Philippines Update

So much to say and I don't know where to start so I'm just going to write whatever comes to my mind.

After 2 days of travelling our flight was delayed in Taipei, Taiwan. When we got to MIA (Manila International Airport) Marty being a seasoned "Balikbayan" (what they call Filipinos who are visiting in the Philippines after living abroad.) We were able to zip thru customs without them even blinking an eye. The secret is she took all four passports and she picked one custom agent who's waving at her. She then puts some money, I think $5.00 inside the passport. Mind you we have 8 huge luggages weighing approximately 70 lbs. each, 8 carry ons and we were able to just go thru customs just like that. So, for $5.00 green bucks we were able to get out of the airport without any hassle.

When we got outside the door ( we had 2 Filipino men who took care of our luggage for $3.00, the airport people doesn't get paid, they strictly work for tips) I saw my two brothers right I way. I was able to recognized them with no problems. They didn't recognized me until they saw Marty. Along with my nephew Alex ( the driver) and Fernando ( my sister Gloria's house caretaker) picked us up.

Driving in Manila, Philippines is another topic on its own. Just let me tell you I had my eyes closed pretty much while we were in the city. It was a NIGHTMARE!!! I still haven't gotten used to the traffic here. I am sure that Philippines have traffic laws BUT noone is obeying them, at least from what I've seen so far. After we got out of Manila and were on the highway, it wasn't so bad. Traffic was light they told me, it was raining hard so the temperature was not as hot.

After an hour or so, Niece #1 (Marty) HAD to use the bathroom. I refused to go. I'm sure DH can tell you about my public restroom "petpeeve". When Niece #1 got out of the facilities she had that horrifed look on her face! She was about to tell me what it was like but I told her I did NOT want to hear about it! I'm just glad I was smart enough not to go! =)

Halfway thru our road trip, it was time for lunch! We stop at this one place near the highway. It was a pretty decent little restaurant and 'lo and behold there was a beautiful clean restroom right next to it. They refer to public restroom here as CR (for comfort room). So of course I had to take advantage to it since we still had a couple of hours of driving. They even had a CR attendant who works for tip as well. The only drawback with my first public restroom experienced is when I got inside the stall, there WAS NO toilet paper! NOT EVEN A TOILET PAPER HOLDER!!! I was shocked... what a girl to do?! ? It's a good thing Niece #2 (Angelina) came in. I guess you have to pay for toilet paper here. There was a vending machine at the far wall corner and I didn't see it! But enough of my public restroom experienced I am sure you didn't come to hear me whine about it here! ;)

Finally got in my Sis Gloria's abode. She has a beautiful home outside the city. Visited for a couple hours with my brothers and hit the sack. It was such a very long trip and I was exhausted. I woke up at 3 am hungry, my body still adjusting to Philippines timezone and there was this awesome food at the kitchen table just for us so, started eating by myself. I quite enjoyed it!

The next day (Wed., 10/24) was the day when all my relatives came to see me. It was such an emotional day for me, I still have a hardtime processing it. It was a happy time to see them but also such a sad time. Very hard to explain. But seeing them, meeting all the nieces and various cousins and their children, the way they live. I realized how fortunate and lucky I am. The disparity between the haves and have nots are unbelievable! There is no such thing as middleclass here in the Philippines.

That night when everyone left and in bed. I cried and cried for my family and relatives. I also realized how mundane some of the problems I complained about. How DH provides for me and Autumn, and I don't let him know as much as I should, how I appreciate him for being a good family provider. Thank you God and DH for providing for me in such an awesome way!

As you can "see" I was able to post an update. I wasn't able to use my laptop because the place with the WI-FI I was going to use wouldn't let me use their ISP. They said it's only for their guests. But I was told there was a cafe someplace in the city with a WI-FI hot spot. I will brave it one day to venture there. But for now, I am using this really old slow computer with a really slow connection. But I am not complaining, I'm just glad I can update you guys about my trip. I have tons of photos and lots of stories to tell, so stay tune and come back often.

My plan is to write my update everyday in my laptop and use my flashdrive to upload, so I don't have to stay at this internet cafe. The cafe is near the highway and there's a construction outside. The smell of the gasoline and the noise makes this a very unpleasant place.

I want to thank you for all your prayers and good wishes. Please kindly keep remembering in your quite time.

DH, I wasn't able to get the money from WU today. I only brought my AK drivers license and assuming with that and knowing the "number code" you gave me was enough. But they didn't want to give me my $ So, tomorrow I will bring my passport and AK drivers license.


Travel Day

Day 1
This is it! I'm leaving for LA via Cleveland in about an hour. The Nieces and I will meet at LAX tonight for our flight from LA-Taipei-Manila around 11: 00 pm.

Please kindly remember us in your prayers. Pray for safe travels, that we won't have any issues with TSA and that we would have an awesome time with our family.

DH just told me that my plane from CRW is a 19 seat passenger. Yikes! I've never been in a small airplane.

See yah!


Driving Miss August

(hmmm... dirty windshield!)

DH and I went for a drive to Clarksburg (about 120 miles from *CRW). It was a beautiful day, with clear sky. A little windy for my taste though. We had lunch at Las Trancas, it's pretty decent Mexican Restaurant in Clarksburg. All in all it was a very enjoyable day with DH.

CRW is Charleston Airport identifier, after almost 9 years of being married to an ATC I'm learning to speak their language or at least trying to anyway.


Nothing much.

Nothing much to say today. Just wanted to post the most recent photo I have of me and DD.
My photoshop skill is really bad ! =(


This and that...

It's been busy around here. After getting of all DH (dear husband) clothes laundered and pressed. I got a phone call from DD (darling daugther). We talked for hours until her guy friend from Iraq called. It was really nice just talking with her.

I'm almost packed! I purchased these packing cubes online and they're really nice. Now when security goes through my luggage, my clothes won't be all over the place. Still have a long list of things I need to get from the store. Also, I need to get my manicure, pedicure and brow wax done. After all they haven't seen me for almost 30 years and I want to look my best! =)

DH told me that I'm just like a cat when I want attention. I start rubbing my head on him and make him stop whatever he's doing, coz I want attention NOW! I laughed so hard because I realized he was right.

Weather here is getting cooler. I'm finally feeling like it's fall. We didn't get much rain this summer and it's been really hot until a week ago! People are saying we might not get good foliage. I hope not. I'm really looking forward to a "real fall" with lots of orange and golden colors.


10 days and counting!

I have 10 days to get ready for my trip! So many things to do. I think I have most everything I need/want to take with me.

Doug will be in Pittsburgh, PA next week for 5 days for an FAA conference/training. I won't be going with him since his coming back the day before I leave for the Philippines. I wanted to stay home and make sure I am well prepared for my big trip. I would have love to go to Pittsburgh, but since he will be working all day and his Manager is going as well, I decided not to go.

We plan to do some week-end road trips when I get back in November. I would love to see the foliage in the fall. They say it's beautiful!


Pinay Expat

After almost three decades I will be going back to the Philippines for the very first time. I am so excited. I left when I was 18 years old and I don't really know what to expect. So I'm going with an open mind and heart.

My three nieces Marty, Angelina and Mary Jane are travelling with me. My older sister Gloria and her husband will join us at a later date. We're planning to stay for four weeks so we can do alot of "touristy" things and spend some time visiting with my family.

They don't know that I'm coming so it will be a big surprise to my brothers and the rest of the family! I'm really excited! I will be bringing my laptop, so I can write about my trip and post some pictures.


Here I am!

After joining many different forums, Myspace and of course meeting my husband in ICQ Christian group many moons ago. I decided to go ahead and create my own blog.

So friends and family, welcome to my "web log"! I will try to make this blog interesting with my ramblings and photos.