The place where I came from

June 18, 2004

This time, I tried to see everything with new eyes. I’ve been back to the Philippines at least a dozen times since we left in 1976. It’s less like a vacation, I tried to explain to co-workers and friends, and more like going to Grandma’s house. Grandma’s house just happens to be 7,000 miles away.

I took photos at things that normally wouldn’t make me blink twice. Fruit and foliage, signs and buildings, chairs and stairways. Everyday sights that feel like the Philippines, that feel far away and unlike my world back home. With over 200 shots, I’m certain I barely touched the surface, but at least it’s my view of the surface. Here are 34 photos of the place where I came from.


  1. ellie says:

    Aww, these are such lovely photos, from beginning to end! I’m so tempted to sit here and comment on each one, but I’ll keep myself under control. Thank you for sharing them.

  2. penelope says:

    That was fantastic. How beautiful!

  3. mipmup says:

    your photos inspired me to try for a visit. thanks for sharing.

  4. Bex says:

    Great photos – they remind me of my trip to the Philippines several years ago. It was my first time back since I was 10. I especially liked the ones of the volcano, market, church, and family.

  5. the stinkowtiz says:

    that photo album is dynamite! i liked the captions especially.

  6. Stephanie says:

    Those are beautiful photos! They really capture the essence of you, your family, and the Philippines. My mother visted the country years ago and said it was an amazing experience. I particularly enjoyed the pictures of the fresh fruit and the older photos of your family. :)

  7. yvette says:

    christine! these are awesome! shame on me for not having my films from last year’s trip developed! i miss the philippines and miss it even more.. now.

  8. leon says:

    awesome photos, christine! i hope to finally visit P.I. in early next year.

  9. marie says:

    its great to see that you have a close knit family, getting together to see your lola at least once a year. its also great to see the philippines through your eyes. thanks for sharing your photos.

  10. Anamarija says:

    That must have been quite a trip. The photos are great. :-)

  11. typefiend says:

    Thanks for sharing those photos. The lush setting, the tantalizing foods and the cute puppies…yay!

  12. summer says:

    christine, those are absolutely lovely. i wish i could see that gorgeous place for myself.

    by the way, i miss you. we really should see each other sometime soon.

  13. Eva says:

    You have a beautiful family. Love your pictures!

  14. Allison says:

    Thanks so much for sharing these. Such a beautiful family! Such wonderful things to see!

  15. aimee says:

    great pictures… makes me want to go back and visit my family there.

  16. lisa says:

    sweetest christine,
    you have been touching my heart for almost as long as i’ve had internet. in your trip pics, your abundant heart just radiates from your face. such an utterly adorable girl from the inside out. it seems that your family understands deeply how to treasure each other. this is a lifegift of great measure. again and again, thank you for sharing from your world. p.s. i picked up a new moon mag the other day and saw rama’s illustrations. made me smile.

  17. maia says:

    Wow, first LA pics and now Phil. pics!–both my former homes… all so touching–made me really homesick here in our new home in NY.

  18. nessa says:

    i miss my motherland. thank you for bringing me a step closer to home.

  19. cayce says:

    great photos!! Just last year, I was in Vigan too – that church is amazing!

  20. Keef says:

    Hi Christine,
    Its kinda unique being able to see two different worlds and being able to understand them- to know them- intimately. And while you grew up in LA, i think you have an idea what the feeling is like. You are blessed to be able to go- and with family- and rediscover your roots.
    I live in Sydney and my last remaining grandma died last year. I was not able to go to the funeral and i still haven’t gone home. Its been 10 years now since i went back last.
    Thanks for the pics. Hope i have something like that to post on my site soon :-)

  21. pao says:

    oh! your grandma lives in bicol too. my dad’s family is from bicol. :) nice to see that you had a great time here.

  22. Anne says:

    Beautiful. I only just found you and immediately added you to my blogroll. What a great design and content.
    So I certainly will be back! Thanks for sharing.

  23. ani says:

    Thank you for sharing!

  24. lucia says:

    thanks for sharing – those were fun pictures! you’re one cool cat :)

  25. stef says:

    The photos are so beautiful – thank you for sharing!!

  26. stella says:

    hurray you’re home! thank you so much for sharing your love for everyone and everything. it always makes me feel happy and makes me feel braver about opening up too.

    ps. FRESH JACKFRUIT? oh i can only imagine the taste-sensations!

  27. Amee says:

    Thanks for sharing your experiences! I’ve never been to the Philippines before so it was awesome to see “the motherland” thru your eyes. fabulous picture-taking, too! it was almost as if i was there… :-P

  • I'm Christine, and this is a slice of my life—a sweet, rich, wildly indulgent slice that would taste really good with a scoop of Breyers vanilla bean ice cream. Read more >>

  • I run a darling, friendly, little graphic design studio.
    I look on the bright side.
    I take photos. Lots of photos.
    I wish on stars and on websites.

  • I built my first web site 7 years ago and got 15 seconds of fame. (It changed my life.)
    I launched, then relaunched, an online magazine.
    I admitted to several embarrassing crushes.
    I consumed more bacon than any human should and lived to tell the tales.

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