Monday, November 24

Be forewarned...

My parents are planning to visit us here next month! To say we are excited is quite an understatement. If I had a penny (or peso) for every time I heard the question, "When will Mimi & Papa get here?", I'd have a nice, hefty amount in the kids' college fund.

However, I would like to give Mom & Dad a heads up about what to expect when they arrive in the Philippines. So, here is my puny little list on what to be prepared for when you visit the land of 7,000+ islands:

* As mentioned in previous posts, don't be surprised to see young boys & grown men alike urinating in public... on the street, on a tree, on the side of a building, on the highway, on your shoe...

* Get ready to be stared at! You're white & you're expected to be rich. No matter where you go, you will get stares. And, they're not subtle stares. They are full blown, follow you down the sidewalk stares. You'll get used to it... eventually.

* Just close your eyes while riding in Manila traffic. (Mom, you especially!) You will be scared out of your mind, but you will survive. Amazingly, there are very few wrecks... and very few traffic rules.

* You will hear lots & lots of horn honking! LOTS! That was a hard transition for me when I first arrived. However, honking a horn in the Philippines is not usually considered rude. Horns are very commonly used while driving here & very rarely used aggressively. It definitely takes some getting used to.

* There is no Wal-Mart, no Target, no Home Depot, no Olive Garden & no yummy Mexican restaurants. BUT... Manila has some fabulous malls & even a Chili's!

* You will encounter monkeys on the side of the road here in Subic Bay. They have been in our backyard, though not very often. But, they like to hang out on our street & along the main road going into our neighborhood. Sometimes, they'll even join us when we take the kids to the park.

* Always carry tissue or toilet paper with you when you go out. Public restrooms very rarely provide tissue since many toilets use a bidet system. And, while I'm already there... public toilets very rarely have seats on them at all. So, start practicing your squats now!

* And, of course, the beaches are breathtakingly beautiful! You'll never want to leave...

I'm sure I'll think of more to add later, but these warnings will give you a good start on what to expect when you first arrive. We cannot wait!!!


Achilles said...

Your Parents will be respected in the Philippines for older folks has more rights than younger people in the Philippines.

Especially when crossing the streets in Manila people tend to help older people cross the streets, carry their bayong(basket),talk about World War 2,
about American life,cook for them and The Manu po tradition.

The Mano po tradition is a sign of respect to older folks in the Philippines. It is taking an elderly hand and putting it on your forehead. Not the palm of the hand but the front of their right hand hand.

Even young parents with kids still Mano po the parents and the kids will Mano po their grandparents.

Ask any Filipinos about "The Mano Po" tradition. It is really very respectful and you and your kids will feel different.

Mimi said...

Thanks for the heads up, Amberly. I don't think the first one will bother me; however, since I will most likely be wearing sandals, my shoe is definitely going to have to be OFF LIMITS!

Can't wait to see y'all!!

Practicing the squats,

julia said...

I just read your previous post about halo-halo and I would not, I repeat not, recommend it! I know some love it, but I was not one of those.