During my journey to the Philippines I will keep this blog.
Casa Bayanihan is the best thing that has been presented to me...as of now. I can only anticipate what is in store for me within the next few months. The best is yet to come. Ang Pinakamahusay Na Pangyayari Ay Darating Pa...in Old Tagalog.
Today’s the day. the official start of my four months in the Homeland!
Not gonna lie, I was pretty nervous again. I was nervous about meeting everyone else, the awkwardness, the living situation, but it was not bad at all! I was laughing so hard at dinner. I was pretty much crying. And that is a good thing. I’m no longer nervous! And I am thinking the semester will be a good one with my casamates!
Okay. I WILL do this blog! Here I go! …it may take a while, but it WILL happen!
My stories and pictures may be out of order so apologies in advance!
Pacman- So, I met Manny Pacquiao tonight. We were actually waiting for him at home but since he is a congressman, an athlete, an endorser, singer/actor, Tita Cathy said he is never in time, you never know if he wil be somethwere and at what time. So we waited for him from 730pm to about 10pm to see what the plan was. We were waiting to find out if he and his wife were coming to the house or if we would meet them somewhere. We ended up meeting them at Starbucks. And I got a picture with him before tons and tons of people swarmed the little corner we were in. It was cool! He seemed very nice too.
So many connections. I was able to meet Pacquiao within the first two days of being here. I was also asked by Ericka’s kuya, her older cousin, also Jon and Marge Lo’s cousin if I was related to a Miggy Solitaria who played basketball. I didn’t certainly know if i was butI asked my grandma and dad and my dad said it was probably his cousins son (which would make Miggy my 2nd cousin) because he knew his cousins son played basketball. And when I asked my grandma she said the same. I also asked one of my Solitaria cousins if we were related to Miggy and he said yes, we were. He showed me his facebook and I saw that we had mutual friends. I had not even known! connections connections!
Durian- Yesterday we went to Shopwise the Philippine Walmart to do grocery shopping, and Tito Oliver showed me this fruit called Durain, a round green fruit, mango-shaped but larger with spikes all around.
I have heard of this fruit by my Mom and Lola but never eaten. Tita cathy and Tito Oliver said it has a strong smell and acquired taste.
Today before dinner we, Tito, Erika, and I were in the den watching tennis and Erik playing Barbie all of a sudden smell something. I ignored it at first but Tito said, “You smell that?” and Erik and I said yes and Erik then smiled and said “Durian! Durian!” and ran to the kitchen. And I assumed and asked if that was the fruit because of the strong odor.
I tried the fruit, eating the juicy meat off the egg sized seeds. It IS an acquired taste all right. After eating a Philippine mango I still had the taste in my mouth. I’m glad I tried it though. I’m not sure yet if I life Durian but it is not terrible. It starts to grow on you after a couple bites. I’ll try it again!
The Familiar - sleeping in an unfamiliar bed, in an unfamiliar place, as dawn breaks at 4:30 in the morning being greeted from outside by roosters crowing. I don’t mind the alars. It makes me feel comfortable, that I recognize something, bringing me to good memories of staying in the community in El Salvador.
The feeling is different when I am at Tita cathy’s house than when I am our and about. Sometimes there is hardly a difference. I am talking about the difference between here and home. This almost feels like home. The languade, the looks of people, the height of the people! …is like home. It’s not completely foreign. sometimes I forget that I am in a different country, one far from home. Though I have met these people only today, I feel like I am in the home of my relatives.
When I was playing pick up sticks with Erika (my 8 year old cousin but really Jon and Marge Lo’s cousin :D) I felt at home, not a complete foreigner or strange.
This is also because of the Role English plays in the Philippines. Many people know English here which helps break the awkward culture shock and anxiety.
01/19/2011 THIS IS REAL
I saw one of the directors of Casa Bayanihan, Heidi today! Tita cathy, Tito Oliver, and I were just going to visit ateneo to get used to the area for Monday and we ended up saying hi to Heidi and seeing the USF room where classes and other meetings will be! THIS IS REAL!
"grabe" - too much
Example: “That is so expensive…grabe!”
Tito Furdey taught me this word because he said I would here this a lot. He was right because at Tita (aunt) Cathy’s (Jon and Marge Lo’s aunt) house the Lola (grandmother) asked me if I had ever been to the Philippines and how old I was and she said “Grabe!” Because I am 18 and I have never been to the Philippines, but I agree, GRABE!
Leaving the airport
Tito (uncle) Furdey said that cars are allowed on the roads in Manila depending on their license plate number, the hour of the day, and the day.
He said this is because there are so many people, so many cars, so much traffic that there would be more congestion on the roads if this system wasn’t in place.