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Philippines - Part 1

Main Page 2008-2009
Around the World


dance video
     My first day in the Philippines I went to a big shopping mall and saw this show put on by the local Rotarians. I imagine the Rotary Club back home would be in shock at the sight of a 14 year old girl dressed like this and dancing like this.
      Click on the photo for the 20 second video.

      I had no idea I was going to stay in Siquijor for a month. I got off the boat fully intending to stay just a few days somewhere. I didnīt know where to go or what to do and I stopped by a little open store that sold the most basic necessities. As I approached I noticed a TV was on the counter and I heard, "...and the winner for best documentary short goes to..." It was the Oscars broadcast on live TV! I couldnīt believe it. Jessie gave me a chair and we watched the rest of the Oscars in the blazing midday tropical heat.
      I had the name of a guest house and he steered me to Joyīs restaurant where she handles the bookings. She told me a bed would be available in the afternoon so I ditched my bag and walked around. I went by the community center and saw a bunch of guys playing basketball. I had hardly approached when I was asked to play. I walked by the nearby tennis court and was invited to play tennis there as well. I could borrow Joyīs husbandīs racket and I was accepted immediately in the tennis crowd, too.
      I felt like a privileged guest everywhere I went. I was invited to parties and events and taken places and nothing was asked of me. It was a hard place to leave.



Joyīs sleeping hands are on the money

     This is where I stayed for a month. It would have been a great place if it didnīt have chronic water problems. I never felt totally clean nor could I shave.

Community center basketball court. It needs to be open on the sides for ventilation.

Siquijor is the name of the island as well as the main town, but both are totally relaxed and small. Almost no one stays in Siquijor town. Instead they head off to the resorts.

Well, yes, there is this aspect of the fire department in their uniforms...
     ...but I am more familiar with the images below. There are hardly ever any fires on Siquijor, and there are 6 fire departments on the island, all with dusty fire engines. I became friends with Albert, the guy on the bottom right in the photo above. I tried to convince him that his life was paradise: within 100 meters of his home is the fire station, his house, the market, tennis and basketball courts and the church. He didnīt entirely agree as he said he had little money. He didnīt envy me, though, because while it is nice to be able to afford a vacation in Philippines, my life must be miserable because I was unmarried.

Albert on duty

Mah jong at the fire station

Father Torres and Pat (both seated) enjoying Joelīs ginamos (fermented anchovies mixed with other things)

Looks disgusting but tastes great

Good food!

Someone yell, "Fire!"

Albert and family. The only time Albert doesnīt smile is in photos.

The Eimmarīs pharmacy girls. I hung out here a lot on the way back to my guest house.

Albert with son and 2 Eimmarīs girls, Richelle and Evelyn.

     Albert and Norman to the left. Norman is a Jehovahīs Witness and I was asking him if it was his religion that prevented him from stepping on a cockroach at our feet. He said that all living things are equal in Godīs eyes, or something like this.
      "What about mosquitos?" I asked.
      "Kill the mosquitos!"

Firemanīs toilet under repair

Doing my best to fit into the firemanīs lifestyle

My 3 month beard when I started the trip.
It only last a few days in the Asian humidity.

There was a hardcourt tennis court directly across the little street from the hospital. It did seem like a good place for it since it gave the patients something to watch. If you look closely in this photo, you can see the man sitting behind the motorcycle has hung his IV drip above him on the tree.

The tennis club church choir. One day I was playing tennis with a new partner and playing poorly--which is redundant to say, unfortunately--and I was often cursing to myself, "God dang it!". The next morning I was at church to take a photo and I saw that my doubles partner was Father Torres!

Centre Court


The gang

The gang

Lechon baboy is a whole roasted suckling pig and it was described to me as "finger food". Name another country that would have a whole pig by the tennis court as a snack. Go ahead. Take your time.

The police commander of the island and me

Karaoke. I got roped into singing "Danny's Song" by Kenny Loggins cheek to cheek with Edwin. Thankfully there is no record of the event.

Damian with the tuba (fermented coconut sap)


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