Smokey Mountain etc.

Good morning world! It is 7:30 am as I write this blog. We had a long day yesterday, left at 9 am and got back to our hotel REALLY late, 11:45pm! Mind you, we have been sleeping consistently at no later than 9pm! Not sure if it’s because the sun goes down pretty early or if it’s because our jet lag still has effect on us.

So like I said early we started our day at 9am. We headed over to Manila to visit the area of Smokey Mountain, but on the way we made a quick stop in Bangkal to see Lolo Dan's family. Smokey Mountain is a huge landfill where many unfortunate people live in and around garbage. It was quite the experience to observe some of the poor conditions in which these people make their living. There was a long strip of developed road along the middle, more like a small highway with 2-way traffic and on either side were run down shanty houses ranging from 1 - 3 stories and several blocks deep. There was garbage literally everywhere, piles of garbage outside and inside of houses, even garbage on their roofs, which appeared to weigh down and cave in their roofs slightly. There were a lot of electrical lines running into huge tangles just hanging in very close proximity to their homes. Along the road, we saw a few kids taking baths on the street just outside of their house. They would have a small bucket filled with water (not sure where that water came from) and then using a smaller water scoop (named Tabo in Tagalog) they poured that water on their bodies. We then reached an area just down the road where we saw what seemed like a big hill covered in grass, but as we approached closer, it was actually a pile of garbage, layers upon layers of old garbage where grass has now grown over. We headed down to a bridge overpassing a river of dark brown water with garbage floating down stream.  On the edge of the river were children swimming, playing and having fun in the water! We called them over to us and showing off their skills, they jumped off the bridge into the water (don’t worry they survived!). Its just amazing to see how people living in these kinds of conditions manage to find contentment with what they have. A good reminder to us to count our blessings everyday!

After a mini tour of Smokey Mountain, we headed over to Makati to visit Matthias’ dad at the Fairmont, who is on business in the Philippines. We got the chance to have some merienda with him and after that headed to pool for some swimming.  For dinner at the hotel, we feasted on a huge spread of all sorts of food. The best part of the buffet was definitely the desert table!! Anything you could think of, it was there! I usually go all out with dessert, but I think I filled up way too much on the other food (I obviously wasn’t thinking!). You know that saying “our eyes are bigger than our stomachs”, I’m pretty sure I wasn’t the only one who committed gluttony last night!

Following dinner we headed to MOA. The boys brought some hockey gear and played on the ice. They did a few drills and all I can say was that there were a lot of open nets missed!  Fastest skaters, hands down were PG and Doug! There were some crazy fans present at the rink, not talking about Jun and Lolo D! They were actually highschool girls screaming for the boys, little did they know, they weren’t legit NHL players! The boys made the girls’ day and posed for pics with them. After all that commotion settled down, Jobelle and I hit the ice. I gotta say our shot accuracy was exceptional! We just need to work on the skating a little bit more. I took a tiny fall on the ice and now have a warrior scar on my knee (I suggest not wearing shorts on the ice unless you’re amazing skaters ;P)!

We then took a long journey home back to Angono, Rizal. Traffic here is crazy btw! We spent most of our time in a van sitting in traffic. Thank God for aircon and our good driver, who can dodge in and out of traffic!

Well I hope you enjoyed my rant!

God Bless,

LAARNI =)