Why Pinoy Family Should Travel The World 

“Ang kabataan ang pag-asa ng ating bayan.” – Dr.Jose P.  Rizal, Pambansang Bayani ng Pilipinas

Translation: The youth is the hope of our nation, – Dr. Jose P.Rizal, Philippine National  Hero

Ang kabayan ang Pag Asa Ng Bayan – how do you want them to lead the future of our Country?!

Well, the world changed a  lot since that  Dr. Jose P. Rizal made that quote infamous. There is still a ring of truth into that quote at this  day and age, that we believe. Despite the fact that how many  generations of youth have let down  Dr. Jose  P. Rizal? Well,  we are not an authority on Philippine History, much more  an  expert on interpreting Philippine current events based on history. Although, proudly we say, our family is raising three global citizens exploring the world (Turknoy Travels 100 ,  now 30/100) using  their Philippine passports.

So, from  one Pinoy family to another, we encourage you to travel with  kids and we have three persuading reasons:

Pinoys  are World Class, Traveling  Magnifies Opportunities For Pinoy Kids to  be World Class. Bragging aside, we know how Filipinos contribute to international workforce, arts, science and new discoveries. Monkey see, monkey  do. When kids see Filipinos all over the world, doing what they  like best  and being admired for it by  almost all  nationalities, that fire of passion will burn until they accomplish  something similar.

A lame comparison,  albeit common, would be to be so  excited about having a Filipino Restaurant  in a certain  city  in any  country! We will definitely be tempted  to visit  and chat with the owner about how that success came to be.

Don’t even  get us started about Filipinos winning in  international competition, mainly in singing or in fashion. Don’t we all feel that same old “Proud to be  Pinoy” sentiments? Speaking of which… “Uyy, there’s a Pinoy winner  in  Project  Runway.” or that Isn’t Bruno Mars Filipino by blood line?!

There’s  fire burning in every adult Filipino to succeed in international scene. When that fire started kindling  at an early age, there’s  no  amount of life’s fire extinguisher  can void that.

 

The  World is Beautiful. There’s  More to Life Than SM. 

Disclaimer alert, these statements are written from a village Filipino perspective, as our family came from a far away village with happily-ever-after endings. Yes, a remote, small village where everybody knows everybody’s names and sadly and  happily, depends on how you look at it, everybody’s business.

Way way back, do you know where our family go to entertain guests? Where we think, we would go for an adventure? SM! Yes, those big, gigantic, enormous buildings, apparently the biggest malls in Asia or in  the world. molding the minds of millions of Filipinos to buy their hard earned dollars, euros, pesos or any  denomination because they are SM! Imagine how small scale entrepreneurs and small scale  real estate agents would prosper without these gigantic commercial monopoly.

Okay, got a little carried away there. The  point is, the Philippines has lots of  magnificent islands, mountains, seas, waterfalls to explore. Thanks to a gazillion of tourists who got viral attention in the internet because they  showcase the beauty of our  motherland, The Philippines.And yes, we know that  Pinoy millennial  have been  traveling the world and the country quite extensively, like no other generation has ever done. Why not Pinoy kids, follow millennial lead?

Going farther, when we travel with kids, we get to see that other countries have a lifestyle, not necessary like our country that works. In Europe, there are no  big malls, yet the  tourists and locals visit Old Towns patronising small shops earning  their living for centuries! Okay, maybe for decades. But that’s the point. Business can  run for decades because they have the  sense of heritage.

It’s a beautiful world, not  in a supermall,  megamall kind of way! The earlier the kids learn this, the better for the country!

If you are not exploring the Philippines by boat, you are doing it wrong!

That Colonial Mentality (Hey Joe!) 

Most – Hey Joe! You American?

Some: Not all white people are Americans! Some of them are Brits!

Obviously pun intended. But hey, not Filipinos fault! Our gorgeous archipelago has been colonized for centuries and the school textbooks are yet to be  revised to  include stories about other countries (you know, like what are Bohemians?! – seriously, hope we are wrong for thinking this, do educate us!)

Every country is different. Each one has different history and culture.  White, black, brown, yellow, pink. If we are  not open to this understanding and keen on  generalizing skin colors, we might as well be uneducated. Europe has 50  countries, each  one of the countries have diverse backgrounds and most of them, black, white, yellow, pink and every color in between. Africa is  not country, the continent has 54 countries and no, not all of their inhabitants are black! Add in the  other  4 continents, and we have almost 200 nationalities. We know how it feels to be stereotype as ” You Asian looks the same with  your small eyes and like rice so much!” Ggrr

I guess, our point is, travel with kids for them to introduce diversity!

These are our three personal reasons why we travel with our Pinoy kids. There are more, like appreciation of world religion, which we elaborated on our Singapore blog post and  our worldschooling  ideas. We  intend to share more as we go on more adventure with our family  goals.

Do you have a  burning reason why Pinoy kids should travel the world?

There are different ways to take a shower, yet, using Tabo is the best!

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Kids Travel in Europe  With Beauty and the Beast 



” Más kárán tanul az okos.” – Hungarian Proverb 

Translation- The smart one will learn from the mistakes of others.

Take as old as time. True as it can be…. 
We’ve said this before in our blog. Let’s Be Busy Being Alive. 

“Every time we visit a new country or a new place or do new activity together as family, we always have that feeling of vigor, of expanding our horizon, of being reborn (in a non-radical-religious-kinda-way!)”

That’s every single time. Insert music, tale as old as time… 

Family travel offers a tremendous potential to learn – learn from local people and fellow travellers, learn from history.

For us, learning from history is one of the best way to learn. History is never boring when we visit actual places where certain events actually happened. We get to see or even touch artifacts and memorabilia. We get to breathe the same air (almost!) of people involved in the events of the past. We get to feel the eeriness , of solemness , of the haunted or happy past.  

Ain’t that the truth, even on personal level, learning from people’s history gives us enormous potential to self check if we are walking on the same path, doing the same mistakes and gives us the chance to correct our wrongdoing. That is a mark of a matured individual, however. And yeah, there are lots of mature people out there. 

In a way, we get to see the full picture of the past and how it’s domino effect is reflecting in the present. 

Exploring Europe with kids gives opportunities to see the beauty of the industrialized circulations, almost ancient countries enjoying the technologies and way of life for hundreds of years, magnificent buildings, spectacular way of living (even third world countries in Asia and Africa are yet catch up.) 

On the other side, exploring Europe with kids? for us, also pave the way of magnified “narcissism” or worse “psychopath” tendencies of world leaders.  

It’s not easy to explain to kids how the magnificent Neuschwanstein Castle is where the “unfit to rule” King Ludwig II was arrested and how the history has declared him “certified insane” despite of all his inclination to beauty, good architecture and love for landscapes.

Walking in his castles, it’s difficult to imagine, how can someone be lonely with all the extravagance and beauty of God’s creations. 

Exploring the Danube River on the Pest side of the beautiful city Budapest, the kids learned about horrific Shoes on the Danube Bank. We stand on the very side where at least 500 people where asked to take off their shoes and got shot at the edge of the river. 

Somehow, Beauty is always accompanied by The Beast
It’s a serious topic for a serious walk
The beauty of Europe is, yes, beyond stunning. On the other side, the humanity which created the civilization is almost always beyond words. 

Not just millions of names engraved on leaves, so much horror.. in Memoriam

How do we explain to kids the horror of wars and wrongdoings of world leaders of the past? 

For now, we focus on lessons. On people and government (kinds, queens, world leaders)  to not repeating the same horrors of history. 

Now on to current events. 

On Discrimination, Customer Service and Travel 

Have your ever walked in a fancy shop, get frowned upon by the staff and ended up buying something just to show that discriminatory staff that his or her opinion of you is biased and wrong? 

These kids are so used to walking in fancy shops and not buying and getting those frowns and cold shoulders from staff

Sadly, most of us have been there, at least the first part, that “being judged” part because of the race we belong, the way we dress or just how our body language rubs off to people. 
How we react to snobbish biases is something commercial corporations have studied to the letter. Some branded, signature, fancy shops, even hire customer agents who can intimidate customers, so they will buy their products. It’s that same reaction mechanism, that their marketing strategy capitalizes on. 
We know someone who walked in Louis Vuitton shop, received a You-can’t-afford- look from sales agent and needed up buying his first branded bag which he didn’t even like. 
We also know a family who walked in a fancy restaurant, and asked how much the lobster special was and received a reply  “Very expensive.” from the snobby waiter. The family ended up buying special lobster for every family member and one of them needed up with allergic reaction to lobsters. 
Gladly, these things happen to our family when we travel, and we have developed the maturity to nod off the discriminatory looks of customer service agents.  We know that any person’s biases is a reflection of who they are and does not, in any way, define who we are. 
The Filipino side of The Turknoys , most of the time, have biases attached.  Domestic helper, village people  attached to it – to name the worst. Full of talent, great customer service, awesome hospitality traits – to name the best. We  have a global reputation, good and bad. Such reputation gets magnified when we travel. And traveling with kids, nonetheless.  If we have a dollar, for every discriminatory comment, said to us, in front of the kids, we’ll be traveling the world for free! 
However, the rude customer service and blatant offensive discrimation combined, as a reaction to a traveling incident involving kids is something very difficult to master. At least for the Filipina Mom.
Picture this incident – a biracial family, with a Filipina mom (add in jetlagged with no shower and messy hair!)  dining in a restaurant when one child got sick and vomitted all over the fancy restaurant? 
How would a customer service person react? 
Background – This happens to our family a lot. Our handsome traveling boy’s stomach react to processed meat and/ or cold chocolate drink. He likes eating and drinking them and can’t hold himself. He gets stomach flu and sometimes accidents happen.
In the Middle East, Southeast Asia and South Asia (add in our one off  experience in Africa,) our experiences were all pleasant. The restaurant staff’s first reaction is to ask whether the kid is  okay. Automatically after that, sends in the cleaning crew to sanitize the place . We had to reassure the managers and crew that the restaurant didn’t serve anything bad, yet, we get that VIP treatment.
In Europe, however, we get the cold shoulder, cleans up the place and move on. On rare occasions, we get the  “Is he okay? “question. 
On to our 28th country, in Eastern Europe  .. we received the worst reaction to a kid vomiting in a restaurant.

So, how did the fancy restaurant staff react to a sick boy and worried mom? 
Out of the violent reaction, the paying haggard Mom was asked to clean up the mess by an irate waitress. With lots of OMG shouting at her and the kid. 
Seriously this happened. Shout out to that not so cheap breakfast buffet cafe in Budapest (Antre!)
Of course, after few minutes of realization, she back away and called the janitor to clean up and sanitize the mess. 
Our life goes on, we learn, we adapt, we mature to people’s reactions, biases and perspective. 
However, this Filipina mom is so jet lagged and so irate, not to NOT write about this incident. 

Our traveling boy’s non caring reaction to rude customer service

Qatar 5: Al Fuwairit Beach and Turtle Hatching

“And the turtles, of course… All the turtles are free, as turtles,  and maybe  all creatures should be.” -Dr.Seuss 

 

The turtle nesting season in Qatar starts April and since 2015, the Al Fuwairit Beach is closed during the season until the cute teeny tiny little turtles are off to their place in  the ocean.

Helping tiny turtle hatchlings go to their home in the Arabian Gulf is a very spectacular experience for all of us

The beach normally  opens again first two weeks of August. That would  be a tad hot to swim, not too hot to appreciate the sunset, the fine beach and the calm sea water.

 

Our family photo in Fuwairit Beach! We have the beach to ourselves ❤️
Life is always good at the beach

Maybe it’s our perfect timing to visit the beach, maybe it’s our  instinct way from crowd, but we never really see Al Fuwairit Beach crowded. If we are to describe the beach based on our  experience, it  would be the adjectives “desolate” and “serene.” We usually go  right after work hours of the week day to watch the sunset or Saturday afternoon when  everybody might be heading back to the  city for the work week.

 

The Al Fuwairit Beach is  almost 50-km away from center of the  city through Al Shamal Road. There are no  facilities such as shower, toilets or supermarket   but there will be at least two fuel stations with convenience stores for stop  over along the way .

 

The  kids always have a blast swimming or  just running around the long stretch of white beach.

Dad says Jump… Son says “How high?!”

We sincerely hope that the visitors will  not leave their trash behind to preserve the beauty  of the  Al Fuwairit Beach.  Just like anywhere in the world, nature preservation is the responsibility of every  one of us. If we can’t contribute,  the least we can do is not cause any damage.

It’s a blessing to live in a Peninsula Country. Beach around us! Add in sunset watching and life is always blessed and awesome!

Enjoy Al Fuwairit  Beach, but please..  please.. leave  only footprints and adventure memories.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Qatar 4 -Al Wakra Beach and Park

“Every time I stand before a beautiful beach, its waves seem to whisper to me: If you choose the simple things and find joy in nature’s simple treasures, life and living need not be so hard.” – Psyche Roxas-Mendoza

 

Since we moved to a different  location in the  city, we  now lived more than an hour  way from any beach  in Qatar.  It’s not  really far, at all, although it will take a little getting used to. We’ve  lived less than  30 minute-drive away from  Al Wakra Beach  and  at any  point that our family want some unscheduled activity, we always end up going to hang out by  the Al Wakra Beach.

Then (2007) Night Life By the Beach And Now ..three kids after daytime fun!
Family Photo in Memory of Kisha (our departed dog)

We’ve done almost everything at Al Wakra Beach  – plane watching (way back to the  really old Doha Airpot) , Eid Celebrations, BBQ, Overnight Camping and endless family chatting and eating, hanging out by the kids playground . In  addition, Al Wakra Beach is a haven for the dogs and our dog lover family members.

 

BBQ with the first bin, was she really this small? ❤️

Three kids and two dogs will always be our memory of Al Wakra Beach

Beach is always a great idea especially for dad-daughter bonding

Al Wakra is another town from Doha, so we were technically going “out-of-town” everytime we visit the beach. Priceless family memories almost always  involve beaches.

 

Is it obvious who’s the dog lover in the family?
 
Yes, we conclude, have dogs and kids in Qatar? Al Wakra Beach is a perfect place to hang out at leisure. 

COUNTRY 19 – Oh Thailand! You are Really Amazing! #AmazingThailand Indeed! 

We’ve been traveling for the past two months and it’s really very difficult to go back to our “normal” including blogging! But hey-o! It’s New Year and we intend to make 2017 way better than 2016, which is saying a lot because 2016’s filled with lots of travelling and great vibes! 2017 is still new, so here’s our family wishing you and the rest of the world health, prosperity, happy feet, mind, energy and soul for 2017!!

“Let’s be more amazing than last year!” – Turknoys
 

Here goes the blog about Thailand! 😘
“A good person can make another person good; it means that goodness will elicit goodness in society; other person is also be good.” -King Bhumibol Adulyadej, 1927-2016



When it comes to family travel, seeing a new country or a new place all at the same time, brings a lot of emotions! Yet we realized, when we traveled to Thailand, a land both of the Turknoy parents have visited, separately almost a decade ago, that it brings more emotions, add in the nostalgia and fascination how much the country have changed since we last visited. There’s a little bit of biased when traveling as we wanted desperately for kids to see Thailand as we saw the country when we were younger. That was interesting feeling!
 
We visited three cities in the country and we can’t get enough! We explored several temples in Bangkok, mesmerized by Chiang Mai festivals (which were in our bucket list for quite some time) and were fascinated by Chiang Rai!

For this adventure, the best travel moments are the cheapest ones! We took the sleeper’s train from Bangkok to Chiang Mai, went family biking around in a very scenic rural park, and lots of street food market – really a lot! (This will be part 2 of the blog.😘) 

Bangkok, Thailand

Thailand’s capital city has the longest name of any city in the world (it’s in the Guinness Book of World Records – you can look it up – Kroong Tep or Bangkok!)

Our first stop – The Golden Buddha statue, Guinness World Record of the most expensive (or highest valued) sacred artifact!
Wat Traimit!
There’s also the Unicorn Café which we wanted to go because of our fascination with #UnicornVibes . Although a little bit underwhelmed by the café, we still managed to enjoy the uniqueness of the place in the city!

Unicorn Cafe food and drinks
Unicorn Crepe 😜
Playing Unicorns
Unicorn Burger

We also had a quick chat with a relative who has been working in the city for quite some time and loved it there! We loved it there and we only scratched the surface of an amazing country!

Asiatique Riverfront with Cousin, lovely beautiful Bangkok Night
And more favorite part of the city – their Science Museum! Very underrated, we’d say! We’ve been to a lot of Science Museum, including Scandinavian countries’ museum and the Bangkok Science Museum ranks high for us to top!
 

You just cant make this up! ❤️❤️

 


Chiang Mai, Thailand
 

Festival of Lights – We Love King

Loi Krathong could be translated as “to float a basket”, and comes from the tradition of making krathong or buoyant, decorated baskets, which are then floated on a river. The festival takes place on the evening of the full moon of the 12th month in the traditional Thai Lunar Calendar; hence, the exact date of the festival changes every year. The festival usually falls November. When we visited Chiang Mai, it was November 18-20 . It was a bit toned down because of the year of mourning of the King of Thailand but it was still very fascinating for all family members.

Loi Krathong
Lighting our family’s best intentions !

The festival may originate from an ancient ritual paying respect to the water spirits. Each one of us made us wish as we send out a krathong to the Ping River. We also sent out all bad thoughts we have wishing for all the great things yet to come for the world.

 

Yi Peng or Floating Lanterns Festival coincides with Loi Krathong. Floating Lanterns are launched into the air where they gracefully float through the sky – oh such blissful sight! The festival is meant as a time to make merit. Our family sent out two lanterns to give thanks for all the blessings and to make a wish! We also watched the major parade, it was all meant to honor the greatness of the Thai King reign, solemn and beautiful parade.

  

Floating Lantern Festival
our second night during the Yi Peng Festival 2016
Parade Finale!

Three memorable nights , two festivals! Our hearts are overwhelming with happiness and optimism enough to last us for a long time! We believe we should celebrate life like this all the time. Less commercial, more looking forward and giving thanks to life’s energy!

During the days of the festival, we managed to squeeze in a day trip to the Long Neck Tribe where life is simple, faith in tribe is strong! When we see places and people like this, we are always reminded that life is always simpler than how we made them to be. 

Long Neck Tribe
Long Neck Tribe

 


Chiang Rai, Thailand
White Temple is a very contemporary designed temple! Not an ordinary temple and worth the visit, 3-5 hours ride from Chiang Mai. 

White Temple!

One of the most memorable activities we’ve done as family was our family biking  around Singha Park – beyond words! The majestic view, the stunning landscape, the kids laughters for two hours, the parents panting and struggling to bike up the slopes! Ohhh what memories!

Biking Around Singha Park Majestic Views @Chiang Rai

 

One very interesting and profound Thailand experience: 

All throughout the country, the Thai people are all in mourning, showing their grief and loss of the King of Thailand, the longest reigning monarch, by wearing black or non-bright colored outfits for a year. We also wore black or white when we can even when attending festivals. The loyalty towards a leader and a country is very evident among the Thai it’s humbling and overwhelming! This is when a lot of leaders are being scrutinized all over the world. Maybe we should obey more than we are complaining as a world’s citizen. Maybe we should act like Thais every now and then.. Maybe the world would be in a better, more unified state. Maybe that’ll work. 
 
The Land of Smiles, Amazing Thailand, we want more! (there’s Part 2 of our Thailand blog.) 

COUNTRY 18 – Malaysia: Truly Asia!

“Being Malaysian is about embracing cultural diversity and harmony between different people and religions. Malaysia will always be my home.” – Jimmy Choo, Shoe Designer

86 floors-high and we are on the tallest twin tower in the world! we spy solar panels down below…
 
Looks like Philippines, feels like Turkey, Malaysia feels like home to the Turknoys! 
 

oh the so many places to visit in a Truly Asia country. we ‘ll be back, God willing

Turknoy Dad has been to Malaysia more than 1o years ago and he fell in love with the country right there and then. The people, the beaches, the coconut trees, the localities, the green environment and yes, even the humidity! It was understandable that he was very excited to show us around the country for the first time.
 

During our travel to Johor Bahru and Kuala Lumpur, he was the happiest one! Our itinerary was very simple as our time was very limited much to the Dad’s disappointment yet we tried to have a taste of everything the two cities has to offer, but not the beach! The beaches of Malaysia for sure will require another adventure for the family.

Legoland Malaysia – first in Asia and first international park in Malaysia ; authentic Malaysian hospitality at its best!
 
We went to Legoland coming from Singapore which took less than an hour! That was a really pleasant surprise. The family stayed at Legoland Hotel for two nights as a treat to the kids and so the parents can rest! We ended up enjoying more than we expected. Legoland offers Malaysian hospitality at its finest!
 

Even the 5-hour-bus ride from Johor Bahru to Kuala Lumpur is a delight! Seeing all the greens and the organized highways. Every now and then, we discuss how countries with similar resources be so different in economy and international passport recognition.
 

Our two night-stay in the capital city, Kuala Lumpur was spent exploring the Petronas Twin Tower, KLCC, observing people, walking around the city and eating Nasi Lemak! Oh yes, we just can’t get enough of Malaysian food! The coconut and pandan flavoured rice, the sambat (red chili paste) , fresh cooked chicken and fresh vegetables. We gained more than 10 kilos together as family after this trip!
 

Nasi Lemak is ❤️❤️❤️
Nasi Lemak is ❤️❤️❤️

Personally, we didn’t know this can be done, yet Malaysia made us see that this is possible – using the country’s resources, promoting the unique Malaysian culture to the world and becoming so successful at it and yet, encouraging diversity and at the same time harmony and respect among all people with different backgrounds, ethnicity and religions. We have been to some metropolitan cities, yet Malaysia gave us that authentic feeling of accepting diversity with respect to all people. You can’t get that genuine feeling with any effective tourism marketing. It is deeply embedded in the Malaysian culture!

China Town in Malaysia

To use own unique talents and traits, to accept one’s identity, to be accepted for one’s real identity while accepting other ideas of life, culture and religion and having no judgment at all, if we can all be this, maybe world peace is possible. 

Indeed, a country Truly Asia! We’ll be back for more of Malaysia!
 

Central Market