Blue Gingham + My Philippines Trip!
"We're not in Kansas anymore!" Anytime I see blue gingham I think of Dorothy from Wizard of Oz!😂 But that line is completely spot on to describe how I felt in Philippines. It is completely different than anywhere I've ever been. I did this blog post while I was actually in the Philippines and shared a little about how everything was going there, but I wanted to share more with y'all!
For those of you who don't know, I'm half Filipino. My mom grew up in the Philippines and is one of 10 children!😱 I was 15 when I first went to there, so this was my second time to travel there. When I went there for the first time, I was there for three weeks, this time I was there for only 4 days! It was very short but I enjoyed every moment!
I wore this dress the first day we were there and went out to explore. It was perfect in the sense that the material was lightweight and almost like a dry fit, but I just shouldn't have worn a dress unless it was on the longer side. That day we took several different Jeepneys and they really jam pack people in those, so everyone's basically sitting on top of each other. The seats are also covered in plastic so your slipping everywhere because you're so sweaty😂 Getting in/out of them is a whole different story; it's not very tall so you have to bend over quite a lot in order to get in/out. So by the end of the day, I came to the conclusion that a short dress definitely is not a good option to wear if you're planning on riding Jeepneys!
Since my mom is from the Philippines, she likes to go back once a year to visit family and just be back there in general. So we have a house in Pampanga and that is where we stayed during our trip. Instead of vacationing like a tourist (even though I definitely look like one), we try to live like a local. We don't have a car, but I wouldn't want to drive there anyway. I'm not sure if there's any driving laws, because everyone drives like complete maniacs. So since we don't have a car, we get around by walking and riding jeepneys/ trikes. We went to the market a couple of days and there was everything there- fruit/veggies, bread, fish, live chickens, clothes and jewelry! I bought earrings for 50 cents and three clothing items, all under $20! I was also able to get one of my jumpsuits tailored for only $10! Whereas here in Houston it probably would have been over $100! It was nice not having to pay as much for certain things, but since we obviously look like tourists/Americans, people wanted to over charge us. We ran into that problem quite a lot. My dad is really big into principles/morals, so he tipped the people extra who were actually honest and charged us the right amount.
I've grown up eating Filipino food, so there wasn't really anything I'd consider out of the ordinary, except for snails. We went to a restaurant and ordered a bunch of different plates (pictures above) and one of them were snails. I've had escargot before, but this wasn't like that at all- I was not a fan. I actually couldn't get it out of the shell, so I had to get my dad to help me and once I tasted it, I wanted to spit it out! Other than that, I enjoyed everything else I ate! We had hot dogs everyday for breakfast😵 The hot dogs there are different than the ones in the US, they're red and I'm not sure what they're made of, but honestly I don't even want to know! We also had rice everyday for basically every meal. By the end of the trip I'm sure I gained 10 pounds😂 A couple of my favorite foods were: garlic rice wrapped in banana leaves, sweet rice with fresh coconut, tocino (Filipino bacon) and halo-halo (dessert of shaved ice, evaporated milk and various fruits). I had halo-halo when I went to the Philippines for the first time and since then I'm obsessed, but I've only had it there. I should definitely try to look up some halo-halo places here in Houston, but I'm not sure how it'd compare. There are several restaurant chains in the Philippines: McDonalds, KFC, Jollibee and Chow King. We didn't go to any of them since we wanted completely authentic Filipino food the entire time, so I can't tell you how they were. There's a Jollibee here in Houston though, so I'll definitely have to check it out sometime!
Mall Of Asia
For our last day in Philippines we stayed at a hotel in Manila that's right down the street from the Mall of Asia! I thought I would be in absolute heaven since things are way cheaper in the Philippines and was thinking I was going to get some things for super cheap. Unfortunately I was wrong; prices are about the same as they are here in the US. Even though I was disappointed in the prices, the mall itself is awesome. It has nearly every store you can think of and would want to shop at! It is absolutely ginormous and has literally hundreds of stores, I believe over 600! This mall is a sight to see.
Overall I had a great time in the Philippines, even with the unbearable heat! I'll definitely be going back sometime in the future and hope to explore the beautiful beaches they have to offer. If you've been to the Philippines before, please share your experience with me!
I hope y'all have a lovely Tuesday and a great week!