Friday, January 31, 2014

New Years Walk Ada's Perspective

On our walk today (see previous post for explanation), I gave Ada the camera and Emmerson the video cam and told them to document the walk - actually that is not what I said but it is what I meant - I probably said take pictures of stuff. So the following are visuals relating to what Ada thought was interesting on our walk. There are a few that I took - most obviously those that have Ada in them - and I will make note of these. The rest are Ada's.

The neighborhood that borders the Rockwell complex to the north - all the low rise buildings in the center of the picture. This is where we went for a walk. Ada took this from our floor while waiting for the elevator.

Our barbecue area in the apt complex.

They are washing our windows.

The small playground in our apt complex.

Pool in our complex - Ada took all these on the way out of our complex to get to the street.

The new apt building going up across from our place.

The street going into the neighborhood.

Street bingo.

Street bingo.

Not sure about this but it is what it is ... dyed chicks, yes, dyed chicks. Hopefully it wears off and they grow up to be healthy chickens to make a good adobe or sate.

Kids and chicks.

Colorful chicks for sale.

Live snails - should have bought some as you can just boil them in coconut milk and eat BUT a lot of this type of stuff on the streets comes from water that is really unpleasant ... unfortunately because these are ridiculously cheap and tasty.

Girls with a Jeepney

Ada captured this kitty in mid stride. 

Emmerson and rooster

Stores like this - you tell the lady what you want and she gets it for you - and a rooster.

Ada liked this place.

Ada's shot.

New construction.

My pic - dog peering out of his house.

Friggin horrifyingly unpleasant creek - and so much more so as we are well into the dry season. The wall to the right had lots of rats scurrying about.

Two of the rats.

This guy is always here. I run thru this neighborhood frequently and he is always perched on the sidewalk here keeping detailed accounts of something relating to numbers - not sure what he is up to.

Jeepney with the driver asleep.

Another Ada kitty.

Kids with another New Years chick.

Girls with roosters.

Ada and a rooster.

Girls and the bike taxis. 

Girls and the Pasuig River - which runs from an inland lagoon to Manila Bay.

Down on the river - low in the dry season.

Worker guys - typical attire - protected from dust, smog, sun, and whatever elements need protecting from.

Ada was very excited about capturing these little pups.

This guy was very "barky" so Ada took a pic.

New Years Walk

Alicia is in Cebu with Heidi so I dragged the kids out for a Chinese New Years walk around the neighborhood beyond the Rockwell and Belair complexes where we spend most of our time when at home. I figured there would be lots of people out and about celebrating the New Years and it would be a good time for the girls to see a bit more of their city of Manila. 

Filipino mangos - hard to beat. 

Roosters are prized possessions and you see them all over the place. 

Street scene. 

Chinese New Year neighborhood bingo - street was packed out with participants.

Donuts at the bakery.

Back in the familiar confines of Power Plant Mall - decked out for the Chinese New Year - according to the Chinese calendar - not a good year for us Horse born folk - at least things are supposed to improve in the second half of the year.

Chinese New Year Manila

Thank goodness for various interpretations of important events and the impact of cultural forces effecting daily life. Due to the Chinese recognition of the New Year on Jan 31, we have a day off from school - very much appreciated. Alicia is off - island this weekend - visiting Cebu/Mactitlan with Heidi, so I am home with girls. Watching Tottenham United play some super cold climate team in the background on mute - snow piles surrounding the field. One aspect of the Chinese New Year Celebration is the dragon dance. I received this morning a message slid under the door - this is how we receive messages relating to our apt/apt complex, stating that the dragon parade would be meandering around Rockwell, our complex, from 8 - 12 noon, and would most likely be in our apt around 9:30. I didn't get the not until I checked our entry way around 10 and was a bit disappointed in missing the dragon parade. Fortunately, the dragon parade was operating on Philippine time (please, no reactions to this, I am aware of cultural differences relating to time and appreciative of this). I was looking out our window to try and see the procession as it worked its way around the neighborhood and spotted it when it cam into our apt complex. They set off a cartridge of firecrackers as they move from one venue to another so it was somewhat easy to track the movement form above. We hustled down to the lobby to see the dragon and associated festivities. Will go for a walk this afternoon with the girls in the barangay near our apt and see what there is to see.

Dragon arriving from above.

Dragon making its way to our apt.

Girls wearing red for Chinese New Year - not sure if this is an associated color but the girls decided it was so I went with it. 

Dragon outside our lobby.

Girls with the dragon. We are now going to venture out into the neighborhood next to our complex(when I say complex - it is more like a neighborhood of Rockwell related apts and such - gaited off from other neighborhoods). I have run in this neighborhood several times and want the girls to get out into it. 

Manila Golf

I went golfing early on in the year in the first week upon arriving here in Manila. Sam Cook invited me out to a course up in the hills an hour or so beyond the city. It was a beautiful course and I think I posted images and such way back in August. That being said, I am not that caliber of golfer and am excited about the new opportunity to golf at my level, in my town. Graham, one of the new guys I came in with found a place nearby school that I am going to try and play at regularly. Reminds me a lot of the place I frequented in Indo - primarily because it is an army base course. Graham, being a Scot, grew up with golf and is a great to have out on the course. he teaches first grade and Ada is quite excited that I am out golfing with a teacher from her grade. Eugene, an elementary school counselor, and very well known by my girls is getting into golf and rounds out our triad. Super casual, not crowded so we can take multiple shots - I know purists cringe - but if you don't get out everyday, its nice. It is a caddy course, females seem to be more frequent here than in Indo. They are pleasant and knowledgeable and know what to say when you miss a two foot putt or hit the turf for the third time when trying desperately to chip on to the green from 4 feet off. Its just nice to get into some green space for a few hours in the midst of the Manila urbanscape.

Anyone who has ever been to a driving range should take a double take at these next two images. I have never seen this situation before and it says a lot about a lot ... which I will try and resist to get into as few will find it as interesting as I and it will take a lot of space to post ... perhaps another time (basically - it is a job for people who desperately need work BUT consider all that is relevant to this being a legitimate job). Anyway, the lady sitting looking away is the "ball putter down person" for the person hacking away at the range. If the hacker has a driver, she/he will create a tee out of the mound of dirt in front of her/him. Then she/he will use a brick to pound the surface flat when the golfer wants to have at an iron or lesser wood. What, literally, caused me to recoil when I first saw this is how close the ball putter down person is to the person swinging away. Another reason why I love our world (not this situation), because you can come across people whose job is a "ball putter downer" at an army base golf course driving range in Manila.

Quite a curious world we live in.

Eugene hunkering down for one of the most difficult shots in golf - at least for me - I mentally can not hit this shot at the moment - could before - but not anymore - therapy in order. Graham is posing appropriately in the back with caddies.

Graham ready to finish off a putt lined up by his lady.  He's a solid golfer.