Monday, January 3, 2011

i just had a beautiful december ^_^

I disappeared from the blogosphere for a couple of weeks to make room for the loveliest holiday season I've had in years.

What made this December extra special are the relatives (on my mother's side) most of whom I haven't seen in a decade or so. They flew in from different places on the globe and we had that rare family reunion. We spent a big, loud Noche Buena together at my aunt's house, and lunch after Christmas at another aunt's house.

It definitely was nice to see my cousins again (most of whom are now a lot ... er, bigger than I remember them to be).

I guess my favorite part was the trip to Vigan. I've always wanted to go since a lot of people have told me it's a picturesque must-see.

But more significantly, Vigan is the hometown of my maternal grandparents. I went with my Hubby, my sister and twenty or so other relatives; my aunt, who is now sort of the clan matriarch, played Group Leader / Tour Guide. This was an informative sort of vacation, the main agenda of which was to get to know more about our ancestry. I loved every bit of it.

The trip also included a stopover at the Capas National Shrine at Tarlac en route. My grandfather was a Death March survivor and a prisoner of war at Camp O'Donnel back in 1942. This stop was for us to remember and appreciate him.

The Monument at Capas, Tarlac

My lolo and his brother's name engraved on the walls of the memorial.

We also had a daytrip around Ilocos Norte and a calesa tour of Vigan.

Interior of Paoay Church, Ilocos Norte.

Citrus-colored Parakeets at Baluarte.

And oh - we capped our nights with riotous Videoke sessions.

The frosting on the whole cake is my new camera. I'm really loving it. It's a lot more capable than the other camera I've been using, and the important part is that it's my own, not something I have to borrow. I took a lot of nice photomementoes and artistic printables.

There have been some ideas tossed regarding another possible reunion for 2011, to be held in Cebu this time. I'm hoping, and looking forward to another colorful December.