Tuesday, January 16, 2007

Bilog ang Mundo

I'm posting from an internet cafe somewhere in metro manila I'm not sure where. We're stuck here because of the stupid coding laws: any vehicles that end in the number 3 or 4 cannot be out on the road all day long till 7 pm.

I've been here in the Philippines since January 2. Left LA on January 31, rang in the new year somewhere over the Pacific halfway between LA and Manila. Landed in Manila the morning of the 2nd and then flew a connecting flight to Laoag Illocos Norte later that morning. For the last 2 weeks I have been in Solsona, Ilocos Norte where my parents live in the ground floor den of my aunt, my dad's sister and her husband the mayor. They have lived there for the last 2 weeks. On Sunday night, the 14th, my dad his helper, his driver and me took an overnight bus to Manila, to go pick up my dad's car from the dealership, where it was being repaired for the last three months for a broken transmission casing and detailing (from when my dad fell asleep at the wheel and veered off the road into the rice paddy, luckily no passengers or farmers were hurt. He was driving back to the house in the afternoon from the family farm, a 10 minute drive).

Today we went to go visit one of my dad's old friends, Tito Manny, who's kids used to be my playmate but I have yet to meet as adults. He's been in the states almost as long as we have and has built a vacation home in Bulucan. His house in the middle of some podunk township with streets even narrower than my dad's hometown, looked like it was directly transplanted from orange county, one of any of those ranch style stucco jobs in any Santa Ana cul de sac. Later we visited the grave of my sister who died before I was born at the unripe age of 9 months from some virulent strain of influenza, next to her grave my mother's father who died in 86.

Afterwards we went to go get mirienda and got pulled over by a traffic cop for having the wrong number at the end of our license plate and now I'm here at this internet cafe with abunch of kids playing on line RPG games, which apparently is the reason for most internet cafe's around here. At the counter I tried to talk in tagalog, but the girl couldn't here me over the din of the outside traffic and the billiards/karaoke room, so I broke into english, and now everyone in the place knows I can't speak tagalog, and now I'm paranoid of getting worked over by some juvenile street toughs, steal my dollars and my digital camera--but I just now looked around at the other customers and half of them are elementary school age and the rest are in College uniforms. In any case it's too hot in here and I'm not sure if my dad realizes I'm in here, when I left his helper was adjusting his car seat so he could recline, because apparently we really are grounded here till 7pm. We already wheesiled our way out of the ticket by palming over 200 pesos or about 5 bucks to the traffic cop, who didn't give in to our driver's pleas "We're from out of town, we just visited this man's child's grave and we're leaving Manila tomorrow. We're also staying in Del Monte (a relatively incorporated area of Quezon city, lots of building materials and mechanics, which I think gives us some kind of blue collar credit to soften the impact of us driving around a 2006 x-trail.

That's it for me, it's too hot there's 2 dumb schoolboys next to me playing some stupid online war game, and I've got the runs from the water or the fish or something.

Monday, January 15, 2007

Bilog ang mundo

Here in Manila since this morning at 5 am. Othrwise was in Ilocos Norte for the last 2 weeks. Hate being carted around and introduced like a mail order bride, this fucken sucks, trying to stay diconnected and aloof, but am planning my escape. Will most likely be with family through the month, the 25th is the local town fiesta up north. After that if I ever manage to get a ticket to Thailand, I am out of here. More later when I find a quicker internet connection.