The Philippines

Craft Shops (Sunday, July 1st)

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

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

On Sunday, July 1st, Marietta, Alot, Bebs and I headed to shops that sold crafts made from shells. We walked, hopped on a Jeepney, then took another type of taxi. Unlike the Jeepney, this air conditioned car had a specific destination, the metro train, with no stops in between. From the metro we took another Jeepney to the craft shops.

Marietta was in her element, haggling over prices. When she tries this technique back in the states, the salesperson gives her a confused look and says, "Maam, thatís the price." Here, the salesperson says, "280 Pesos." Immediately, Marietta shoots back, "200 Pesos." And the bargaining begins. After one purchase where Marietta saved 20 Pesos, I told her, "You know all that work and you just saved 50 cents." She didnít care - she loves a bargain.

The metro worked similar to our metro in the DC area. The rider purchases a ticket and inserts it into the slot to enter and exit. Everyone, except me, seemed to have problems with their tickets. Bebs couldnít get out. He kept putting the card in the wrong way. When he realized it, he complained that his vision was blurry from hunger. When we left the train, I headed for the exit, using signs as my guides. "Wait," Marietta said, pointing in the other direction, "this way." A guard immediately corrected her and pointed to the exit I was heading for. "Come on," I said. "Iíll show you tourists how to use the system."

When we entered the metro to leave, the security guard checked my bags then said something to me in Tagalog. I gave him my panicked, "I donít speak your language" stare and he waved me through. Alot was behind me and he told her that he assumed I spoke Tagalog. Even with my minor tan, I doubt I looked Filipino. But as Marietta pointed out, there were no other foreigners taking the Metro.

I found this strange. I tend to use public transportation more in countries other than at home. However, it fit in with the neighborís surprise that we stayed in our relativeís house and not in a hotel. I guess its common for foreigners to stay in hotels, even if they have family in the area. Weird.

On our way home, we stopped by a mall for more shopping. When we were finally ready to leave, we were burdened with merchandise and decided to take a cab - a typical taxi like we would find back in the U.S. Outside, Bebs went to find one, while Marietta grabbed my arm and pulled me aside. "You wait here with me." "Why," I asked, thinking I knew the reason. "The cab driver will charge us more if they see you, because youíre a foreigner."

Back home we began drinking and nibbling on grilled pork. Yumm. The karaoke machine was turned on and Marietta put in her new Bon Jovi karaoke CD (purchased for 75 Pesos - less than $2). She and I hogged the mike. Later, after other karaoke CDs, Bon Jovi was put back on, but this time Fernando rocked the neighborhood.

Fernando had to get up at 2 am for work. Luckily, he managed to stumble to bed around 11:00 pm.

Fernando, Alot, Marietta, Armando, Dave Watch Out Bon Jovi Marietta, Amber Fernando, Alot