I don’t have anything substantial at the moment to report about the progression of the search so I am writing what you may consider as a “filler” blog. My 3 months is almost up. It feels just like yesterday when I decided to quit my job and then finally flying over here and pursuing this personal venture. And like living anywhere for that long, you somewhat get integrated into the hubbub of local living. With that, I’d like to share with you some of my general observations of my life in the Philippines thus far. I hope you get a few chuckles of some of I think my funny observations.
Okay…now isn’t that title funny enough already? At the very least it would make you curious. I certainly was.
It is curious why these ants and the next batch after them keep marching into our pot of hot water. Everyday there is a new batch that march on here to meet sure death. I suppose they don’t post a warning signal to those coming after. Well for one, they would have already died and didn’t have time to go and post a sign up or I suppose they really don’t give out an agonizing scream when they are boiling to death (despite of what we see in cartoons)! I’ve tried to research why they would do this. Why they instinctively of dive into tepid water and then later be boiled to death. Hmm, wait a minute, I don’t even know if they can swim…so perhaps as soon as they hit the water they are goners. Which makes it even more curious because the few following behind should know that the ones before them just had a mishap. Of course the more serious question is why we have so many ants flocking our kitchen sink area even though we keep it clean. Although I have to say upon writing this, I haven’t seen them in the last week. Perhaps they are off to greener pastures or the rest of the army finally got the word out that that area is a danger zone!
We were sitting in heavy traffic one day and I was observing all vehicles on the road (public and private) all full of people including ours. The jeepneys in particular had people hanging out at the back and my mind drifted to my school days when I used to fight my way into one of those just to get to school. I would sometimes be that person hanging at the back of the jeep by the steps. Because I am girl, some courteous guy would trade places with me at times. Nowadays, the people commuting have doubled and even though the roads have become wider, have more direct routes and supposedly a lot more regulated, the heaviness of the traffic just doesn’t seem to ebb. Most often than not, “rush hour” just means that you’ll be in bumper to bumper traffic (and lanes crossed by all vehicles). Lanes are only a suggestion. And despite of it all, people trudge on and deal with this day in and day out. I suppose when it is your time to die, you will die but people here put themselves at risk everyday just to get to work and then back home. Since traffic laws are often ignored here in the big cities, just crossing the street can be a huge risk. I am re-learning how to cross the street in the middle of a congestion of vehicles. There is a certain rhythm that you have to be in tune to. It is like a dance and it plays beautifully in my head. Like in the movie where people walking normally on a regular workday then suddenly music plays and then everyone falls into step dances to a waltz. When you realize you are in a flash mob scene. Of course on occasion someone doesn’t hear that music and does not follow the dance and that is where unfortunate traffic accidents happen. Here’s a clip from the movie The Fisher King where they are in New York Grand Central Station.
This type of food setting has become quite popular in the Philippines now for the past 3 years or so. I can best describe it as an outside mall food court or what we call in the US foodarama experience of “Off the Grid” but instead of food trucks, they are stationary stalls. Each one trying to have their unique gig to draw people in that ranges from providing a live band during the weekends, showing free movies on the big flat screen tv, free parking, etc. And well, as you may know me, just the idea alone draws me to a set-up like this and to try out the best feature of all…THE FOOD! As you know, I can be such a foodie at times. I revel at trying out new things especially food and I’ve had my fair share of stomach aches and pleasures! I may consider writing a whole blog about food parks that I’ve visited so far. And yes, I’ve been to quite a few since I’ve been here.
I have come to love CNN Philippines and Healing Galing.
CNN Philippines you may wonder why and what is the difference between regular CNN that we see in the US. Well..for starters, it’s free here. It’s not on cable and airs on channel 9. They have a cultural segment almost daily which I love (it’s like watching the food network and the history channel all in one). Or it could be perhaps that I don’t watch regular CNN as often as I thought in the US!
Healing Galing is a weekly show every Sunday morning that I get to watch before going to Sunday Mass. “Galing” can mean Healing and/or Superb in Tagalog. This show focuses on healthy living and promoting lifestyle changes and healing yourself the more natural way. During the intro they show simple exercises that you can do at home that helps promote body circulation. I’ve come to like this show because the lifestyle of most Filipinos are historically not healthy. Although I’ve noticed a shift in the society nowadays. People are more watchful of what they eat and how to take care of themselves. But as you know, eating healthy can sometimes be not the most economical thing but this show tries to convey that if you eat healthier now, it can save you from taking prescribed medication just for maintenance which can be more expensive in the long run. It tries to show that eating healthy is not really that expensive as it is first believed to be. Here is a short video of the simple exercises that they have. It is somewhat comical but you get the gist of what they want to convey so I can’t shoot that down. Healing Galing exercises.
I hope you enjoyed my exploits living here in the Philippines thus far the past 3 months and my venture of learning how to be a Filipino again. Until next post, have a wonderful day and keep exploring!