On July 4th of this year, our great country will celebrate it’s 237 year of independence from England, which will commemorate another historical year in American history. Similarly, Hong Kong celebrated it’s sixteenth year of independence from the United Kingdom today, July 1st. We have many customs in the United States to celebrate our Independence Day, but here in Hong Kong there aren’t very many apparent traditions. Maybe there are a lack of customs because Hong Kongers are only celebrating their sixteenth year of independence, while we have two centuries of traditions. However we both share a love of celebration through fireworks on this special day.
These fireworks were unlike any other show I had seen before, so maybe it makes up for the lack of other celebrations going on in Hong Kong for their Independence Day. The glow of the different colors across the bay complimented by the barrage of neon lights coming from the skyline were an unparalleled fireworks experience.
Another unparalleled, historical experience happened this past weekend from a chapter of my own history. A small group of us on the trip had the chance to travel to the Philippines, which is where my father immigrated from at the age of 13, and where my family history resides. It has always been a goal of mine to travel there and experience a piece of my Filipino roots, and it was definitely unforgettable. We traveled to the island of Cebu, where ironically my great grandfather had lived, and we were able to witness the stark contrast of white sand beaches and rural living full of goats, stray dogs, wooden shacks, but amazingly friendly people no matter where we traveled. I may never have the chance to travel back to the Philippines, and it was a memorable trip in more ways than one.