Journey of Joy: Exploring the Vibrant Philippines and a Memorable Book Club

Journey of Joy: Exploring the Vibrant Philippines and a Memorable Book Club

Returning to the Philippines was a heartening experience filled with anticipation. Despite a 7-hour layover in Abu Dhabi, the time flew by as we connected with fellow Filipinos, reminiscing about cherished memories. Stepping off the plane, I instantly absorbed the vibrant and welcoming atmosphere when we reunited with our family, who warmly received us. 

Manila's Charm and Boracay's Beauty

Starting in Manila allowed us to handle practical matters and explore the vibrant city. Our journey began at Resorts Manila Newport, where we enjoyed live music in the casino—an ideal start. The Philippines has a unique energy that excites me from the moment I arrive.

After indulging in shopping at Robinsons and Landmark Makati, including getting a Filipiniana blouse for an upcoming event, we headed to Boracay. The breathtaking beauty, matching online images, promised a delightful stay. Boracay's charm, from its white sand beaches to captivating sunsets, amazed us instantly.

Exploring Boracay's Station 3, enjoying meals at favorite spots like Gerry's Grill, buying souvenirs, and capturing memories through a photo shoot filled our days. Even a sudden rain shower couldn't dampen our spirits amidst such beauty!

Venturing to Bulabog Beach, the Key Hole, and Pucca Beach via e-trike despite rain also added an adventurous touch to our Philippine experience.

Enchanting Vigan, Ilocos Adventures, and a Memorable Book Reading

A spa day rejuvenated us before our Ilocos tour. Despite a lengthy drive, exploring Vigan's historic streets, enjoying local cuisine, and marveling at scenic spots like the Bell Tower and Virgen Milagrosa left lasting impressions. Despite a few hiccups at accommodations, the overall journey was enriching.

The highlight of the trip was undoubtedly my mini launch and book reading session at SM Aura’s SM Book Nook. Connecting with colleagues and readers, and sharing my passion for writing in such a vibrant setting, filled me with joy and gratitude. Holding a book reading session was a great experience that added depth to our Philippine adventure. It also helped me rediscover the joy of speaking in public. 

Returning home to Belgium, while filled with gratitude and a refreshed spirit, also brought a touch of longing for the vibrant energy of the Philippines, especially the spirit of "salo-salo" that is so unique to Filipino culture. Each trip back and forth is a journey of emotions and self-discovery, reminding me of the profound connection I feel to the Philippines and its people.

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