Of course it’s the food when it’s not Jeff’s camera lens. Every time I’m back home in Cebu I end up looking like a fucking puffer fish, like I did on this day I wore this maxi dress that left me looking quite pregnant that left me not wanting to post the pictures here because — and I’ll be the first to say this — I’m vain.
But some things are difficult to control and bloating is definitely real. Especially when you don’t even take any dietary measures and eat on behalf of the children of Africa. And yet have the audacity to complain about looking like a well-stuffed dumpling.
Belly aside, these were good times. Mainly because Daddy was still alive and we all got to spend time with him in one of the best resorts in Mactan.
There’s this restaurant outside of the resort that I actually liked. They serve my favorite clam chowder soup and if I go back there again, granted that the business is still alive, they’d probably serve me some of my favorite memories, too. It’s one of my family’s go-to places to eat when we’re in the area.
This was a relatively quiet staycation. By that, I mean the elephant in the room was the uncertainty of Daddy’s illness. Or rather, its prognosis. Like, we were all there trying to put up a happy face and talking about a future of going to the Australian Open in Melbourne, desperately believing that in one month’s time he was going to make a complete recovery and live forever.
In reality, he only had two months.
But still, we made the most out of that little holiday the best we could. I took Raven to the beach to look at swimming little fishes and hold baby starfishes on the palms of our hands before gently putting them back in the shallow water to look for more sea creatures half-buried in the sand.
And in the morning, we had breakfast buffet where I stuffed myself with sushi and fruits. The only things I felt like eating as I’m not a big breakfast eater, if at all. But give me Japanese any time of the day.
It helped to have a photographer in the family. Jeff took our family portrait. Or, set it up so he would be in the frame as well. It became one of the last photos we have of Daddy.
A picture of us frozen in time.
*Raven at 3 years old