Friday, May 11, 2007

I Shall Return (to the Philippines), But For Now...

I am fine with staying in the US for a little while, maybe another year before I venture overseas or across borders again. Yes, I've returned from the Philippines, where I spent two weeks drenched in sweat in the sauna-like heat of Lingayen, Pangasinan, the provincial capital about five hours northwest of Manila. I'll write more later, but here's a few quick pictures of the trip. In short, although my trip was brief and only gave me a glimpse at life in Las Islas Filipinas, it opened my eyes to many new insights about my family, my culture, my people and myself. And I got to be a tourist and see some cool sites too. I was in Manila, Lingayen, Dagupan (my father's hometown), Calasiao (my mother's hometown), Baguio City, Manaoag and Aringay (La Union province).

Local and national elections were set to take place just a week after I returned, so there were lots of political campaign posters and other advertisements (like roving trucks playing candidates' individual jingles) in the streets of every town and city we visited.

This was my first breakfast in the Philippines--a veritable feast of fried Spam, Puto Calasiao, fried eggs, white bread, coffee, steamed rice and fresh papaya.

This is the view from Mines View Park observation deck in Baguio. Baguio was cool and pleasant, and reminded me a lot of my home here in the Bay Area. We came to Baguio twice to escape the stifling heat and humidity of the province, sightsee and do some shopping.

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