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Monday, May 7, 2012

My First Ever Travel Buddy (A Mother's Day Special)


I was only four months old when my mom first brought me to Baguio. We lived there with my father’s family for a while, then we’d just visit from time to time as I was growing up. Actually, we were there again just this weekend.

Now when I think of it, I realize that my mom really was my first travel buddy because we used to be joined at the hip. Growing up, my cousins would poke fun at me because I couldn’t go anywhere without her or her permission. She wouldn't let me go on out-of-town trips with friends; not even sleepover at other people’s homes until I was already working. So the people who know me were probably surprised when I started traveling without her. But of course there's still the usual text messages of “Asan ka na? Anong oras ka uuwi?/Anong oras flight mo?"  :p

***

Anyway, in this post I’ll be recounting two of our major and probably most memorable trips ever. 

August 2009: I asked her if she would like to spend Christmas in Singapore and her face lit up. Without hesitation, she said 'yes'. I believe she deserved that 'break' after taking care of my father who battled Parkinson's for four years. It was no easy feat.    

In between the months prior to our departure, we were busy fixing my DOST clearance, and applying for her passport and renewing mine. She wants to be sure that we have all the necessary documents to avoid immigration problems.

Fast forward to December 23, 2009, we left home at 10:00 for our 14:45 flight. See? The apple really doesn't fall far from the tree. :p As soon as the check-in counters opened, we lined up and after breezing through immigration, we finally heaved a sigh of relief. We had our first passport stamps! Upon boarding the plane, I was a bit worried that she might feel some discomfort as it was her first time to fly, but everything went smoothly and we landed in Changi Airport after more than 3 hours. 

Night Safari

My uncle lives in Singapore so even though he was there to take us around, there were times that we explored the city on our own. We walked the whole length of Orchard Road and checked out almost all the malls. Prior to the trip, she was having knee pains for several months so I was worried that she might complain and I'd be annoyed that we'd just end up sitting around waiting for my uncle, but no, we'd just rest periodically and continue walking. After the day was over, she said she was surprised her knee pain was gone. Well guess who had swollen foot after? I did. -_- 

***


March 2011: We went on another trip; this time to Hong Kong and Macau. It was our first time to experience winter (or at least what's left of it) so it was a very memorable trip. If you've been to Hong Kong, you'd know how taxing it is to walk around theme parks all day but she never complained nor slowed us down. She even had the same childlike amusement that I had. We really had a great time.

Hong Kong Disneyland

In both occasions, we just stayed in hostels so there was no breakfast included. And just like at home, sometimes she'll wake up early and go to the nearest convenience store or fast food to forage buy breakfast. Saan ka pa! Lumalabas mag-isa kahit nasa abroad dahil on mommy duty pa rin. :D  


Nan Lian Gardens 

But then in April 2011, just a little over a month after we got back from Hong Kong, she was diagnosed with breast cancer. The doctor advised her to have a mastectomy so she had her operation in May 2011, and had six chemotherapy sessions (June - October). She knew I bought tickets the year before and was planning to do an Indochina trip by the end of 2011 so even though it was just a little over a month after her last chemotherapy session, and even if it meant that she'd be left alone for 9 days, she let me push through with the trip. She'd become supportive of my travels so I feel grateful for that. In fact, I recently made a booking (with her prodding!) so hopefully everything will be okay (health-wise) so we can fly again before the year ends. 


When I was a kid I used to tell her that when I become rich, all I want to do is travel the world. Well, I'm still far from being rich (in fact, we just live in a one-bedroom apartment) but I'm slowly realizing that dream. I know a lot of people are baffled how we can afford such 'luxury', but you see, my mom and I, we don't really care much about material possessions or financial wealth. As long as we have roof on our heads, eat three times a day, and able to pay the bills, we're okay. She believes we rather invest on experiences.


She said some fortuneteller told her ages ago that she'll be able to travel abroad because of her future child/ren. I'm glad I'm somehow able to make that into a reality, so whenever I hear people tell her "Ang swerte mo naman, pinag-bbyahe ka ng anak mo." ("You're lucky. You’re able to travel because of your daughter."), I can't help but feel proud. If people only know about all the hardships she’s been through for me and our family, you’d say that she deserves more than that.

***

From Getty Images


Before we learned to read maps, our moms taught us the alphabet. Before we ran marathons or trekked mountains, she held our hands and taught us how to walk. Before we learned the art of packing, she was the one who prepared our backpacks and lunch box for school or for that once a year field trip we always look forward to.

I guess it's safe to say that who and what we are now, we owe it greatly to our moms. So when you have the chance and the means, treat her to that well-deserved vacation. ;)


This is my contribution to this month's blog carnival:
Traveling With Your Mom (A Mother's Day Special)  


Blog compilations will be hosted by
Alvin Sabay of The World Behind My Wall

Complete compilation of previous Pinoy Travel Bloggers' Blog Carnival here.


K

16 comments:

  1. this is a tearjerker. send my love to your mom. <3

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  2. Thanks Rain :) akala ko nga di ko na matatapos itong entry na ito kasi nakaka-iyak hehe

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  3. My first time here, and I'm glad to I dropped by. Such a poignant piece about the "wind beneath your wings." You have a cool, supportive mom! That, in itself, makes you rich! I pray she stays healthy so you can both travel the world together.

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  4. Thanks for dropping by Reiza. You're right, 'wind beneath my wings' pretty much sums it up. Thanks for the prayers. :) I hope we can all see the world with our moms.

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  5. Beautifully written! I thought you were talking about me and my mom in your second paragraph, haha! We had the same experience.

    I'm in the process of writing my first entry to the PTB blog carnival, and this definitely inspired me. Thank God for moms! :)

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  6. Hi Jonna, thanks for dropping by.

    Strict din pala mom mo before hehe I guess that's how most moms are especially towards their daughters. I guess we just need to show them that we're responsible adults and can look after ourselves. :)

    Looking forward to your PTB entry!

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  7. It's more fun in the Philippines, Pag Kasama mo sa gig ang mom mo! Happy Mother's day to your mom! Sana makasama ko rin mama ko sa isang out of the country na layasan!

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  8. strict si mommy! haha nice to know that you have a mom that supports you with your passion for traveling all the way. happy mum's day to your mom :)

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  9. strict siya noon, kunsintidor na ngayon hahaha

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  10. Kat! I missed reading your blog :). Haha ang sweet nyo ni Mommy, I'll pray for your Mom na maging okay na ang lahat then the two of you can conquer the world together again :)

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  11. Hey! How are you? Nice to hear from you again.

    I really hope na maging okay na siya completely. :)

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  12. pinaytraveljunkieMay 23, 2012 at 12:28 AM

    Aww... Your mom deserved/deserves such treat!

    "Before we ran marathons or trekked mountains, she held our hands and taught us how to walk." - *sniff*

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  13. All our moms deserve to see and experience

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  14. All our moms deserve a getaway for putting up with us all these years hahaha

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