After buying a stove Chito gave us our first cooking lesson, Pork Afritada. SO GOOD! So far my favorite Filipino dish and that says a lot as we have eaten so much good food here.
Something that I have noticed about the culture
. Filipinos have a very different style of problem solving. Rene and I are used to the US style of getting to the root of the problem quickly. This means decisive action and pointed conversation. It is time efficient and direct. Filipinos use a triangulation method. It does not have an emphasis on time efficientcy but it specializes in respect of all persons involved and the personal image of people. If I have a problem with person A then I will talk to a mutual friend, person B, and person B will talk to person A about the problem. While not the most direct method of communication it has its benefits. This form of communication enables everyone involved to keep face and avoid embarrassment, something that Filipinos are very sensitive to.
I think that these two styles of communication need to be combined, they both have something to teach the other. The US style is focused on goals and often the individual gets pushed aside and their self esteem is trampled on, by taking a little more time and not rushing the problem solving we might be able to step back and consider how people are reacting to the situation and how it reflects on everyone involved. The Filipino style is respectful but it could be a little more direct. When the communication is through a second party a lot of assumptions are made and there is a greater likeliness of miscommunication and error in understanding the intent of others.
Everything here is inexpensive. I think that total for setting up our apartment and food for a week couldn't be more than $250. There are a few little bakeries in town and while the breads are usually made with white flower and not very nutritious they are delicious. We bought 5 rolls, two chocolate flour things, and a few other sticky buns for the equivalent of fifty cents. ITS AWESOME. I will be frequenting many bakeries in the next ten months and there is a great possibility that I will come home fat because of it.