Monday, October 1, 2012

Only in the Philippines...

I have had fun over the past year finding pictures of things that we would never see in the US.  I don't know if saying these are 'only in the Philippines' is entirely accurate but you get my drift...

Living here amongst these people is a kick! There are many things as I have told you before that I have tasted, smelled, seen or heard that are entirely new to my senses...that being said...

Schools in the Philippines are amazing!  I always thought living in a Third World County meant poverty [and it often does], filth [sometimes], lazy people who don't want to work [VERY rarely] and uneducated people who have not attended school [ABSOLUTELY NOT!!!!] These people are educated and very smart...they are the most clever people as a whole that I have EVER met-they can fix ANYTHING!! Example: two weeks or so ago we had 6 fans in our 'dirty kitchen' that the missionaries had broken and President Q took those 6 and in a couple of hours, created 4 working fans that we could then put back into circulation in our inventory, thus saving the mission about 6,000 pesos [$140] and that is significant. I have yet to find any occupation in the Philippines that hires people without a college degree-even to run a cash register in a gas station you MUST have an accounting degree!  Now that is not a culture of people who do not value education!

I love to travel through this area and see all of the different uniforms that the school children wear-from pre-school through college, each has its own distinctive uniform and ALL of the children wear them-the boys normally wear shorts that are made of the same fabric as the girls skirts, jumpers or dresses.  It is so refreshing.  We often drive past the Military Academy outside of Cauayan and those young people look like American Naval Officers!  I must get a picture of that for another day..
Lunch break and all are going somewhere for their food,,
These girls were all in the internet cafe, all sporting different school uniforms.
The young woman on the left is a college student,
Grabbing a quick bite at a roadside vendor.
These girls LOVED having their picture taken-school is over and
they are on the way home.
Modes of transportation are varied as I have talked about before. It is usual to share the road with a multitude of different vehicles.  This one gave me a chuckle-notice the guys sitting in plastic chairs in the back??

I have always gotten a laugh out of the garb these folks wear as they work in this incredible heat!!  Most of the time, they look like a group of terrorists but instead of a gun in their hands, they normally sport some type of farming tool.  They are all very dark skinned and unlike us, do not like the US, we pay big bucks to achieve the shade of skin that God gave them and their dream is to be like the light skinned people. I guess we are never satisfied...that must be human nature.
President Q trimming the grass for us.
Working along the road drying their rice.

This picture is very misleading. It appears to be a huge lawn of
luscious green grass but instead, if you were to romp across it, you
would be up to your knees in MUD! It is a rice field that
has been planted recently.

Another form of transportation is the Calisa.  It is a little cart that is
pulled by a 'horse' and I use that word would appear to be
a Shetland Pony at home. Many families use this as their main
source of transportation.

A few weeks back we headed to church one Sunday morning.  We serve in a branch that is about a 45 minute drive and along the highway, we always see a variety of sights. In the Philippines, there is a highway and it is the ONLY way from point A to point B. You might be able to wind through a city to avoid an accident or funeral but on this particular Sunday morning, the entire highway was shut down for TWO HOURS for a city-wide celebration.  In the US, we will sometimes close a residential street for a block party or something like that but NEVER a highway.  We sat for a few minutes and Elder Shaner hopped out and walked up to 'check things out'.  He returned to let me know that it would not be open anytime in the near future and when he explained that they were having speakers, a parade, some dancers, etc....I just had to grab the camera and jump out!  I know YOU would never believe it!!

Ours is the brown truck and you can see a bus in the distance-those
riders were forced to sit and wait.

Some things are just hard to understand! We were able to maneuver the car around and come back home.  After attending Sacrament Meeting in Cabatuan, we drove out again and all was clear-we proceeded onto Mallig, arriving just in time for their closing meetings.

Signs in the Philippines can be a reason for a good laugh-they are often posted in English but obviously constructed by people who are not native English are a couple that made me giggle..

I don't know about you but I am not very anxious to FALL into any line!!

Grilled Chicken Ass.....REALLY???

Here we have an entire family going to town on top of their rice truck, loaded with bagged rice for the market! They just hopped off at their 'stop' and the truck drove on..

As you can imagine, with the types of heavy equipment trucks travelling along the highways, the roads become broken up and are always in need of repair.  It is not unusual for us to have only half of many of the highways opened at any one time as they try their best to fix the broken pavement and asphalt.  One of our good friends, Bill Thorpe, worked in the asphalt industry for many years and we took this picture for him-this is their 'patching' system...a barrel with asphalt that is heated on an open flame and the asphalt is applied to the holes for patching by a paint bucket attached to a long that is ingenious!!  And it works!!

If there is a section of road that has a broken down truck, a mud slide or other 'do not enter here..danger' going on they will pull off a limb from a nearby tree and put it in the road.  We call it the Philippine warning triangle!!

Elder Shaner got a kick out of this woman dressed up with high heels
and travelling to church on the back of a motorcycle!

Most people who dry corn do it off the cob and alongside the road, the same way they dry rice but one area dries it ON THE STALK!

It still tickles me to see the children [and adults too] sporting Superman Capes!! They take 'rags' [sweat rags that they always have with them] and on small children, they tuck them into the back of their shirts and appear ready for take-off!

All of that being said and seen, I still WOULDN'T CHANGE ONE MINUTE OF THIS TIME IN THIS MARVELOUS COUNTRY WITH THESE AMAZING PEOPLE!!  They are changing me forever...and I am loving every second!


  1. Oh my...what an entertaining post. Most of it made me laugh (chicken ass - really?), but some of it makes me sad. Sad that the kids in the US don't understand how fortunate they are. That their goal in life is to have specific brand of clothing, glop on the makeup, and think that having your picture taken is a time to pucker up, stick out your tongue, and strike up a pose. The Philippine people are enjoying life in a much simpler form than we do...and I salute and envy them. It reminds me of how life 'used' to be.

  2. So true Judy-life here is like I remember it in the US about 50 years ago...some of the things that we see however take us back to the early 1900' is an amazing thing to see and live. If those 'phat' Americans could all come here for two weeks, their lives, priorities, needs and attitudes would do a 180!! This experience has been so eye-opening for us and when we come home next year, our 'needs' will be so much less...give me a little house with plumbed water that is drinkable, HOT showers, central heat and air, and a home that is accessible without needing to use 2 or 3 keys to enter it-oh, the stories I will have!!!!