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Posts Tagged ‘siquijor’

Wedding in Siquijor

February 20th, 2014 No comments

A couple of weeks after we left Siquijor for Christmas, we returned again. But this time it was for our cousin’s wedding.  Matt and I were asked to be sponsors, Kalani was a flower girl and Mason was an escort. It was a fun experience to see how they do weddings in the province. And the day before the wedding was our little cousin’s 4 year old birthday party as well…it was a short trip, but full of fun and memories.

We finally stayed at Coco Grove Beach Resort and wished we could have spent more time there. The downside is that this resort is an hour away from our family

We finally stayed at Coco Grove Beach Resort and wished we could have spent more time there. The downside is that this resort is an hour away from our family

The whole village from where our cousin is originally from showed up for the 4 year old birthday party

Many villagers from where our cousin is originally from showed up for the 4 year old birthday party

The Filipinos love lechon and a "free" meal

The Filipinos love lechon and a “free” meal

We had to leave the resort around 6am to get to our cousin's place to get hair and make-up done

We had to leave the resort around 6am to get to our cousin’s place to get hair and make-up done

The 12 passenger van we rented, turned into an 18 passenger van as we transported many people to the church

The 12 passenger van we rented, turned into an 18 passenger van as we transported many people to the church

Our family is ready for the wedding to start

Our family is ready for the wedding to start

Our lovely flower girl who had to wear a different dress since the other one was the wrong measurements...she is growing up too fast

Our lovely flower girl who had to wear a different dress since the other one was the wrong measurements…she is growing up too fast

Our handsome escort was bribed to behave for the 2 hours we were at the church

Our handsome escort was bribed to behave for the 2-3 hours we were at the church

Right after the parents walked down the aisle, it was our turn

Right after the parents walked down the aisle, it was our turn

During the wedding they had live singers and a chruch choir

During the wedding they had live singers and a church choir

The bride (our cousin) and groom with the flower girls and escorts

The bride (our cousin) and groom with the flower girls and escorts

Since we were the "sponsors" we got to sign the marriage contract

Since we were the “sponsors” we got to sign the marriage contract

When we arrived at the reception location, the village people were already eating before the wedding party showed us...its a different culture

When we arrived at the reception location, the village people were already eating before the wedding party showed up…that was very different than what we are use to

These boys wanted a photo with our kids...not sure if it is because they are "white" or because they are cute. I'm not ready for these older boys to be taking photos with our daughter

These boys wanted a photo with our kids…not sure if it is because they are “white” or because they are cute. I’m not ready for these older boys to be taking photos with our daughter

At the reception we found more relatives...these sisters are my second cousins

At the reception we found more relatives…these sisters are my second cousins

More photos from the wedding here.

Christmas with family

February 7th, 2014 1 comment

The month of December was packed and full of fun. We had a full house and a lot of memories for Christmas 2013. My parents finally came to visit us and it worked out the best to have them here for Christmas. They only had 10 days in the Philippines, but I think that we packed it pretty full to make sure that they had enough to do and also time to relax. One of the highlights of the trip was taking my dad to the island where his dad (my grandfather) is from (Siquijor) and meeting his half sister-in-law, nieces, nephews, cousins, etc. We also had Matt’s brother, Drew, come visit us since he served his mission in the Philippines and speaks Tagalog. After Christmas in Siquijor, we brought our cousin Sherwin with us back to Manila for a few days. It was his first time to Manila and his first time on an airplane!

We hosted a Christmas party for our help and their family and gave everyone gifts

We hosted a Christmas party for our help and their family and gave everyone gifts

We took Matt's brother, Drew, to Divasoria to buy some gifts to take to our family in Siquijor

We took Matt’s brother, Drew, to Divasoria to buy some gifts to take to our family in Siquijor

We spent an evening at Republiq Dance Club with friends

We spent an evening at Republiq Dance Club with friends

Less than 24 hours of my parents landing in Manila, we took them to Siquijor to see our family. Our cousins hosted us for lunch/dinner many times

Less than 24 hours after my parents landed in Manila, we took them to Siquijor to see our family. Our cousins hosted us for lunch/dinner many times.

One cousin opened a Sari Sari (store) and Kalani spent a lot of time there helping to sell items and acting like a security guard

One cousin opened a Sari Sari (store) and Kalani spent a lot of time there helping to sell items and pretending to be the security guard.

We took my parents to one of our favorite places, Combagahay Falls

We took my parents to one of our favorite places, Cambugahay Falls

We also found new places that we had not visited on the 3 previous trips we took to Siquijor. Like Infinity Resort where the view was breath-taking

We also found new places that we had not visited on the 3 previous trips we took to Siquijor. Like Infinity Heights Resort where the view was breath-taking and we were glad to share it with our many cousins.

Of course when you find a beautiful place the Filipinos take photos! Here Kalani is taking photos with a cousin

Of course when you find a beautiful place the Filipinos take photos

Drew at Lugnason Falls...a new area we hadn't been to before

Drew at Lugnason Falls…a new attraction we hadn’t been to before.

On Christmas Day our cousins rented a karaoke machine

On Christmas Day our cousins rented a karaoke machine.

Also on Christmas Day the boys learned how to prepare lechon (pig)

Also on Christmas Day the boys learned how to prepare lechon (pig)… from slaughter to table, we got the full on Filipino experience.

The boys also went to a cock-fight where our cousin had a rooster fighting

The boys also went to a cock-fight where our cousin had a rooster fighting.

We couldn't leave Siquijor without a basketball game...or 2 or 3 or 4! Matt was invited to play with the police against a club team one evening

We couldn’t leave Siquijor without a basketball game…or 2 or 3 or 4 games! Matt was invited to play with the police against a club team one evening.

Our cousin/tour guide takes us around in this rented car every time we come to visit. And we pack as many people as we can inside since not everyone has transportation

Our cousin/tour guide takes us around in this rented car every time we come to visit. And we always pack as many people as we can inside.

We love spending time with our cousins

We love spending time with our cousins.

My dad and his half-grand-nephew were similar is various things...even how they slept. It is a good thing they caught up on their sleep in Siquijor since the fun didn't stop in Manila!

My dad and his half-grand-nephew were similar in various things…like where they slept. It is a good thing they caught up on their sleep in Siquijor since the fun didn’t stop in Manila!

While waiting for our plane to arrive we spent some time in Dumeguete shopping mall with our cousin Belinda who lives there

While waiting for our plane to arrive we spent some time in Dumeguete shopping mall with our cousin Belinda who lives there.

Our cousin ready to board his first plane and spend 5 days in Manila with us

Our cousin ready to board his first plane and spend 5 days in Manila with us.

Our first meal in Manila was at the mall near our home where we had some yummy ramen noodles

Our first meal in Manila was at the mall near our home where we had some yummy ramen noodles.

We took the group to the Mall of Asia where we watched the firework show and also people ice skating

We took the group to the Mall of Asia where we watched the firework show and also people ice skating.

I don't know if Sherwin had ever seen a mall this size or as many malls as we took him to before

Sherwin had never seen a mall this size.

We had a wonderful buffet dinner at Manila Peninsula and Drew's "friend" joined us...who Mason liked to be with

We had a wonderful buffet dinner at Manila Peninsula and Drew’s “friend” joined us…who Mason liked to be with all the time.

One evening we invited the cousins living in Manila over to our home so Sherwin and my parents could see them

One evening we invited the cousins living in Manila over to our home so Sherwin and my parents could see them.

It was beautiful weather, good company and a lot food while everyone was visiting us for Christmas.  We felt truly blessed to have our family with us for the holiday season

It was beautiful weather, good company and a lot food while everyone was visiting us for Christmas. We felt truly blessed to have our family with us for the holiday season

Hansen family visits the Philippines

July 8th, 2013 No comments

My sister is pretty incredible.  She flew from Utah to Manila (taking 4 planes each way) with her 4 year old and 1 year old while her husband was touring Asia.  The kids and I were so happy to have them come visit with us.  They stayed for 3 weeks and we got to do a lot of pampering, shopping, eating, site-seeing, reuniting, etc.  It was so much fun.  We hadn’t seen each other for 8 months and we are not sure when we will see each other again.  It was also nice to have her around while Matt was out of the country.

What we did while the Hansens were visiting us.  Stuff for the kids, for the moms and for the whole family.

What we did while the Hansens were visiting us. Stuff for the kids, for the moms and for the whole family.

Makana enjoyed a Sunday afternoon at the American Cemetery in Manila.

Sunday afternoon at the American Cemetery in Manila.

The kids and moms enjoyed a day at Stana Elena Fun Farm.  We spent the day fishing, horse back riding, feeding animals, doing a zip line, riding a water buffalo/carabao pulled wagon, etc.

The kids and moms enjoyed a day at Santa Elena Fun Farm. We spent the day fishing, horse back riding, feeding animals, doing a zip line, riding a water buffalo/carabao pulled wagon, etc.

Matt's co-workers treated us to a Girls Night Out at Palladium.

Matt’s co-workers treated us to a Girls Night Out at Palladium.

A friend took us to get our hair colored.  I got purple and Makana got blue streaks through out our hair.  We are the Fruit Loops in a Cherrio world.

A friend took us to get our hair colored. I got purple and Makana got blue streaks through out our hair. We are the Fruit Loops in a Cherrio world.

The kids enjoyed a day at Ark Avalon where we were able to feed fish, hold birds and a python.  Sadly, Jenny the orangutan was getting a physical so we didn't get to meet her.

The kids enjoyed a day at Ark Avilon where we were able to feed fish and crocodiles, hold birds and a python. Sadly, Jenny the orangutan was getting a physical so we didn’t get to meet her.

We spent a morning making sock puppets with young girls who have been abused.

We spent a morning making sock puppets with young girls who have been abused.

The kids enjoyed playing at Kidzville where they could get their energy out and use their imagination.

The kids enjoyed playing at Kidzville where they could get their energy out and use their imagination.

Just the 2 of us went to Taal Volcano on a day trip.

Just the 2 of us went to Taal Volcano on a day trip.

We met 2 more cousins that are living in Manila and had dinner with them at a mall one night.

We met 2 more cousins that are living in Manila and had dinner with them at a mall one night.

We had a long wait for a ferry boat in Dumeguete before we could take the Hansens to Siquijor.  So, we spent time at the mall getting massages, pedicures, fish spa, eating, etc.

We had a long wait for a ferry boat in Dumeguete before we could take the Hansens to Siquijor. So we spent time at the mall getting massages, pedicures, eating, people watching and fish spa…I think she liked the fish eating her dead skin cells!

Now 2 of my siblings have been to Siquijor and visited our long lost relatives.

Now 2 of my siblings have been to Siquijor and visited our long lost relatives.

We all got into our cousin's boat and enjoyed the beautiful scenery of Siquijor.

We all got into our cousin’s boat and enjoyed the beautiful scenery of Siquijor.

We picked McKay up at the airport and headed directly to Siquijor.  He was really tired and spent most of the boat ride trying to sleep.

We picked Mckay up at the airport and headed directly to Siquijor. He was really tired and spent most of the boat ride trying to sleep.

McKay only had 2 days in Manila with us.  So we made sure he had a spa day and then we went to Pagsanjan Falls.

Mckay only had 2 days in Manila with us. So we made sure he had a spa day and then we went to Pagsanjan Falls.

The kids all loved playing with each other for 3 weeks.

The kids all loved playing with each other for 3 weeks.

I loved having my sister around and showing her around the Philippines.

I loved being with my sister and showing her around the Philippines.

Not exactly sure when and where we will all be together again.  Good thing there is the internet, social media networks, facetime, telephones, etc. to stay in touch!  Thanks for coming to visit us Hansen family.

Our brother “Rah Rah” visits Asia

March 1st, 2013 No comments

When we found out that we were going to live in the Philippines for a couple of years we wanted family and friends to come visit us.  And our first guest was my brother (that our children call Rah Rah) who arrived December 3 and stayed with us until January 10.  He got a first hand experience to figuring out how to live in  the Philippines with us since we were still very new to living here.  He was with us while we were living in our serviced apartments and then helped us move into our condo.  Rah Rah has traveled with us through Europe and also done his own traveling with friends through Europe, but this was his first time in Asia and in a developing country.  I think he enjoyed his time in Asia and we all LOVED having him visit us.

 

Ayala Triangle where there was a music and light show for the month of December

Ayala Triangle where there was a music and light show for the month of December

We had a lot of fun taking photos at two different 3D art places

We had a lot of fun taking photos at two different 3D art places

Attending Matt's End of the Year work party at Hotel Manila

Attending Matt’s End of the Year work party at Hotel Manila

Day trip to People's Palace...or Sponge Bob's house since he lives in a pineapple

Day trip to People’s Palace…or Sponge Bob’s house since he lives in a pineapple

Day trip to Taal Volcano in Tagaytay

Day trip to Taal Volcano in Tagaytay

Entrance of the Chinese Garden at Rizal Park

Entrance of the Chinese Garden at Rizal Park

Day visit to the American Cemetery in Manila

Day visit to the American Cemetery in Manila

The Philippines love to celebrate Christmas...even at work with crazy head pieces

The Philippines love to celebrate Christmas…even at work with crazy head pieces

Robbie got to meet our cousins from the Philippines for the first time

Robbie got to meet our cousins from the Philippines for the first time

We went to Cambodia together and Rah Rah carried Mason for most of the trip

We went to Cambodia together and Robbie carried Mason for most of the trip

Fish massage in Cambodia...it was nice after walking around all of the temples

Fish massage in Cambodia…it was nice after walking around all of the temples

We all got a foot massage and Robbie's lady asked him to take off his pants so she could massage his calves...it was awkward, but gave us all a good life.

We all got a foot massage and Robbie’s lady asked him to take off his pants so she could massage his calves…it was awkward, but gave us all a good life.

Enjoying the view of Siquijor from our resort (Firefly Cove)

Enjoying the view of Siquijor from our resort (Firefly Cove)

Exploring a Tree House Lodge on Siquijor...it was the Ultimate Tree House

Exploring a Tree House Lodge on Siquijor…it was the Ultimate Tree House

Last night with Robbie - Midget Boxing

Last night with Robbie – Midget Boxing

Last dinner with Robbie was at the Hobbit House...since we did see the movie "The Hobbit"

Last dinner with Robbie was at the Hobbit House…since we did see the movie “The Hobbit”

Using Robbie's iPod was Mason's favorite pastime

Using Robbie’s iPod was Mason’s favorite pastime

 

 

 

 

Christmas in the Philippines

February 24th, 2013 No comments

Christmas starts in September in the Philippines.  They decorate all during the “BER” months (SeptemBER, OctoBER, NovemBER, DecemBER) and the decorations are pretty nice… it’s almost ridiculous how beautiful the Christmas decorations are when you remember that the Philippines is a developing country!  And during the second week of January they start to take down the decorations.  So, for a third of the year Christmas is “celebrated” in the Philippines with music and decorations!

There are over a million people who live in downtown Manila.  During December that number increases as oversea workers return to the Philippines for the holidays.  And then the number decreases as all of the Manila residents and oversea workers return home to their provinces for the holidays.  We decided to go to “our province” as well for Christmas…that being Siquijor island where my grandfather left around 1925 to go work on a sugar cane plantation in Hawaii.  However, he also left a wife and 2 children in Siquijor, whose descendants we recently made contact with.

We spent 5 days on the island with family.  We rented a car and our cousin drove us around.  There were no presents, no Christmas trees, not even cold weather.  But, we all had a wonderful time enjoying the company of our family and seeing the beauty of the land.  God must really love us to have blessed us with wonderful family members.

Enjoying lunch that our cousins provided and spending time at the beach

Enjoying a picnic prepared by our cousins and spending time at the beach

Tia and Mason getting ready to jump off the water slide.  Water doesn't run down the slide unless you pay extra for it...and after Typhoon Pablo many areas of this water park got destroyed

Tia and Mason getting ready to jump off the water slide. Water doesn’t run down the slide unless you pay extra for it…and after Typhoon Pablo many areas of this water park got destroyed

The kids loved playing on the beach, exploring the area and finding sea shells

The kids loved playing on the beach, exploring the area and finding sea shells

Village volleyball tournament held at least yearly.  (Cousin Judith Grado #18)

Village volleyball tournament held at least yearly. (Cousin Judith Grado #18)

While the village volleyball game was going on, our kids were introducing the village kids to an iPad.  Not sure if more people were watching the volleyball game or the kids with the iPad

While the village volleyball game was going on, our kids were introducing the local kids to an iPad. Not sure if more people were watching the volleyball game or the kids with the iPad.

Cambugahay Falls - We had a rope swing to use here and swam in the water...we all loved being here

Cambugahay Falls – We had a rope swing to use and swam in the water…we all loved being here.

Butterfly Santuary.  Sadly Typhoon Pablo destroyed a good portion of this...and we discovered that there is a local fee "donation" and a foreign fee "donation"

Butterfly Sanctuary – Sadly Typhoon Pablo destroyed a good portion of this…and we discovered that there is a local fee “donation” and a foreign fee “donation”.

Capilay Springs - swimming and relaxing ... parts of this area was also damaged by Typhoon Pablo

Capilay Springs – swimming and relaxing … parts of this area was also damaged by Typhoon Pablo.

Enchanted Tree - 400 year old Balete tree

Enchanted Tree – 400 year old Balete tree.

Cantabon Cave - Exploring where there really were not any rules (swimming and breaking off a stalactite for a souvenir) and our cousin carried Mason the whole time

Cantabon Cave – Exploring where there really were not any rules (swimming and breaking off a stalactite for a souvenir) and our cousin carried Mason the whole time.

Matt and Robbie watched this cockfighting where our cousin had a rooster fighting.  That rooster lost and I'm sure ended up as dinner

Matt and Robbie watched this cockfighting where our cousin had a rooster competing. That rooster lost and I’m sure ended up as dinner for someone.

Our cousin's finance invited us to his village disco where ages ranged from toddlers to elderly

Our cousin’s finance invited us to his village disco (a yearly celebration) where ages ranged from toddlers to elderly.

Christmas dinner at our cousin's house warming party.  Family was put into a separate room while neighbors ate in the living room area.  There was also a "brown out" during dinner so we ate by candle light.

Christmas dinner at our cousin’s house warming party. Family was put into a separate room while neighbors ate in the living room area. There was also a “brown out” during dinner so we ate by candle light.

We spent time doing family history.  Our cousin would point out a relative while driving who was sitting on the side of the road and we would pull over and Tia would interview them.  This old lady is my grandfather's niece

We spent time doing family history. Our cousin would point out a relative while driving who was sitting on the side of the road and we would pull over and Tia would interview them. This old lady is my grandfather’s niece.

Our cousins introduced us to  Julie's Bakeshop and we love it.  When our ferry boat got cancelled to leave the island, we hung out here to figure out what to do since we had plane tickets to reschedule

Our cousins introduced us to Julie’s Bakeshop and we love it. When our ferry boat got cancelled to leave the island, we hung out here to figure out what to do since we had plane tickets to reschedule.

 

We were able to leave Siquijor the next morning at 5am and some cousins went back to Dumaguete with us and made sure we got to the airport

We were able to leave Siquijor the next morning at 5am and some cousins went back to Dumaguete with us and made sure we got to the airport.

Siquijor isn't a tourist trap but more of a hidden treasure.  We look forward to visiting again and spending more time with family and enjoying the beauty of the island

Siquijor isn’t a tourist trap but more of a hidden treasure. We look forward to visiting again and spending more time with family and enjoying the beauty of the island.

 

More Siquijor photos here.