September 7th, 2007 – by: Laurasteel
In pedicab to the cemetery
Thank you Becky for your ear plugs and eye mask - they have changed my life! So I had a good sleep on Thursday night and woke to a very hot day again. Off to Novotas for 11am. Train was delayed so I grabbed a taxi instead with 3 Filipinos. Was a long ride to monumento - listening to Green Day along the way - nice. The taxi drive was about 25 mins and cost 2 pounds! I struggled a bit to find where I needed to catch my jeepney to the cemetery....but the kind officer helped. Jumped into jeepney (old pimp-my-ride army trucks) and headed to the cemetery. (7 pence) Asked the driver to 'para' (stop)and jumped into a pedicab and he cycled me to the end of the cemetery. I was suddenly surrounded by children. I managed to say 'ako si Laura' (I am Laura) which was fun.
The new class learning to make earrings
Had to put my trainers on as walking around in flops is not such a brainy idea. A lady took me to the kitchen area, then Josephine took me to the studio. The new group of women and teenagers were there along with Joanne. So her and I started with them teaching them how to use their pliers and make earrings. They were very good and I kept saying 'maganda' (beautiful). They liked that. Its difficult concentrating when you are dripping with sweat. The one fan in the room aint good enough. Joanne left me and went downstairs to teach the old class. But soon after all had to be upstairs...so in a tiny stiffling hot room we had 24 people on the tables, on the floors on the stairs making earrings. Bought a bottle of coke for the class which cost 17 peso.
The new class
...would you believe (2 pence) They drink their soft drink in a plastic snadwich bag and straw! I gave the old group a project of making what I gave them into earrings, so it was a chance for them to be creative. They produced some amazing designs, and their quality of workmanship was impressive! Ended the day there at three and missioned off home.
I have now resorted to walking on the streets, dodging the traffic, instead of walking on the pavements because if the Health and Safety department saw them - they would have closed the whole city down! You cannot for a second look away from where you are walking because you will fall into a hole and never get out! Met up with Glen in the mall at about 7pm. So lovely to see my Winchester friend! He bought me a taho (soya, natate coco, sego, sugar syryp hot drink).
Joanne showing how the Filipinos drink their soda
We then headed to Makati for the evening. My first feelings in Makati were those of huge guilt and embarrassment....how can some people live in shanty towns and cemeteries in the worst conditions and these people here live in luxury! This place was so posh and classy. I felt bad being there. Once you have seen how some people live you dont feel as though you should be living the high life like in Makati. Such a difference. Kinda like Cape Town. So we enjoyed a starbucks then went to meet Glens two friends, Ronald and Farnelat at Bubba Gump of all places, for a lovely mealseafood. My cocktail, which lasted 3 glasses, cost 2 quid! So Farnel was teling me about the culture in philippines and how much kids live with their parents for most of their life, even if they marry they sometimes still live with their parents. And conservative parents still give their adult children curfews. Parents dont ask for money from their adult kids either. Glen and I then watched an entertainment band. The singer came to chat to us, she was lovely. Headed to Havanna Bar for a dance. It was heavy rain so we got a little soaked. Home at 3.30am. Couldnt sleep it was too hot! had to take my glass of water and pour it over me!