Thursday, August 27, 2009

Love from the Philippines.

I pretty much love the Philippines. I arrived early in the morning on Wednesday. I had to be at the Korean Embassy at 9, so I didn't want to go to a motel, spend a lot of money, sleep for a few hours, and wake up groggy (or oversleep and miss my chance at a visa) so I decided to stay up all night. I know, I'm such a college kid.

I met another English teacher in Korea and we stayed up all night at a McDonald's. It was fun. The Korean Embassy was a hot mess. Considering that we are in an English speaking country, one would assume that the workers in the embassy here would speak English well. One would assume wrong.

I checked into my hotel around 11. My hotel was once a very posh 5 star, not it's a little bit sad and seems kind of spooky. But, it's cheap and it has a pool. So, I'm thrilled. I ate lunch at a Filipino chain restaurant and went to bed. I woke up the next morning (18 hours later!) at 6. I watched TV, in English, and then headed out for the day.

My perfect vacation is: unplanned, cheap, educational, a good value, and ritzy. You would think these are non-compatible, but I make it work. I went to a museum which featured a comprehensive history of the Philippines, it's artists, and an entire vault of all the gold found throughout their history. It was very cool and only $6 for about 3 hours of musuemery. I ate lunch at a very upscale restaurant. I ate a 3 course meal for under $10. I attended Catholic mass at a beautiful dome-shaped cathedral in the middle of a lake in the middle of a park. I was nervous about refusing the wine (it is my understanding that non-Catholics may take the bread but not the wine) but they didn't use wine because of the swine flu!)

I watched a movie for $4. I went to a huge bookstore and bought 3 books for $12 (English language books in Korea start at $10 and go up. There are usually 5 different books on sale in English.) I sat in a comfy chair and read an entire book instead of purchasing it. It felt great. I ate ice cream mixed with a Filipino candy bar. I watched TV. I swam in my pool (yes, my pool). It has started to rain since I got back to my hotel. After the rain I will go to the Filipino chain restaurant and eat dinner.

Jollybee's is the McDonald's of my parent's childhood. I've heard them tell stories about it. You can buy a hamburger, a non-obesity-enducing portion of fries, and a cold glass of cola for a dollar. I figured I would buy more to fill me up after I had finished my first serving, but I was surprisingly full. Go figure. Maybe we don't need ginormous servings of food.

I love the English here. It's definitely English, and very understandable, but they write it the way we speak it. Even in newspapers it will say, "...cause I donwannabe ugly nomo..." and things like that. Very funny.

I'm having a wonderful trip and everything is in order for my visa.


  1. The Philippines are cheap vacation I love it there. Go to Boracay Island if you have the chance. Its real cheap nice beaches too.

  2. Sounds like you're having fun. I'm still in Kane and cannot help but be jealous of your world travels.

    And, as your Resident Catholic Friend, I feel like I must tell you that non-Catholics aren't supposed to receive communion under either species--bread or wine. No big deal since you didn't know, but DO NOT DO IT AGAIN. [just kidding.... only a little. ;)]

    That is interesting that they're not offering the wine. There's nothing theologically innappropriate about it, but it's neat to how the Church can adjust to world events and the people's health.

    And you should call me sometime.