18 Days in the Philippines

As most of you know, I was finally able to go back to the Philippines after 10 years. I sort of knew what to expect for my visit, but there are a few that have changed since. For instance, there are more buildings, no more left turns/only u-turns, a 750 peso airport fee to get back home, Manny Pacquiao on almost every other commercial, and of course, more SM's (Shoe Mart) and malls.

On this vacation, I only brought my Sony Cybershot:

I'd rather be safe than sorry. There are a lot of pick-pocketers there. They are professional, and you will not know when they take things out of your bag. So, yes, I suffered 18 days without my pro-camera that I wished I had brought with me on this trip. You will notice that the next few photographs are, indeed, by this Sony Cyber-shot.


      This is the view from the airport on the way from Atlanta to Michigan.

View from the balcony of my aunt's house. This was the first view I had of the Philippines during daytime. We arrived at the airport around 1 am, so I couldn't really see what was around me on our way to this house. If you look closely, you can see the steeple to my church.


     I found this in one of the rooms. This is my old Lucy Locket, a giant Polly Pocket. I loved this toy and received it on my 10th birthday when my family and I still lived in Germany.

 The Barrio next to my Aunt's house in Pililia, Philippines.

I know--not a very pleasant scene. However, this is what you see in the most common places and provinces of the Philippines. If you look to your right, you can see my Grandma's chickens. She loved those chicken. When she came to visit my mom and I in Pililia, she kept on talking about how worried she was about these chickens.

On a tricycle. You'll be amazed how many people can fit on this vehicle. 5? Maybe more? Typical rate is about 10-25 pesos for a 5 minute drive. That's about a 22-45 cent ride.

Wedding I attended in Nasugbu Tagaytay of an old friend since I lived in Atlanta, GA. Grand ceremony decor of the Philippines-- one thing you can't beat. Sony cyber-shots do take good photos once in a while. Or maybe it's the photographer?

This is a beautiful view of Tagaytay. This is the first time I visited this place. I thought the whole Philippines is hot, but here you can wear a sweater!

This photo is dedicated to Jerome. I know you love pina/pineapples.

I got my hair straightened with Shiseido! From now on, I'll have a good hair day, everyday!

I just had to take a photo with the Philippine pride and World Champ Boxer, Manny Pacquaio.

This is my cousin driving. The girl looking through the window is trying to sell us cleaning rags. I was approached by beggars at least a dozen times. It's hard to disguise oneself as a foreigner there. I even brought all my dirt old cheap clothes, but I didn't pull it off. 

On our way home, I bought a shrimp tempura udon at the Narita, Japan airport. It was huge! The workers work so hard there, that while I was wiping my mouth they already cleaned up my bowl. The waitress was so fast that I would not be able to chase her back and tell her that I was not done with my food, yet.

Other characteristics that are different there:

      Almost all people have prepaid phones. At every store you can find the display "Load na dito", meaning "Come on, load here".
      When you are at the fish market, you can buy all sorts of drinks. One thing they ask you when you buy a drink is if you want plastic (literally, a plastic drinking bag with a straw) or cup. 
     When you go to the malls there, you will not find any garbage cans (except in the bathroom). However, you will find a lot of people cleaning up after you.
     During my visit, I was attacked by mosquitos. I'm their mosquito candy. I had spray, OFF candles, everything! They still manage to sneak through.
    Also, every morning from about 6 to 9am, a boy usually walks around the streets to sell "taho".  It is a sweet soy based breakfast treat. If you ever happen to go there, this is something you should try. You'll know when he comes, they usually scream "taho" as they walk the roads and stop right in front of your house.

Now, I'm back home and back to reality. Editing, photographing, and booking. Call me up for a date!



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