Today is day 4. Later on we are going to Manila Cathedral for the big Feast day of Virgin de Peñafrancia, so I might have to make this quick. So, on day 2, SHOPPING!! wooo. I went with Ate Ikke and Ate Shirley to SM North EDSA. Though this may be completely corny, the longer I stay here the more I see the connection between this trip and PCN haha. Just like Aaron’s reaction, this mall is…HUGE! It’s quite overwhelming actually, there are more buildings and shops than you could possible get to in a day. Also, I would HATE to be a salesgirl over here. My cousins were really sticking it to the salesgirl, asking an assload of questions and repeatedly asking for discounts. It’s really different than the US where everythign except a car is sticker price. So that’s why my parents are like that. So yeah, my Ate’s did the vast majority of the talking. We just told people that I was from Iloilo and self conscious about my Tagalog. So, I still have a lot of work to do hehe. The good news is, I GOT A NEW CAMERA. The samsung digimax 430. It’s so small and pretty. I paid 3000 pesos (about $60) for a 1 gig memory card, which hurt a lot, but total i paid a little over 10,000 pesos, or $200, so it’s not so bad.

me f-ing around with the camera’s features. Ate Ikke is my model.

yesterday we went to Uncle Bing’s house for lunch, it was his and Auntie Vicki’s anniversary, 29 years. Uncle Bing cooked soooooo much! All seafood too, crab, shrimp, fried lapu-lapu filet, sinigang na hipon (shrimp sour soup) oh my GOD it was so good. Then, we went to Uncle Nonoy’s house for a visit. I showed both Uncle Bing nad Uncle Nonoy pictures of everyone in the US and their reaction to everyone was to laugh and say “OH! Look, very old na!.” At Uncle Nonoy’s house we ate more – snak snak lang. I must say though, the chicharon was the best I’ve ever had.

Kuya boy and Auntie Remy and me

Then we went to SM fairview. Mall walking is a serious sport here. Yan yan is really into hip hop, but his favorite is nelyl and he wears grills! ohh nooo! it’s cool though, to have someoen to call me ate finally. i bought him a fitted yankees hat from ny, a real one that i seriously searched fo rtoo, and he seemed excited. i gave him some money too for a fubu shirt, fubu manila is really nice. yay i’m an ate!

ate ikke and Yan Yan. the camera flashes twice so it took a while for both of them to be looking.

Ate Cecil and Yan yan. speaking of which, my nephew Gian (who’s older than me) is goin to have a baby. i’m going to be a LOLA. omg.

After SM we came back to Ucnle Bing’s and ate more of course! Lechon! (roasted suckling pig) chicharon bulaklak (fried prok intestine), mechado (meat and vegetables with a tomato-based sauce), hipon (shrimp), sinigang hipon (sour soup with shrimp), lumpiang shanghai (fried filipino eggrolls), it was all so good.

Ate Ikke, Kuya Ray, Auntie Vicki and Julia (ray’s daughter) in the corner. Of course, the first thing to go is the balat (skin).

Julia, so cute!

Then, after we ate, it started to rain. Tropical rain. Auntie Vicki was excited to show me the baha (flood). Sabi nila Welcome to the Philippines! haha

This car was stuck in front of Uncle Bing’s house. Soaked to the headlights. I’m not sure if it was to make sure they couldn’t get out on their own, or if it was to wait till the water was high enough so that they would get paid more, but Uncle bing na dyan yan pushed this car to higher ground for 1000 pesos.

look how big those drops are!

Yan yan soaked to the ankles

even the roaches searching for higher ground

within a half hour the water was past the store front and up to the front door. Uncle Bing said they had never had a flood where the water actually went into the house

well, it did last night. we were scrambling to get things off the floor, and the dog peed and pooed next to me! haha, too bad i didn’t get a picture of that.

15 minutes, the water was ankle-deep in the house

even uncle nene, who had come from church, was wading through in his dress pants and barong

but we are filipinos, and the eating must continue

even the roaches couldn’t escape

another 15 minutes, the water was up to the bottom step

so, we went upstairs to wait until the water was low enough for us to clean up an drive home

Kuya Ray’s kids, Kim, 17 (she’s a scholar in UP. does she look exactly like leni or what! haha the same indifferent smile and everything) and Julia, 7.

Me with them and their mom, ate Joy.

We got back to Uncle Nene’s house after 1. Kuya Edgar and Auntie Siony called us maala haha.

Happy Anniversary!lol