What an incredible visit! There are just no words to describe the past two weeks. Try as hard as I may, I find myself at a loss for truly articulating what the experience has meant to me. From the day we arrived in Cebu – spending time with my sister and her family, seeing my nieces, nephews and their children was such a blast. Our stay at the Crimson resort was perfect, and there couldn’t have been a better place to welcome Tarryn and Colleen into our country. The reception we were given – from the Ayala Center, Cebu to Megamall to the SMX Convention Center. The warm faces, tears of joy, the screaming, the signs, the touches and hugs, kind words and greetings. I will remember each and every one of the people I met with so much humility. And then there were the TV and blog interviews! Watching them in retrospect, I still can’t believe how calm I looked despite my inner mini freak-out. Meeting Claudine Trillo, Ai Dela Cruz, Paolo Abrera, Bianca Gonzalez, Robbie Domingo, Jon Moll (still can’t find you!), Lyn Ching – wow! I could go on and on!
CLICK HERE for CNN Interview
CLICK HERE for ANC Mornings Interview
But no one wants an extended blog post. So I’m going to summarize my thoughts into the following:
The Top Ten Things I Learned During the MIBF Book Tour (In No Order of Importance)
- National Bookstore sure knows how to treat their guests.
- My sister has the most beautiful grandchildren in the world. Their imperfections are perfection, and I dream of their laughter and smiles to this day.
- There is a group called the Sinclairs and they have adopted me into their family.
- My Butterflies are with me no matter where I go. I thought about them every single day. They are all over the world, but they live in my heart.
- I have the most supportive husband in the world and he likes being called Mr. Brae.
- My family loves me. They truly love me. They sat through every event, held parties for me, invited their friends to meet me, and welcomed my co-authors with open arms.
- Tarryn and Colleen are the only two people I will ever take home with me again. Ever.
- My cousin, Mon takes really awesome pictures. And his wife Lya,– next time I worry about my clothes, remind me that she really rocked my outfits the last time I was home. My friends, Yong and Donna are so in love, I need to write a book about them. My friend, Camille and I have the same watch, except hers has gold in it. Tinette Capistrano gets things done.
- Things would have been ultra-perfect if my children were with me. I missed them so much while we were gone. My son, Marco would have loved all of you.
- When you move to a different country and you start a new life on your own, you adapt to the changes and develop as a person. But if you need to find your core, your self-confidence, who you are and where you came from, all you have to do is go home.
“You’d better not get used to the attention you’re getting over there. When you arrive back, it will just be me and my dog at the airport. And I don’t even have a dog.” – Snarky friend
“You look beautiful, elegant, so in your element. You look like you are right at home.” – Text messages
“OMG. I’m shocked. You’re a Filipina?” – People in line for Tarryn and Colleen
“I love your shoes.” – Everyone?
“It’s an excellent book. Once you skip through the porno.” – Don’t worry. This was just my aunt.
Thank you, Philippines. I have always been proud to be one of you. Thank you for being proud of me too.
Find more pictures about my experience on Twitter, Facebook and Instagram.