I like to go for a walk just about every morning. Sometimes I go for another walk in the afternoon as well. Today, I decided to take my camera along on my morning walk and snap some pictures around the neighborhood. I didn’t really know what I would do with the pictures, but as I thought about it, I decided that it would be nice to write a blog article about what a Philippine neighborhood is like, and show my neighborhood a bit.
So, I went out walking at about 7am, only a 30 minute walk or so. So, I didn’t get too far away from the house, but enough walking to be good for me. Let me show you around my neighborhood a bit.
I live in a fairly upper class neighborhood by Philippine standards. Twenty or thirty years ago this was an upper class neighborhood. Now, it is probably an upper-middle class neighborhood. There are newer and nicer subdivisions in Davao City where I live, but years back, this was the nicest. Today, the nicest subdivisions are gated communities. I lived in a gated community for a year, but didn’t like it. To us, it just was not “Philippine living”. It was too sanitized, too vanilla, if you know what I mean.
My first view when I left the house
When I first left out of my gate, I saw this jeep parked along the roadside. This type of jeep is called an “Owner Jeep”. It is a “homemade” vehicle. It is not always made by the owner, but it is also not made in some factory somewhere. It is built generally by an individual. Maybe a shade tree mechanic, or a hobbyist. What year is it? Owner Jeeps don’t have years, because they are a combination of parts from all kinds of vehicles.
Anyway, my neighbor owns this jeep. He is a retired judge. Nice man, although I don’t know him well. He goes out walking his dog every day, and I try to say hi to him and exchange a few words each day. I hope to be better friends with him in the future, but he seems to be a fairly quiet and private person.
This is a sort of back road in the subdivision. It is a dead end road on one end, so that means that the road is not heavily traveled. Keep in mind that you can click on any of these pictures to get a larger view!
It is shady where I stood and took the photo, but you can certainly see that it is a sunny morning already! The days start early here. Usually the sun is up and it is light out by about 5 am or 5:30 at the latest. By 7am, when I started walking today, it is already getting hot.
You can see the red/maroon car parked along the roadside ahead, that car is always there every time I go out walking! One time I did see somebody sitting in the car and the engine is running, so I believe that it is taken out on the road, it just happens that the car owner is always home (maybe still sleeping) whenever I walk in the morning!
Sari Sari Store
The picture at the right shows a Sari Sari store. The Sari Sari store is very common in the Philippines. It is kind of a tiny convenience store. You can’t go inside most Sari Sari Stores, you just go up to the window and ask for what you need, they will bring it to you. Prices at Sari Sari stores are a bit higher than at a large Grocery Store. The Sari Sari owner likely buys his stock at the Grocery Store, but usually they can get a slightly lower price than the general public on their purchases.
This Sari Sari store is still closed. Most Sari Sari stores open very early, but this one is not ready for business yet!
Although I live in a nice neighborhood, we still have a few dirt roads around the neighborhood. Not too many, but as you see at the right, there are a few.
This particular dirt road is kind of an interesting area, which I will explain further shortly.
This road takes you from a very residential part of the neighborhood over to a more commercial area in the neighborhood. A place where there is a University and also a number of shops, restaurants and such that serve the students at the University.
Lots of trees around the neighborhood, I really like the peace and tranquility in this neighborhood. I have lived in other neighborhoods around town that were not nearly so peaceful.
The garbage truck will be coming today, and you can see bags of garbage hanging from people’s fences! Why? Well, they hang it like this to keep dogs from getting it and making a mess. When the Garbage Truck comes by, they will take these bags off of the fence and put them in the truck. The neighborhood will be all clean again.
Usually. the city garbage collectors come 5 days per week, and the service is free! They have a very modern and large garbage truck, very impressive.
Philippines or India?
Along the dirt road that I showed earlier, there is an Indian Sikh Temple! There is a fairly significant population of Indian people living in the Philippines, including many in Davao City. There are also some Indian grocery stores in this area, one of which is shown above.
Philippine Women’s College – PWC
Really, PWC should be called PWU, because it is Philippine Women’s University, but people still call it by the old name. If you mentioned PWU to somebody they probably would not know what you were talking about! But, mention PWC and everybody knows what that is! In the photos above you can see the University itself, and also a shop near the University. There are a fairly large number of businesses around PWC supporting the students’ needs.
The Ubiquitous Philippine Tricycle
Wherever you are in the Philippines, you just can be far from seeing a tricycle! The tricycle in the photo at the right is a motorized tricycle, but you can also see plenty of pedal trikes built on bicycles. I kind of enjoy tricycles, and often find that tricycle drivers are some of the nicest people you will meet! They will generally do anything they can to assist you in whatever way is needed. I have developed some close friendships with tricycle drivers in my neighborhood.
Notice in the picture (click for a larger view) also that there is a very tall antenna shown. I am not sure what that antenna is used for, but having it in the middle of a residential area is interesting. I wonder what it is used for?
As I approach my house again, I see Tetay Store! Tetay is the Sari Sari store that we go to if we need something and it is not a big enough thing for a trip to the grocery store! Tetay is probably one of the longest and best established Sari Sari stores in our part of the neighborhood. The people there are friendly and they treat us well. We are regular customers, so they always take good care of us, which is nice. Within walking distance from our house there are probably 15 or 20 Sari Sari stores, so they have to work hard to keep the business of their Sukis. Oh, what is a Suki? Well, it is a regular customer!
I hope you enjoyed seeing and hearing about my neighborhood in Davao City, Philippines.