I still remember the first few months of living in Germany, I have this feeling that everything is much better in Philippines and that nothing compares to Philippines. And I was very sure that I will not change my mind. But after almost 3 years in Germany, I was not so very happy the first few days of being back in Philippines again. I know! I was shocked with myself when I realized it. Because somehow, things were different from what I remember before.
But after a few days of just going through the motion and quietly digesting everything in, I remember my old life again. And I know that it will not be that difficult to integrate myself back into the Philippine system again except that I cannot just think about solo flight anymore. I have Mira and Mann to consider now. So after finally making up my mind on certain things, I began to enjoy the rest of our holiday in Philippines. Because soon, Mira and I will be going back again to where my other half is.
I was quite nervous about traveling alone with a 1 year old child but because I was worrying so much, the reality turned out to be smooth and easy. Or maybe we were just lucky to be flying during low season that Mira gets to have her own seat and we both were able sleep well inflight. Still, some things I would like to remember the next time I am traveling with a child again:
1. Bring some food. I thought I will not be cooking at all in Philippines but Mira turned out to be quite picky so I have to scratch my brain hard trying to remember the foods she like back home and what can I cook as a substitute.
2. Anti-mosquito lotion. They are not 100% perfect but at least it is something. Had an argument with my mom because she does not like this lotion because it contains chemicals (as if baby shampoo, body lotion and other stuff are not made of chemicals as well) and Mira ended up with so many bites the first day. Then Mira scratched her skin and now she has ugly scars on her legs. ARGGGHHH!! How will she win the Miss Universe Pageant someday then with those scars!? 🙂
3. Hope your child does not get sick. I suddenly find so many things back in Philippines to be dirty and it was not a nice feeling to see your child sick with fever and diarrhea. I told my parents to change the sponge they are using for washing the dishes several times because it looked so old and “clean” dishes actually smell disgusting. Funny how I dont mind such smell before. So, I was constantly worried about Mira being seriously ill from Dengue or whasoever while in Philippines and without the father with us too.
Thankfully, the fears were just all in my mind and Mira seemed to really enjoy her time with my side of the family.
Being in Philippines, I tried to keep myself in the background and let my parents have their time with their grandchild. Because I can be quite a “relax” parent to the point that I have been told uncaring and cold-hearted sometimes, I did not set too many rules on my parents on what they can and cannot do. Because I believe that relationship cannot flourish well if one is not in their natural state. Besides, rules can sometimes be suffocating anyway and I do not like to project my ideas on others and have Mira spend time with people who are a shadow of myself. Instead, I want Mira to spend time with her grandparents and get to know them as they really are. Of course, it was quite crazy in the beginning and I feel like pulling all of my hair from frustrations. But with time, we began to have some routines and with it, an emotional bond starts to form.
I am happy to see Mira hold hands, kiss and give my parents a hug and vice versa. Something which my parents and I cannot do so naturally without feeling awkward about it.
Some things that we did in Cebu that is worth mentioning were:
1. Seeing old colleagues. My father was not so happy that I will be seeing them without giving anything as a pasalubong or whatever but that is exactly what happened. Mom had some casket customer at where I worked before for 8 years and since we were joy-riding with my parents, I was able to see them for some minutes. I am happy to see them again.
2. Lechon, dried fish, sea foods, etc. I am so very happy to be able to taste them again especially halo-halo at Ice Castle in Ramos.
3. Videoke with my parents.
4. Malling. For a very small island, Cebu has more malls than in our small town here in Germany. And they are big ones too. No wonder people have this aura of being “poor” considering the amount of salary they earn yet constantly bombarded with pretty things that are advertised as “must haves”. Unlike in our small town where there is nothing much going on, I actually feel quite rich here.
5. Several staff of SM Seaside mall are Tagalog speaking. Since I do not want to speak Tagalog with them when we are in Cebu, they have to speak Bisaya or I move on along and ignore them. 🙂