Family, TRAVEL


The first time I went to Hongkong was the day I found out I was pregnant with Danae, sometime February 2005. King and I were married only 3 months then, our first time to be out of the country together. It was pretty memorable, especially that my Dad was still with us, that a random guy bumped me hard in the MTR station (I didn’t look pregnant at all, but I was pretty shaken), that we stayed in this hotel with tiny rooms, and that I started my “morning” sickness there, which included feeling nauseous around Chinese food hahaha. Weather was pretty cold. We went on the local tour, which included the awesome Victoria Peak. We went to Ocean Park too. I realized just the other day that maybe the reason why Danae is so fearless is that she was in my tummy while I was on that very high cable car.

The second time we went, we stayed at Shamrock Hotel in Kowloon for a night and then enjoyed Disneyland for 2 days, spending 2 nights in Disney Hollywood Hotel. That and the park itself were memorable enough! Many of you may not know that I used to love love love Mickey. I collected Mickey stuff. I even have Mickey’s hands, which I got from McDonald’s happy meals while I was single and they are now being enjoyed by the girls. That trip rekindled my love for Mickey haha. I was so giddy with excitement, not only for myself but for Danae who was 4 and Noelle who was 11 months old. That was December 2009. Weather was a bit cold too. My Dad wasn’t with us anymore, but my mom was with us (of course), including my brother, his wife and 23-month-old son. I was bummed then that we weren’t able to take a picture with Mickey, but we were able to get a nice family shot in front of Cinderella’s castle for our annual Christmas card.

Last week was our third time! Us, my mom, my brother, his wife and now 4-year-old son Gabby. Danae is 6, Noelle 3. We hit Disneyland first, and stayed in the same wonderful hotel for 2 nights. I was equipped with my awesome camera so I took a lot of shots. King’s parents, brother, nieces and nephew came on our second day.  We got to spend the afternoon with them in Disneyland. We’ve all never been out of the country together. The girls surely enjoyed their cousins being there. And we finally have a picture with Mickey, yes!!!!

It was cold, showering a lot and I was prepared! I brought Danae’s princess raincoat and I brought my 17-year-old Mickey raincoat for Noelle! My cousin gave me that raincoat when I was in college. I kept it all these years, and I’m glad I am able to pass it on to one of my kids.

The day my brother and his family went home, we proceeded to Kowloon and stayed in Shamrock again. We once again enjoyed street food and the night market on Temple Street. It was colder in Kowloon, and much much colder in Victoria Peak when we went up. We were supposed to go to Ocean park but we decided against it seeing that it was really cold and the girls were already developing cough and colds.

Like I said before, even though the stress is inevitable, it’s always worth it to travel with the kids. We would do it again and again and again. Danae & Noelle actually love it so much. Noelle even cried on the plane as she learned that we were going home. She said to me “I thought we’re going to Singapore!” She also thought Manila was not home hahaha.

We hope that we are building with our kids a culture of loving to learn & explore, not being afraid of new things, people & places. One day, they may end up becoming artists who tour the world, or being business or IT or fashion consultants for different countries. Or they may end up as missionaries. Now is the perfect time to prepare them for their future. 🙂

Family, Parenting, TRAVEL


Our family loves to travel! I guess it started when my parents took me on my first plane ride when I was newly born. My mom gave birth to me in St. Luke’s, and flew me back to San Carlos, Negros Occidental where we lived then. As far as I can remember, we traveled yearly, whether on road trips, boat trips (and I mean Negros Navigation 2-night trips, sometimes in the economy section too!), or plane rides. Batangas, Baguio, Iloilo and Cagayan de Oro were the cities we most frequented while growing up. My mom, because of her job, was provided by her company with free first class trips, which she almost always exchanged to economy tickets so we could all (my dad, mom, brother and me) travel out of the country. When I was older, we visited more tourist spots in the beautiful PI, such as Boracay, Cebu, Bohol, Siargao. I’ve really been blessed to have the opportunity to visit and enjoy different places.

I’m sure it was part of God’s plan that He gave me a husband who also loves to travel. We got to experience it together for the first time on a road trip with my family to the North when we were still engaged. He and I first went with my peers to Pangasinan, then met up with my family in Baguio, then we drove to Vigan, then Laoag, and Pagudpud. Actually, he lived in Caloocan then, so every trip to my house in the south was a road trip! He proposed to me in Bataan. We got married in Tagaytay. Our honeymoon was in Camiguin Island.

Three months after we got married, we were set to leave for Hong Kong. That was the morning I discovered that I was pregnant. So even in the womb, Danae was already traveling haha! When Danae was 2 months outside the womb, her first plane ride, boat ride and first trip to the beach, and first Christmas were when we flew to Cagayan de Oro and visited Camiguin. Her first road trip was to Baguio at 7 months old. When Noelle was still in my womb, she also traveled to Cagayan de Oro. Her first road trip and trip to the beach was when she was 4 months old, in Dagupan and Subic. Her first plane ride and boat ride was at 7 months old, when we went to Cagayan de Oro and Camiguin for my cousin’s wedding.

When Danae was 4 and Noelle was 11 months old, we went on their first international trip to Hong Kong and visited Mickey Mouse!

Traveling is really part of our design as a family. And I can see that in how manageable my girls are whenwe go on trips. Of course it was very hard the first few times, but because we’ve done it often enough, they’re pretty much used to it. They rarely cry on the plane, even as babies. They can be a little bit too excited, in fact. Imagine, I was able to fly alone with the two girls to and from Bacolod, when Danae was 4 and Noelle was 10 months old! They’re not scared of the water either, though Noelle was, during her first encounter. But no sea or motion sickness at all.

We are in faith that God will let us travel even more! It can be costly (but thank God for my mom who treats us and for Cebu Pacific’s piso fares and the like), but the memories are worth every centavo. It is always exhausting, but the experiences we have as a family, especially for our children, are worth all the effort. This year, 2 family trips down, and 1 missions trip for King and 1 more family trip to go. But as my friends encouraged me last month, I can’t wait for God’s surprises for us! There might be more! Woohoo! 🙂