Hiyas, all, and welcome to our first weekly photo montage. I have been trying to take more photos of my time in the Philippines, so this gives us a good chance to increase the number of photos that we take and also an opportunity to give some background on each photo. I am actually getting a nice point and shoot from the States in late February (thanks again, Sir Lorenzo!), so hopefull the quality of the shots will improve over time. There’s only so much you can do with the cameras on a MyPhone…..
First Time with Kids
This photo was taken after we first met the neighborhood kids. I had been mowing the lawn with our vintage manual push mower when I noticed a number of diminutive faces peering between the bars on our front gate. We babbled back and forth a bit (rather unsuccessfully, considering our limited aggregate knowledge of Bisaya and English), with me goofing a bit and the kids laughing uproariously at the silly Kano (they’re really easy to entertain). Michell eventually came out and we let the kids into the yard where they all got together for a group shot under the mango tree. At this point, they were still pretty shy, and the photo doesn’t give much indication of just how crazy and active kids this age naturally are.
I also like this photo as it shows the first time we actually became part of the neighborhood. A month later, we had the Christmas party where we were able to have the kids and their parents (or guardians, in some cases) over for spaghetti, hot dogs, macaroni salad, and lots of singing, dancing and parlor games.
Sometimes life takes you completely by surprise……
The kids had been coming by nearly every day for a while at this point. Michell had started her little after school program by this point, and we were both spending time with them – Michell with the scholastic stuff and me with the “Hey, let’s learn Frisbee skills” piece. One day – a few weeks later – day (from “inday” – female who is younger than you) Euie (Yoo-ee) handed Michell and I little home made envelopes. We opened them up only to find these handwritten letters inside – one to ate Chell (ate – older sister) and one for kuya (older brother) Ned (or – in this case – “kuya Nid”).
Yep – shed a few decidely non-manly tears over this one….
Filipinas (and Filipinos) really like taking selfies. I mean, really, really, really like taking selfies. Most – if not all – possess the stick thingy that attaches to phones (and cameras) so they can get an even better shot of themselves (and the background). I found Michell practicing selfies on my phone one day, so I decided to join in with my usual level of gravitas and maturity. Double duck-face photobomb!!
Filipinos love customizing their scooters and motorcycles. Such mods run the range of loud DBS mufflers that make them sound like 1200 CC Ducatis to customized LED lighting that bathes the whole bike in an unearthly glow. Being on limited incomes, a scooter usually represents their single most valuable material possession, so a good amount of work goes into these custom “underbones”. We were at RUSI a while back getting Michell’s scooter fixed up, and I saw this bike onto which someone had added some extended forks, a custom seat and other assorted modifications.
On a side note, RUSI is known to have one of the best motorcycle and scooter repair centers in the city of Dumaguete – if not all of Negros Oriental. We have only had to use them a few times, and on both occasions the work has been quick, on-point and extremely inexpensive. A lot of people badmouth “China bikes,” but we have had nothing but good experiences with them. I also really like Michell’s automatic, Yamaha Mio clone, and it’s much easier running errands around town on it then in having to manhandle my “big” Yamaha YBR125 doing the same.
Sit Like a King
You see these signs all over the Philippines. The funny part about this one is that it gives this explanation, and then when you turn around, you can’t help but notice that the toilet actually has no seat. This is pretty common here, as toilet seats are an expensive outlay to the average Filipino, and since lots of folks stand on them to… take care of business… they are constantly breaking. One other thing – always make sure you can some toilet paper with you – you will rarely find a Filipino public access Comfort Room with a ready stock at hand.
This also fits into the “Live Like a King in the Philippines for $500 a Month” websites that I am always poking fun at, so it’s a win-win all around.