Saturday, July 24, 2010

THE family reunion party!

HERE YOU GO! I am sharing photos of our family reunion held in the Philippines at my brother's home. I will just let the pictures do the talking. Hope you like them as much as I enjoyed taking pictures and catching up with relatives some of whom, I've never even met before since I haven't been home for over two decades. We held it in the early afternoon for it rained almost every day around 5pm followed by brown-outs.

...our t-shirts were donated by my brother from Canada ... eh? ;-) Next time will be my turn to donate and it will be: I Love NY (maybe) brother welcoming everybody. saying the blessings.

... time to eat!

... relatives

... more relatives

...niece and nephew, emcees. They prepared a show for us and did an excellent job!

... nephew (from Switzerland) from Canada.

... grandkids

...some of our children who were able to attend.

... again some of our children.

... me and my siblings, oldest to youngest, right to left, I'm 3rd from right.

Photo shoot ... there are seven of us from many geographic locations like, California, Canada, Germany, Switzerland and New York. Sad to say that our parents passed on one in 1986 & the other in '87.

... togetherness! lol ...with sisters-in-law

...again, some of our children.

Saturday, July 10, 2010

Homeland trip...part 2 - Pagudpud, Ilocos Norte

From Bataan, we headed off to Pagudpud, Ilocos Norte, it was another long drive but it was worth it! We got there around 11:00 pm, had a good night sleep and the next day we woke up with these peddlers by the beach! They were selling bracelets, and necklaces made of shells, corals and pearls. My kind of wares, and they were a good price too, so I must have bought about two dozens of 'em and gave a few to friends.

Pagudpud beach... boy, those waves can really grab you to the deep part! My suit was full of sand when I got up too!

We've found out the cure for arthritis ... warm sands! lol My sisters and I (in blue)... having fun being a kid again! lol

...our oldest brother, trying to build his (sand) castle! ;-)

Great time was had by all.

Saturday, July 3, 2010

My homeland trip, part 1 ...

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?