This blog is now retired. My new site is at: Predictably Irrational.

Monday, January 23, 2012

Philippines: Day Ten

Our last day here. When I got up, I decided to take (more) pictures of the view I have every morning.

This view is from the side of the terrace, where I sit and blog, while Tim surfs the net. It's close to my auntie Cely's place, so we can pick up her internet from this spot. It's actually very, very cool in the early morning.

My auntie's place is the light colored pink/sand house on the left, on top of the green roof. You can't see their windows but they usually can see us from there, to see if the lights are on, or if we are out on the terrace.

This picture on the right is a close-up of Our Lady of Lourdes. You can see a snippet of it above, in the upper right corner.

Every morning you can hear prayer service coming from here. It's catholic but Tim said it sounded like the prayers he heard while he was stationed in Saudi Arabia. It's recited in a very monotone voice from a man and then a woman's voice comes in, as if to answer questions from the monotonous male voice.

This is the other side of the side terrace, opposite direction to where Our Lady of Lourdes sets.

This appears to be some water bottling distributor. Throughout the day, there is a song that plays when the trucks back up. I can't remember the name of the song but it's a popular one. Every time I hear it, which is about 100 times a day, I try to pinpoint the name of the song. But alas, I never got it figured out. I bet one day I'll be driving along and it'll play on G105 and I'll be like "THAT'S IT!"

What is truly amazing to me is, if you notice the bottom right-hand corner of the picture above, you see this - a little bit of barrio in the city.

It's a home with a dirt foundation, banana trees growing, and these roosters crowing for us. Here, among all the concrete, a rural piece of paradise. I love it.

This is the side terrace that the pictures above were taking from. The chair is next to a table and another chair for the internet freaks.

The sliding doors are the entrance to the two bedroom apartment.

And yes, no shoes allowed into the home...

There are three locks to get through (not including the sliding glass door entry), and about 60 stairs, to make it to and from our 4th floor apartment. The last (or the first, depending on if you are coming or going) gate is the one you see in the picture above.

Beyond the gate, the stairwell. And we are on the fourth floor, so it's eight steps, then seven; then eight, then seven; then one more set of eight and seven steps.

Once at the bottom of the stairwell, it's a short hall to get to the second locked gate.

This is the other side of the gate above. The hand print on the wall next to the gate is my auntie Cely's hand. This building was being built when she found out she had ovarian cancer. The hand print was to keep her memory with the building, which she oversaw.

Also, this building was being built during our visit to London. They had a video camera fixed on the building, so they could watch it whenever. While we were over there, we saw uncle Bong looking over the work. It's pretty cool and special that we were staying in that very same building during our stay.

Then it's the carport with its locked, sliding gate.

Tim seemed to always have the keys, so I was always needing help to get these opened just to get back up to the apartment.

Here is the building, as best as I could get standing in front of it.

My auntie's home is just one house away. This is another home that she worked on: design, detail, everything.

Once through the gates, I am greeted daily by Cecil (don't know if that's the right spelling) and Wilma. Unbelievably, they hand-washed our clothes every day.

We had another mani/pedi treatment, so that we would have freshly polished toes and fingers when we got back to the U.S.

CJ had an amazing black/white design that made me green with envy. I wanted that soooo bad but I wasn't going to be a copycat.

MiMi was going to be a copycat. After all, all she wants to be is just like her big sister. But her cousin picked out different colors to make it different, so she opted for the pink and purple design.

I didn't get a picture of my nails but I had an elegant take on a french manicure: tan polish with white tips. Oooo-la-la!

My auntie Precy came in from the barrio to be with my cousin Babbles, who was going in for wisdom teeth extraction. This is my uncle Bong's family, although missing our his sons Jay and Jope.

What a busy day at the Ramos family home since she was getting her teeth removed, we were spending our last day, and my auntie Cely would be returning from the hospital after her chemo therapy.

The chemo didn't go so well physically for her. My auntie Mher stayed with her all night. It was decided, after a hard evening, that this would be the last of the chemo for her. This was it. She is done. So whatever happens next...just happens.

I decided I wanted to get another gift for my BFF's daughter, so CJ and I went with my uncle Bong back to Balibago's Rosas to pick up the gift. We rode the jeepney and crossed bumper-to-bumper roads to get to the store. I clutched my uncle Bong as CJ clutched me. Of course, I forgot my iPhone and captured NOTHING of this. Inconceivable that I would walk away from my main BFF, my iPhone...but it actually happened.

Auntie Tess managed to convince the family that a night at New York's pizza would be ideal for our last meal in the Philippines. I found it ironic - an American meal in the Philippines. But it was perfect. I was introduced to the pizza roll: a very thin-crusted pizza cut into strips.

You place upon the strip some alfalfa sprouts and arugula. Arugula is my very, very favorite green in the universe. I absolutely love arugula. You can't really tell in my photo but these were the biggest arugula leaves I have ever seen. I want them here.

This is what it looks like, on a plate that's already rolled two of these (sorry about that :)). That is also a piece of pizza crust next to the strip...the only ends (pizza crust) of the pizza roll are on either end of the long strip.

Before the final roll, a nice drizzle of pesto sauce (yes, italian pesto sauce) is placed along the strip.

And then it's time to roll.


I did a brief google search and found no such thing within the first three pages. If anyone who actually reads this knows of something like this, I would love to get a link. I am going to try to make this on my own but I'd love to see if there are variations, or at least a baseline on the crust.

We made it back home and took a lot of pictures. I went up to say goodbye to my auntie Cely. It was hard not to boo-hoo through the whole thing. I was warned not to cry in front of her but that was one of the hardest things for me to do. I'm crying as I write this. I truly hope that she will pull through this and that I'll be able to visit her again.

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