Today’s guestblog is the final installment from Tyleen Reynders about her recent adventure in the Philippines.
Hi All of you readers
I thought I would send just 1 more article to finish off my trip to PI.
But I could write a lot more. My experience in the Philippines was so profound that it makes my decision as to where I will retire quite easy.
Some of the things that made my trip interesting or memorable ……
- Finding out that there is NO toilet paper in washrooms or CR’s ….THANK GOD my friend Jocelyn was with me when I discovered this.(she apologized profusely for not remembering to tell me!!!!) BUT …. I had to wait for 10mins for her to come in to the CR to find out why I was taking so long….. I was not amused!!!! I quickly learned to travel everywhere with a full roll of TP in my hand bag!!! Now that I look at it …..it was a good excuse to buy a new large bag!!!
- I was asked to be godmother at Jocelyn’s daughter’s wedding. To me it was a big deal. It was at a non Catholic church called Iglesia Ni Cristo. It was a new church/religion to me. It was very interesting service even though it was in Tagalog. I found it curious that they are springing up all over, a beautiful expensive church in the middle of such desperate poverty. Yes …one could argue the Catholic Church has churches in poverty stricken areas. BUT according to the web there has not been a new Catholic church built in the Philippines in 20years. So the poverty grew up around the Catholic Church not the other way around. Like I said I am not criticizing just curious.
- Getting my Nokia cell phone fixed for $3.00US at a authorized Nokia dealer..when my cell phone company here in Vancouver wanted $200.00 to fix it or I could get a new phone for free if I signed up for another 3 years.
- Having so many wonderful people start me off learning Tagalog.
- Not having to drive!!!!! I have been driving since I was 16…..I am used to driving myself anywhere I wanted to go. I have driven back and forth from Vancouver to LA about 20-25 times so I could visit a favourite auntie living there. But I have to tell you relaxing and reading in the back seat or being able to really enjoy the scenery was the best !!!!
- Leaving at 4am to beat the traffic (MY GOD!!! And I thought rush hour here in Vancouver was bad!!!!) I went to Manila for the day and did some tours of Manila Bay and spent some of the time at the Asia Pacific Mall. I was on a mission to find something specific for my brother. I loved the mall. I wandered around for awhile just loving the variety of different stores. I especially loved the wonderful customer service. Noticing the time (my friend was picking me up at a certain time) I realized I needed to get serious about finding the Callaway Golf store. I asked a couple of people for directions and wandered around in circles for about 30 mins. Then I remembered the article Bob wrote on Filipino face. ……The people I had asked directions probably had no clue as to where the Callaway Golf store was located but kept pointing in some direction and didn’t want to lose face by telling me they didn’t know. I promptly asked a security guard (I still can’t get used to armed security guards) and he walked me to the right section and I found the store. My brother loves what I bought him very much so I think I am good re: presents for him at least until next year. I owe my brothers happiness to Bob. Without that article on ‘face’ I would not have found the store before it was time to be at the pickup point to go back to Cabanatuan City. My brother and I both thank you Bob !!!!
- Discovering Buchi Buchi….it is the best treat ever!!!!
- Now that I am back to the everyday grind I find myself becoming Ate (elder sister) to many of the new Filipino ladies that work at my Dental practice. We talk a lot about food,life,people and their homesickness. They are so envious of me being able to retire in RP in the next 1-2 years. (Little do they know I envy their youth!!!) We laugh and chat like we have known each other forever. It is a joy to go to work to see them every day. I hooked up one of my new Filipino staff with my Filipina friend Jocelyn and they have become great friends. Rosemarie and her family have only been here 1 year and were very lonely for friends…. Well they have a whole bunch of new friends now. Every time I see Rosemarie she hugs me and says thanks. She doesn’t understand yet… that I AM THE ONE BLESSED WITH NEW FAMILY
- Seeing the gas prices skyrocketing in PI the same as back home. I will never complain about the gas prices in Vancouver again. I gasp out loud wondering how the average family survives having to pay those prices.
I am getting regular emails from the people I met while in the Philippines and getting news about their lives and Cabanatuan City. I live for the emails and long to go back.
I have just been informed by Jocelyn my Filipina friend that we hopefully might be going back in Feb or March of 2009. I kind of go when she goes.
Damn I can hardly wait!!!!!
This time it will be for 4 weeks. I will have the extra time to fly down to Davao and see Bob and Feyma and anyone else they can round up for a party!!!!!
Thank you for reading my Visitors Blog and I will let you know when I am coming to Davao so I can meet as many of you as I can.
Regards to all,
An expat in the making