“Mama. Are we going to the Philippines today?” Ayay has been asking this question every morning this week. Tomorrow morning, I’ll get to say YES!
F, the girls and I are embarking on an adventure. But before we make it to my parents’ homeland, we first have to get through the 17-hour plane ride with our two little bundles of energy.
Ayay has been so excited getting ready for the trip. She has a brand new princess suitcase (complete with light-up wheels) which she’ll take on the airplane. She’s been practicing wheeling it around the house, lifting it over her baby sister, and unzipping and zipping up the compartments. We’ve also been negotiating on what exactly will go in the suitcase. No, we don’t need princess cups. The plane and the Philippines will have cups. We don’t need the fairy dishes either. If you put five stuffed animals in your suitcase, you won’t be able to fit anything else. So far she has packed her favorite “moon and stars” blanket, Lilly the purple dragon, a pad of paper, 2 card games, and 3 of her favorite books. We still have to pack some movies, markers, and anything else I can think of that will get her through the plane ride. (I’ll admit, I got suckered into packing 1 dress-up dress in my own suitcase.) Honestly, I’m not too worried about her as she’s always been a good flyer and can occupy herself for hours with something as simple as a drinking straw. As for Tingting, F and I will have very tired arms by the end of this plane ride!
The Philippines itself will be an adventure. Between the locals’ driving and the overwhelming pollution, I always feel like my life expectancy is cut in half when I’m in the Philippines. When my grandparents took my brother to the Philippines, he was about 5 years old and suffered from intense diarhhea and horrible skin rashes during most of their trip. They had to come back home early. On one of my recent trips to the land of over 7,000 islands, I lived through a typhoon, earthquake, and airport bombing all in a period of 2 weeks. This trip will (hopefully) be less eventful.
I’ve been prepping Ayay on things like the heat and humidity, the food, the fact that most people will be as dark and darker than Tito and Lolo. I can’t wait to see her reactions as she takes in the landscape, people, customs, and quirkiness of this place her grandparents call home.