Thank You Sir! Thank You Mom!

The Philippines and its people are delightful. If you smile at them, they smile back. They seem to be polite by nature but that nature is nurtured within the tourist industry, growing it into congeniality beyond compare. The answer is never, “No,” but “Let me see what I can do about that. Thank you Sir! Thank you Mom!” *Aside* “Thank you sir! Thank you ma’am!” is heard constantly. However the first time, my ears heard it as, “Thank you Sir! Thank you Mom!” due to that lovely drawn-out “A” in ma’am when it’s pronounced with a Filipino accent. When I heard it again, I realized it was “ma’am” not “mom” but I still enjoy “hearing” it as “mom” every time someone says it. Saturday June 18th, 201

Manila: Rhymes with Vanilla, Smells like . . . Karma?

*Advanced warning* This is a long posting. There’s a lot going on in Manila. Monday, June 13th, 2016 At noon we left the Janus Apartelle in Angeles City on the Southern Cross Bus to Manila. Three hours later we arrived in Manila transferring directly to a cab. An hour and a half later we completed the 5.4 miles arriving at Avida San Lorenzo Tower 1, 2208 Chino Roces Avenue, Makati City apartment 1421 (14th floor of a 23 story building). To say the traffic was congested actually doesn’t describe it. *Aside* Geography Lesson: About 12 million people live in Metro Manila. Approximately 3 million more make their way into the city for work, school, shopping - you know all the stuff people do

“Living in Angeles City, Philippines”

The title is in quotes because obviously we are not really living in Angeles City. We are in a hotel, albeit a very nice hotel for the price, biding our time until the next stop: Manila. After five days there, we will join our friends for the 2 week diving trip that was the springboard for this entire plan: ScubaBoard Invasion 2016 - 1 week each in Atlantis Puerto Galera and Dumagette. I mean, once you travel half-way around the world, you should make it count, right? Meanwhile we need to eat and wash our clothes and sitting in the hotel room day in, day out is not an option. *Aside* When we arrived at Janus Apartelle, upon entering our “Janus Luxury Queen Suite 105” (the description on Air

All About TP

Disclaimer: This entire entry made be considered by many as an *Aside,* so be forewarned. We were told we should bring toilet paper with us to the Philippines: in most places there would be none. After careful consideration, even though in the western world this probably qualifies as a necessity, we decided to not bring TP with us as we were already overloaded with Scuba gear. We reasoned that if it was a problem, we could pick some up at the Base Exchange (BX) or the Commissary. Obviously stateside TP was no problem. In base lodging TP was no problem. The Japanese are probably more obsessed with toileting than Americans so Okinawa offered no TP problems. *Aside* The public bathroom stalls

Juxtaposition

As we rode the Air-Con (air-conditioned) bus into Subic Bay, Baloy, the rolling hills and the plots of growing crops reminded me of Ohio. Not really that much different . . . Except for the palm trees . . . And the fact that the crop was rice . . . Oh, and the guy plowing his rice field with a water buffalo. Come to think of it, it was more like seeing a picture out of National Geographic. Of Ohio? Well, I guess that impression lasted only about a minute. Subic Bay is much calmer than Angeles City. The streets are somewhat unfinished, not completely paved as they are in Angeles. *Aside* There is a lot of concrete construction in the Philippines. I noticed some brightly colored chipped conc

What Happens When “There” is “Here”?

Tuesday May 31, 2016 Knowing we needed to be in the Philippines by the 18th, but not knowing exactly when we would arrive, we didn’t make plans. Since there could have been about a million different scenarios, what was the point? So we arrived in Angeles City in the Philippines, settled into our room, got some dinner and then some sleep. Tuesday morning after breakfast we made SM Mall our destination. With 420 vendors we hoped to find Tom a replacement protective glass screen cover for his LG4 cell phone. *Aside* You cannot buy this item in Okinawa. If it doesn’t have an APPLE on it, they’ve never heard of it nor do they even want to talk to you about it. The Philippines is a completely di

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