Monday, August 26, 2013


 A couple of days have passed since arriving in the Philippines. I'm still processing that I'm halfway across the world. Also, it's mind boggling to be texting people on the east coast and realize they are 12 hours behind. Or that I will be here for a year. There's a part of me that thinks I'll be coming home in two weeks or a month. But then again it's only been a few days.

The staff at the Episcopal Church of the Philippines and Andrew, a YASCer who has been here for 13 months and continuing for another year, were smart to let us ease into everything. Margaret, Andrew and I stayed at the guest house attached to the Episcopal Church's National Office. While there was no schedule, I still felt like a lot happened on day one, Saturday. Everything is new, the sights, sounds, and smells. The language is like nothing I've heard before. Fortunately, everyone speaks English and even though the national language is Filipino (Tagalog), all the road signs and in the stores and everything is written in English. Andrew said that's mainly though because we are in a nicer borough of Manila, Quezón City.

My room for the first couple of days.
Notice the A/C. It was a lifesaver! It is hot and humid in Manila.

To get a taste of home the first meal I had in the Philippines on Saturday morning was a waffle! Floyd, the Provincial Secretary of the Episcopal Church in the Philippines, took us to Pancake House, a more upscale version of IHOP, right around the corner from National Office compound. I ate a delicious waffle drenched in maple syrup with sausage on the side. Perfection! On either side of the Pancake House was a Starbucks and a Burger King. I thought for a minute, "did I really travel halfway across the globe?"

My delicious first meal at Pancake House.
The Welcome Sign to the Episcopal Church compound.
The rest of Saturday was spent getting a cell phone and sim card. We went to a mall for this little adventure which took about 2 hours because the mall was made up of multiple buildings each spanning between 3-5 floors! They take their malls seriously in the Philippines. You could find anything you wanted there from clothes to the supermarket to the cinema to anything. The problem was knowing where things were. Success was found and I've now downgraded to a little brick of a cell phone for the year. But I don't need anything fancy. And mostly filipinos text everything. It is worse than in the states.

After that little outing, we went to find a place for lunch. We settled on Mesa: Filipino Moderno. I tried a frozen green mango shake which was refreshing, light, and delicious. It was more like an ICEEE than a milkshake and wasn't as substantial as a smoothie. For my main dish I got a garlic, eggplant salad and BBQ Chicken Honey Patis. The salad was a little too much garlic for my taste and I love garlic so that is saying something, but the chicken was wonderful! Supposedly Filipinos love their garlic and ginger. They throw handfuls of it in a dish when cooking.

Me and my Green Mango Shake!
BBQ Chicken in Honey Patis
Those two outings took us late into the afternoon. One main reason is due to all the traffic in Manila, going anywhere takes twice as long. While Manila has been interesting to stay in, I'm going to be happy to stay in a smaller city with less traffic and pollution.

I'm still trying to get into a sleep routine. The jet-lag has been rough on my system, but I'm sure I'll settle into a routine soon enough. I'm headed up to Santiago today, Tuesday. It is about an 8 hour drive but I cannot wait to share where I will actually be living!

Here are some pictures I took from just driving around Quezón City:

Yes, that says "Whitening Soap." I think I'm good.

They love their KFC. It is everywhere!
Andrew jammin' to some Filipino music.
Jeepees. They rule the road and are a main form of transportation.
Can't escape from McDonald's.

Thanks for reading!


  1. Love the Episcopal Welcome Sign!

  2. Sounds like your adventure is off to a great start! Have a wonderful time. XO