Friday, January 14, 2011

Life in the Philippines...

Tagaytay's famous Buko Pie.
Traditional filipino cream pie made with young coconut.

Turron (filipino lumpia) made of banana, jackfruit, brown sugar and then deep fried!  My favorite!

Ginataan- a warm, soupy sweet dessert served with coconut milk.  It consists of  gummy balls made with glutinous rice, bananas and ube(purple yams), jackfruit, and kamote (sweet potato)

Lumpia Shanghai (filipino pork egg rolls)

okra and vegetables cooked with coconut milk, garlic and ginger
Gigi's house in Cavite (Molino)

Gigi's boyfriend Vince, cooked Gigi a delicious b'day dinner

Embutido, rice, cassava cake, grilledchicken, fried fish, egg drop soup and bbq

Inside the Jeepney
Hello all,

The Philippines

- The 12th most populous country with an estimated population of 92 million people
- It's composed of 7,107 differeent islands
- It's located in Southeast Asia in the western Pacific Ocean
- Filipinos are classified under several different ethnic asian groups but linguistically are associated with Malayo-Polynesian and Austronesian languages.
- Chinese, Spanish and American arrivals have intermarried and as a result, have played a very strong influence on the Filipino culture
- More than 90% of the population are Christians and of 80% of it belong to the Roman Catholic Church.

I am here in Cavite, Philippines where I am staying with my Auntie Vinia and her family.  Cavite is about 30 kilometers south of Manila.

Auntie Vinia is one of Mama's younger sisters.  Mama comes from a huge family of 13 brothers and sisters.  Auntie Vinia is now a retired math teacher.  I have not been to the Philippines in over 17 years. Filipino life is quite different than what it used to be when I was here back then but in comparison to living in the United States, it's definitely much more simple.

Every time I would come back from the Philippines to the United States, I would be reminded of how very fortunate and developed the U.S. is.  We take for granted such things as hot running water and consistent electricity which is not always available here in the Philippines.  My relatives are humble, kind, nurturing, loving and so generous with whatever they have, even if it is only a little.  After my mom died, I felt like I needed to come to the Philippines and see her family.  I don't know if it is because I needed closure or just needed to feel connection with people who also knew her and loved her as much as I did.

Being here, you cannot help but compare the U.S.  to the Philippines.  My relatives lead very simple lives in comparison to the crazy, chaotic ways of life in the U.S.  They want for nothing except to ensure their family is healthy, taken care of, educated and fed.  Being here, makes me think of Mama often because her sisters remind me so much of her.  They are all so selfless, kind and loving like she was.
They open their home to me, treat me with so much tender love and care.

My cousin, Myla Anglica (Gigi)
My cousin, Gigi works as an assistant director in the Filipino film industry.  She helped produce several television shows, local films and some international films as well.
My cousin, Majo

My cousin, Gigi's Film that she helped direct. We went and saw her film on my first night in Manila.  Pretty cool. 

Jeepney- most popular means of transportation in the Philippines

Marjorie Anne (Majo) and I

Tricycle: Motorized method of transportation/taxi

Auntie Vinia's house in Cavite (Imus- Narra Homes)

Auntie Vinia and her husband, Uncle Ernie

Their living room (Sala)

Handwashing laundry

Their kitchen

My bed on the floor

My cousin, Michael Angelo (Jojo) (Gigi's twin brother)

Auntie Vinia and her daughter Gigi (Mama's younger sis)

Auntie Vinia and Auntie Emer's kids and grandkids


  1. I totally agree Lyn. Here in the states we do take everything for granted.

    I tell people all the time, simple is better, but over here no one seems to get it...not the ones I've said to anyway.

    Countinued blessings and safely..

    BTW...You are very fortunate to still have family and I'm so happy you went back home to see them...and I know they are happy you are there...

    Safe travels my friend..until later...

  2. Beverly B. JohnsonJanuary 16, 2011 at 7:56 AM

    Hi Lyn
    Glad you like Cavite and enjoying reconnecting with your family, that's where my parents' are from as well. You truly DO appreciate life in the States after seeing the way most Filipinos live there. We will probably make a trip there in the next couple years as well..If Ryan can survive there with his pizza-eating self, anyone can!