20 January 2012

Christmas vacation hangover

To students and employees who are now getting back to (what I call) reality: How was your well-deserved Christmas vacation (if you got one, that is)?

For me, the holidays were awesome! Each and every day (except for the week I got sick) was just plain awesome. Yes, awesome vacations are definitely awesome! I went on a two-week off island vacation. I went to Philippines and… Wait. Did you guess right about the other country I went to? HintLastPostHint.

Ready to know if you got it right? Well… I went to…

*Drumroll please*

Secret! LOL. You’ll know where I went as you read through this humble blog of mine. :)

I know I had mentioned on one of my previous posts that I was not excited to go back to Philippines. It was true. Because the excitement only kicked in after I stepped out of the Centennial Airport. I don’t know about you but I do get a little stressed and tired preparing for vacations. Packing clothes and pasalubongs are a bit exhausting, especially if you’re packing not just for yourself but for the entire family as well.

Since our trip was short, we had almost every thing planned out just so we can do as much as we can in a span of two weeks.

Here’s the plan:
December 31st – prepare for New Year’s Eve, celebration of New Year’s Eve
January 1st – celebration of New Year’s Day
January 2nd – go to Pinagtung-ulan, Lipa City for their fiesta
January 3rd – go to Mataasnakahoy for another fiesta (which explains my very, very rapid weight gain over the vacation)
January 4th – birthday celebration and travel to airport
January 5th – start of trip to “secret” country
January 8th – end of trip to “secret” country
January 9th – preparation for celebration of Daddy’s 2nd year death anniversary
January 10th – celebration of Daddy’s 2nd year death anniversary
January 11th – go to St. Luke’s Global City and Market! Market!
January 12th – visit Tagaytay and Las Pinas
January 13th – free day
January 14th – free day
January 15th – going back to Guam

Is it just me or did that schedule made the two weeks sound and look short?


So almost everything was planned out. Better yet, we thought we had everything planned out. There was one thing my family and I (especially myself) did not expect. Guess what. Of all the times I can get sick, I got sick during my short-lived vacation! How awful can that be? I started feeling sick on the first. Yes, a truly awesome way to start my 2012. I was running a fever, had a throbbing headache which made me feel like my head was going to split in half, runny nose, painful sinuses, sore throat, teary eyes, and cough. I felt miserable being confined to bed during vacation and on the first day of the year to top that off.

After taking a lot of Filipino brand medications (which include vitamin C, Biogesic, Robitussin, Solmux, and Strepsils) and sleeping for almost the entire day, I was, to my surprise, STILL SICK on the second day of the year. Nice. So January 2nd came and I was still feeling miserably sick but guess what, I followed the plan. I still went with my family to Pinagtung-ulan to eat a lot at someone’s fiesta.

Then, after all the medications and food, I was… STILL SICK on the 3rd of January. Very nice! If you’re wondering if I went to Mataasnakahoy’s fiesta, yes I did. We got to eat at not just one, but three houses. Wow. I almost could not believe the capacity of my stomach. I don’t know why but Filipino fiestas just can’t make me full after one eating.

Now I guess this is the climax, right? So the next day came and I… was STILL SICK (although not as sick as the previous days). After all the pigging out, medications, and tissues (wasted for blowing my nose on, just so I can gross you out a little bit), I could not believe that I was sick until that day. NOW THAT WAS VERY, VERY FREAKING NICE, WASN’T IT?!?! It was almost maddening. We had a birthday to celebrate (and I was supposed to prepare a surprise that day for the celebrant) and I was sick! To top that off, we had to start traveling to the airport that would take us to the “secret-for-now” country we were going to on the 4th and I was still coughing up phlegm, still had runny nose, still had headache, and still had fever. What a great news that was.

Well, being the adventurer that I am, I did not let the flu hinder me from enjoying my vacation. Let me repeat that one more time: I DID NOT LET THE FLU HINDER ME FROM ENJOYING MY VACATION! Ha! Take that you vacation-destroyer flu virus!

Now, the fourth of January is a little bit special so let me just tell you a bit more about what happened that day. Take note of this day because something that happened on this day will somehow affect our trip to “secret-for-now” country. Before traveling to the airport, we had to go to the bank – Banco de Oro Robinson’s Place Lipa Branch (to be exact), to receive a remittance from my uncle. We were expecting the remittance would be on US dollar. Turned out, the US dollar sent from Guam was automatically converted to Philippine money by the bank. And the money amounted quite big, to say the least. What made this anticlimactic was that we were going on a trip to a different country, and we wanted to carry US dollars on our pockets. Guess what the teller told us.

Well, this was what she said (it was in Tagalog but for the purposes of this blog, I will translate it to English): “If you want US dollars, you have to buy the dollar from us.”

WTF. The money was sent in dollar, we received it in peso, and now we have to buy the dollar that we sent for a higher price. Nicely done, BDO! Nicely done indeed to make money. But no, we did not buy the dollar. We took the Philippine Peso and brought it with us when we went to Las Pinas for the birthday celebration. Then, after eating some very delicious chicken barbeque, atchara, and rice (of course), we headed to the Diosdado Macapagal International Airport (aka Clark Airport) in Pampanga.

Oh, and the exhausting trip to the airport took about four hours from our house.

All right, this post is getting a little bit too long so I’ll stop here and continue this misadventure on the next post.

Until the next post okay, see you!


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