Two weeks in Lezo (part one)

Trip Start Mar 17, 2013
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Trip End Apr 14, 2013


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Where I stayed
Rudy and Violeta's House

Flag of Philippines  , Western Visayas,
Sunday, March 24, 2013

We got back into Lezo about 2 pm and after lunch were off to Kalibo. The family tv had broken down and we wanted to get them a new one. So we hopped into the truck and off we went. I rode in the back, a definate No-no in North America but boy did the breeze feel nice. It was still about 35c. And humid too so likely felt around 45. We first stopped at Empire a place that seemed to sell everything from motor bikes to fridges. The people were not of much help there, and we found out they do not take credit card, preferring to do the financing themselves. We did not want to pay cash since the bank and transfer fees would negate any deal....some went to Imperial where previously I had bought a washing machine and a microwave. These guys were attentive, knew their product and I soon had a deal. Again payment is a procedure. First I had to show a passport and two forms of ID. The checked the credit card before going any further. Then they started filing out all sorts of forms, for what I don't know, maybe inventory control of some sort. I signed like five different things and then the credit card slip and we has a tv. The ladies were questioning me about how many times I had visited and if I had a wife here. I just said I was visiting friends..." you buy a tv for y our friends sir? Can I apply to be your friend? "

We then headed to Footsteps to get some new slippers ( we would call them flip flops). Everyone wears them here and they are quite the fashion statement. This store pretty much only sold these but in hundreds of diifferent styles. They had a store room on the second floor and when anything was ordered someone would drop the product from a hole in the ceiling to the salesgirls waiting hands.

Then off to Jollibee, Kylie's fav place to eat, We got some snacks for later and headed home.

We got the tv set up, had dinner and prepared for Palm Sunday....this entailed weaving some palm wands and designs to have the priests bless at the service in the morning. We had a short walk around town, but I was falling asleep So i went to bed..

SUNDAY

So woke up early with the rain just hammering the tin roof, bit it was still dark so was able to get back to sleep. Allan woke me at 630 though, we had to be a church by 7. We rushed it and the Palm Sunday procession had already begun. The priest an dis entourage walked through town stopping at various stations where little girls sang hymns and tossed flower petals at the priest. Then on to the next station until back at the church. The group following sang a local hymn was they walked. I'll have some video soon.

The church service was long and hot..and not in English so I really was not sure what they were doing but everyone seemed to enjoy it. The ceremony lasted about an hour, and I did not melt or burst into flames so all was good.

We headed home where it was nap time. Today was a rest day after all the running around in the past few days. Other than a walk around town really really did not do much more.

MONDAY

Up early enough, Alvin was heading back to Manila, his week off was finished.   Morning was hot again,so it was hard to get the energy to move much.  Finally in the afternoon I took a solo walk around town, and really felt stared at.  They are doing some road construction in the street by Allan's parents, putting in curbs.  It is all by hand.  They dig it out by hand, mix the cement by hand and build the curbs by hand.  The carry in the water from a well about 100 yards away to mix the cement.  I don't know how they do this physical labour in this heat, with no workboots, gloves or other PPE.

We headed off to Kalibo via multicab to get some shopping done and to have dinner with some of Allan's classmates.  The food was good, the company better.  Shopping wise we bought caps, I bought a carry back from my computer and we picked up some groceries.

Dinner was at Latte -  a coffee shop we had frequented in the past. That was good, I finally got to upload some photos to this blog.  Dinner was really nice and after a couple of hours of conversation, it was home to bed.

TUESDAY

Yet another slow day. Well, it is vacation. We got the pool set up for Kyle. He is like a fish to water. He stayed in it all morning. A bit harder to do when we are filling up the 167 gallons with a hand pump and buckets though. No handy hose here. Watching him swim was the entertainment of the day. In the afternoon we took another walk around town to deliver Pasabulong to Allan's friends, family and classmates. We took a walk through the pottery, I'll talk more about it later.

One of the interesting things here, especially in the country is that if you leave a lot empty for a couple of years, it would be no surprise to return and find bamboo or banana growing. Not only does it grow fast, it can be harvested easy, so squatters would jump in and grow crops until your return. There are a few such empty lots around town. Squatter is not really the right word, as it has a negative feel about it, and there is nothing wrong with using land that is unused.

We stopped off at the Plaza. Repeated visits and Facebook have gotten me better known here, Someone at the plaza called my name as we walked past, but they were to shy to talk once I got there

Evening was just hanging around the house. We played a couple of movies on TV and had some popcorn.
Week one in the Philippines came to an end.

WEDNESDAY

Again, an early day. No rain overnight that i could tell, and a beautful day. It is Market Day in Lezo, so we decided to head over there before breakfast. The market operates every day, but each town has a designated Market Day where vendors from all over come to sell their wares, so this is the busiest Market day in the week. The area around the market is bustling, lots of people and tricycles around. While mostly selling foodstuffs, the market also has lots of people selling clothes, and hardware and slippers. But it is the plentiful fruits and vegetables as well as the fresh meats and seafood. Buckets of squid and shrimp still jumping. All sorts of fish waiting to feed some family, and fresh beef, pork and chicken being butchered right there.

We walked through the market taking pictures, and Allan got to meet lots of people that he had not seen in years. We bought some green tangerines called Dalandan, some fresh sweet mangos, a long rashish thing that looks like a white carrot and some turnip for the family.

We returned for breakfast, watched Kyle play in the pool some more and then were off to shop in Kalibo. We needed some more food, (treats) and also a transformer as the power here is 220v while anything we send from Canada is 110V. We also got some cooking utensils as I plan to make a pan of peanut butter fudge and some liquid refreshments.

We got back by tricycle and mutlicab and went over to Allan's Aunt, who we still had some Pasabulong for. We visited with her for a while then went outside and visited with the men who were siting and drinking in a gazebo - its the filipino way they explained to us.
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