The title says it all. I have been living in Abu Dhabi for 6 months to join my husband and I must say, no matter how many new things I saw, new adventures I have explored and new food I have tasted, nothing compares to home.
Since the Christmas holiday is one of the most important holidays for most Filipinos, we were lucky enough that my husband's leave was approved we get to celebrate Christmas with our families. So we retrace the steps back to where we grew up and relive moments of nostalgia.
Our first stop is in Aliaga, Nueva Ecija. A landlocked located near the heart of Luzon island, this province is known for covering most of its lands with long stretches of rice fields and this is home for my husband. He grew up with the all year round of preparing the land, planting the seedlings, tending the crops, harvesting and finally sacking the rice. The province over the years has stayed as rural as every province in the country. Not much has changed per my husband, people still follow the same old routine, waking up before the rooster can even shriek out its first hello then the day ends just after a few moments it turns dusk. What I like about Aliaga is a lot of quiet time to relax. No rush activities of the urban life is felt there plus it is just a few minutes away from Cabanatuan home of the mouthwatering garlic longganisa.
This Filipino style sausage is a famous breakfast meal together with fried egg and fried rice. smack! smack! The old market place of Cabanatuan sells longganisa P200/kilo and P250/kilo for the bototay or the sweetened longganisa (which I prefer more, because I'm an Ilongga anything salty and sweet is heaven in my tongue)
Next stop is Davao city, my hometown. This is where I grew up and this is probably where I would retire. Davao is known to be a peace-loving city. So many ordinances are being implemented here and some of the cities in our country find it distasteful, but me, i think its brilliant. It's one way of disciplining the people. The city has a smoking ban. You can not smoke just anywhere, there are designated areas where you can do your lung destruction. A penalty of P10,000 if caught and an overnight stay at the police station. Another thing I love about this city is that unlike Manila, taxi drivers here are honest and courteous. Manila taxi drivers are just like robbers but with uniforms. They don't give you back your change and they won't even let you ride if they think your destination is way too far - so much for Manila the city hub of the country. Back to our real purpose of the vacay, my family decided to celebrate a late Christmas bonding at the Malagos Garden Resort.
This resort is an inland resort where you can do lots of things together with your family like swimming, playing around at the playground, horseback riding, and watch the bird show. Schedule for the bird show can be seen at their website. They also serve buffet lunch, and we were lucky that time because they had lechon de leche in the menu. Goody! My husband, my brother in law and my brother were so thrilled to see that in the table. While eating lunch a family friend also happens to be there so the lunch stretched into more talks and more wine drinking. The wine they were sharing was a bottle of Bignay.
It is a native cherry fermented and turned into wine. The wine has a robust taste and its aroma slides into my nostrils and throat like a hot grape. By the way, the resort is originally the plantation for orchids, so you could ask to have a tour of its gardens and see their orchid plantation in bloom.
This vacation would have been a lot fun if it weren't for a few setbacks. But, who ever had a perfect vacation anyway? Still, going home always comfort me. The taste, the sound and the feel of familiar surrounding will always be where I would always want to come back.