"My stomach got butterflies, can you believe this is actually happening? This is so frigging exciting," my sister Bianca and I would alternatingly say - over and over - as we flick through the itinerary for the gazillionth time, perusing every detail and trying to soak up what was yet to come in the next seven days. "Wow, what have we ever done to deserve any of this?"
I've lived fourths of my existence in the Middle East, but the Philippines - the land where I was born and raised - will always be home. It had been two years since we last set foot in our homeland. Two years. It felt like forever. And in a blink of an eye, I was flown 4,000 miles across the continent to explore and experience the Philippines in a whole new level. With tropical summer in full swing and in the midst of tourism season Visit the Philippines Year 2015, I went on an exhilarating seven-day tour of the majestic archipelago together with the Middle East's (Doha and Dubai) finest media people, stopping over three of its top tourist destinations: Manila, Palawan and Cebu.
"At any moment now it's just going to be you and me," Bianca said tensely as we headed towards the airport. "Are we ready?" Both jittery and psyched we looked at each other. "Hell yes, we're ready. Let's go."