The Philippines

Arrival (Wednesday, June 13th - Fernando and Alot)

Introduction
Travel
Arrival
Nayong Pilpino Park
Taal Volcano in Tagaytay
Bohol Day 1
Bohol Day 2
Ormoc
Power Plant
Departure / Arrival
Sabin Beach Resort
Brother Boy
Party
St. John's Day
Comotes Islands Day 1
Comotes Islands Day 2
Relaxation
Local Adventures
Shopping
Back to Manila
Craft Shops
Packing
Going Home

Let's Talk Food
Bloopers and Out Takes
Not in Kansas
 

Around midnight, we arrived at Fernando and Alot’s home in Manila. Bebs and six-year-old Carl had come over from Leyte to travel with us and give Carl a chance to get accustomed to his new family. I felt pleased that the two children got along and was impressed by the great job Bebs did in raising Carl.

Fernando and Alot Bebs Carl and Amber
Fernando & Alot Bebs Carl & Amber

The Bath

Amber bathing

Marietta decided to get her cranky daughter bathed and into bed. She literally dragged Amber into the bathroom, kicking and screaming, "I want to take a bath at home!" Seconds after they made it to the bathroom, a single room separated from the kitchen by only a shower curtain, I heard quiet. Then Amber giggled. Curious, I peeked into the bathroom to find Amber standing in a barrel of water, thoroughly enjoying her "bath."

Fernando and Alot’s bathroom had an actual shower head, but for bathing, we usually used a small handled plastic pot to scoop water out of a big barrel. There was no "hot" water, but since the days were all in the 90s, it was not missed. The tepid water may have caused a slight intake of breath, especially when initially poured on the head and back, but for the most part it felt refreshing.

No division existed between the bathing area and the toilet. For the most part, the toilets were flushed by pouring a bucket of water into the bowl. Some had tanks, not connected to water, but most consisted of only the bowl and no seat. If you wanted to use toilet paper, you generally provided your own (except in some homes). Also, in many of the public restrooms, the used tissue was not flushed, but placed in the trash basket provided.


Sue-Sue

Sue Sue

Alot introduced Cousin Sue to her daughters Carlota and Anne-Anne (ages 12 and 10). As a child, it’s sometimes hard to know how to address an adult, so Sue decided to help. "My nephews call me ‘Sue-Sue’."

The girls giggled. Alot’s eyes bugged out and muffling a laugh she said, "In our language, ‘Sue-Sue’ means breast."

Upon recollection, I think Marietta explained this to Sue years ago. Poor Sue. From now until eternity our family will call her "Aunt Boobies" and forever refer to a breast as "Sue-Sue."

Even Amber, wise in her ignorance, will not let Sue live this down. The first meal we had in Bohol after Marietta’s sister, sister-in-law, and friend joined us, Amber rambled on, Sue-Sue this, Sue-Sue that. The young ladies giggled throughout their meal, but said nothing. At the Bohol Beach Resort, Amber called Sue "Sue-Sue" all up and down the beach.

Mark piped up over dinner one night, "If Sue-Sue means breast, I’d hate to think what JoJo means." (For those of you who don’t know our family, JoJo is our nickname for Cousin Joann).


The House

Fernando's House

We ate around 2:00 am, pancit (a noodle dish) and rice. When we finally called it a night, six people, Sue, Rose, Marietta, Amber, Carlotta and Anne slept in the only air-conditioned room. Tom and Mark slept on foam mats in the other bedroom. Fernando, Alot (2 months pregnant), Bebs and Carl slept on the floor in the living room. The only other room in the house was the kitchen with a small area off the back containing a sink, stove, and partially opened ceiling.

The house had a store front. During our stay, people would stop by and either tap their coins on the bars or call out. They could purchase small items like canned tomato sauce, ramon-type noodles, candies, individual cigarettes, hair burettes, baby headbands, thread, shoe cream, single packets of everything from detergent, shampoo and soap to coffee mate, even plastic bags containing charcoal. Purchased soda was poured into a plastic bag and served with a straw so the bottle could be returned. These "stores" existed all up and down the streets, each one containing different items.