This year was the first Mother’s Day I have ever celebrated without my family since I officially joined the ranks of moms in 1993. The funny thing was my friends and I didn’t really plan it that way. When we started talking about a weekend trip to visit another friend in the Queen City of the South, the thought of Mother’s Day didn’t even cross our minds. Weird but true.
A few weeks before leaving, however, I noticed the small print in one of the pages I was following on Facebook. I had to do a double take when I realized that Mother’s Day this year was falling on the very same weekend my friends and I would be out of town. What to do… what to do…
So I did what I do best. I worried.
This was what started the vacillation. I wasn’t sure I wanted to go through with it after thinking of what I will be missing. I’ve never traveled before without my husband. I’ve never taken a plane ride without him by my side. Now that I think of it, I’ve never been anywhere without him! In almost 23 years of marriage, the longest we have been apart were the days he had to go overseas for work meetings, and those have been few and far-in-between because he hated being apart from us. So as much as I wanted to go on a new adventure- this time, by myself- I was still very much afraid.
It was my husband who broke my indecision. After I exhausted him late into the night with all sorts of “what if” scenarios (the truth was, I wanted him to say “don’t go” and just be done with it), he told me this: that were it all up to him, he’d prefer that I stay, even if my tickets have been paid for, but the decision must be mine to make. He also told me that were I to tell my friends I wasn’t going with them anymore, I could not use my family as an excuse. He could very well handle the house and kids by himself over the weekend so I could not and should not use them to justify my decision. “Say you changed your mind and own it,” he reminded me.
On May 10 this year, long before the sun was up, my friends, C* and K*, and I were at the domestic terminal waiting for the plane to bring us to Cebu. It would be short flight and my lovely girl friends would fall asleep on me on the way over, heehee, but we would have two days all to ourselves.
We were met at the airport by our gracious hosts, Ch*, her mom, and her little daughter. That short weekend would be a hodgepodge of touristy things and gastronomic pleasures, but it would also be a weekend of some real girl bonding- a meet-up with a young and lovely doll collector/crafter named Vicki, late night chitchats while gorging on Cebu’s famous chicharon and ice-cold Coke, playing with dolls till we could hardly keep our eyes open, snoring competitions, and shopping for souvenirs, toys, and fabulous plus-sized clothes!
Here are pictures from our weekend trip to Cebu. Unmarked pictures are not mine and belong to my friends because most of the time, I was actually busy talking, eating, or snoring, haha.
The Lapu-Lapu Shrine
The girls, Nimes and Antonia, didn’t mind the heat at all.
Kittymama with her dear friends- K*, Ch*, and C*
(Photo taken by Ch*’s six-year-old!)
Our dollies in a group pose- yay for girl dates!
I love this picture of Ch* and her wonderful daughter. I fell in love with this little girl and I still miss her.
The Pilgrim Center of the Santo Niño de Cebú Basilica, picture taken on Sunday amid a throng of moving people
Magellan’s Cross, encased in this tindalo wooden cross for protection, was set on this exact spot on March 31, 1521. History always gives me goose pimples. *geek mode on*
The small octagon-shaped building was built in 1834. The murals on the ceiling, done by Serry M. Josol (1932-2006) and Jess Roa, depict two events: the baptism of Rajah Humabon and his household and the erection of the original cross on Cebu shores.
Cebu’s lechon is a melt-in-your-mouth experience. Crispy skin tops evenly cooked layers of fat and meat. It is salted well and is not bland, thus, one hardly needs sauce or sarsa to make it work. You can just eat it as is. 🙂
A take on bitter gourd (ampalaya) as a salad topped with dilis or crispy anchovies. this is served with onions and tomatoes and slightly sweetened vinegar. The combination of the salty dilis and the sweet-sour vinegar cuts down the bitterness of the ampalaya. It is surprisingly refreshing!
At the Happy World Museum in Cordova, Cebu where we all went giddy posing for pictures! This is one of my favorites as you can see how the illusion works. Poor C! She had to rescue a blue whale, hehehe.
Posing for more pictures!
As you can see, I have not given up on the dream of becoming a ballerina. ❤
Dainty as a ballerina…
But strong enough to receive a punch from the PacMan!
BFFs share BFF fries!
If I were to list down all the little things we did and talked about to fill those 48 hours, I’m sure one post would not suffice. We missed our families and longed for them, and yet we were also grateful to be in the company of these wonderful women who showed us how to appreciate the little things we often take for granted in our busy lives.
It’s not often we get to chuck the roles we play as wife and mother. There’s often little freedom to be the silly, fun-loving, doll-playing girls we once were, but for those few short days, we were young, fanciful, and carefree. We breathed in the air of youth and savored the friendships we made and choose to keep. And if we were to think about what Mother’s Day really is- a day to thank the mothers in our lives- then we honored that by nurturing the mothers and women in us.
All in all, it was a unique Mother’s Day experience. Thank you, dear friends. I had a great time with all of you.
P.S. C*, K*, and Ch* are codes to protect my friends’ privacy. K is not K but she insists on that letter, hehehe.