It's been 4 years since I've set foot in the Philippines again. I was supposed to visit in 2020 but COVID-19 happened so I ended up going to North Carolina. Not that there's anything wrong with that. In fact, it was my first time visiting the US. I liked going there because of the clubs and seeing my cousins who I haven't seen in more than 5 years. But the problem was that it wasn't home.
I was trying to do a multiple post series of my trip back in 2018 but I just couldn't find the words anymore, to be honest. It was tough, and I just didn't know how to write it all down.
Instead of a 14-hour flight like before, going to the US was a 6-hour flight. Personally, I love long flights and I think flights should be at least 8 hours. It just lets me relax and unwind while sitting uncomfortably in a seat with the possibility of being woken up by turbulence. I joke but I really like the plane experience.
It was great. This trip was better mentally because it was the first vacation I've had with no emotional baggage from ex-friends. I was already off work since February and one of the reasons I left was because they wouldn't let me take a month off to go to the Philippines. Excuse me if we were understaffed but I was able to do it myself. But I digress.
The only thing I wasn't looking forward to was the weather. It was way too hot and humid. I remember sweating like a roasting pig when I first got out of the airport. I immediately missed the Canadian fall weather. The big difference is that Canadian summers are uncomfortably dry and it's horrible. The problem with the Philippine weather I encountered was that it's always hot. It would rain hard and it would still be hot. Even at night, it was still hot. Maybe I'm just used to Canadian weather.
I'm always a sucker for malls. There's a mall named SM Fairview and the last time I was in the Philippines, it was just a rundown mall. That's apparently changed in the years since because I absolutely adore that mall. It used to be dark and unappealing to the eyes but surprisingly, it's been fun! Except for the lower ground floor where people line up by the dozen to a chicken restaurant for the unlimited rice. I perfectly understand why and I don't blame them. I'd do it too. I'd bring a fanny pack just to take home extra rice.
Another mall I loved going to since 2018 was Ever Gotesco. It's an old mall with lights being dim, and the department store looks like it's over 50 years old. It definitely needs a makeover but how do you redesign a department store without losing revenue, right? There are also stalls on the lower ground floor where you can buy cheap or knockoff clothing and accessories. Of course, being someone who looks for drip, I bought a Louis Vitton bag for 8 dollars. It's my favorite souvenir from that mall.
At the house my family stayed in, I met a stray dog that was brought in by the maids. His name is Bruno. I kinda regret not bringing him to Canada but I know I wouldn't be able to take care of him well. I remember he had worms so deworming him would cost more here. I miss him. He's grown so much now, barely recognizable to others but I know that nose anywhere. Bruno was the one that made me wanna get a pet so eventually, I adopted my pet cat named Chandler. I appreciate what Bruno was to me.
I think it was the first time I didn't cry at the airport after a trip. I feel like it's because I had such a good time and I know I'll be back again soon. The problem that I have now is my grandmother passed away recently and this was the last time I saw her. I promised to see her next year but I didn't mean it in these circumstances.