1/31/13

Oh Baby, The Philippine Sun

Hunny it's to Sunny Out.

Tim Potter Philippines umbrella

No the sun is not bad.  It is just how life is viewed and a different perspective of having dark skin in the Philippines.

Now in Sugar Land Texas a good sunny day means BBQ and Cold Beer on ice.  Everyone gathers around the pool catching a few rays and soaking up the sun.  However I no longer live in Sugar Land Texas.  I live in the Philippines.  This is a place where Umbrellas are not just for rainy days and coats are not only worn when it is cold outside.  The Philippines is not where you will  find suntan oil or people bathing in the sun to darken their skin.  See the Philippines unlike the USA is a land where the tan has given way to fair skin.
Tan bottle creams

Shop the  local Philippine Drug store you will find an aisle dedicated to skin products.  No I am not talking spray on tan or skin tan in a bottle.  It is full of skin whitening creams.  There are promises of whiter skin in 7 days and to remove those dark spots and blemishes.  The Philippines have magic soaps and all these wonderful creams that will make you as white as you want to be.  

See unlike Sugar Land where people live their lives working inside and a good tan is a symbol of the ability to enjoy life.  Getting out on the weekends and having a few days off.  Not the case in the Philippines if you are dark or have a tan.  Means you have a lower income job or work in the fields.  So people cherish the thought of having white skin.  The whiter your skin the better off you life is presumed to be.  This is just the opposite of what people in Sugar Land view.  

So when your in the Philippines and your lady needs an umbrella do not assume it will rain.  The culture is vastly different and this is just one case in point.  

Enjoy

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1/30/13

Philippine Chocolate Obsession

Filipinos Love Their Chocolate.


ChocolatesNow my wife says I have a sweet tooth which I do have.  However I just enjoy sweet foods. Hard candies, mints and the likes.  Yet living here in the Philippines I know one thing Filipinos love chocolate.  Prior to moving here I had never seen Peanut Butter and Chocolate swirl spread. It is the old take on Reese's peanut butter cup.  Yet this time it is for bread.  Does not sound all that yummy to me.   It only takes one trip to the Philippine supermarket to see all the products that have chocolate.  Chocolate on crackers, bread, and various candies.  they even have this little squeeze tube of chocolate.  Now I have tried this and it is more like icing in plastic squeeze tube.  Pretty good reminds me of licking the bowl when my mom was done baking a cake.  


Now they have two favorites that I find appealing.  



Ckiud 9


Cloud Nine -  This is more of cross of a 3 Musketeer and Snickers bar.  Kinda lacking on the chocolate but it sure is a sweet.



Tim Potter Philippines


Choco Mallows -  This a poor attempt at the good old Moon pie.  Yet it has a cracker instead of the graham type mix.




What I find is in the Philippinesi is that most  of the chocolate bars made here are dry.  The chocolate is lacking the goo that holds (oil) it all together.  So it crumbles as you eat it.   So imported chocolate bars from other countries always seem to go over better.


assorted chocolatesWhen I met my wife in Toledo Philippines, I had a box of Russell Stover, Whitman's sampler.   Which I am sure was enjoyed by many.   I do not know if that got me a second date.   Yet one thing is for sure it did not hurt.  So many thanks to my Dad who was employed there and provided me the sampler.


So now you know the way to win the hearts of the Philippine people.   A little chocolate goes a long ways.


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1/29/13

Weight Loss Philippine Style. The Water.

You have heard the saying don't drink the water?


But you can drink the beer. 
There is a lot of truth to that poster.  Here is why:

In the brewing process, the wort (water with grains and hops in it) is boiled (heat pasteurized) , which kills off the bacteria.  Essentially, all the water used in the process is purified. 
So in short enjoy a nice cold Philippine San Miguel Beer.  


Česky: Pitná voda - kohoutek Español: Agua potable



However for the daring let me explain a few things that can happen if you decide to drink it straight from the tap in the Philippines.  




Nothing would make vacation more miserable then getting ill  and we're not talking about a just a bathroom stops. Contaminated water is one of the sources for health issues  for travelers, and can bring on anything from mild gastrointestinal distress to serious bacterial diseases.

Probably the most common issue with water-borne illness is bacteria, such as E. coli, cholera and salmonella, however sickness can also be caused by protozoa (including giardia and cryptosporidium), viruses (like hepatitis A, polio and rotavirus) and chemical pollutants.
The long, sticky filaments covering E. coli ba...
Let me explain something just because Aunt Sally is drinking the
 water in the Philippines does not mean it is safe to drink. It is simply because the pathogens are not use to your system and the local population have adapted to the water supply.  So they can drink it.  

Did I mention Ice?  another big question mark and should try and avoid.  Also what about how they wash the plates and silverware?  You should try and avoid this with the local establishments and Street Vendors.  

But hey if you want to experience weight loss Filipino Style just have a nice healthy glass of water.   


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1/28/13

Creative Philippine Names


Joker arroyo


Philippine Doorbell names to Playing cards.


As I have traveled the Philippines one thing is clear.  A name is something to behold here.  We have people that go by the strangest names.  Names that in the west would get them ridiculed and laughed at but here it is almost a sense of pride.  This type of naming is not just for the average man here either.  We have or had people in congress named:  Joc Joc (pronounced Joke Joke),  Joker, and  Bong Bong.   I am not real sure where this type of naming comes from. Another name that just give me pause is Luzviminda which is a combination of the three islands that make up the Philippines, Luzon Visayans and Mindanao.   Could you picture trying to create a name using all 50 States in the US.  


Mathew Sutherland summed this up into 7 categories.  That are so dead on I cringe to even think about it.

1. The Perennial 5-year-old: Honey Boy, Babes, Precious

2. Door-bell names: Bing, Bong, Bing-Bong, DingDong

3. Repeated Names: Len-Len (also spelled Len[squared] or Len2), Mai-Mai

4. Themed Names: within a family, you’ll find Cherry Pie, Honey Pie, Apple Pie

5. Composite Names: Luzviminda, Jejomar

6. The Random ‘H’: Jhun, Jhimmy

7. Creative Names: Edgar Allan Pe, Chica Go, Magic Chiongson

There just seems to be a sense of humor in everything in life here.  Just a few signs from around the Philippines.

Tim Potter DOT
The Department of Transportation got in on the act with this sign placed on a major through fare in the Philippines.  Translated it says:  Don’t fall in love, it’s lethal.  They even made it pink, how nice.







children wave






Not to sure what to make of this sign posted near a school.  However there it is.








So as I have said and the Department of Tourism.  ITS MORE FUN IN THE PHILIPPINES


Related articles

Philippine Sounds, Boy its loud

I am not sure but everything seems louder in the Philippines.

Loud Philippines


The people here love a good celebration.  Yet when Filipinos celebrate they want the world to know.   The stereo is cranked to the max or should I say the Karaoke Machine is cranked up.  Now it would not be a good Filipino celebration with out Uncle Elmer bolting out a few off key Journey songs.  "I come to you with open arms"



majic sing


It is not just the people but Philippine shops also have this mentality.  As you walk through the Philippine markets you are drowned by the sounds of everyone playing music splitting your ear drums.  After a while you drown this noise out yet for a while you turn around.  




Tim Potter Philippine Rooster
Now I am not sure of the  national Animal of the Philippines but it should be the Rooster.  All Filipinos love this animal.  You will not see homes in the country side with out a few hanging around.  Additionally you will see them tied off in the city or residential areas.  They have a weekly Philippine Cock Fight which seem to draw people by thousands.  Yet the noise prior to them being killed off in the Cock fight.  Is just maddening. When it is dark all is quite and the first signs of light they begin to bellow.  Cock-A-Cock-Doo.  Oh my it is loud.  


Tim Potter Philippine Tokay
Now this friendly looking creature to your right is anything but friendly.  He is also very very loud.  He hangs outside ever single Philippine home and yelps at all hours of the day.  He is a member of the Gecko family yet he is not your friendly type of Gecko.  He will hiss and spit at you if you ever try and catch him.  His name is the ToKay Gecko and that is very appropriate as he will yell ToKay Tokay at all hours.

So just remember when you visit the Philippines they like it loud and they like loud all the time.  


Yet never forget that with the bad comes the good.  This girl sings in the local Philippine mall.  She is amazing ZandeeRose




1/26/13

Tim Potter Philippines Document Waiting Game

Document Update:


Tim Potter Philippines Marine Usmc Retired NSO Document
Tim Potter Philippines waiting to see this.


Well we completed the entire process with National Statistics Office (NSO) yet we are still awaiting NSO Manila Philippines to send us the corrected document.  This whole process has been two plus years in the making.   They informed us at the beginning of this month it would take 30 days for the Marriage Licence to come back with the corrected name.

So we keep our fingers crossed and pray to St Joesph that soon we will have this in hand.

This was a simple name change two letters crossed.  Yet here we still wait for yet another agency to compete the task.  Lucky for us this will be the last agency then we are off to the races.

This is a word to any future expat or some one who wants to marry in the Philippines.  READ READ READ.  Ensure there are no errors on the documents you are about to sign.


1/25/13

Philippines Pass the Salt, PLEASE.

One thing there is not a shortage of is salt for food in the Philippines. 


English: Crystals of the food additive monosod...


I can say that old Uncle Sam would have a field day with the way they prepare food here.  








                                                 
Majic Sarap




We add a healthy does of Majic Sarap .  Flavored Salt in a bag.







AJI-no-moto




We add our favorite AJI-NO-MOTO to the dish.  Pure MSG in a package.







Then for good measure we whip this all around in an aluminum wok.

Not exactly what the Surgeon General had in mind for non-cancer causing effects.  




salted fish buwad
However back to the salt.   The food is so heavily salted it is beyond my belief and actually I can not eat food with this much salt.  I was trying for a while yet my ankles swelled up to the size of tree trunks.   So I just had to cut that out of my diet.  One of the Filipino Favorites is Buwad  (Dried salted fish).  I will not begin to describe the smell as a western nose when cooked.  Lets just say my gym locker had a better aroma.




So why is everything so heavily salted.  Going back to my post on poverty.  It is my belief that because of lack of refrigeration.  They salt to food to preserve it for extended periods of time.  Over time and over generation the taste for Salt has become a critical part of food here in the Philippines.  Not only in respect to taste but preservation of food.

Bon Apitit

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Video Humor Filipino Style

Filipinos have a wonderful sense of humor


During my time in the Philippines I have noticed one thing in particular.  They have a wonderful sense of humor.  They can laugh at themselves and just make fun of daily life here.  It is one thing that just never gets old.  With the invention of the internet they can now share that wonderful sense of humor with the world.

Thought I would take a few mins and share a 2 of my favorites from Web.

Mikey Bustos is from Canada and actually was in the top 10 of  Canadian Idol. Now this is his funny rendition of  Gangnam style.   



This second video is just some kids singing on the street.  However the context and what they are singing about is just to funny.   To give the over view of the song.  Sa langit wala ang beer - In heaven there is no beer




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1/23/13

Sinulog Tragedy and Joy

Accidents Dampen Sinulog

Santo Nino de Cebu

I write this today with a heavy heart. Cebu has just finished the Sinulog celebration.  Which is a very joyous and exciting time for the city.   There are parades and festivals and just an uplifting time for the city.


Sr. Sto Nino Annual Fiesta Sinulog Festival 20...

Sinulog is a dance ritual in honor of the miraculous image of the Santo Niño. The dance moves two steps forward and one step backward to the sound of the dreams. This resembles the current (Sulog) of what was then known as Cebu's Pahina River. Thus, in Cebuano, they say it's Sinulog.
Sinulog Festival 2012 Photos (111)

It was also a time of tragedy that struck the city three times over the last week.  These separate bus accidents claimed the lives of 15 people.   I wrote about transportation in the Philippines and the risks to safety as you travel.  This week was a horrific example of what I meant by that.


Naga Bus accident
Naga bus Accident
We first had an accident just out side of Naga City.  Which is a city just to the South of Cebu.  A bus traveling South Bound Collided with a Truck heading north bound.   11 People lost their lives in this horrible accident.

Then we had on the other side of the Mountain another accident in Toledo City.  Where 2 more people lost their lives when a Jeepney collided with a parked truck.

Alcoy Bus Accident
Alcoy Bus Accident

As celebration was concluding we had another accident in Alcoy south of Cebu with a passenger vehicle and bus.  Where two more people lost their lives.

So as we remember the wonderful time we had celebrating Sinulog lets not forget the tragedies that unfolded over those days.  Lets stop and pray for the families that are grieving for loved ones lost.