The Philippines

St. Johnís Day (Sunday, June 24th)

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
  St. John's Day Pavilion Mahjong

Sunday was St. Johnís Day, the celebration of St. John the Baptist - everybody should get wet. We rented a huge tiled pavilion at one of the beaches to celebrate, bringing along not only the left over food and drink, but also, the karaoke machine.

We climbed into the back of an open van with enough space for ten. Instead of ten, we crammed in 23 people, plus food for 30. One person hung on the back, and Doming, a neighbor who helps with the cooking and won all my money at mahjongg, sat on the roof.

While we were driving, we passed a group of kids when suddenly, "splash." They threw water at us, which landed square on my shoulder and caught David full in the back. Marietta smiled, "Itís tradition."

We ate, drank Tuba (a red-coconut wine, usually either mixed with coke or served with a coke chaser), sang, danced, swam, and played mahjongg. During the last swim at sunset, lightning flashed in the distance accentuating a beautiful view of the mountains.

Amber, Dave, Marietta, Carl Bebs, Rose, Marietta, Ansel, Leonardo, Queenie, Amber

At one point during the day, I took Amber to the beach and two of the neighborhood girls, Mica and Esee tagged along. I walked onto the beach and everyone turned to stare. There was no subtlety, no sneaking glances, only blatant stares at my light skin.

When Marietta first came to the U.S., she swam in capris and a shirt. She was over here a long time before she had the nerve to use only a swimsuit. So, before I left the states, I had asked Marietta if it was proper to wear a bathing suit in the Philippines. "Sure, things have changed a lot in the past five years."

So, here I am on the beach, pretending Iím not intimidated by the staring and I slip my shorts off to go into the water. One of the neighbor girls said, "Ooh, sexy." I scooped up Amber and high tailed it to the water. Then I looked around. All the other women were in shorts and t-shirts. Oops. Next time Iím not listening to Marietta!

I was asked about my age many times over the trip. When I would answer (41), I would inevitably get the response, "Oh my! You look like youíre 30." Iíve been told that "all" American women look around 30. There was one exception to this. At one of the parties, a drunk 23-year-old kept hitting on me. When he asked my age and I told him, he said, "Oh my! You only look 38." Three years younger - what a flatterer.

I also kept hearing how beautiful I was - again prompted by the light skin. At the school, one of Nenegnís fellow teachers kept telling Marietta what a beautiful sister-in-law she had. All of this would have gone to my head if it wasnít for one evening of Karaoke when someone told me I had a nice voice. All the other compliments swirled down the drain. I know what I sound like!