It was winter vacation at Louna’s school but we had better plans than battling the freezing cold here in France. The whole family geared off with summer outfits and off we went to the Philippines!
When my mother-inlaw asked how many visitors we will have on Kyla’s baptism. I told her “100 minimum”. She didn’t budge to react, I think it’s not because she didn’t care but simply because she was shocked! For Louna’s baptism, we did it the traditional way here in France. We were a total of 12 persons around the table. Exclusive to family members only (Louna’s godmother is her cousin). No extended family. No friends. No neighbors. No friends of the friends of our neighbors.
For Kyla’s baptism, it was rock-n-roll! We live in a small barrio and everybody knows each other (we didn’t officially invite tho because the number could grow exponentially!), my parents are retired teachers but they stay in contact with their friends, our family alone (mother and father side) represents more than a hundred already, multiply that by 2 if they’re all present! And 3 if all relatives living abroad go home to the Philippines!
Enough with the numbers but I’d like to insist that it’s simply impossible to plan for a “small” banquet. It’s just simply not possible. Party preparation is part of the fiesta though. As usual, my aunties and cousins were there to help prepare whatever there is to prepare. Most of the time, it ends up with a lot of reminiscing, a lot of laughter and a lot of bonding time with the family. That’s part of the Philippine culture I terribly miss.
So on with the fiesta. Kyla was feisty during the celebration because she was tired, it was hot, and we waited too long before the celebration started. Pictures were quite impossible to take. She was knocked off on our way home. But once awake, she loved switching from one arm to another. She never saw as much willing nannies, ready to cuddle and carry her day in and day out as in the Philippines! No wonder, she didn’t learn to walk there, she just needed to raise her arms and she’s carried!
Louna on the other hand had a blast. She played with her cousin, uncles and aunties. The language barrier didn’t seem to disturb her. The Christening celebration became a kiddy party of some sort since I wanted Louna to experience partying Filipino style.
Though Dijon couldn’t be considered a big city, it’s far from being rural either. And I personally prefer that my kids play outside than playing with their Nintendos inside their room. Louna fortunately shares the same point of view. She loved staying outside (we even took our meals outside! Under our caïmito tree!), picking bananas, mangoes and caïmitos direct from the tree every morning, living life without the stress of our daily routine.
White sand + Sun + Clear water + Isolated island = Paradise. Potipot island is just 10-15 minutes boat ride from the mainland. The girls loved the getaway. They forgot about their jetlag!