Joshua, our ten-year-old "overweight" Korean visitor that had accompanied his Ilonggo teacher, Ovard, from Iloilo, was visiting with my wife and I at “The Compound” yesterday. I say "overweight" because Ovard had promised Josh's Mother that he would put the young boy on a diet. Joshua would be staying in the Philippines for a year under Ovard's supervision.
The Korean lad did not look obese to me, but he informed me that he weighed 35 kilos (77 lbs.), and a boy his age in Korea should be weighing 30 kilos (66 lbs.) He is only allowed to have sweets one day a week now, and his junk food is strictly limited (his favorite junk food in the Philippines is KFC.)
His quota for unhealthy food was going to be exceeded as my brother-in-law Joery came in with two large pizzas from “Pit Stop Pizza” about 5 minutes from our home in Guimaras, along with a couple of liter bottles of Coke and Sprite. Ovard offered to pay for part of the lunch, but of course, we would not have any of that. Joshua and Ovard were our guests, and it is part of the Filipino culture to treat your visitors hospitable and feed them if you can (and sometimes even if means taking food from your own mouth.)
Ovard and Joshua enjoyed the pizza. The crust was not toasted at all and was covered with pineapple . As I mentioned yesterday, except for the American pizza brands found in the Philippines, like Shakey's (my favorite here) and Pizza Hut, Filipino pizza places do not toast their crust and melt their cheese very well which is my preference. I also do not like pineapple for a topping, but my asawa does (as do many Filipinos.) My Filipina wife (who also prefers the toasted crust) and I have found similar Filipino- style pizzas at the Greenwich chain and Yellow Cab Pizza.
However, our guests did not seem to have any trouble in devouring the offering from “Pit Stop” and enjoyed it. So much for Joshua's diet. I asked Joshua want he thought about the current state of tensions between North Korea and South Korea. He replied that South Korea would not have any problem beating back any more North Korean attacks, and basically said that South Korea could destroy North Korea.
I said I agreed with him, and mentioned that the United States is a strong ally of his country and would help defend his country. He wholeheartedly agreed with that statement, and then went on to a discussion of current exchange rates since I told him one reason we moved to the Philippines was because of the favorable Philippine Peso to US Dollar rate. He then quoted me the current USD rate, along with the Euro exchange rate! I was impressed!
The young man was quite intelligent, and his English skills were incredible. He had no problem understanding me, and he spoke with hardly any accent. He put my ten-year-old nephew, Sharwen, that lives with us at “The Compound,” to shame. Sharwin barely speaks any English though he is taught it in school, and acts like he cannot understand me half the time. His older 13-year-old sister Shaina is the same way.
I'm afraid it's somewhat a negative reflection of the education system in the Philippines. I know I shouldn't base any comparisons on one foreign student alone that I have met, but I have to wonder. Joshua's social skills are so advanced, and my wife and I were thoroughly entertained by him.
After conversing with Joshua and Ovard for about another hour, our guests took their leave. It was Josh's first visit to Guimaras, and he was quite taken by our little island paradise. It was the first time anyone had ever come to “The Compound” to see me specifically, and unlike the young girl at SM City with the baby that told me she was coming to Guimaras to visit me, this was a welcome visit. We shook hands with Ovard and Joshua, and Joshua bowed to us as he left. A delightful young man! I guess it didn't kill me to be sociable for a change; I survived the visit quite well.
PLEASE NOTE: "The Kano" will be gone for two days on a trip back to Cebu. I won't be able to reply to any comments or emails until my return. Plan to have some new adventures about my trip to Cebu when I get back to "The Compound" in Guimaras.