In July, 2006, the hubby and I went to Hongkong in celebration of our 30th wedding anniversary. I was mesmerized by the things I saw. Hongkong is a vibrant city with lots of things a woman like me enjoys.But the hubby found it too commercial and wished that we had gone to Vietnam instead. I wanted to do so many things and see so many places in the islands of Hongkong but I did not get to because my husband's masculine bones did not want to do the walking so we just followed where our tour guide led us to. The only thing that saved the trip was the whole day we spent in HK Disneyland, where both of us enjoyed. So from then on, I vowed to go back and conquer HK- this time with another woman, my daughter Tim, who has been there twice in the past. We were eyeing the months of Oct-Nov, 2010, after her bar exams but a tragic event happened in Manila which resulted in the deaths of several HK tourists, many of whom were children. The sentiment of the people of Hongkong against all Filipinos, even if the lone killer was an errant policeman who himself was killed by his colleagues, was enough for us to cancel our trip. We wanted to enjoy and not be looked upon with hatred and anger.
Past forward to December, 2012. Timmy booked all of us to an early morning flight to HK on a Thursday, December 13. It was a wrong decision, because we had to leave our house in Bulacan at 12:00mn in order to make it at the airport at least three hours before our flight. That made us all groggy the whole morning. But it was okay in the sense that the two babies, then 1 year and 5 months and 10 months, respectively, fell asleep aboard the plane. At NAIA3, we had to sit like this on the floor while waiting to check in-
We arrived at our Nathan Rd. hostel in Tsim Sha Tsui a shortly before lunch. The hotel manager, Simon, was very accommodating. Really our flight was not ideal because most hotels are vacated at 12:00nn and check in was supposed to be at 2:00pm. Simon let us leave our bags in his private quarters and we went out to wait for 2:00pm outside. Good the place was near the Kowloon Garden. Bajek and Aja enjoyed playing there, while we adults just stayed put in the benches. The December air made us relax for the duration of our wait.
After checking in, we rested for a few hours before we headed out to explore the city. At around 5:00pm, we heard a knock on our door, and to our surprise, Popoy was there, all the way from UAE. The family was complete. What else can we ask for? I was so happy, I cried upon realization that we can celebrate Christmas altogether, albeit much earlier. That night, we went around and around, savoring the cool HK air, minus the pollution that we are used to in Manila.
The following day, Friday, was our Disneyland day. Prior to the trip, Tim and Poy (we later learned) already did some research on the routes of trains and buses we would take to and from a certain place. We all enjoyed the train and bus rides. HK really has a very efficient transport system. We were at Disneyland from 9am to 9pm.I cannot explain the feeling seeing my whole family enjoy a place far away from home. HK, after all, is relatively a safe place for tourists, a lot safer than Manila. Am not sorry.
At Disneyland, I almost shrieked seeing the rides and the attractions. I loved Philharmagic in 2006 and I still loved it this time. I was a child once more, together with my grandchildren.
The day's highlight was the Disney on Parade which we waited for with much eagerness. The sights and sounds, the colors and the clean, cool air all made the experience a pleasurable one.
We spent our third day at the Madame Tussaud Museum in Central taking souvenir photos. The journey up the tram was quite difficult. But the tram ride was enjoyed by the kids.
The third afternoon was reserved for some shopping, but we only went as far as the Giordano stores and in ISquare in Nathan Rd. So much time was spent looking for a fish cracker requested by our friend and compadre, Lito de Dios, but we didn't find any of this-
We asked ALL of the stores along the road for this product, but all our efforts were in vain. I ended up buying chocolates for his kids, instead.
On our last day, we woke up early and headed to the airport for out 10am flight back home. We were thinking we still could do some shopping at the airport. But we found out our third world budget plane was in the far end of the airport. we had to walk and walk and walk. Good there is a watch store near our gate so Tim was still able to buy herself an Anne Klein piece. The saddest part of our departure is leaving Popoy behind since his flight back to Dubai/UAE was still in the afternoon. He went back to our hotel to rest a little more but headed back again to the airport to do some window shopping. Poy was very excited to see his nephews, especially Aja whom he is seeing for the first time.
Someday, I wish we could go on a trip again as a family. Doesn't matter where. As long as we are all together. It is not just because we have to, but because we love to.
As far as Hongkong is concerned, I haven't got my fill yet. I want to explore Causeway Bay, Wanchai and Harbour City. I haven't seen the shopping havens yet. I haven't gone on a food trip yet. And before this lifetime is over, I have to. I am a woman, after all.