I did it! I finally did it!
It’s the first time that I got to travel alone since I married Jeff and became a mom to Taglet. I must admit that I was ecstatic and scared at the same time. Ecstatic because I’ll be able to spend time alone without anything to worry about, and scared because I was worried. Ang gulo diba?! I was seriously just praying to the Lord to keep me safe and don’t let me die during the trip! As in pramis talaga.
My trip almost didn’t happen. Jeff booked it through the flight booking app called Traveloka. He initially paid around Php 10,000++, but when I finally sent a screenshot to my siblings, I discovered that he booked March 15 and not February 15! Jeff swore that their app had a glitch and that when he clicked roundtrip, February 15 became March 15. I thought he was just kidding, but when I tried it, same thing happened! So we were on the phone and live chat with Traveloka for almost half a day to make changes. I was really nervous that we might not be able to rebook it because almost all flights are either too expensive of fully booked. Later that afternoon, we were able to make changes to the flight, moving it to February 14 to 18, and with an additional cost of Php 12,000. Traveloka won’t budge and admit that there was a problem with their app. I guess this is me telling you that we won’t ever use that app again, and you shouldn’t, too. 🙁
For the first time in eight years, Jeff and I didn’t spend Valentines together. My AirAsia flight left at around 4PM from NAIA, and I was in Macau International Airport around 6PM. I was also here last October 2017 with my son for about a week when Jeff bribed us this trip because he is going to Europe for two weeks with his mom.
WARNING: PHOTO DUMP AHEAD.
Before I got to see my brother Berto, who I lovingly call ‘kamote’, I was greeted by the dinosaur on the conveyor belt haha! Berto works in Macau International Airport’s cargo department. He told me he was disappointed to see me alone because he thought Taglet will be with me. Nalungkot daw sya hahaha! I exchanged the dollars that I have in the airport before we left for dinner. We went home to their apartment in Taipa afterwards.
TRAVEL TIP: I preferred taking US dollars with me during our last three trips instead of Philippine peso. It seems better because peso gets a smaller value when exchanged to local currency.
Also, I mentioned that I was also in Macau in October 2017 and I had so much headache looking for a forex place that will exchange my dollar to the Macanese pataca. Apparently, they don’t exchange money that has any stamps or writing. Medyo mahigpit daw talaga sila according to my siblings. My dollars came from my BDO dollar account and has a three-letter stamp that is probably a bank thing (I don’t understand this so please enlighten me why dollar has to have stamps in the Philippines). The forex rate that day was $1 = MOP 7.6, which I think isn’t so bad.
Berto and I headed to a noodle place called Soo’s Kitchen which is near my favorite Macanese restaurant, Wa Fung. Berto ordered a noodle soup ala pho and I ordered fried noodles (which we don’t have pictures of because I was already starving). The map to Soo’s Kitchen is below.
We went home and I waited for my sister Sarah to arrive from work. Sya talaga ang may kasalanan kung bakit ako nasa Macau hahaha! She works at Schoggi Meier Macau, and told me that their cake shop will be closed from the 15th to the 18th because of the Chinese New Year. I told her to come home, but she suggested I come and visit them instead. So I did haha!
She came home around 11PM and told me she’s starving, so we went out again to eat. This time we went to my favorite Macanese restaurant, Wa Fung. They aren’t on Google Maps, but here’s the area. Wa Fung is hard to miss.
My brother made me eat this dessert, which he initially thought was Turnip Cake, but turns out to be milk. It seems to me that it is milk curd, like kesong puti but sweeter, dipped in almonds and fried. It tastes really good! My sister told me that she doesn’t see this anywhere else, so maybe it’s just a Wa Fung thing. 😀
Our daily itinerary included going to San Malo, or that same area as the Ruins of St. Paul. There are hundreds of shops in there where we kept indulging ourselves to shop. I was able to buy a pair of Stan Smiths for Taglet for only Php 2000 and some clothes.
Although Macau is part of China where counterfeits are very rampant, shoes and other stuff here are legit and original. My sister Sarah told me that the government is very strict with counterfeits. Another thing to love about Macau is that everything is tax free! Yes, you read that correctly — NO TAX. My sister told me that even their salaries don’t get taxed. What joy!
Another thing that made me so happy is our discovery of peach blossoms, which I think looks like cherry blossoms. I’ve been bugging Jeff to go to Japan this spring, but we have a trip to Bangkok this March as well, and it will be a bit tight on our schedule and budget. So it looks like we will defer our Japan spring trip again next year. We first saw these beauties in a flower stall in San Malo, but they were selling a huge tree with fully bloomed flowers. When we went to the Red Market to look around, we saw so many people carrying shorter branches so we figured there are shops selling them in the area. Lo and behold, we found them near the circle!
It seems that flowers are big part of CNY celebration here in Macau. Surprised to find this in the streets, sold in trunks, with many blooms still closed. They put it in a pail of water and wait for all the flowers to bloom. Sellers said these are peach blossoms, but whatever, it looks like cherry blossoms hahaha! #MatacauInMacau
I bought one bunch of the flowers, with about 6-8 branches. The person told us that it should last for 15 to 30 days. I thought it will be great to take them home so I tried. And I succeeded haha! I will make a different blog post about my peach blossoms’ voyage to Manila, and how long it lived. In case you want to check out the flower shops, I have the map below:
I also had an OOTD post per day, aka Orange of the Day where I took photos with oranges/kiat kiat. Haha!
Here are some more Macau photos that I took. I will also have a short vlog and will update this post when I finish editing.
My Vacation Takeaways
Since it was the first time that I traveled alone, I had so many emotions that I can’t put to words at the moment. But let me think about that now.
1. I was really excited. My husband let me go alone so I can relax and have fun with my siblings.
2. I was worried because it will be the first time that I will leave my son, but not too much because Jeff is home. I even told him to not schedule any meetings while I was gone. I was also worried that Taglet won’t sleep well because I’m still breastfeeding him until now. But apparently, he slept earlier than the usual without dede.
3. I was scared and kept praying that nothing happens to me, or worst, die during this trip. Haha seryoso talaga!
4. Time spent with my siblings are precious. We were never the perfect siblings, but being with them in the country where they work is something else. It made us appreciate each other more. I pray that next time we can take the rest of our family there.
5. Jeff is the best husband. He gave me the weekend off and took care of Taglet (although we have a yaya). He also didn’t call and message me so many times to check what I’m doing. He just let me be.
I believe being a mother is hard enough and taking breaks once in a while is important. Whether just going to the mall, or having a massage, or mani pedi, we mothers need to take some time off to refresh our brains. How can we take care of other if we don’t take care of ourselves?
To my husband, thank you very much for letting me take this vacation. Next year ulet. Haha!