Hi'ya all! I'm back ... hope you are all enjoying the summer!
I've been inundated with requests from friends and relatives to post something about my trip to my homeland, so here it is. But, just a little background ... about 5 years ago, my siblings and I planned to have a grand family reunion where all of us, no exception, will attend. It finally happened last month.
It all started up above the clouds ... 16- hour flight from the U.S. to the Philippines!
My friend's house, near the international airport, where I stayed for 2 days while waiting for the rest of my siblings before heading off to our province... a very uniquely built house. Most houses in the Philippines have grills for security purposes.
...then another 6 hours to our town and boy was it HOT and HUMID! My sweat was basically dripping! Due to family responsibilities, I haven't been home since 1986, although I am in favor of progress, it was still sad for me to see our town so crowded now. New roads, houses, college/university, fast food restaurants and all kinds of stores were built; I didn't really recognize the place! I had to ask my sister to accompany me to the market which was just a few blocks away because I didn't know how to go back home. Nothing looks familiar! I guess, 24 years of being away has its consequences! ;)
After a couple of days rest, we headed to our first tour ... Bataan, which was about 6-7 hours drive. Pictured below is a marker of the Bataan Death March, every few kilometers, you'll see these markers. Not sure if you're familiar with it, but during World War II, allied prisoners of war were marched along this route by the Japanese. From what I heard and read, those who were weak, stumbling or falling were mercilessly beaten and bayoneted by the Japanese. Any sign of faltering by the prisoners was enough for the Japanese soldiers to stab them to death. One of my husband's art school professors was in the Death March, but survived. My husband said he NEVER SMILED.
... just for fun! Me and my siblings, seven of us, from left to right, youngest to oldest, brothers from: Canada, Switzerland, California, sisters from: Germany, Me (New York), Switzerland and oldest brother based in Philippines.
... some of our kids.
Bataan beach ... water as far as your eyes can see. I believe this is part of the China sea?
I'll leave you with the Bataan sunset for now ... what a beauty! I'll post more photos next time. From my town, we toured Bataan, via La Union, to Pagudpud, (Ilocos Norte) Cagayan and back to our town, where after a day's rest, we had our grand family reunion parteee! ... please stay tuned?