Archive for the ‘Philippines’ Category

So , okay, I’m an island girl.

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I was taken aback when a co-worker asked me where I was born…  I answered the Philippines, of course… then he said, ” I mean, on what island .?????” I thought for a minute before replying….Uhm… Luzon Island ???

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I  told him I’d  always thought of my birthplace  as a country and not an island   ( if that makes sense). Well, the Philippines is comprised of 7, 641 islands ( or 7, 107  at  high tide, ha ha ) , and though I find  his question  a bit strange, I have to admit it   makes  sense…  After all, the former name of the Philippines was  Las Islas Filipinas ( as a Spanish colony.. .. islas means islands ) , Philippine Islands ( as  American colony) , Commonwealth of the Philippines, ( still American colony) , then Republic of the Philippines ( after independence)

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So, I ran off to tell my Filipino co-worker and she was surprised, as well. I mean, we have the same mindset.  We don’t consider ourselves “island people ” .  Japan is an island.  Indonesia , Singapore… Come to think of it… England.   Here’s the thing… it’s A-Okay  to be considered an islander. I find it very exotic… it evokes images of  beautiful, tropical islands with white beaches, palm and coconut trees swaying in the breeze…

 

Most importantly,  Palawan Island ( which is on the video above) is the  location of TUBBATAHA REEF, a UNESCO WORLD HERITAGE site, the most protected site in the world.    The biodiversity of  Tabbutaha Reef surpasses that of Galopagos’ and Hawaii’s  combined. Then , there’s Apo Reef, the second largest contiguos coral reef system in the world , and is a highly protected site ,located in the waters of Occidental Mindoro  in the Philippines. The reef is submerged, of course, but are marked by 3 uninhabited islands, Apo Island, Apo Menor, and Cayos del Bajo. Like Tabbutaha, it is a no- take- zone., and just like Tabbutaha, it is  patrolled  by the Phil. Navy  24/7. Despite that,  Chinese poachers still encroach  and fish illegally.  On one Chinese fishing boat, they found turtles , manta rays, sharks, etc.  ( maybe for their shark fin soups and turtle soups which the Chinese love ).  I know I’m being politically incorrect, but I;m just stating a fact.  I hope the Chinese people desist from consuming stuff  that come from endangered animals. . Stop eating shark fin and turtle soups ! ! ( and buying elephant tusks for ivory. It’s outrageous. )*whisper* I don’t even want to mention what’s going on in West Philippine Sea ( South China Sea) .. Palawan is located in that area. How should I say this …. well, the situation there is extremely intense. If you haven’t heard about it, start reading , I beg you. The Philippines is a very small country. This is like David and Goliath.

Anyway….

Here is TUBBATAHA REEF. The preservation of the reefs and Philippine biodiversity is not only for the Philippines, but for whole mankind.

 

 

Well,  * cough * I wasn’t really born on any of these islands shown above… I was born in Manila, on Luzon island, the biggest island in the Philippines.  The city of Manila, shown on the video below,  is the reason why I don’t feel like an island girl.  Still, I am an island girl,  and proud of it.  I think the Philippines is one of the most beautiful countries in the world.

 

This is all for now.  I hope you can watch the videos.  Bye and peace.

How To Boil an Egg, The Story

RenxKyoko Iglesias  here, hello .

Check out my anime/manga site  at http://2megaworthitwordpresscomblog.wordpress.com/

 

On my previous post  here, I promised I’d  give my reason  for my weird post, “How To Boil An Egg“.  I did make it like it was a  mystery.  Sorry , but there’s nothing earth-shaking there, no clap of thunder.  It does have a rather long back story , a story  that my parents had experienced, up close and personal.

 

I will try to keep it short, so here goes….

 

There was this person named Ferdinand Marcos, who was elected President of the Philippines in 1968.  He  was , well, I don’t know what he was, but  he   was an honor law student  and topped the Bar exams  before he became a Congressman , then the President.  But he was  brazenly corrupt (  together with his wife, Imelda Marcos  of 10,ooo pairs of shoes  ) and knew he would not be reelected .  There were massive  protests all over the country……..  so what he did was first, he suspended the writ of habeas corpus , and using his personal army ( The Armed Forces of the Philippines )  ,   was able to detain his political enemies,   and in 1971 just  3 months  after  the suspension ( September ) , and  before  the presidential election  in November, he  proclaimed Martial Law.  Philippine democracy was replaced with dictatorship and authoritarianism. He detained  senators, congressmen , and known critics, one of whom was then Senator Benigno Aquino  who was detained for more than 7 years , then exiled to the US, ( supposedly due to medical reasons ….  and here in the US, he was given a teaching job at Harvard University ) .     Marcos dictatorship lasted from 1971 to 1986 (  15 years ! ! ) when he was toppled down thru the famous People Power Revolution in February 1986,  the culmination of people’s protests that began when Senator Benigno Aquino went back to the Philippines on August 21, 1983, and assassinated right there at the airport tarmac.

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The picture above was  the  funeral procession of  Senator Benigno Aquino .  The outrage was massive .  But, here’s the most unbelievable  part of the story. The day after the funeral march,  there was NO NEWS  that came out about that historical event. No photos.  None. Zero. Zilch. Nada. Soon after,  journalists, especially opinion  writers ,  wrote nothing  but    HOW TO BOIL AN EGG  .

 

That, my readers, is the back story.

Alright, this is all for now. Thanks for reading.

 

Addendum :

 

My parents were so outraged that they joined the early protest movement in 1983, right after the assassination.  It was a very dangerous thing to do then because Marcos was still in power .  Soldiers  would come knocking on doors in the night . The victims became  part of the Disappeared , the Desaparecidos . Filipinos  called it  getting ” SALVAGED “.  There were thousands of  these victims  during Marcos’ dictatorship and kleptocracy.   It came to a point when my siblings , who were then 4 and 5 years old,  had to live with friends and were moved from one house to another over 3 years ( not with my parents’ families because , of course, the government  knew who they were ).  My parents were willing to die for the country. Great story !

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

” sigh “

Hello !  RenxKyoko Iglesias here !

I’ve been staring at a white, blank screen for hours now. I am still deciding  whether I will post something  about my job – hunting,  or go ahead and write about  my 2014  vacation in the Philippines.  I have tons of pictures  all ready to be posted here,  but  I don’t feel like writing about  a country,(  it does not  matter that this is where I was born, and came from) that tolerates, approves of ,  and seemingly delights  in   extra-judicial  killings of ” ALLEGED” drug pushers.  I’m sure my Filipino blogger friends would tell me I have no right to criticize  the country because 1. I am not a Filipino  2.  I  have no idea what they are going through  living in  a country with acute drug problem.

 

I do understand that. I know  the country has become the dumping ground of  all sorts of drugs  ( they call  one drug shabu  )……. Why is the Philippines the dumping ground , you ask ?  Singapore, Malaysia, Indonesia and other South East Asian countries have extremely strict laws against possession. It’s death penalty  . The Philippines, on the other hand,  is less strict, not to mention law enforcers are extremely corrupt.  I’m sure the authorities know exactly who the drug lords are .  They are untouchable, and, obviously  we know why.

I always write about the Philippines and its people in glowing terms. They are naturally gentle, generous,  happy, smiling people, and this is true.  But not at this time,  and unfortunately,  not for 6 years.  They just elected a rogue president who disrespects  just about anybody… President Obama,  the Pope, and Jesus Christ  Himself. And  I am  not making this up.

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Random photo. (  just because I mentioned The Pope ,and there has to be a picture, right ?)

Above is just a random pic of myself at the Vatican Museum. I think its one of  the best  pic ever taken during our  tour. I am exactly in the middle of the museum hallway,  and equidistant from the 2 walls. It’s true. I checked it.  Maybe there was divine intervention when my Mom took the pic.

To continue……

Oh, we are not entirely disconnected  from  the country. My family still own more properties in the Philippines  than the average Filipino, and we pay  taxes , without fail.  We therefore  have a reason  to pay close attention to  what’s going on there.

To my Filipino blogger friends  who have declared  their  heartfelt approval of this president’s  behavior…. I am sorry  to have a different opinion. I just hope and pray  this does not become the standard by which the country elects its officials.

I am sad and a bit demoralized.

This is all for now. Thank you for reading.

Please check out my manga/anime blogsite HERE    http://2megaworthitwordpresscomblog.wordpress.com/

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Anime /Cartoon outsourcing and Philippine culture

Hi, Renxkyoko Iglesias here, reporting for duty.

Actually, this blog post is just a reblog of the  latest entry on my anime/ manga blogsite  HERE.  I deem it appropriate, as well, to be posted here on my anything – goes- blog . After all, anything goes here, right ? Well, this is about  FYI  animation business in the Philippines and the Philippines’  comics culture..  So without further ado……..

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I have so much swirling on my mind that I don’t know which  one to tackle first…….. Persona 4, the anime, or Chivalry of the Failed Knight ( which I like ),  or maybe  some thoughts on  outsourcing of anime and cartoons from Japan and USA to  other Asian countries. On second thought,  I guess  I’d write a bit about  this outsourcing stuff, and Chivalry of the Failed Knight, that is,  if  I don’t get to write too much on the subject of outsourcing, which is a delicate matter for Americans……. This issue of outsourcing has ,  in fact,  become a contentious  subject   among political candidates here in the US. These overseas companies are taking jobs away from Americans. To be honest, I believe that, too. Ninety percent  of American cartoons are already produced in Asia, particularly in the Philippines,  where Warner Bros. for example has set up a full-pledge animation studio,  Toei, as well, ( Toei Japan is already based in the Philippines ), , Cartoon Network, Hanna Barbera ( almost 100%  developed in the Philippines… Flintstones, Yogi Bear, etc,  are made entirely in the Philippines, since the early 80’s   ), Nickelodeon,  Marvel, Universal Studious , and yes, Disney.

Marvel has  so many Filipino illustrators in the US that  they were allowed to create their own  Filipino  mutant ( or woman ) . Do you know that girl who can pass thru walls ?  And there’s this  big-muscled  brown supposedly Asian mutant   with a Hispanic name …. yep, they are Filipinos ( but not popular, teehee ). Oh, and Wolverine’s illustrator is a Filipino.

If the trend  continuous, the Philippines may well become the cartoon capital of the world, according to business insiders.   American animation companies, though, have been doing this in secret, and that’s  quite understandable, given the situation here in the US.  This has been going on since the early ’80’s.  So guys,  you may not like it, but  Sailor Moon,  One Piece, Slam Dunk, DigiMon,  Dragon Ball, to name a few,  are made in the Philippines, since the early 80’s. 101 Dalmatians, Tom and Jerry, Little Mermaid ( the TV series)  Mickey Mouse, Buzz Lightyear,  to name a few,  are made in the Philippines, as well, QUIETLY  and SECRETLY.  However, Filipino illustrators are now clamoring to be recognized in the credits.

So, why do they outsource  it to the Philippines, particulary  from American animation studios ?  1.  Besides the obvious one, ( the cost is cut in half ), 2.  Filipinos understand Western sense of humor perfectly,  and the nuances of the English language.  The Philippines was a US colony for 50 years,  and that’s why Filipinos  get it. And thirdly,  and this is most important, ( and sad, in my opinion )  comics has been a part of Filipino culture  since the early 1900’s.  I’m guessing this is an American influence on the Filipinos’ consciousness.  The Philippines had been publishing  comics since the early 20’s  (  the most famous  character since 1926  was  Kenkoy, and his everyday life as a Filipino teenager in the 20’s ) , and since then, comics had proliferated.    The Philipines, in fact,   has been reading manga – like  stories  earlier than  Japan. Some illustrated serials lasted years  , and   were avidly and eagerly followed  on a weekly basis.   The popularity of comics ( komiks )  was so widespread  that the Philippines became  one of the biggest publishers of comics magazines in the world ( second to the US ), pre 1990, after which it waned., and I assume,  Japan  took over with their mangas.

The illustration below is that of  Filipino wonder woman DARNA, originally  named Varga  when it was first published in 1939, then morphed into Darna   in 1947.

Varga in 1939,  wearing a modest super woman costume

Comic cover of Varga

then as Darna, in 1947,  in a nice bikini.

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Come to think of it, Darna is sexier than American  Wonder Woman. Why ? Look at the bottom bikini, It’s high cut, ha ha.  Varga ‘s costume to Darna’s… you’ve come a long way, baby.  Even in current standard, that costume it’s on the risqué side, don’t you think so ?  By the way,  Varga  came out much earlier than  American Wonder Woman. In other words,  a Filipino woman’s place in Philippine culture was not typical of that era, especially in Asia. Philippine society is , in fact, matriarchal.

But  here’s a superhero copycat,  the Philippines’  version of Captain America. (  Captain Barbell ! !) Oh, before I forget, the Darna and above photos are courtesy of Wikipedia. Captain Barbell’s is from  ernee’s corner 

Here’s the thing…… I’m not saying Filipinos have comics mentality.  Comics that time  was a very cheap form of entertainment for poor Filipinos.  Farmers taking a break from back-breaking work  would seat under a tree  and read. There was no TV ,  and no cinema in remote farming towns.

Well, this is all for now, folks.  I hope you find this educational.  Oh, and please don’t hate on the Filipino illustrators.  The meager salary  is enough to feed  a family and send  children to school. * sings * We are the world, we are the children… la la la.  Bye and thank you for reading.

 

 

I’ll Just Sing. Philippine Music 101, Part 1

Hello. Renxkyoko Iglesias here.

I’ve been reflecting on what I wrote on my previous post. Am I regretting it ?  No, not at all.  I needed to vent…. either that, or I’d  burn my computer table. j/k   No more  political rant, okay ? Promise. I’ll just sing ! ! !

First things first…. A MILLION THANKS TO THE MY DEAR READERS WHO HAD GIVEN SUGGESTIONS  ON HOW TO POST  VIDEOS HERE ! ! YOU ‘RE AWESOME !  WHOOH ! 

Now  make it worth my agony and distress by clicking the videos.  Ha ha ha !  C’mon. ~_~ You will click them, right ?

Anyway, I’ve been watching  some Philippine music videos on YouTube and find them so interesting  I feel I need to write about it, and I’m going to call this Philippine Music 101.  Let me tell you though,  there’s no such thing as Filipino “language”.  Tagalog has been designated as the official national language, but the truth is, it’s only one of the many dialects  Filipinos speak. What’s so fascinating about this is, Filipinos speak  dialects that are  , shall I say,  as different  as Greek  from Italian.  I can understand Tagalog, which is the lingua franca in Manila, the capital of the Philippines,  but the dialect spoken in Pampanga,  a province that is just less than a hundred miles from Manila,  is like Greek to me.

Now, some of the music videos I saw on YouTube are sung in different dialects, but they have become my favorite songs to sing nowadays, even though I don’t understand the language.

Here’s a sample  of a Tagalog song,  sung by an American  .  The facial expressions of the guy in black shirt are perfectly attuned to the lyrics, as if he understands  the words. lol   ( I’ve memorized the lyrics myself ) The accent  is okay, except that ” t ” sound which we Americans pronounce as  ” ts”  ( sort of )  The song is IKAW  ( You ).  Loving this song. (  sounds karaokish to me,though. he he ) Listen to all the songs here  full volume to appreciate them more.

This  next one is a favorite. I don’t understand the lyrics. The dialect is Chavacano, (  ” bastardized “Spanish )  spoken in Mindanao, the second biggest island in the Philippines .  The title is Porque (  Because ? ) Loving this, too. I’ve memorized the lyrics and singing it as I’m typing here. The girl singing is Filipina, the guy is American. You know what  ,  the girl kinda looks like me.  * scratches head *   ( But then , people of  same race do look alike, ha ha ha )

Though the Philippines is in Southeast Asia, the culture is very distinctive , even in music.  I’m sure it’s the influence of 333 years of Spanish rule . The sound is definitely very different compared to say,  Chinese  sound or Indian sound.

Here’s another old, old Tagalog song, sung again by  an American choir. I saw more than a dozen of this song sung by American choirs. Dahil  Sa ‘Yo (  Because of You )

Perfect accent guys. (  except  that explosion of t’s , he he )

Next is an ancient Philippine folk song in Waray dialect.  This is sung by a Russian choir. If there’s a Russian reader here,  don’t hate me, but this is an awful version.  I think they lost control of the song. LOL !  Cringe -worthy, but fun to listen to.  The title is Waray, waray.  Filipinos who live in that region are called warays,  and it’s sung by a woman  who says waray women are tough as men  and  can fight to the death , who cares what happens, and so what if we look like thugs ,our   kisses are as sweet as wine.

The next is  another ancient Philippine folk song,  Ayayay, O,  Pag-ibig (  Ayayay, Oh, Love ) sung by a German Choir . Okay, at the end of the song, the all-male German choir  raised their hands and said  HEY… and I was like , O_O, (  I thought I heard Heil !  Sorry, sorry,  just kidding !!!!!   ) but that’s the way it’s sung, actually….. at the end of the song,  Filipinos raise their hands too, and  say ‘  Hey ! ”

 

Here’s another version of Ayayay sung by a Korean choir,  and listen up to the end. It’s a nicer version. Seriously.

It does seem choirs all over the world like to sing  Filipino songs, especially  ancient folk songs, because , I guess, the melodies are catchy and choir material ?  There’s this song Rosas Pandan  that has been sung by  literally hundreds of choirs all over the world, like, it’s supposed to be part of their repertoire.  If you’re a choir, you have to sing this.

Here’s another version by grown – ups.

Russian choir not far behind.

This is all for now. I’ll have a Part 2 next time.

And check out my anime/manga  blog

http://2megaworthitwordpresscomblog.wordpress.com

Again,  a BIG THANK YOU !!  You just saved me.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Amusing Musings

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Hi there !

Okay, I’m sure you’ve heard  of  this Miss Universe fiasco already.  I’m surprised  the media had taken notice of this  inane and anachronistic  event  * sings and dances *  I feel pretty , oh so pretty, I feel pretty, and witty and gay,  And I pity any  girl who isn’t me today, lalala….,  but  hey,  we do need to lighten up, right ? Well, I have to be honest and say it got me interested , too, because,  *  cough , cough * the new Ms.U  is from the Philippines.  Not that it’s such an earth- shaking event  to me, or to the Philippines,  for that matter. After all,   she’s  now the Philippines’ 4th Ms. Universe.  The Philippines has been winning  at most of  these international beauty pageants, big and small… in fact, some  complain that  it seems   Ms. Phil is automatically included in top 10, top 5 , or the runner -up.

So what exactly was the brouhaha all about ?  The host, Steve Harvey announced the wrong  girl, Ms. Columbia. They handed her the bouquet of flowers, placed the crown on her head, she started waving, then Boom !  You ain’t the winner, Ms.  It’s Ms. Philippines.  Wait, what, waaaaaaa !   Yikes !  Stupid host…..

You’d think the Phiippines would  feel  pretty blasé about this  kind of thing already, right ? .  Well……. no, not really . I’m sure they’re jumping for joy.   Filipinos love beauty pageants. There’s this Miss Barrio San Jose,  Ms.  Del Monte Street,  Ms. Boracay, Ms. Manila…. yep, there’s a Miss for every freakin’ occasion and place.  Oh, there’s a Miss  Gay Philippines, too.  Do you know  the Philippines is among the top 10 most accepting, gay -friendly countries  in the world ?  # 9, but would rank higher  if the strict Catholic country would allow same- sex marriage.” Oh, you’re gay ?  Let’s open a beauty parlor.  ”  Aunty,  not all gays go into beauty business.  I’m in college and majoring in Computer Science. Perish that stereo type. ”  This dialogue really happened.

So, where was I…….

By the way,  the very first Miss Philippines was my mother’s aunt.

I also need to mention my new Manga/Anime blogsite  Here.

This is also one of those posts that I wish I hadn’t written, ha ha…. Better get this published pronto before I change my mind.

This is all for now.  Happy Holidays to you all, and Merry Christmas.

 

 

 

 

 

Merry Christmas !

Hello !  Renxkyoko  Iglesias here.

I’ve finally created a new blogsite, as promised,  where I can write about mangas , animes, and video games to my heart’s content !  HERE it is.

I was supposed to post pictures of our Thanksgiving Day  fare , but it was a big FAIL.  My Mom volunteered to do it using her digital camera , but, guess what, there was no SD card in it. lol  It doesn’t matter, though, because the dishes are the same as last year’s, anyways ( there are pics of it somewhere here )…. paella ( I cooked that ) pork eggroll, caldereta, pork bbq,  chicken loaf, ham, sautéed veggies, and roast chicken, instead of roast turkey.

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Wow. I can’t believe we’re already in the middle of Christmas holidays.  * shakes head *  Here comes again this feeling of nostalgia for  Christmases past.  Is that a sign  I’m  getting old, or what ?  Please don’t answer that.

Anyway,  I was watching the APEC summit meeting that was held in Manila, Philippines , late November,  attended by 22 heads of state of countries that touch the Pacific Ocean rim ( that means the USA, too ). Pres. Obama was in the Philippines for 3 days. The Philippines has the longest  holiday celebration in the world ( starts in September, all through the ” er ” months ), so I’m sure the Philippines  had pulled out all the stops  to show off  how the country celebrates Christmas. Unfortunately, no one has uploaded on YouTube this year’s Philippine Christmas celebration. I did find an older video ( 2011 ) , but WP notified me that it couldn’t support the file type.  ( Seriously, what’s going on with WordPress? This has never happened before. )  Fyi,  the country’s population of 100 million is 90% Christian, more than 80% of whom are Catholics. It is a Catholic country. Don’t think Christmas is highly commercialized in the Philippines. It isn’t.  It is , in fact,  authentic , genuine,and religious in nature. I read an article by a CNN reporter entitled ” Why the Philippines leads the world in celebrating Christmas.” The article says, to quote , ”   it is the longest and the most lavish,  and  if a global competition were to be held for a country with the most Christmas spirit, the Philippines would have an excellent shot at winning.  While other countries ( even non-Christian countries ) focus on the commercial side of Christmas,  the Philippines’ Christmas is very religious in nature, as it should be.  Like,  for  10 days before Christmas Day, Filipinos go to Mass  everyday at 4: 30 AM. They call this Misa de Gallo ,  ( Mass at cock’s crow ) . I actually remember this. How can I forget ? A marching band  ” marches” up and down the roads, playing Christmas music to wake the people up at 4 AM ! On Christmas Eve, Filipinos go to Midnight mass they call Misa de Aguinaldo, after which, they go home to eat midnight dinner they call Noche Buena. Also, each house is decorated with traditional Christmas lantern they call Parol  ( or Star of Bethlehem. )

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I wish I could show you guys the amazingly beautiful lanterns and the twinkling colorful lights, but again, WP couldn’t support the file type.  I have only 3% storage left , so do you guys think it’s time to buy the Premium ?

Also, I feel WP is not blogger -friendly anymore. It was easier to post before. Now, it took me a while to post this.  This got lost in the muck several times before I finally got this published/

This is all for now.  Merry Christmas and happy holidays. Be good and peace to all.

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Fun Vacation in the Philippines, Part 5

Continue reading

My Philippine vacation, Part 4

Hello !  Renxkyoko Iglesias  here.

This is my first post in 2015, and I guess, the one and only post for the month.  I hope I can post more often this year. So, you ask, what’s preventing you from writing, Ren ? You’re not that busy, are you ?  Actually, I am.  I  work full time since I’m on vacation , and I’ve been doing stuff  that I’ve been wanting to do, but couldn’t find the time to do it,  because,  you know, life gets in the way .  Anyway,  my best friend  said, Get out of that nunnery black hole,  Ren !  And  get laid !  Huh ? Uhm, okay. Understood.  So, last week, I binge watched  the anime  Attack on Titan, all  28 episodes of it, and  2 seasons of Doomsday Preppers ( love this ! ). I also watched  Inside North Korea. That’s one heck of a fascinating documentary.  The North Koreans’ behavior  was so bizarre it made the hair in my arms stand on end while watching it.  Well, that’s what brain-washing does to people.  I liken them to the Fundamentalists, of any religion.  What  ? You saw the image of the Blessed Virgin Mary in your ham sandwich ? Nope, I’m not going there. I’m a practicing  Roman Catholic. XD

Speaking of which….. Pope Francis just visited the Philippines last week.  The Philippines is the third largest Catholic country in the world.  Well, 90% Catholic in a population of 90 million.  Just a trivia for you.  And,  because  this post is about my fun vacation in the Philippines.

Remember these photos ?

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That’s the before and after photos of our vacation house at Boracay Island, Philippines.
Oh, but we don’t live there. We live in Manila, the capital city… well, Paranaque, specifically.  So from there, we took  a  6 –  hour- ferry ride to Boracay. Could have flown, instead, but it was too expensive. The ferry ride was like 900 pesos ( USD  20 ), and plane fare was Php 4,000.  I won’t bore you with money matters or lack thereof.  But for PhP 900, we got this.

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The one and only meal we had was terrible. Actually, it tasted good, but it looked so unappetizing,  and pitiful. 1/2 cup steamed rice and  3 beef cubes drowning in dark sauce. Good thing our aunt warned us about this. So we made sandwiches, brought some Cheeze-it and Oreos. We left the port at  8 PM  , and arrived  in Aklan  at 4 AM.  Since big ferries cannot dock in Boracay , we had to ride on  a small contraption they call banca.  Anyway, while on the ferry,  the passengers were entertained  by 2 pretty singers and a Minus One.  the singers were good, but they were too loud.

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The banca…. it was a 10 minute ride from one island to another.

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My cousin  , my friend/neighbor,  and I,  sleepless, tired, but none the worse for wear.  We look like refugees.

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That crude contraption is there to balance the banca, and do you see that small  thingy tied to the bamboo pole ? I assume that’s our lifeboat, just in case.  x_x

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There were no furniture in the house, no bed, nothing… just a small electric cooker,   a few stools, and a makeshift table.
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Oh, there’s an eletric fan, and an airbed. But I slept on the mat.

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.The house has 4 floors, ( the 4th is a rooftop garden, with a nice view, ), 7 bedrooms, 4 toilets and bath.  Well, I’m going into details because we’re renting out  the house to tourists.  XD  We’ve been told there are beds already, and a few furniture, and a refrigerator. ( My Mom left some money for a fridge before we left )  So, to my readers from the Philippines, if you plan on going to Boracay, email me.  ( shameless  advertising) )

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A bedroom with a nice view, airconditioned, with its own toilet and bath.

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.A small kitchenette, first floor. The first floor is ” private quarters “… for our family  and has a separate entrance.

We didn’t waste any time, and headed out straight to where the action is.. the beach.  Actually, we rode a tricycle to go there. Our house is about  a 5 minute walk to the beach, but we’re at a “quiet” part of the island.  ( which we preferred , by the way…. but we wanted to see the touristy area. )

A tricycle

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.Actually,  it was more like this.  he he

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.We were packed like a can of sardines. Fun, fun, fun.  My  US – born cousin really loved it.

The last photo is just a glimpse  of  yours truly  at the beach….  a long shot …. well, I don’t want to show my flabs, , pardon me.   ~_~

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This is it for now. … more  Boracay photos on my next post.

Thank you for reading. PEACE !

 

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Fun vacation in the Philippines, Part 3

Hello ! Renxkyoko Iglesias here  ! ❤

Wow. My last post was Oct. 24.  I know, I’m a lazy blogger.  I’m suppose  to post  Part 3 of my fun vacation in the Philippines, but, I feel it’s gone  stale already.  It’s  still okay, I guess.

Oh, wait…. remember my Cringe- worthy  Forensic Science project ?  I  was told  not  to talk about it. Now you’re telling me. I just did. And I’m not going to delete that post.  I mean, Forensic  shows are all over cable, so there’s really nothing  federal  about it.   Oh, and before I forget, we made 6 trials, and that means, we asked for 5 more of  THAT.  THAT is semen.  I don’t have to  act coy anymore.  I’m past that.  Here’s another jar, pal. And put it in the freezer immediately.  * ponders*  Actually, I’m sensitive and fragile so please take care of me.

The US  Congress is planning to pass a law  that will allow the government to get the DNA profiles   of all Americans and store them at  the  DNA Data Base  center.  This way, it will be easier for law enforcement agencies to catch the criminals.  That’s a good thing,  right ? Wrong.  Even  Forensic Analysts  do not agree.   Criminals are smart now, especially those who commit  premeditated murders.  The bad guy can just pick up any  cigarette butt or  beer and soda cans, and plant  them at the scene of crime.   Even if  the innocent guy has a solid alibi, he still has to explain the presence of his DNA  at the scene..  Even if the prosecutor cannot find  any motive, you can bet that the sun is up there the prosecutor will find one.  The innocent is totally screwed.  He’ll be looking at a life sentence without the possibilty of parole, or worse, death penalty. That’s what happens if all our DNA profiles are in the DataBase.  Well, you know what they say… it’s preferable to free 100 guilty men over incarcerating  one innocent man, or something like that.  In fact, this happened already. The bad guy planted a random cigarette butt……. good thing the DNA  profile found on the cigarette did not have a match  at the National DNA  DataBase.

Enough of chatting.

Here’s Part 3 of my fun vacation in the Philippines.

So, off we went to see Taal Volcano, the smallest volcano in the world.DSCN0045

.Can you see the volcano ? It’s right there in the middle of the picture. You can see the mouth of the volcano, right ? It was misty  around the area of the volcano , even though the temperature was like, 100 F  ( 38 C ), and very, very humid.

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Facing the picture, the volcano ‘s  to the right of me.

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We went up there to have lunch at that restaurant in the photo, but it was closed for renovation.   Good thing there was a Chinese restaurant  nearby, with a nice view too.

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DSCN0059.Photo below is the view from the restaurant .

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The first thing that I ordered was real coconut juice, straight from the fruit. By the way, coconut is not a nut. It’s a fruit. Oh, my gosh, it tasted sooo good.

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After drinking the juice, we scraped off the white meat with a spoon. Delicious.

This is all for now.  Oh, before I forget,  on my Part 2 Philippine post, there was this singer whose  song was played over and over  on our  trip to Taal Volcano.  Well, he was Rick Astley, and the songs were Never Give You Up and Together Forever. :/

And the owner of the car is a relative who is also a Prosecutor.  That car plate  was a souvenir  given  during a Prosecutors’ Conference  held a month ago before I took that picture. She said she wasn’t supposed to make that a permanent fixture 😮  It’s  dangerous.  I talked about her on my Part 2 Philippine post.  She received death threats a few years ago.

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She’s okay now. The bad guys are in jail. Still….. announcing you’re a Prosecutor is a bad idea. Try doing that in Mexico, and see what happens.
Oh, well, what do I know .

This is all for now, and thank you for reading.  PEACE !

 

 

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My Philippine vacation, part 2

Hello, there.  Renxkyoko Iglesias here.

My  last post  was about crying at sad movies, and I listed down some of the movies that tugged at my heartstrings.  But I forgot one…. the last Toy Story movie.  I cried at that part where grown -up Andy  bequeathes  gives away his beloved  treasures  toys  to a little  girl.   Well, I did  exactly the same thing this week.  I   finally said  goodbye to my beloved Barbie doll and Toy Story  collection and donated them to , I hope, a  deserving brat child who will take care of my stuff lovingly.

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.In that box are over a hundred  beautiful Barbie gowns and dresses, a revolving dress closet, kitchen, dresser,  ( I gave away that stupid  cute barbie car a long time ago), etc.  and most importantly, my Toy Story toys… Woody, Mr. and Mrs. Potato Head,  Jessie,  and  sadly, my beloved Buzz Lightyear.  * Buzz, parting is such sweet sorrow.  But I’m an adult now. I can’t play with you anymore.  So, here’s to you, pal….  To Virginity  Infinity and Beyond !!!!! *

Oh. I’m keeping my complete collection of Pokemon cards.  Sorry, kid.  You don’t know what my mother  I went through to complete it.  Not gonna happen.

So…….. here’s part 2 of my fun vacation in the Philippines, as promised.

We spent the first few days after our arrival visiting malls, shopping, and tasting Filipino foods and delicacies at the mall food courts.  So, okay, not all were Filipino foods,  like this Japanese omurice rice ( fried rice wrapped in omelette ) and sizzling steak with mushroom gravy.

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That red thing is ketchup. I think Filipinos love ketchup., seriously.  I mean, my father drowns his sunny side up  in that thing and my Mom does  it with French fries. Half a bottle of ketchup is used up for medium sized fries.   Oh, and it has to be Del Monte catsup, not Hunt’s, nor Heinz…  Eh, what am I saying …..

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.Steak, with rice, and I don’t know if you can see the sunny side up, but it’s there, with the carrots and beans. Ha ha What a combo. Both dishes are USD 2 each.  Cheap, huh.

Photos below  are of   family reunion at our house.

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That’s me in the photo, looking bored. But I wasn’t bored.  I was concentrating on the Monopoly game.

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Just a few slice of life photos above.

The following day, we were invited  by a relative to see the smallest volcano in the world,  Taal Volcano , located about an hour drive ( 50 km./31 mi ) from our house.  Taal Volcano is active,  in fact,  there were so much seismic activities  that were detected in 2011.  Its last violent eruption was in 1977.

The drive to Taal was quite interesting .  Our relative, who was also the driver, played the same songs over and over again… ABBA, Tears for Fears, and one singer  whose name I can’t recall at the moment. Worse, she and my Mom knew the lyrics… so yeah.  * You are the dancing queen,  young and sweet, only seventeen….lalala ” .  The singing was interrupted when Mom opened the glove compartment and saw a small gun.  ” What the h*ll  ! ”  So, okay, our relative ia a senior Prosecutor in the city of Manila, and that gun was issued to her by the mayor for her protection.  Three years ago, she prosecuted the mistress of a rich man for attempted murder. Our relative received death threats purportedly made by the mistress’s relative. They are now both in jail.  And our relative assured us there were no bullets in the gun. Still…. Anyway, they continued singing.  It drove  me crazy.  And then I saw this……

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Then this…..

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.Can you read it ?  It says ” Warning.  P 2,000 ( $46) Minimum Payment for Bumping Barrier. ”  Ha ha ha !   We don’t have that here in the  US !

Well, I have to stop here.  Part 2 of our Taal Volcano trip will be on my next post.

 

Thank you for reading , folks ! be well, and PEACE !

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Woohoo ! I’m in the Philippines ! !

Oh , my gosh ! !  Renxkyoko Iglesias here !

I’m in the Philippines !   We left good ol’ USA on June 21 , 10:30 PM, and arrived in the Philippines 0n June 23 at 4:30 AM. It was a 14 hour flight. It wasn’t a smooth ride, there was too much turbulence from get go,  and I was so scared I almost cried.  It didn’t help that I actually have plane phobia. I didn’t get to sleep at all. Instead I watched  5  movies. (  Frozen, Transfomers, X-Men, The Hobbit,  The Conjuring. ) The only good thing about the flight was the food. Philippine Airlines was quite generous . Dinner was delicious, we had sandwiches and muffins and juice/coffee in between , then breakfast.  I’m sorry I can’t post any pictures as yet because I’m using a teeny weeny notebook, and it isn’t mine.

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Today is July 25. I’m back home, yay, California ! !  We left the Philippines on July 21, 10:30 PM and  arrived here in California , also  on July 21 , 8 P.M.

It’s been a week since then, but I have not done anything  here, no reading, no writing. I’ve been busy at work.  I’m even afraid to check out my emails.  I’m sure I already have thousands of thousands of unread emails.

Oh, well, I have to start writing , anyway, so here I am. Bear with me, please. I think I left my enthusiasm in the Philippines.  So, where do I begin?

Do you guys remember this picture? I posted this in Novemeber. That’s how our vacation house in Boracay, Island in the Philippines looked in November last year, 2013.

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Here is how it looks now. It’s 99% finished, except for a few paintings here and there…. and the house is empty, no furniture, and just 2 beds.

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DSCN0084.It looks like it has 3 floors, but actually, there’s a 4th floor , which is the rooftop.  I love the view from the rooftop.

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It was such a hectic and busy one month vacation in the Philippines.   The bulk of our vacation was spent  checking out the  huge shopping malls in the city. Do you know 3 of the top 10 biggest malls in the world are in Manila, Philippines?  Mall of Asia, North EDSA/Trinoma, and EDSAMegaMall. . They  were so huge that  just walking around and window shopping  at these places  overwhelmed and exhausted us.   And then there are smaller ones, but still  3x bigger than the shopping mall here in our city in the US..  Even  the friendly neighborhood mall at the subdivision where we live in the Philippines is 2x bigger… 4 floors and 2 buildings connected by a bridge.  It’s insane. The Philippines is supposed to be a Thirld World country,  but shopping malls are full, people are actually shopping and  we always have to wait a bit at restaurants to be seated.

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Above pic is one 0f a smaller malls. I like the interior architecture of this one.

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Our vacation was mostly   food  tripping, too. The price of food over there is ridiculously low.
For example, the takoyaki is $0.50 and  shawarma  is $1.50. Takoyaki is Japanese octopus balls.

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We arrived at 4 AM at the airport. By 12 noon, we were already at the neighborhood mall , shopping for walking shoes and flipflops. We sure didn’t waste any time.

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.That’s yours truly in the photo.

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The next day, it was again another shopping spree, this time for real pearls. There’s a mall there ( Greehhills ) with seemingly endless stalls of pearls. It was a sight to behold.

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DSCN0019Eh. I’ve been found out. I’m the one wearing  white shirt, and wearing glasses ! He he. he. I’m near  sighted.

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That’s the food court at nearby mall ( SM MegaMall ) where we had lunch after the pearl shopping.  SM MegaMall is one of the largest in the world.

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Different kinds of food from different countries to choose from.

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Check out the prices. At Philippine peso 43.50 to a dollar, that PhP 87 on the menu board is only $ 2.00.

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My $2 lunch…. fried rice, pork bbq, chowmein, and fruit dessert. I bought the cheapest.

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That’s Korean rice. Yep, it was hot.

It was raining heavily when we came home. Traffic was horrendous.

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On the way home, I saw these  showrooms.

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I don’t know if you can read what’s in that building. Well, it’s Ferrari, Lamborghini, and Audi.

About the photo below, what the heck does that mean ? LOL

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So, this is it…. 2 days into my one month vacation in the Philippines.

Good day and PEACE.

 

 

Boracay Island, Philippines & other stuff

Hi, there ! Renxkyoko Iglesias here !

My father arrived from Manila , Philippines , Friday evening . He has tons of stories to tell because he was right there in the Visayas islands in the Philippines  when the super storm happened.  Fortunately, Boracay Island wasn;t  hit hard. For a few hours though , it felt like the end of the world , Dad said.

My regular readers know we are building a vacation house in Boracay. A fellow blogger friend, Dead AnarchistPhil  had asked about the house… was it damaged or not?  Luckily, no. And here are some pics of the house, nothing much as you can see.

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.It looks like a building but when it’s done, there’s going to be a nice roof, French windows and doors, verandas, etc.  It’s  3 floors with a roof garden, 7 bedrooms,  4 t/b.  It ‘s gonna look like a house, not a building.LOL ( We were disappointed too when we saw the pictures. )

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Heh , There’s dad in yellow striped shirt.

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That’s the back of the house… Dad going up the hill. Landscaping is part of the contract , so , I guess  they’ll make the backyard nice too. It does look like a jungle.

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.A relative’s restaurant, beachfront.  The whole place was blown away by the storm, except the flooring.  Our  cousin managed to take out all the  restaurant stuff before the storm… to be honest, I hope he left those pink heart thingies hanging from the ceiling. Ugh.  The place needed a serious make-over, anyway. Just kidding !!!   I love the open space, bamboo materials, and thatched roof !

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Dad at the beach., 2 days before the super storm.

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.Tourists unaware a super storm was coming.

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.Those structures were blown away, too, Dad said.

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.Such blue sky ! Who would have thought…….

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/Nightlife at the beach.  This is the ” busy ” part of the island. Ours is very quite and private, which I think is nicer, imo.  Tourists can go to that place at night  if they want fun.

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Dad safe at our house in Manila, the capital city, far from the storm devastation.

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You can see the French door on the left. We’re going to install exactly the same thing at Boracay, but the squares will be made of  steel, not wood.  Oh, do you notice the unusual shape of the window ? It’s a quarter moon, and it’s repeated outside , at the main entrance. Neighbors say it reminds them of The House at Elm Street. he he he

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There you go… the other window.  Outside.  And that’s my aunt…. and what the heck , why is there a mirror outside?

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.Okay, this is the French door I’m talking about. It’s on the second floor, and that’s the veranda. The house at Boracay will have verandas all over. Oooh, that’s my bedroom door.

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.I’m showing you the water tank. Now I understand  why we have it.  We’d have water , just in case.  When we were there 2 years ago, there was a huge storm, too, and there was no power for  3 days.  In our subdivision, no power=no water.  It was fun at night, though.. We had candle lit dinners, and a few childhood friends would come over, brought snacks,  and  talked about ghosts…….. and how our house was called a haunted house for several years when we immigrated to the US. You see, nobody lived in our house for 5 years  (until my aunt who was a Singaporean resident retired and  is now living in our house.) Anyway,  we only had a caretaker who came in 3x a week to clean  and water the plants.  Some neighbors swore they would sometimes see a woman walking around in the house at night. No, not the caretaker. She didn’t have the key. Our relatives, who live next door, had the keys. And it wasn’t our relatives, either. After listening  to these  stories, I slept with Mom through the remainder of our vacation. LOL  I’m a scaredy cat.

Speaking of which….. I post 2x a month, that’s all I can manage…. I’m too busy, especially these past few weeks, and these coming few days before Thanksgiving Day.  We’ll have exams just before Thanksgiving vacation.  But, guess what,  I found time to guest post here.  C’mon, click this , guys. I won’t tell ya what it’s all about, but it’s a true story.  He he… Oh, it’s not political ! =_=”

another pic …

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.A small nice backyard.

So, that’s it for now. It’s a tour of our house in the Philippines, and an update on construction of our vacation house at Boracay Island.

PS… The engineer and the 13 workers are all from Tacloban City, the center of  typhoon Haiyan’s destruction . The engineers house is gone, but thankfully, his father managed to secure all his stuff, especially his 50 inch Sony TV, his prized possession. 0_0 ” All the rest of the workers had damaged homes…. but they all came back to Boracay . They say now is the time to work. They need money. In fact, some people there are begging to be taken in and work there, too.  The engineer has enough workers, sadly.

Have a good day, folks !  Next will be my Paris tour.  Aaargh, I know…..

My Father is Safe ! !

Hi ! Renxkyoko Iglesias here ! !

Thank you all for your prayers and concern. My father is safe, and already in Manila.  He says he’s coming home soon, maybe in 3 days or so.

But we’re worried about the family of the engineer who is doing our vacation house. His family is from Tacloban, Leyte,  the center of destruction . The city had been flattened by the 376 km/hr storm. ( 235 m/hr ). You know guys, the Philippines is used to these kind of typhoons… my Mom said she remembered a 250 km/hr storm and how it was then, so this one is quite unimaginable.  Metereologists say this off the charts. Categories are only up to 5… this super storm could easily be # 7.  There is no official count of fatalities, but they’re estimating it can reach 10,000 to 20,000.

Mom and my aunt have already decided how much they’re going to donate to the victims.  Of course we will give.. My parents had given to American Red Cross for Japan tsunami victims. And Japan is a rich country. The Philippines is poor. We don’t even know how the country will manage to rebuild  that part of the country. Do you know that same area had been hit by a 7.2 earthquake one month ago?  The country is in the earthquake, volcano ,   and typhoon belt. Google Mt. Pinatubo eruption. It was the second   biggest eruption of the 20th century.   Earthquakes are a daily occurence, and I’m not kidding. Of course , the daily earthquakes cannot be felt, but my parents say they can. At our house there, there’s a hanging lamp, and that lamp will sway just a bit if there’s  a tiniest movement of the ground.

Speaking of Mt. Pinatubo volcano eruption…  When it erupted, Manila , the capital city,  and  which is about a  hundred kilometers from the volcano,  turned pitch black at 12 noon. Then heavy ashes fell on the city, blanketing it with ashes a few inches thick.  Visibilty was zero. The eruption actually caused the earth’s tempersture to drop by 1 F. It was also 10x  bigger than Mt. Helen’s eruption here in the US. They have theorized that the eruption was triggered by a 8.2 earthquake that occured about a year before the eruption. Two weeks after the earthquake , the people felt tremors and smoke was seen coming out of the volcano.

The Philippines is a calamity area.  Strong typhoons, floodings, earthquakes, volcanic eruptions….  Filipinos eat them for breakfast. But this super storm is just……. We’ve been watching CNN for days now. It’s just heartbreaking. We are also ready for bad news from our architect. Oh, man.

Anyway……. to my dear readers and friends….. if you can find a way to donate.. donation intended for the Philippines, please, please, please, please , do so. Please find a way. CNN has provided a link… go there, and click donate. $ 5 , $ 10, even this small amount will go a long way.

Thank you.