It is Ihop Open on 4th of July to give me one last chance to celebrate Independence Day with my family and friends. It is an annual family oriented holiday in the Philippines that highlights the spirit of patriotism. Where families from different provinces converge on an island to share a common destiny, celebrate and have fun. It is a time for the whole family to gather around in a common cause. It is also one of the most popular tourist destinations in the Philippines, attracting millions of tourists every year. This year, I will be celebrating my 4th of July with my loved ones at our favorite tourist attraction – the Ninoy Aquino International Airport which is located just across the bay from Ihop.
I hop International Airport is the third busiest airport in the Philippines after Manila and San Jose. The large number of flights going to and from the Philippines hitched a ride on the same runway as Ihop. In fact, Ihop was one of the early entries in the tourism industry when the Ninoy Aquino International Airport was built. Today, it is second in the list of most popular airports in the Philippines.
As you might imagine, there are plenty of activities to do at Ihop. In the morning, there is the usual parade to watch goblets and drums being played by hundreds of people in uniform. Another highlight of the day is the visit of our dignitaries who pay a visit to the old city area. It is a huge honor for our President, our representatives, our foreign ambassadors, and other government heads and members. There are also a lot of cultural exhibits and performances all throughout the day.
For the first couple of hours, the celebrations at Ihop move to a parade of boats and barges accompanied by bands and musical performers. Then the fireworks display takes place right after. The entire area is pretty much packed with people during this part of the afternoon. You will get to see everything from the traditional Filipino birthday cake to an American hamburger.
As an added treat, during the last hour or so of the event, you can have Filipino food and souvenirs to take home with you. There are souvenir vendors all over where you can pick up a good souvenir such as a Filipino themed birthday cake or even a Kung pao. But if you don’t have any designs in mind, you can also have a custom cake made. And no I’m not talking about someone at Dairy Queen, we’re talking about professional sculptor Angie Castor who is usually out most of the days between his daily lunch and show schedule.
In between all the fun, there is always the opportunity for kids to do some activities. Most children are either invited or participate in the talent competitions such as the I’m Proud of Kids talent competition. You can also watch a few performances by local talents and join in on some of the dancing and music. For the younger crowd, there is a kids’ zone with inflatable playground sets and slide machines. And the adults? There are the adult’s buffet and game tables where you can relax, eat and have a good time.