Tuesday, May 19, 2009

We're still in Asia?

To me, the Philippines didn't feel Asian. There was no bowing, no chopsticks and no shrines.

Instead, I felt like I was in Latin America the entire week!

That was due primarily to the palm trees & landscape, the poverty I saw, the tropical fruit I ate, the music I danced to, and the Catholicism I noticed.

As soon as we landed in Puerto Princesa, it was apparent that we weren't in Tokyo anymore...

After we picked up our bags from the one baggage claim and were greeted by someone from Habitat, we rode this tricycle to our hotel...

Besides being surprised by the Central American feel in the Philippines, I was also completely blown away by how well we ate at the work site each day for lunch! I'd been expecting a quick peanut butter and jelly sandwich and chips (probably because that's what we ate in Nicaragua), but instead we ate like queens and kings.

What a nice buffet! It always began and ended with a dish of rice, with different kinds of meat and vegetables in between.

Abidemi eating a mango the "correct way." We enjoyed mangoes every day, and I'm really missing them now!

We ate at a different restaurant for dinner each night, after cleaning up from our work day. Here I am with a delicious mango & caramel treat from Jolibee (a chicken restaurant)...

Who would have thought that mangoes and caramel sauce would make such a good combo? (Also, notice how the sign is in English! English was everywhere -- something I really appreciated!)

Something else I found interesting about the culture in the Philippines was the use of jeepneys. Jeepneys were originally made from US military jeeps left over from WWII, and are now a common means of transportation. Here's what a jeepney looks like...

Many of the jeepneys I saw were decorated...and usually very crowded!

I have two videos that display popular forms of Filipino entertainment. The first is of our friend, Roger, dancing the Chiquita Dance. :) People of all ages were dancing all the time, and of course I had to join in!

What fun! The second video is of a common (and legal!) sport in the Philippines: cock fighting.

This concludes my blog series about the Philippines. It was such an amazing experience, and I'm still missing the kids, the fun people, the tropical culture, the mangoes...and the list goes on....

The trip was definitely worth every penny. I mean yen. I mean peso. :)


Jennifer said...

I like mangoes too! I guess from who I have talked to not many people do.???

Very good blog...A+

Woohoo! I'm the first one to comment on your post...that rarely happens...especially since I usually read your blog about twice a week.

Lauren said...

Those mangoes look wonderful. I am glad that you had such a great time. I will see you in 12 days!!!
Love you

Dawn said...

The mangoes look good - and going from your comments so far, I think most of your friends do. LOL.

The Princess said...

Wow! I like that picture of the tricycle...its looks so cool! I wish I could ride on it too. I miss mangoes too!! But not with caramel...haha. That would be too sweet for me, but not for you obviously, girlfriend! By the way, my sweetie, i finally mailed that Cinnamon peanut butter to you days ago, you should receive it in a matter of days! :D Oh yes, i will talk to you this Sunday morning my time. Will 9:30 a.m. work for you?