What would I have done differently after 6 yrs. in the Philippines?
Brother Tom is no longer with us. No, he's not gone onto a better place, my American expat friend is dropping the "brother" from his name. He wants to be known simply as "Tom" now. I think it is most inappropriate to not have a nickname in the Philippines, as most Filipinos here do, so I will refer to him as "Tom Cat" now.
After living as an American expat in the Philippines for nearly three years, I've had several close encounters with balut, a fertilized duck embryo that's boiled alive and eaten in the shell. I've seen Andrew Zimmern from Bizzare Foods on TLC chow down on this favorite street vendor food of the Philippines, but there was absolutely NO WAY I was ever going to digest the thing. It looks absolutely disgusting (see photo after next from Wikipedia for a close-up.)
I decided to be spontaneous this past Wednesday morning, something I rarely am. My poor asawa had already flopped back down on our bed at 7:30 am to watch some television. I know she was getting bored. My hardworking spouse never watches TV during the day.
American expat, Brother Tom, pictured on the far left, is back. My favorite oblate from the Trappist Monastery in Guimaras has returned after an eight month absence from the Philippines. His personal business in the States now cared for, he arrived a week ago this Friday after a lonnnngggggg 15-hour United Airlines flight.
A recent story in the Philippine Daily Inquirer disturbed me. While GMA idles away her time under hospital arrest watching "Wil Time Bigtime" and Supreme Court Justice Corona facing an upcoming impeachment trial, Philippine Science Secretary Mario Montejo is calling on the nation to synchronize watches and clocks with Philippine Standard Time (PST) so everybody can greet 2012 at the same time. Worse yet, is news of this nefarious "Juan Time" project which is an initiative that aims to redefine the notoriously late “Filipino Time” by encouraging Filipinos to synchronize with PST and encourage timeliness. I find this extremely unsettling.
(Photo by Francis Cartano from Flickr. © All Rights Reserved)
Julian is 42. He's from Romania. He's been in the Philippines since last November and is currently visiting the white sandy beaches in Guimaras after spending a month in Iloilo with a previous visit to the resort island of Boracay. The Romanian doesn't have a job, doesn't have a pension or fixed monthly income and is living on some small savings he has. The man is a certified risk taker in my books.
Bizarre Foods with Andrew Zimmern is a show I've watched many times on The Travel Channel. If you've never gotten to see the episode when Andrew traveled to the Philippines, here's a shortened version of that episode. The crazy Zimmern eats balut (pictured bellow), a Filipino classic that I haven't been brave enough to try … Read moreBizarre Foods in the Philippines