My mom got in around 11PM Thursday night and my uncle picked her up at the airport in the van. On Friday we finally ventured outside of Makati and went to San Pablo, Laguna! Both my parents are from there. They grew up close to each other, but didn’t really connect till they we both in Canada. Going to San Pablo is like a return to my roots and I always look forward to it! I have so many fond memories of that city. When I was a kid, we spent one epic month of our summer vacation in San Pablo. This was a very big deal because at the time in San Pablo, there was: no shower, no electricity 3-5PM, limited air conditioning, and we had pet ducklings. (Some guy was selling ducklings door to door. I never questioned why. I now realize that they were probably meant to eat! hee hee) It was like “urban camping”. It was cool learning about where we came from and meeting relatives we never even knew existed! Anyways on our way to San Pablo, Damian was saying how much it reminded him of Mexico. That statement made a lot of sense. There are many Tagalog words that are similar to Spanish due to 400 years of Spanish occupation/influence. Going outside of Manila, the Philippines has a VERY DIFFERENT feel to it. The difference in socio-economic classes are more apparent outside of Manila. As I mentioned in a previous post… in the Philippines, you either have money or you don’t. The divide between the lower class and upper class is huge! My theory is that if you can be classified as middle class, you move out of the Philippines to “greener pastures”.
Anyways, we stopped by my uncle’s house to drop off my mom’s stuff where she would be staying. The Philippines to me as a child was full of Folk tales and Urban Legends that kind of freaked me out. The stories of the White Lady, the Duende, and Filipino Vampires: Mandurugo and the Aswang were always fascinating to me. What I remember most from my first trip to San Pablo were: sleeping in mosquito nets every night and watching live NBA finals games during the day. Totally random memories. Anyways, we then went to Max’s Restaurant,”The House That Fried Chicken Built” for lunch. So good! It was a 5 entree lunch! After lunch we went to the house that my mom grew up in and hung out a little with family. It was great going back to a place I hadn’t seen in years! So many fond memories! We wanted to see more of San Pablo, so the driver took us around Sampaloc Lake. We got some great video of the area around the lake. The poverty was really apparent there! After our short little tour we headed back to the hotel in Makati to rest up.
On Damian’s adventure the night before, he discovered a cool bar with great happy hour specials and a food truck festival not far from the hotel. After resting up, we headed out to grab some eats. We made some great contacts at the bar and will hopefully collaborate the next time we are in Manila! At the food truck festival, there were some awesome dishes available at really cheap prices! There is something special about Filipino barbecue that makes it unique. Maybe it is the marinade… I don’t know what it is, but it is delicious! Anyways after our awesome late dinner, we went back to the hotel room and crashed after a busy day!
Pictures from Day 5 in San Pablo
The following day we would be going to Tagaytay to see the beautiful volcano city. Stay tuned!