I've heard some foreigners complain about the large family reunions held in the Philippines, however, I really enjoy them! My Filipino family does not hold a family reunion every year, but it is part of the vibrant Filipino Culture to hold one every few years. Most families have OFWs, workers abroad, so whenever a few of them are in the Philippines on vacation at the same time, that is when a “spur of the moment” family reunion is organized! During the past 5 years of living in the Bacolod Area, I've attended 3 Family Reunions. Two organized by my father in law's family and one organized by the family of my mother in law.
Roads That Lead Home
The first family reunion I attended was when a cousin retired from the AFP as a Captain, moved back to the area and had just completed building his new retirement home. The only expense we had was bringing one case of beer, which cost about P400 at the time for San Miguel Pilsen. Around this same time, the sister of my father in law had moved back to the area of the family after her husband passed away and they had lived in Manila for about 45 years! A good time for getting together, eating, knocking back a few cold ones, singing and having a wonderful time!
Next up was two years ago when a cousin returned home for the first time in over 20 years! As a young man, he had moved to Zambales to work in a factory and had never returned home, not even for a short vacation. The cousin told me he was too busy having his own family, working hard to be promoted to plant manager and he wanted to have a big blow out party at his expense once he had saved enough to return home again. He accomplished his goal in 2012 and relatives met his wife and two teenage daughters for the very first time! It was an emotional event, since he had been gone so long, but it was also a fabulous celebration. We were told not to bring anything but to only bring ourselves and get ready to have a damn good time! That we did!
Yesterday, we had a family reunion at Ceferina Beach Resort on the border of Victorias City and Manapla, Negros Occidental. We were asked to bring one dish and something to drink. We took Southern Fried Chicken, Dunkin' Donuts, 2 liters of Coca Cola and a mixed case of Beer na Beer and Colt 45. Colt 45 is actually brewed in the Philippines and it is very popular… believe it or not!
One of our nieces has one month vacation from Canada and she is the reason for the family reunion yesterday. Added is that her teenage son just received approval for his Canadian Visa, so she is taking him back to Canada with her. She has lived in Canada about 10 years now and she works there. She has been an OFW in other locations for a total of about 20 years now.
Ceferina Beach Resort has day cottages for rent, with a BBQ grill included. There is also a full size swimming pool for those who do not like swimming in the sea. We grilled so many fish yesterday! Bulaw fish is what I had and it is not very bony. Karaoke is available for P5 per song.
I Dig It!
Having come from a small family in the USA, one of the attractions of the Philippines for me was the large families and their closeness. Something I never experienced in my life until I came to the Philippines. I like it! Some foreigners think they are going to have to dole out money to many family members once they move here but that is not true, unless you agree to dole it out! No one in the family is going to rob you at gun point, or at least that would be extremely rare! Make sure you and your wife or partner are on the same page concerning helping the family from Day One. My wife and I have been on the same page for the past 11 years now. She does not expect me to give money away hand over fist but I do help out if a true emergency exists.
Once you attend your First Filipino Family Reunion, I think you will enjoy it! If you don't, I guess you can just sit at home alone next time a reunion is cranked up! Don't be a Killjoy or a Party Pooper! Enjoy life and it will only cost you about $20, if that much!