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Where do I begin? | Philippines Trip 2023

Updated: Aug 27, 2023

Hey, you! 😊

We just got back from a 2-week trip in the Philippines and I have soooooo much to share with you! Hence the title of this post - where do I begin?

First, let's start with the how ...

As I wrote here (click here for the post) and talked about on the podcast, I wasn't sure anymore about going to the Philippines because of my passport. It was supposed to be done alongside my daughter's at the beginning of July, but somehow mine wasn't.

We had plane tickets for July 21, but unfortunately I had to cancel them. I'm still praying to see if I will be fully reimbursed for them. Fingers crossed.

Anyways, each day was passing and each day I was praying a little harder. One by one each plan was falling through and by July 27, we were down to the last three letters of the alphabet.

Plan X - July 27: pick our passports up at the city hall and book our plane tickets for the 28th

Plan Y - July 28: pick our passports up at the city hall and book our plane tickets for the 29th

Plan Z - July 28 : pick our daughter's passport up at the city hall and book plane tickets only for the husband and daughter

As you can guess, our deadline to leave France was July 29. After that date, it would have been too late to be able to attend my late father's burial ceremony, which was the main reason for us to go to the Philippines in the first place.

On the morning of the 27th (Thursday), I woke up and told my husband to go to the city hall and pick our daughter's passport up, just to be sure. The City Hall closes on Friday afternoons so at this point, I wanted to make sure we had at least one passport with us. I didn't want to risk it. To be honest, I had lost hope at this point and cried all the tears in my body that morning. This was the worst case scenario - our daughter would be going home to the Philippines without me.

taken from:

My daughter had barely stepped a foot in our home when I heard her shouting, "Mom, your passport was printed yesterday! The lady at the city hall said it could be delivered tomorrow or on Monday at the latest! There's still hopeeee!"

Monday would definitely be too late. But tomorrow? Now that would be a dream!

I could hear a voice in my head go, "as long as there's life, there's hope" and I held on to that. We tried our best to go about our day as a normal one - our bags were packed and ready in the living room. Almost mocking me in my desperate state. We spent the evening playing Dobble yet again, knowing that we would finally have answers in the morning. Would I be going with them or not?

By the way, if you're wondering where Bogart the Pug was during this whole time, don't worry about him - he was perfectly safe and happy with my niece who agreed to take care of him for the next two weeks. For some unspoken reason, we didn't tell my family about what was going on. We're not particularly superstitious - wait, actually I am a little, so maybe that's why we didn't tell them.

Anyways ...

I woke up on Friday, July 29 at 8am. Since the city hall closes at noon on Fridays, they also open earlier. Still in bed, I dialed the city hall's number. The nice lady picked up and informed me in a sad voice that there had been no deliveries yet and that the chances were pretty slim. She repeated that it would most likely arrive on Monday. I didn't have the heart to tell her that Monday was too late. I thanked her for everything she had done, hung up the phone, and went back to sleep. It was over.

I decided that I wasn't going to cry my sadness away this time - I was going to sleep it off instead. The Husband sleepily rolled over, looked at me, saw the expression on my face, and decided that at this point sleeping it off was the best way to deal with this too.

But then ... Twenty minutes later, my phone rang.

A familiar number. One that I had dialed just a few minutes earlier.

"Hello?" I said hesitantly as my right hand started shaking uncontrollably.

"Hello again Mrs. A, soooo the delivery guy just left the office and your passport is here. Come quick!!!"

OH MY GOSH. Oh my gosh, oh my gosh, oh my gosh, oh my gosh!!!

My prayers had been answered.

The next hour went by in a flash. We hurriedly went to the city hall, picked up my passport, stopped myself from giving the nice lady at the city hall a huge bear hug, booked our plane tickets, booked our bus tickets to the airport, and did some last minute shopping. All of that in 60 freaking minutes. Talk about riding a rollercoaster of emotions!

By mid-afternoon, we were good to go. One more sleep for the adventure to begin! And let me tell you - it was one heck of an adventure!

xoxo Elodie

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