Antique is a coastal province in the island of Panay (Western Visayas). Belison (we are in wikipedia!) is a town about 18kms north of the provincial capital that is San Jose de Buenavista. I grew up and spent almost 20 years of my life there. It is a quiet town where not much has changed since my childhood. I used to rant about how provincial it was. How devoid it was of 'development'. But I am taking all that back now (well I did take it back some 3 years ago). I am now loving every bit of that place regardless of how it remained to be the same old.
Since I moved to Manila some 10 or more years ago (hahaha okay just do the math), I've always made it a point to come home at least once (but if the budget would permit well as frequently as possible). My officemates then would often tease me that my savings were all going to the local airline companies' bank accounts. Yes, I admit without shame or regret that spent almost every spare peso I had then to buy plane tickets (and if I get really homesick my parents would take pity and volunteer to buy the tickets for me just so I can come home during long holiday breaks). This year however, because we wanted to make a lot of our plans happen already (plans that were on the pipe since we got married actually), Tibs and I agreed we will skip our Antique homecoming. I tried to psych myself out (tried my hardest, I swear) and used arguments such as - "Cavite is now my home, I should not look far." Or "as long as we spend our holidays together as a family, it wouldn't matter where we are." But there's this nagging thought in my head that firmly declares NO! -- I also have a family in Antique. I've never missed a holy week away from them except during the first trimester that I was pregnant with Maia because I was put on bed rest. Since I gave birth however, we kept on with this tradition and Maia has somehow grown accustomed to it too. She now looks forward to our trips to Antique (and she now enumerates fondly the specific things that she's excited about).
It's difficult to explain but I'm really THAT close to my family that no matter where our disagreements would take us, holy week get-togethers are SACRED in a sense that we just have to be together. It has sort of become our mini-reunion and I'm fervently hoping it's going to stay that way till Gogol and Maia are all grown up and till our pockets would allow us to.
I never got around to convincing myself that we could forego one trip this year. So the inevitable will happen, the three of us are leaving for Antique again for some R&R and a lot of bonding with my family! And I just can't wait for Monday to come!
I am sharing here photos of all our past trips with Maia in tow.
|Mar 2009. Five months old and enjoying the early morning ocean breeze. Our house is just about a kilometer away from the beach.|
|Family pic from under my dad's mango tree.|
|kids with the grannies. summer of 2009.|
|La Parola, Patnongon, Antique. Summer of 2010.|
|mudplay! summer of 2010.|
|Summer of 2010. Outdoor bath.|
|Summer of 2010, chasing goats.|
AND HERE ARE OUR MOST RECENT PHOTOS, PRESENTING MEMORIES OF SUMMER 2011.
|this may be not comparable to 'world-class' beaches but the sunsets are just as perfect|
|we took a photo of the aratiles for Maia and Gogol. they loved this, by the way!|
|Basking on the surf with daddy|
|Enjoying a piggyback ride with Lolo|
|Sand 'box' time with manong gogol|
|Cow-watching with Manong Gogol (lolz)|
I still have gazillions to show! But I know this post alone is quite an overload already. But I guess now you know why I can't just let this summer pass without us coming home to this wonderful place!