My birthday trip to the Hongkong Peninsula and Macau Islands was my first vacation abroad with my two mothers: my real nanay, Ara and my guardian-surrogate mom in Manila since 1996, Achie (Ara’s older sister). The vacation was my gift of sorts to myself (for hitting 30), to my mother (she turned 60 last June), and to Achie (for taking care of me especially during my pimply college years).
It was also my first travel in style, so to speak, as I always prefer no frills travel over the touristy ones. But on this trip I half-heartedly decided to get a package tour considering that the travel was not solely for me, and that getting around without a defined agenda would most likely become a problem with the senior citizens that I am with.
How did I survive? Pretty well, and big thanks to Rocel of Swire Travel and to Joseph for the referral. We had a nice hotel with a big bathroom, three beds, pipe in classical music, free breakfast, courteous hotel staff and in a good location at that. We had a reliable transport service and a perfect itinerary for our day tours.
The success of any package tour begins with choosing the right travel agency. Honestly, I was a little apprehensive at first because I find Rocel difficult to deal with sometimes, but I pushed through with it confident that Joseph will not fail me.
So for four days and three nights last week, I and my two moms took a role reversal exercise, I as the nurturing parent and they, well, as the hard-headed-spoiled-kids-trying-to-be-adults. What can be funnily worse than that?
I have to be ahead of them when they feel like taking a stroll, but I have to look back every so often so I won’t lose them. I have to be behind them when we are in crowded places, for the same reason. I have to wait for them while they take their own sweet time looking at things that interest them, while they won’t even bother to stop and wait for me when I ogle at things that catch my attention. They can be really makulit and would insist on the right direction even when it was I who holds the map and it was I who spent some five minutes to study it–diligently!
I also took the role of the official photographer, their official photographer! Everywhere we go, I asked them to stop so I can take good pictures of the nicest backgrounds. But they won’t volunteer to get a photo of me leaving me by my hapless self to take my own pictures. My real mom would not even dare touch, out of fear, either my digital camera or my iPhone as if these gadgets can cause leprosy!
Here’s a photo that she took when I finally convinced her to use my iPhone as I was getting a little frustrated already because my digicam ran out of battery. Darn!
This is not at all to ridicule my parents whom I so love dearly, but only to get my message across, that sometime in the near future, we could turn out to be just like our parents. Such is the circle of life, so it would be better if we stretch our patience longer and take time to understand our beloved mommies. To keep me sane, I would imagine how hard it must have been for my mom to raise three naughty boys back then. Talk about poetic justice.
All in all, that was a real exhilarating and unforgettable experience. I was so glad that we did it, and did it great. Now we are planning another tour, Malaysia-Singapore perhaps, and this time, more family members are wanting to come with us. That would be an altogether different story. Abangan!