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Showing posts from November, 2007

Coup D'etat

Yesterday, two men attempted a coup on the Philippine government. President Arroyo has been under fire for years now because of alleged corruption in her government. Of course, I don't know enough information to form my own opinion. But, it does seem that many Filipinos don't trust her or the government. Anyway, yesterday morning I got a call from Dwayne advising me to stay inside because something was going.

Four years ago, a man named Senator Trillanes attempted a coup. He and his supporters from the Philippine military laid siege to a hotel called The Oakwood. This hotel has been renamed and is the place where we currently reside. This was a tidbit of information they forgot to include in our expat counseling sessions. Anyway, he took over the hotel for a day and thankfully no one was hurt. He ended up surrendering and being arrested. Yesterday, Trillanes was on trial for this coup attempt when he and Brigadier General Lim (a witness at this trial) walked out of court with d…

Filipino Workers

The other day I was in SM Department Store which is around the corner from my house. They are trying to hire more employees and I decided to look at the ad. They are hiring cashiers, checkers, stock clerks, and sales clerks. To be a cashier or checker, you must be a college graduate. Checkers sit with the cashier and check their work to make sure the checker doesn't steal any merchandise or money. All candidates must be between 18 and 25 years old, at least 5'2" for females and 5'6" for males. To apply for a job, they must take their resume and a photo.

There is a lot of discrimination here. Most jobs require that you are physically attractive. Most people don't look like supermodels but you don't see overweight, disabled, or older people working in most of the service-industry jobs. The family structure here is one where the younger folks really take care of the older folks. For the uneducated people here who are older than 30, there aren't many oppor…

Feeling the ground move

When we moved to California, my only real fear was of an earthquake. Yesterday, while sitting in my apartment, I felt the ground move. There was an earthquake in the Philippines. The epicenter was miles away so the experience wasn't frightening. It was weird though. I felt a little movement but it made me feel like maybe I was just lightheaded. Then, the building swayed. The light fixture over the dining table shook. The nanny came to me saying "ma'am it's an earthquake". And then, just as quickly as it began, it was over. Hopefully, I won't experience any more that what I felt yesterday. The only thing that made me nervous is that I didn't know if that was the precursor to the real thing. We live on the 22nd floor so I didn't know if I should go downstairs or stay in my room. Should I take the elevator or stairs. I decided to stay here which was a good decision because we didn't feel anything else. But, I can now say I have felt an earthquake...s…

The Poor Man's Blues

I grew up poor. I used to be ashamed but I grew up to realize that it is what it is. My parents barely made it from check to check. I wore hand-me-down clothes. My aunt (a thrift store/flea market addict) would bring home clothes from, well, whatever thrift store she could find. They were often ugly. I remember this particular coat that was a fake fur. It was gray. It was ugly...so ugly in fact that I would often go to school freezing cold to avoid wearing that darn jacket. Or, I would go very early so I could hide it in my locker before my friends got there. I knew enough to always be grateful for those ugly things and to never complain. My parents had an ugly orange station wagon that I also hated. It was so raggedy that there was a hole in the floor in the backseat. You could see the road as we drove. Only one of my friends ever rode in that car. We had to live with my aunt for an extended period of time because my parents couldn't afford the rent on the house where we lived. I…

Thanksgiving

I just wanted to say Happy Thanksgiving to those of you who choose to take time from your own lives to read my crazy ramblings.

Instead of turkey, dressing, macaroni and cheese, yams, sweet potato pie, and everything else y'all are eating.....we are eating, excuse me, drinking orange juice with plans to have a little soup this evening. Dwayne and I are transitioning back to eating food again after fasting for 10 days.

We decided to fast to detoxify our bodies and give our digestive systems a break. We also used this time to focus more on our personal relationships with Jesus and to especially pray for a very close relative who is faced with a serious medical issue. We have benefited tremendously from this fast, but most of all, we are waiting to hear from that family member that God has performed a miracle in his behalf. And, if that doesn't happen, we still praise the name of the Lord for all of His goodness towards us.

Anyway, I decided to post the things that I am thankful for…

Vacation in Cebu Continued...

Okay, so where did I leave off? I covered Day 1 so on to Day 2, November 2nd.

This was All Souls Day. On both All Saints Day and All Souls Day, Filipinos have a family reunion at the graves of their loved ones. They spend most of the day there eating food, cleaning off the graves, and socializing. It's so serious that several streets around the cemeteries are cordoned off to help control the amount of people there. This is a serious religious event and we gave our yaya the day off so she could spend the time with her family as well.

We went to Bohol for the day. This is on an island near Cebu. We took the hour long ferry over. Again, we took a tour. The Cebu tour was private so it was only us and the guide. The Bohol tour was with a group. So, the ferry dropped us off in Tagbilaran, Bohol. We boarded a bus and went off. Our first activity was the Loboc River Cruise. We floated down the river eating lunch and listening to music. There was a man on board playing his guitar and singing…

Vacation in Cebu

This post is a little late. For some reason, I just haven't felt like blogging. I have a lot to write about but just not motivated to do so. I'm going to try to get back in the swing of things.

We took a trip November 1-4 to Cebu. This City is about an hour's flight away. It's south of Manila in the Visayas Region. Manila is divided into three regions: Luzon, Visayas, and Mindanao. We live in Luzon. Mindanao is where a lot of terrorist regimes thrive and do their damage. Actually, it's only a small part of Mindanao. Anyway, we went to Cebu. This was a holiday weekend. November 1st is All Saints Day and November 2nd is All Souls Day. So, Dwayne had those days off from work. As I may have stated before, about 85% of Filipinos are Catholic. There is no separation of church and state here so a lot of religious days are considered national holidays.

In Cebu, we stayed at the Plantation Bay Resort. A few pictures:




On November 1st, we took a tour of Cebu. We visited Allegre,…

Yes, we found a church

It's so nice to have so many friends concerned about our spiritual life here. Yes, we do attend church on Sabbath. The Seventh Day Adventist movement is really picking up momentum here. I've read that the Philippines is the second fastest growing country in the Adventist church. We did not attend church our first sabbath here because we had just arrived at about 10 pm the night before and jet lag ain't nothing nice. But, since then we have attended church.

There are only two English speaking churches in this area. Our first visit was to the church connected with the Manila Adventist Medical Center. The church is actually called MAMC. The children's sabbath school was really good. But, they don't have air conditioning in the sanctuary so it was rather hot in there. There is a small room with a window unit for families with small children. This room was so packed and noisy that Dwayne left us in there and stood in the back of the sanctuary to hear the service. I would…