Woohoo ! I’m in the Philippines ! !

Oh , my gosh ! !  Renxkyoko Iglesias here !

I’m in the Philippines !   We left good ol’ USA on June 21 , 10:30 PM, and arrived in the Philippines 0n June 23 at 4:30 AM. It was a 14 hour flight. It wasn’t a smooth ride, there was too much turbulence from get go,  and I was so scared I almost cried.  It didn’t help that I actually have plane phobia. I didn’t get to sleep at all. Instead I watched  5  movies. (  Frozen, Transfomers, X-Men, The Hobbit,  The Conjuring. ) The only good thing about the flight was the food. Philippine Airlines was quite generous . Dinner was delicious, we had sandwiches and muffins and juice/coffee in between , then breakfast.  I’m sorry I can’t post any pictures as yet because I’m using a teeny weeny notebook, and it isn’t mine.

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Today is July 25. I’m back home, yay, California ! !  We left the Philippines on July 21, 10:30 PM and  arrived here in California , also  on July 21 , 8 P.M.

It’s been a week since then, but I have not done anything  here, no reading, no writing. I’ve been busy at work.  I’m even afraid to check out my emails.  I’m sure I already have thousands of thousands of unread emails.

Oh, well, I have to start writing , anyway, so here I am. Bear with me, please. I think I left my enthusiasm in the Philippines.  So, where do I begin?

Do you guys remember this picture? I posted this in Novemeber. That’s how our vacation house in Boracay, Island in the Philippines looked in November last year, 2013.

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Here is how it looks now. It’s 99% finished, except for a few paintings here and there…. and the house is empty, no furniture, and just 2 beds.

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DSCN0084.It looks like it has 3 floors, but actually, there’s a 4th floor , which is the rooftop.  I love the view from the rooftop.

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It was such a hectic and busy one month vacation in the Philippines.   The bulk of our vacation was spent  checking out the  huge shopping malls in the city. Do you know 3 of the top 10 biggest malls in the world are in Manila, Philippines?  Mall of Asia, North EDSA/Trinoma, and EDSAMegaMall. . They  were so huge that  just walking around and window shopping  at these places  overwhelmed and exhausted us.   And then there are smaller ones, but still  3x bigger than the shopping mall here in our city in the US..  Even  the friendly neighborhood mall at the subdivision where we live in the Philippines is 2x bigger… 4 floors and 2 buildings connected by a bridge.  It’s insane. The Philippines is supposed to be a Thirld World country,  but shopping malls are full, people are actually shopping and  we always have to wait a bit at restaurants to be seated.

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Above pic is one 0f a smaller malls. I like the interior architecture of this one.

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Our vacation was mostly   food  tripping, too. The price of food over there is ridiculously low.
For example, the takoyaki is $0.50 and  shawarma  is $1.50. Takoyaki is Japanese octopus balls.

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We arrived at 4 AM at the airport. By 12 noon, we were already at the neighborhood mall , shopping for walking shoes and flipflops. We sure didn’t waste any time.

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.That’s yours truly in the photo.

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The next day, it was again another shopping spree, this time for real pearls. There’s a mall there ( Greehhills ) with seemingly endless stalls of pearls. It was a sight to behold.

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DSCN0019Eh. I’ve been found out. I’m the one wearing  white shirt, and wearing glasses ! He he. he. I’m near  sighted.

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That’s the food court at nearby mall ( SM MegaMall ) where we had lunch after the pearl shopping.  SM MegaMall is one of the largest in the world.

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Different kinds of food from different countries to choose from.

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Check out the prices. At Philippine peso 43.50 to a dollar, that PhP 87 on the menu board is only $ 2.00.

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My $2 lunch…. fried rice, pork bbq, chowmein, and fruit dessert. I bought the cheapest.

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That’s Korean rice. Yep, it was hot.

It was raining heavily when we came home. Traffic was horrendous.

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On the way home, I saw these  showrooms.

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I don’t know if you can read what’s in that building. Well, it’s Ferrari, Lamborghini, and Audi.

About the photo below, what the heck does that mean ? LOL

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So, this is it…. 2 days into my one month vacation in the Philippines.

Good day and PEACE.

 

 

88 responses to this post.

  1. Awesome. Love the before and after pics of the house. Really cool. The mall pics made my head kind of spin. Looks like you had a ton of fun! 😀

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  2. So fabulous to get a post from you! I remember the house well and it is now beautiful as are the Philippines! So glad you had a great time & cheers to you~

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  3. Oh my! I’m here in Manila! I’m glad you visited SM Aura. Did you go to their rooftop?

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  4. Awesome. Great pictures! That mall looks wild.

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  5.   i wanted to see u

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    • Ha ha ! Thanks ! I wanted to see some of the Filipino bloggers here but our schedule was tight. My mother wasn’t even able to meet her former college buddies.

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  6. I was about to say “Welcome back Ren” then I read the latter part of your blog that you’ve returned home to the US. I am so glad that you enjoyed shopping here. SM Megamall is just thirty minutes away from our place. Did you visit Eastwood City? It’s near our place too and that’s where you’ll find high-end shops, eateries and all.

    By the way, I love the facade of your new home 🙂

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    • We have an SM mall here in our neighborhood too. It’s small compared to the others, but it’s still huge with 2 buildings and 4 levels. We passed by Eastwood City… we drove in the area but didn’t get off the car. We had other appointments to go to. I wish we went… I’ve been hearing a lot about it.

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  7. Posted by ~REBECCA DAWN~ on July 31, 2014 at 3:02 am

    Hi Ren! I am glad you had so much fun! I would not want to leave that mall! It is so huge! a person could live there! Wow!
    And all that food made me so hungry again! I wouldnt mind trying those octopus balls! I am an adventurous person!
    Your house in the Philippines looks great! 4 floors!! Oh my lanta! Jeez i wouldnt want to clean it! ha ha! 🙂

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  8. O’kaerinasai! Congratulations! The house is done (1% more). Was this your first time to Philippines? That was a long vacation you were able to get from work (you are working right? Or are you a student? I am confused.) Good to see you back. Now I am getting ready to go to Japan.

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    • Oh, no. Ms. Fae ! I was born in the Philippines. ….lived there until I was 6…. we went on vacation in 2004, 2010 and this year.

      It’s my school vacation, and also work vacation. I informed my employers 6 months in advance. They couldn’t say no. Ha ha Anyway, it’s just part time work. I’m still studying at the university.

      Oh, great ! Japan ! I so want to visit Japan. I know I will … maybe next year. * crossing fingers*

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  9. I am reading a post about my country! hehehe, Cool! I’m glad that you had fun here! It’s been a while since I last visited my blog, trying to get a feel of things again. Thanks for the motivation! 😉

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  10. Aww welcome back! I read your entire post and it made me miss Manila even more. I’m still having separation anxiety from the malls. Hahaha!

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    • I feel you ! OMG, the malls ! ! Malling is like part f Filipino culture already, I think. No wonder they’re building bigger and bigger malls. It’s gone out of control. They are so huge ! !

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  11. bonnes vacances, young lady in your native country! cheers and take care! 🙂

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  12. wow, that mall is crazy! Enjoy your vacation

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  13. OMG! Tomes flies and finally you’re there!!! So glad you enjoyed the Hainanese CR and the other food looks good too. I’m not a shopper so it is good you showed me the malls, lol… Hailing in the last photo? Enjoy yourself Ren. Btw, your house is great! 😀

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    • LOL Sam, “there” is already here in the US. Went to the Philippines on June 21, and came back here on July 21, so I’m here now. But anyway, it was a wonderful and exciting vacation…. mostly mall hopping and shopping and one week of beach combing. If you ever plan on visiting the Philippines, there’s no way you can ignore the malls. There’s like a humungous one for every mile or so. unbelievable.,

      For food… it will be an adventure for you…. Filipino food is totally different from the rest of Asia , I think.

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  14. Very happy to see a post from you. Its really nice to catch up with your bubbly involved personality and see all these photographs from your trip. I love the market, and the slight sense of bustle and street food. I went to Beijing once and it has these vibrant street food markets. some of your pictures remind me of that lovely time. That also reminds me, its lunch-time here and I haven’t eaten. 🙂

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    • I took lots of pics and I hope I can include all in my narrative. The pearl market is awesome. There’s one thing I notice about the food markets in the Philippines… they are everywhere…… it seems everyone wants to go into food business. It makes sense, though. Filipinos eat 24/7… porridge eateries are open 24 hours…. even in small neighborhoods. If one has at least one food specialty, he/she can go ahead and sell that. Here in the US, food business is highly regulated. Not so in the Philippines, and I guess in whole of Asia. Over there, one can build a mobile cart, and off he goes, selling banana cue, fish balls, and caramel – sago juice.

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  15. Judging by your photos you must be having a marvellous time – enjoy. 🙂

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  16. shopping galore!

    Welcome home. 🙂

    Ganda ng bahay.

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    • Shopping was fantastic !

      Yeah, the house is nice, isn’t it ? It’s huge , too. And empty, ha ha. We slept on airbeds and floor mat. . we’ve run out of money to fill it up with furniture. But we will, little by little.

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  17. Welcomeback here…enjoy your stay..The warm welcome of the Filipino people 😉

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    • Ang Tambay, I’m back in the US, lol. I did enjoy my vacation. It was hectic. We were not able to do what we had planned to do . ( due to traffic and Glenda typhoon.We got stuck in the house, doing nothing. at least 2 days were wasted. )

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  18. Your house looks great, and what a view!

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    • Thanks ! It turned out better than expected… doesn’t really look like a building, ha ha, and yes, I love the view from the rooftop … when it wasn’t raining ! It rained the whole time we were there. )

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  19. A month away? Oh, the adventures! And congratulations on the finished diggs. The place looks terrific.
    I look forward to reading more about your travels–especially the food. Cheers!

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  20. Awesome, the shopping and food courts look absolutely amazing. This is by far one of my favorite shares by you. Hope you are enjoying the day. BTW, no matter what they served on the plane, that flight would have been too long for me!

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    • Oh, my. The plane ride ! It was too long for me, too… 14 hours of torture ! The movies that I watched saved me . It made me forget that I was 32,000 feet over terra firma, and nowhere to go. Aaargh ! I really hate flying.

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  21. Wow! Nagpunta ka pala dito. Haha! Saang mall yung nakakahilo? Saka yung commemorative plates, vanity plates lang yun. Customized and unofficial. Nakaintindi ka? Sana nag-enjoy ka dito. 🙂

    Reply

    • Eh ? You didn’t know I would go there ? O.o What’s nakakahilo ?
      Is it illegal to use commemorative plates ? What are those , anyway ? What do they commemorate ?

      Yes, I enjoyed my vacation there. ( although we got stuck at home for 2 days without electricity due to Glenda storm . Whoa ! We experienced a strong typhoon. )

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      • Nakakahilo is confusing or dizzy. Hehe! Glenda is a strong one. I do not really know what those plates commemorate. Hehe! Enjoyed the vacation? Good on you.! 🙂

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  22. amazing pictorial. Your prose is so fun to read; very conversational. You are my “world traveling” hero. 🙂 (and welcome back to Callllllllllllllllllly!!!!)

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  23. Sounds and looks like loads of fun!! Makes me miss Indonesia, I haven’t been in six years! Enjoy your summer 🙂

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    • Reconnect is the word. You’re Indonesian ? I thought you were from the Philippines, ha ha. I guess we guys do look alike, huh,. Filipinos are of Indo-Malay race, anyway. So, yeah.

      Cheers !

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  24. Welcome Home Ren ..Glad you enjoy a lot here my friend 🙂

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  25. We’ve missed your posts Ren, glad to see you back and showing us your adventures and some fascinating architecture and food that makes me hungry (and that was only partly to do with the price).

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    • Got a lot of stuff to show you, guys. I hope I can make it more interesting.

      The price of food made us very happy. I don’t know if Filipinos are happy with the price though. But then restaurants are always full, so I guess they are. At first, we were shocked at the figures, like PhP 87 …. it felt like $ 87… Mom had to remind us to divide it by the exchange rate ( PhP 43.50 ). Oh, my gosh, that’s 2 bucks ! Here in the US, that much food would cost us about $8 . Ugh, I talk too much, ha ha. Anyway, cheers, Ste J ! !

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      • It is confusing this exchange rate, happily the US exchange rate is comparable to the British when it comes to the price of food. Other than that I do get a bit giddy when it comes to the prices of some of your stuff, I feel like a millionaire when I buy US dollars.

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  26. Hi Ren 😀 Happy Holiday ! BTW I came here via your Gravatar photo album 😉 I have never seen so many photos in one Gravatar ! Hugs. Ralph xox ❤

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  27. I don’t know why I’m not getting notifications or why you aren’t on my reader but I’m glad I checked just in case. Glad to see you are having fun there! but, among your great photos I don’t see a shot of you 😦

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    • There are 2 there……I’m looking at the shoes and pearls. O.O

      Anyway, I focused more on the place rather than on me at that place, he he. Unlike in Europe where I needed to be in the photos as proof that ” I was here” ! ! Ha ha

      How are you, Andy ?

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      • mmmm every travel post there should be at least more of you for your loyal fans lol 🙂

        I’m alright, just working and writing here and there! bet you must miss the Philippines after coming back eh? 🙂

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  28. I believe it gonna be a wonderful place when it’s finish – a good thing you see it while it is being built, the enjoyment will be larger when you see it completed… 🙂

    Great photos from your trip, very well captured… 🙂

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    • Yeah, just a few painting job here and there. And there wasn’t even a refrigerator when we were there. I didn’t realize it would be so inconvenient without one. But my mother promised there’d be appliances and stuff the next time we go there. Other than that, we had great fun beach combing.

      Cheers, ledrakenoir !

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  29. Thanx for sharing your adventure, info and great pics. Nice house!

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  30. How nice. Wish you all happiness 🙂

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  31. Posted by christinajavete on August 11, 2014 at 12:42 am

    Awesome!! Thank you so much for sharing these great photos with us!! Your family’s vacation house is beautiful! That rooftop view is really something.
    3 of the world’s largest malls are in Manila?!? Just another reason I need to go visit!! The mall looks so pretty and I want to get lost in that pearl shopping place! hehe. Have a great trip and I will be waiting for the next round of photos! =) Take care!

    Oh, and were there any American restaurants in the food court? It’s so funny we say, “Oh, let’s have Chinese for lunch.” Do they say, “Let’s have American for lunch.” LOL!! Just wondering!!

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  32. splendid post,hope you’ are enjoying you Philippines vacation ,then and now superb and blissful picture.Thank you for visiting my blog.Be well and be safe.

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  33. wow you had so stories and picture here. And it’s nice to see the progress of your vacation house in Boracay!

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  34. I warmly welcome and invite you to watch a new photo album “Lilies”
    Good weekend!

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  35. ciao! your vacation home looks lovely and quite interesting info on the shopping and malls in the phillipines 🙂
    thebestdressup

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  36. Sounds like you’ve had a wonderful month. I remember you blogged about the house previously and WOW! Look at it now! Such a beautiful house:)

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  37. wow mukhang nag enjoy ka sa bakasyon. kamusta Renx.

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  38. Posted by ~REBECCA DAWN~ on August 21, 2014 at 5:31 am

    Thinking of you, my dear friend! 🌸🌻🌺 how are you doing? Are you back at school already, or are you getting for it? Can you believe summer is almost over? I already had to turn up the heat! I am not impressed!
    I could go for longer summer, more time to chill, right?
    Enjoy the rest of your evening!

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  39. Wowww it’s wonderfull land I think.. I dream to go to fillipina..

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  40. Welcome home!

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  41. Oh wow I love your pictures. I miss the Philippines. The last time I was there was last March.

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  42. I hope you enjoy your stay here int he Philippines. 🙂

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  43. The house looks incredible. I love the view too. The food looks good too. I just finished eating my lunch, and your pictures are making me hungry again! 😉

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  44. Sayang! Next time you’re in town, holler! Might visit CA in Nov. or Dec. as my mom moved from NYC to San Diego. 🙂

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  45. Such a lovely post and pictures … I want to be in those shops !!!!! Thank you for sharing the experience

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  46. The house turned out beautiful!
    And – what a nice view!

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  47. The orples and I have been snooping through your blog, Ren. They want your permission to play in some of your photographs. After all, you go to some pretty cool places. If they were to visit, of course, they’d link back to the source of their adventure. Let me know if you’d like to play with us. 🙂 In the meantime, thanks for visiting us on our turf. We do love company. 🙂 The orples send their love.

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    • Oh, right. Thank you. I like that. It would be interesting to see that. In fact, when I read that post, I actually thought of my photo at King’s Station in London , the one where I am pushing a cart ala Harry Potter. 🙂

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      • Guide me in the right direction (post title, and/or the date you posted the photo), and let me know which photo you want to use, and I’ll see what I can do. I’ll add your name to our list of ‘vacation spots. If you have no objections, I may circle back, but if I do, we will link back to the source. Then, if you reblog, or ping back, we can both make new friends. Welcome aboard..)

        Reply

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