Philippine Island Times Adventures of an American expat in the Philippines

September 29, 2009

High and Dry

Filed under: siquijor — Donald @ 5:05 pm

I’ve gotten a few emails from people asking about the flooding, so I thought I’d post here to let everyone know things are fine in Siquijor. Manila’s lousy drainage system is chronically plugged with the plastic wrappers and other junk everyone just tosses into the streets, so it floods every year at this time. Saturday they had about 13 inches of rain in six hours and lots of people died.

I had to go to Dumaguete Friday to get money and fix a visa problem. Ferries were canceled the next day, but that was just a little inconvenience. I caught the first one Sunday for a slightly wild return trip.

Tuesday I leave for Mindanao where I am scheduled to speak at a peace symposium. People keep telling me that there are two more typhoons on the way, but I know they are lying. Even Ondoy (the preferred Filipino tag) was only a tropical storm.

September 8, 2009

Party Time

Filed under: siquijor — Donald @ 1:03 pm

Bugwas is the biggest festival of the year in my municipality of San Juan, Siquijor. It lasts a few days, with live bands every night, plenty of sugba sugba (“grill grill”) in the park, a beauty contest, a basketball tournament, and everyone’s favorite event, street dancing.

The municipality celebrated its fiesta later in the week. Families prepare huge feasts that traditionally are open to anyone who ventures in, but that are attended mostly by family and friends. A good time was had by all, except for the pigs.

I added one of those to my neighbor’s offerings (above). A good friend (below) is about to carve into another at his family’s place. He’s heard that the tradition of having lots of people over to eat an entire pig at a sitting was developed years ago due to the lack of refrigeration. I did my part to prevent pork spoilage at four houses that day.

My friend above had a birthday party for his daughter two days later.

I forgot to take a camera to the next event, a great birthday bash thrown by the owners of Coral Cay, just down from my house.

On my first trip to the Philippines I stayed a couple of weeks at El Dorado Beach Resort on the neighboring island of Negros and learned to dive. Some of the staff there, including the girls left and right below, became my first friends (yes, just friends) in the country.

Last weekend the one on the left was in the Miss Dauin pageant, so I made a return visit to cheer. She won Miss Photogenic and Miss Congeniality, which seems about right. The girl in the center is Miss Philippines Earth. She came to judge and was also staying at the resort.

Back to work until my little neighborhood has its own fiesta on October 7. I need a break.

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