It's Christmas time in the Philippines!!!

Bacolod Travel Blog

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My first day in Bacolod, Christmas Eve.

It seems that every time I visit my best friend in the PI it is December. I know how hot it is the other times of the year and simply do not want to go during the hot months. Also, since she is like my family I love spending holidays with my Filipino family. :) I had a bit of a problem (basically lost my passport in my house) the day I was supposed to leave Vegas. It was horrible. I was leaving the day after I get out of work. Although I was packing for weeks and diligently weighing my suitcase (no balikbayan box for me) to make sure it was not past 70 lbs I kept wanting to add more and more and more! I was trying to be good and not bring a million shoes and purses which is usually where I always have the problem. Also, I must have packed enough chocolate to feed an entire province in the Phils.

Tiffy and me
Whenever I ask what they want, they usually want me to bring them chocolate, Gallo Salami, and once they asked for a Honeybaked ham, but I had to say NO to that one. I was not about to carry a ham on the plane. Lol. Anyway, I finally finished packing and it was 30 minutes from leaving. The taxi was about to come pick me up and I looked in the last place my passport was, it was not there! I tore apart my house for about 1 hour. At this point I was 30 minutes late from when I had to leave. I called the airline to cancel my ticket coz I figured I would miss my flight. We talked about getting a passport replacement while in the Phils but it just seemed like such a big hassle. I already know how difficult getting traveler's checks can be in the PI (basically its almost impossible!!!!) so I did not even want to go there with the passport.
Tahne and me
Last thing I need would be getting stuck in a foreign country. So making a long story short, I FOUND IT!!! I called the taxi in a panic, got to the airport a HOT MESS and anxious nervous all of the above and made it on my flight! Wow! It was  not a good start, but I was there. Ahhh, thank God. I flew on PAL to get there, we stopped over in Vancouver but could not leave the holding area. I was sooooooo excited since I had not seen my best friend since 2003.

I arrive in Manila and need to make my way over to another side of the airport. I walk outside and BAM hit with the heat and humidity, YUCK. I wait a few hours looking around the airport (not much to look at). I finally get on the plane (I think it qualifies as a plane-it seemed so small!) to Bacolod. Yay!!! 1 hour flight or so, and I am there. I get off the plane, and just what I remember, there is no connection to the airport when you fly into a province. You actually walk down the stairs from the plane, walk on the runway, and enter the baggage claim area which is outdoors just covered . It's raining!!!! Surprise surprise!! This man sees I am white and knows I am probably gonna freak out, and he comes to bring me an umbrella and holds it for me while I walk. Princess service!! I tend to get treated this way the entire time I am in the PI. I love it! :D Of course I have a ton of guys coming up to me asking me if I need help with my luggage. First time in PI this scared me, but now I am used to it. In America I don't think it's as easy to find people to help you with that stuff and even if it is, they are not so eager to help you. So I have this man looking for my luggage and immediately I see Tahne!!! We hug and kiss and smiling our heads off. It's like I just saw her the day before! It seems like with a true friend, it's like we were never apart. We are right back where we left off! I get in the car, see her family and am overwhelmed with happiness and excitement. I tell them about my passport incident and all they do is laugh at me. haha!

We get to their house.....honk honk...and the maids come out to open the gate door and get my luggage. I start grabbing my luggage from the car and they laugh at me and tell me to go inside. How can I have a 100 lb woman carry my luggage which is 70 lbs?? HAHHA. Geez. The life in the PI, I gotta get used to having people do everything for me. I get inside and what a surprise, tons of food, and they make me eat. Here we go, no AC (AC is only in the bedrooms). I sit down and eat (can't be rude right?) and then Tita Ching has made me her speciality Sansrival, my FAVORITE! I know they have it at Goldilocks but it does not compare to hers. I wait years to eat this and dream of it. She also was busy making a million brazo de mercedes (another Filipino thing-to have a side business) for people for Christmas who did special orders. I am not a big fan of this dessert, but hers is off the hook! Mmmmm soo good!! After stuffing my face, I go into the room and take out all the gifts. My BFF gets her MAC makeup which she harassed me for, all my old purses, chocolate, Sour Patch Kids, Bath & Body Works (typical, I know!), and I don't remember what else. She is taking pics with her MAC nailpolish, MAC makeup, and her and Tiffy (little sis) are HAPPY HAPPY HAPPY. I am glad something so simple can make them so happy. I guess MAC is a big deal for them. After non stop pic taking for hours, we get ready since it is Christmas Eve! Well I would call my getting ready, getting in my PJ's since I am so tired from my plane ride. They on the other hand, got dressed up. We went into the living room, ate (again), and opened presents when it became midnight! They got me some traditional Filipino items (I guess I am ready to go pick rice in the fields) haha. Also, they got me Haviana slippers (big big big in the PI-don't know why!) After more pic taking, we finally go to sleep since we have a big day ahead of us.


TRE69 says:
I have had passport problems before going to PI...long story short had to go to the Federal Bldg to get replacements the day before. Then...we found the old damn passports...IN MY MOTHER'S PURSE the day we left the province to go to Manila!!!
Posted on: Aug 15, 2008
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My first day in Bacolod, Christmas…
My first day in Bacolod, Christma…
Tiffy and me
Tiffy and me
Tahne and me
Tahne and me
photo by: docime30