It's that time in our lives when we finish one assignment, and I write the top 10 things I will miss about it. (Check out previous blogs about Tokyo and Winnipeg) The Philippines, obviously, is such a dear place to my heart, and I am grateful for the time that we spent with family and friends, and the chance for my kids and husband to experience the culture and the craziness of my home country. It was an exciting and a super productive year for me, and I will always look back at this assignment with so much fondness and love.
Number 10. Sunsets.
This picture does not give justice to the sunsets in Manila, but every single day, the kids scream "sunset!" and together as a family, we gaze at it with so much pleasure.
Number 9. Playdates
It's so great that our kids got to spend time with friends. We loved hosting playdates at our home.
Number 8. Christmas.
Christmas in the Philippines is so unique, as we start so early! We start playing Christmas music in September (which annoys a lot of my American friends), but it is something so unique to our culture, I think. I loved the Christmas programs in the kids' schools, decorating the fake tree (Tim and I bought a real tree for our apartment though!) Santa photo op, get-togethers with friends and family, and Christmas caroling. Too bad, we didn't get to spend Christmas in 2015, but I was really happy we at least got to spend it in 2014.
Number 7. Opportunities to be productive and involved in things that matter to me.
I am so thankful for the many opportunities to share my time, talent and resources, and to involve my kids in it too.
Number 6. So many places to explore!
Out of our 52 weekends, probably half was spent outside of Manila. See number 5 too!
Number 5. Beaches. Need I say more?
Number 4. Pinoy moments.
My kids have learned the phrase, "only in the Philippines". So many things we see on the roads or sitting in traffic are enjoyable enough that the kids no longer need their iPads to be entertained!
The Philippines' fascination with "Named" brands. Even Bath and Body Works paper bags are a status symbol.
Other ways to use jeepneys. Political statement ads.
Equipments. We just really never get our plural forms.
Anything can be transported in the Philippines.
Number 3. Kids' life experiences.
Number 2. No surprises here. Food!
Filipino party food.
Got to experience FIlipino gourmet food as well.
Number 1. Family. No comparison. I feel welcome, no matter what. Love you guys.