Every May, the town of Maria, Siquijor holds their annual festival. Maria is the place that my Filipino family is from (on the island of Siquijor). Last year I was not able to attend since I was 35 weeks pregnant. This year the whole family attended and we also convinced my parents, sister, brother, aunt and cousin to join us. It was a full house with many memories made. The first week only my sister and cousin were in Manila and we kept them busy exploring the various sights. My sister came to visit us last year, but didn’t get out of the city really since I was about to give birth. This year we made sure she experienced more outside of the city. After our time in Siquijor we were able to show the rest of the family around Manila and have some fun.
I have an aunt that is only nine years older than me. She took great fun in making me scream/cry as a child, but now we have grown to be the best of friends. We lived with her family for six months while we had our home built in Texas in 2007. And when we moved to the Philippines over two years ago, we really wanted them to come visit us. Finally they were able to come out to visit us for two weeks at the end of January. We packed in a lot of fun things and made some wonderful memories during their visit to the Philippines.
Here is a great video that our close friends who also came to Siquijor with us created of our time there.
We were lucky enough to convince my brother to come back to the Philippines for Christmas and New Years. It was wonderful to have him around again and he remains Mason’s favorite uncle. And he went back to Siquijor with us for Christmas and got to experience Coco Grove Resort. It was great to see family again, but our time in Siquijor was extended 3 extra days since a typhoon came through and we couldn’t leave the island! Ironically, this happened to us 2 years ago when we visited the same place with the same brother. The island just loves him too much to let him leave! However since we got stuck in Siquijor for 3 extra days, we missed our flight and reservations to Singapore for New Years. (but we were able to reschedule that trip for February)
The beginning of September we finally got Matt’s parents out here to the Philippines to visit us and to meet their newest grandson, Blake. Matt’s brother Drew also came out to visit as well for a week during his school break. Then the second week his older sister Angela and her husband Peter joined the party. The first week we stayed in Manila and showed his parents around while Matt still had to work for a few days.
After a week in Manila, we took a plane ride and then a boat ride and arrived in Boracay! We stayed at the Shangri-La in Boracay and rented 2 villas that connected. It was a perfect set-up for our families and we felt like royalty with our own personal butler on call. We have never been disappointed with any of the Shangri-La hotels, and our experience at Boracay was the best.
More photos of Boracay here.
In 2013 we missed the yearly festivals where our family in the Philippines live by a week. So, Matt really wanted to be sure to attend in 2014. However, I was about 35 weeks pregnant didn’t want to risk having a baby in the province. So Matt started contacting our brothers to see if anyone would be willing to come out to visit us and then go to Siquijor for the celebrations. One thing led to another and in the end we had 3 of my brothers and a sister-in-law coming out to see us! The boys stayed for 1 week since they had to return to school and work. My sister-in-law stayed for 11 days and we were able to have some girl pampering time together.