Sometimes when you let your child steer, you will be surprised as to where they want to go.
We had already been living in the Philippines for a couple of years, my parents had said goodbye to my siblings as they headed off to University, I was left alone. That year was incredibly lonely, but also pretty unique. I became extremely close to my Father. My parents had to represent Canada at numerous events, both looked haggard, both tried to keep up with helping me with my studies, and my everyday activities, but neither could.
One day, my Father came home got showered and dressed, came down to sit with me to have dinner. It was our routine. My parents were out almost every night for dinner or a reception, but without fail, my Father would get dressed early and sit and have dinner with me, while my Mother got ready. He gave me a bunch of books, and said “You figure out where you want to go in the Philippines, but you have to tell me why, there has to be a specific reason for it.” I rolled my eyes, and asked why he was asking me to do more work. He looked at me and smiled “this isn’t work, I am asking you if there is a place you would really like to go, look at all of the books and research.”
So for weeks I spent every waking hour looking at pictures and places. I picked Banaue, the rice terraces, for more info, check out this link.
I think my Father was ultimately surprised, but pretty excited. It turned out, another family (Filippino, wanted to join us). So, the planning began and I attempted to do more research. As it turned out, there wasn’t that much on it. During the Marcos regime a great deal of the natural beauty of the Philippines had not been promoted, and when we were planning on going, we discovered that there was a tiny “Inn” that had just been built.
The trip began with a van, a driver, and all of us stuffed in like sardines. The trip had been planned with very specific stops, in which there was an actual bathroom (which in the 80’s was rare in the countryside, don’t know what it is like now), the other family we were travelling with was hilarious, the woman packed her own toilet paper, and reminded me “always go when you see a washroom, and always bring your own T.P” – sound advice, I haven’t looked back,
By the time we had experienced the drive through the narrow streets or “highway”, we were all green from car sickness and gasped at the sight of the Inn. The Inn was basic as basic could get, ran on a generator, and barely had running water. But the views, I will never ever forget.
– Part 2 to come