. This trip was special. I would say more but I’d rather not … emotionally go there.

I just can’t wait to be with Drew again.