The good news and the bad news…
Good news… we found a cabbie to take us places for a resonable rate! I still think it’s a little more then what we could have found… but Ron seems to enjoy Roger the cabbie. I think he’s okay too… once I’ve had a few beers….
The bad news… poor children do not enjoy Canadian pencils in lieu of money! There’s a tip for you… after they confer with their friends who are waiting to pounce for more money, they return the pencils… not so cool I guess…
So going back to our GOOD news, Roger the cabbie took us to Antipolo today. Once of my favourite things to do here in the Philippines is the trips out of Makati. Makati is great – but very ‘western-ized’. Now most of you are saying… “well DUH.. that’s what you would WANT!” and yes, I do… to a point. But when visiting another country you also want to see how the majority of the people really live. And Makati does not represent the rest of the Philippines well.
The things we see when travelling outside of Makati. I wish I could stop for pictures everywhere… but you just can’t. It’s not safe. There are poor people everywhere. Babies… naked babies!!… sleeping on the side of highways. Children younger then ours playing on the road. And they are HAPPY! I think it’s great that they are… but SO SAD. I just can’t imagine… and we am so fortunate not to have to live that way. I say to the kids as we drive, “look outside… watch! Do you see how they live? Do you see how they dress? How they play? Do you see their schools?” It’s an eye opener for all of us. I don’t want Sydney and Karis to ever forget. It’s emotional.
In St Albert the schools put out full page colour ads advertising for their schools. No matter which school a family chooses, their children will have an excellent education. Guaranteed. We are so fourtunate to have this luxury given to us. Here (outisde of Makati), the schools are broken, in areas of severe poverty, and heartwrenching to look at. I just can not imagine sending my children to a place like that. Apparently there are international schools that are amazing… but so far… we haven’t seen any. My fondness of Sydney and Karis’ school has done nothing but grow since we’ve been here! We are very, very fourtunate!! I joke with the girl’s… “would you like that to be your school???” And the horrified automatic answer is, “NOOOO MOMMY!!!!”
Anyway, back to today! Roger drove us through many different areas to get to Antipolo. We had lunch at the same place that Ron ate at with his office people when they went to play paintball for a company outing. I had “sisig”. What is it? Good question……
After lunch, Roger took us to a waterfall called, “Hinulugan Taktak”. It was beautiful. Forgetting about the dude who had absolutely nothing to do with the waterfalls who charged us 30 pesos (Roger talked him down from 50) to park on the side of the road… it was fabulous!! We were the only ‘white’ people there, but encountered many kind people. We met a lady who educated us on which bathroom (comfort room) was the ‘ladies room’ and she (like many, many others) was very interested to know where we were from. “America? Are you from America?” (well yes, we ARE actually)… but knowing that she probably meant U.S.A, I say, “No, We’re Canadian.” This thrills her. “you have beautiful children!! You’re babies are so pretty with their blue and green eyes!! I love them!” Now knowing (from being here for 1 1/2 months) that she is NOT out to steal my children… she really, honestly just loves them because they look pretty… I thank her. She smiles at us over and over as we pee in a bathroom with no toilet paper and no toilet seat. I give her a Canada pencil. She appears to love it…. lol
We also met a family who was having a picnic. they had a little boy decked out in his ginchies and an undershirt who holds a kick board (there is a pool). Karis gives him a pencil. In return, they offer us bananas and a GIANT grapefruit. It is not a grapefruit. And when I say, “Grapefruit”, Roger looks at me like I have 2 heads. Screw you Roger. It has a different name… which I can’t remember. But trust me… it looks like a big, honkin grapefruit.
On the way back, we encounter traffic. Being Saturday, we think this is weird (maybe not??) and sit back and wait. It gets hot. Really hot. I decide that the airconditioner in the cab only works when we are actually moving and envision the green mini van we used to have. I wait for it to overheat (like in the Tim Horton’s drive through when I go for my extra large double, double, steeped tea) like the green beast used to do. It doesn’t, but I am thankful when Ron asks Roger to pull over so we can buy some water for the kids. Roger pulls over at the shell station. Roger wants a water too. Roger’s total (like a credit card commercial…)
Lunch – 340 pesos – $7.50 cdn
Waterfall – 8 pesos – 0.17 cdn
water – 15 pesos – 0.34 cdn
Roger’s done well.
So we cool down enough that only one child (Karis) passes out from the heat. Once we get moving again it cools down slightly. We have informed Roger that we HAVE to find a ’souvenir shop’ so I can buy “Mrs Priestley (Ashely)” a thimble. He is gung ho to drive us around to find this. By this time though, we are beat… and VOW to find this another day… (I will do my best “Mrs Priestley!!” LOL)
On another note… we were able to find a Golf course and got a good friend of ours some balls! Have any from “valley Golf” in the Philippines Jeffy?? Now ya do!!
So we are now ‘home’ and getting ready for bed soon. Tomorrow will bring a new ‘adventure’. We had planned to discover another waterfall, but will now head to Taal… stay focused… a ‘Volcano in a Lake in a Volcano in a Lake’… got that?? Look it up on Google!! We were going to do it a week ago but had a change of plans (that was the Corregidor weekend) so we’re doing it tomorrow instead. The ‘bad’ news… we have to ride horses. I don’t like horses. If I went the rest of my life without seeing a horse, that would be perfectly fine by me (sorry to the horse people – but it’s true). As some of you know, my fear is Mascots. I HATE Mascots. A Lot. They terrify me. While the horse is not as scary as a mascot, I would say it is about 3/4 as terrifying… when my ass isn’t sitting on it… This should be good…. America’s funniest home videos… here we come!!!
Update soon… ‘if’ I survive!!
“You want a Canada pencil???” Shannon