Family is back in Winnipeg after a month long of very short vacation in our homeland– the beautiful Philippines.
This trip is very precious to us. It took us a decade to do it.
Here is a list of TOP SIX most significant highlights of the trip (with ranking) in the eyes of my nine year old daughter Deona.
My six year old son Zedric gave only one top favorite which I will mention later.
Top 6. Horseback riding @ the city of Pines, Baguio City.
Deona loves horseback riding. We thought a visit to Baguio City was perfect.
She had a great time except she confided feeling bad everytime the horse caretaker hit the horse just to make it run. She and Zedric got a great bonding time with cousin Ada.
Top 5. Giant waves and zip lining at Amana Waterpark Philippines in Pandi,Bulacan and swimming with cousins in Hot spring in Los Banos, Laguna.
Top 4. Up close with wildlife at the Safari.
Kids love animals. And so we have included a visit to a zoo as part of itinerary. The Safari Zoo in Calauit Island in Palawan is known for African animals like giraffes and zebras roaming freely. The reserve which was a project in the early 70s is still untouched of any modern development giving the place a really laidback natural atmosphere.
Top 3. Rides @ Enchanted Kingdom, Sta. Rosa, Laguna
This trip would not be complete without a visit to an amusement park. Enchanted Kingdom in our province is a popular theme park known for a hundred rides and attractions . Deona’s personal favorites include the Anchor’s Away and the roller coaster while Zedric owns the bragging rights of riding the giant ferris wheel.
Top 2. Snorkelling, kayaking and swimming in Coron and Busuanga, Palawan.
Of all the things the kids did, the islands tour was Zedric’s favorite. He kept telling us he wanted to come back again even before we left.
We travelled by boat to Coron’s breathtaking sites that included Siete Pecados, Kayangan Lake and Twin Lagoon which are known in the world for clear water, white sand, lovely shores and beautiful corals and fishes.
I am, by nature scared of water. Ocean is lovely but also very deep. A trained and licensed tourist guide (Argel Daet) who went with the kids gave me a little peace of mind.
Kids fell in love with their very first snorkelling experience.
A visit to any island in Palawan can be made independent of a travel package especially if you are the adventurous and practical type.
However, for a stress free tour, there are a number of local travel and tour agencies that arrange hotel accommodation and boat tour packages with some inclusions like meals and airport pick up and drop off. They come with a price tag but will definitely make your travel smooth and complete. I notice that they don’t really differ much in terms of prices on tour packages.
We paid for the service of Caramian Wonders Travel and Tours. Owner-manager Aileen Tualla took care of everything for us which included accommodation in Coron Village Lodge, tourist guide, shuttle service and boat tours. You may also check with Jen and Gil Travel and Tours for tours that include round trip flights or Lakbay Coron.
Top 1. Meeting family members from both sides of the clan
When asked which of the places we went to and which of the things we did, they enjoyed most, my daughter’s top pick strikes me. She said meeting her cousins, uncles, aunties and relatives from both sides of the family was the most essential part of this trip.
Each moment spent with loved ones (especially with the two Lolas) each bite we had and each places we visited left a beautiful mark the kids brought with them back to Winnipeg.
Our hearts are overflowing with gratitude and joy to be able to connect with the most important part of our being. And to let our kids appreciate this kind of joy of coming home, to where we were planted.
And to where our hearts will always stay.
And the magic stays with us till our next homecoming.