Thursday, June 25, 2015

Postcards from Intramuros, a Spanish walled city in the Philippines

Intramuros, Manila
Main gate of Fort Santiago
(My son obviously did not get his height from my side of the gene pool.)

Someone once told me that they can tell if a person is from the Philippines if they look Asian but have a Hispanic name. Indeed, the Philippines is an independent, island nation in Southeast Asia which was under Spanish rule for over 300 years, promptly followed by a few decades as an American colony. My parents were born and married in Manila, the capital of the Philippines, before moving to the USA. Visiting my extended family there was one last thing I wanted to do before leaving Asia. We spent most of our time feasting at restaurants, hitting the many malls, and just hanging out with my aunts and cousins, getting to know each other better. My kids say it's one of their favorite vacations because they went bowling and played Minecraft with their 2nd cousins instead of spending the whole day sightseeing. Indeed, a morning excursion to Intramuros was the extent of our touristy activities there. So, instead of showing you snapshots of our bowling scores, here's a few postcards from Intramuros.

Friday, June 5, 2015

The Natural Wonder of Hamilton Pool

Hamilton Pool
Behind the waterfall

I stood behind the waterfall enjoying the cooling mist and thinking about the year that's passed since we left Malaysia to return back to Texas. One of my biggest worries about repatriating was that life would become humdrum and routine. That returning to the city that I've called home for the last 20 years couldn't possibly be as exciting as exploring an exotic, foreign country. So, I reminded myself that I had perhaps taken Austin, Texas for granted.
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