Tuesday, July 29, 2008

Death, Taxes and Tyler Hansbrough

So here I am in the Philippines, approximately 18 hours worth of flight time away from Charlotte, NC and I see something that reminds me of what I miss the most about home. Not. U.S. College Basketball isn't very popular here, but the NBA is. I remember my dad watching Michael Jordan's Bulls in the early 90's while he was getting ready for work in the morning, due to the time difference.
However, some television/satellite company have ads promoting different American sports. I was at a mall in Manila, walking past a pay-phone when I saw the face of their advertisement for U.S. College Basketball:


You can run, hide, elbow him in the face, but you cannot get away from him.
And it doesn't end there. Some engineering student here asked me where I attended college in the U.S. I should have just said University of Charlotte, but instead went with The University of North Carolina at Charlotte.
The guy's eyes lit up and he told me that the Tar Heels were his favorite team. Before I could even correct my mistake, he went on about his school of engineering chose Ramses the Ram as the logo for their Engineering school t-shirts. Apparently, for the wealthy few, ESPN indeed televises some of the marquee college teams, similarly to how they broadcast solely Yankees games here. I'm sure if I decided to visit the middle of the Amazon, I would run into a native with a UNC jersey on.

Friday, July 25, 2008

Update

I am seriously considering extending my vacation for a few more days. My flight out of Manila is on August 5th, but now I am shooting for August 11th after learning that school starts on the 25th.

I posted most of my pictures on my new flickr account, and I will tag and write proper captions when I return to the states.

While kicking and screaming, my relatives activated a Friendster account for me. I know, yet another social networking site. Geez. They say it's useful for keeping up with not only my relatives, but the friends (especially girls) that I've met here in the Philippines.

This stay has been amazing, I've experienced alot in just 3 weeks.

Sunday, July 20, 2008

The Weather

I've noticed a weather pattern here: It is unbelievably hot even at 9 a.m. and then it rains in the afternoon. So all our planned outings were hindered by rain. It should also be noted that it is still strangely dry during the Rainy season here. I'm glad that I waited for the rainy season, because most resorts here aren't in the peak season and is cheaper.

Friday, July 18, 2008

Disappointment in Subic Bay.

Subic was my favorite place in the Philippines while I lived there. It's not as crowded, cleaner and the drivers are better behaved than anywhere else in Luzon. We visited yesterday, and the timing was bad on our part.







A typhoon was here earlier in the week, and left all sorts of debris on the beach. So, it was quite dirty, unlike last time in 2003 when the water was clear and the sand was white.







A few were out cleaning the beach, but there were still visitors skim-boarding.







A terrible shot on my part, but just to show that in Subic, there are mountains and beaches-what a combination.

There are usually a good amount of monkeys on the road, but on this occasion, we only saw a total of 4.

I'm guessing that there's a Korean presence in Subic because the street signs had Hangul translations.

Wednesday, July 16, 2008

Photos II

Same location as the previous blog post.



Path in between the fields where the mountain photos were taken.

The national animal, the Water buffalo or Carabao, still used today as a draft animal. Our family used to own quite a few, but all were eventually sold. Also a source of milk.

Buffalo calves resting by a river.












Photos

Location: Santa Cruz, Province of Pampanga.



Mt. Arayat shrouded in clouds. I've gazed upon this mountain many times as a child when visiting our family in Santa Cruz.



Closer shot, the summit still covered. I've always wanted to climb this mountain, but there is a militant presence hiding in the slopes, and tourists are warned to stay away.



A private, family-owned rice paddy. Our province is also experiencing a rice shortage, and prices have skyrocketed.

Tuesday, July 15, 2008

New Term

A term used in this area that I have become familiar with is: Nosebleed. A nosebleed occurs when people are having trouble communicating because of the language barrier. As soon as I arrived here in Pampanga, the term has increased in its usage. A typical conversation between myself and the friends/girls that my cousins introduce me, usually go like this: They speak in tagalog, and I answer them back in English. I speak in English and they reply with tagalog.

And during these exchanges, a lot is lost in traslation, forming a nosebleed.

Monday, July 14, 2008

Photo Enabled

Here are some snapshots from Nagoya Airport, mainly for a few friends of mine who consider Japan their Mecca. We all plan to take a trip to Japan together in the near future.


Some random sign, and the duty free shop in the background.




Exchange rate information.



Not for the faint of heart, one must be limber if they want to succeed in taking a #2 in Japan. A callback to the Japanese toilet prank.

Friday, July 11, 2008

Activities

I wanted the Filipino Experience while I'm here, and I decided to attend class with my cousin at the University of Assumption: A private, catholic institution, and the only college within 30 minutes of where I'm staying.

My cousin, 24 is finishing up his 7th (and last) year of his undergrad education. Actually, it might have been longer because filipinos graduate from high school at 16 or 17. And he hangs out with freshmen girls that are of that age-he would be in jail if this were the U.S. Anyway, I sat in with him for two classes, and his Filipino politics teacher wants me to come back next week, but I think I would rather not, because I was a distraction while there.

Thursday, July 10, 2008

Summer Trip So Far

Hey guys, I've missed being on here, but I don't have consistent internet access, plus most of the computers here don't have an xD or SD slot and I would rather not carry my Dad's nice camera around town in fear of being robbed.

So the favorite sight so far in my travels would have to be my stopover in Nagoya, Japan. And I've decided that Japan is the next international destination for me.

It's so muggy here, but that was expected. I'm still nerved by the driving and the super crowded streets.

Pictures later. bye.

Thursday, July 3, 2008

A Must Share

Whether you like the Celtics or not, Big Baby is awesome and so is this photo.





A Thought

I always find myself wishing that I could fast forward my life into the stage where I'm living on my own, supporting myself and have a career already. I actually find myself wishing that everytime my parents get on my nerves. But people tell me that I should "enjoy the ride". So that has been my pattern of thought as of late, and it's quite difficult. Clearly, the people giving the advice didn't grow up with filipino parents.


Wednesday, July 2, 2008

Patriotism

Just finished watching an ESPN feature on USA Basketball and it sent shivers down my spine. It showed our frustrations in the 2004 Olympics, and new culture instilled into our players. The culture of not playing for individuals, but for the Red White and Blue. The players were taught this lesson by meeting soldiers who were severely wounded in Iraq, in an emotional display of self sacrifice.

The second installment will air on July 21st, but I will be unable to watch it. Go U.S.A., and bring back some good memories.

..and make me proud to be a Naturalized American.

Rookie Issues

Rookie salaries have been an issue for the NFL, and has been highlighted on the news. Roger Goodell believes that teams are signing unproven rookies out of the draft for a ridiculously large amount of money. I've heard of these issues, but I didn't comprehend the magnitude of it until I found out that Atlanta Rookie Matt Ryan earns more than Tom Brady. You know how I feel about Mr. Brady, and I think it's an injustice. I think I'm pro Guaranteed Salaries, similar to the NBA.

North Korea

I forgot to post it as soon as it happened, because I'm ADD when I'm on the internet. But they did in fact destroy the nuclear reactor at Yangban. Here's the footage.


More Funny Poses

This guy: wearing the Kanye West shutter shades, looking very hard.. but at the kid's section of the video store..I think I would wear shutter shades to honor the Craigslist guy. Ha, if you couldn't tell, I loved that original post and the others that followed. When I'm at work having a bad day, just thinking about that "producer" brings a smile to my face. I think I would spend 10 dollars on shutter shades just so I can look like that guy.

Next is my good friend Sean. I already talked about how stupid myspace mirror pictures are, but this one takes the cake. I love my friend, but he's retarted, so I'm putting his picture up here.
Ok, I might have grossed you guys out, but how ridiculous is this picture? ..And it's on his myspace page! I already asked him to take it off, but he says, "Oh, but I like that picture, I was buff back then." And lol, his caption reads, "Bringin' sexy back like JT". Damn myspacers.

Do phones get better signal in the bathroom or something?