To celebrate Rianne’s first birthday, we went to Manila, Philippines so she could meet her maternal grand-parents for the first time as well as her aunts, uncles, and other relatives. I had been to the Philippines during my backpacking adventure through South-East Asia but this was also the first time my wife and I had gone together.
We stayed at the Tune Hotel for a few nights and the other nights with Anne’s parents in Makati. There were already a lot of relatives staying with them so it was packed solid! Anne’s brother was visiting from Hong Kong, Anne’s sister was visiting from Dubai, and some other relatives had come from near Manila to help celebrate Rianne turning one!
For the Birthday Party, Anne booked out the party room at Jollibee (the Filipino equivalent of McDonald’s – a massive Fast Food Franchise that started in Manila) and even booked out the 4 main Jollibee characters. The whole party only cost about $200 including food for 20+ people, the characters, the room, the decorations, the cake, etc. Yes, holding a party in the Philippines is so much cheaper than back in Canada!
Here is a video from Rianne’s Jollibee Birthday Party:
Anne’s 2 closest friends and our family did a short trip to the island of Palawan which was nice getaway from the hustle and bustle of Manila.
The things that impacted me the most about this trip was the strong family bonds that Filipinos’ have, the extreme poverty even seeing newborn babies sleeping on the streets, our visit to Babyanne’s Mansion (a Christian Orphanage a few hours from Manila), and the amazing natural beauty of the islands!
We’ll definitely be back – next time, with our son Ryan!