Philippines, Day 14: Sights and Sounds of Santa Maria

It’s Wednesday morning, and we just left the hotel. I don’t know where we’re headed right now, but I guess I’ll find out soon. I slept pretty well last night; at least the beds were comfortable. It’s about a quarter till eight right now.

The place we went to next was another oceanside hotel. We decided to try to find a different one to stay in tonight. This new one wasn’t the best either so I don’t know where we’re staying tonight.

Next, we went back to Lola’s house for breakfast; that’s where we are presently. When I first walked in, I saw Uncle Junior eating what is called “jumping salad”. What it is is raw shrimp. He had a bowl of them, all squirming around, and he would just pull one out and pop it in his mouth. He asked me if I wanted to try it but I said no. I think I’ll stick with the cooked shrimp for now.

Next we’re going to the beach. I would like to walk in the water, but I don’t really care to swim in it. While I was writing that last sentence, Dad asked me if I wanted to swim, or just go down there. That’s kind of weird that he asked me, not knowing that I was just writing about it.

I think it’s neat that three months ago we were standing on the exact opposite side of this same ocean when we were in Oregon. I wonder if any of the water I saw over there has traveled here since then and if I might see it today- probably not.

We just got back from the beach. We first went and saw Lola’s old church and the Sta. Maria (Catholic) church. We got to ride a tricycle again and that was fun. We found quite a few seashells at the beach. The tide was coming in which made our time there a little more fun.

There were men fishing with long bamboo fishing poles. Some guys were diving and catching fish. It was funny to see them swimming with fish connected to their belts. We might go back later after lunch, but I’m not sure.

After lunch we went to see the graves of Lola’s parents. All the graveyards here in the country are like small villages. They are on hills so everyone is buried above ground in their own ”box”. Vines grow up around them and some get completely covered unless someone comes along and cuts the vines away. Some people have small, simple houses built over their graves. It’s too bad that those graves can’t be any nicer.

Next, we went to the beach again. We went to a different beach this time and just walked along it. It wasn’t long before it started sprinkling though, so that took some of the fun out of it. On the way home it turned into a downpour. That was the only tricycle ride I didn’t enjoy so far.

Right now we are just sitting outside at Aunt Earlynn’s house enjoying the cool, clean air. I feel bad for everyone who has to walk home from school in the rain. You know who they are because they all wear uniforms for school. They look really good when they are in them. Everyone looks the same, but that doesn’t make any difference.

I found out that high school is grades seven through ten over here. College starts after tenth grade. Since school already started this year, almost everyone my age is in their last year of high school. I just finished my first year! I also feel bad for most of them because I don’t think their schools have soccer teams. The favorite sport here is basketball and there are lots of basketball courts.

That’s all I can think of right now.

Right before supper, Sheila and Karen took us on a short walk around their neighborhood. Sheila was planning at first to take us to meet her best friend. For some reason, through, we couldn’t; so, we went back to their house after a few minutes of walking.

After eating supper, we came to this second hotel that we visited this morning. It’s a little nicer. The doorknob to the bathroom came off once when I tried to open it. It has a real shower, even though it’s cold. Time for me to go to bed. Tomorrow we’re going to Baguio City after eating breakfast at Aunt Earlynn’s house again.

Meals:
Snack- Kalamay, squid ring

Breakfast- Rice, chicken, cow (beef), chicharone, tomatoes, seaweed, hot chocolate

Lunch- Rice, fish, fish, catfish, shrimp, seaweed, vegetables, jackfruit, patupat

Snack- Pancit, spaghetti, santol, goat, Sprite, Coca-Cola

Supper- Rice, fish, fish, catfish, shrimp, mixed vegetables w/ pork, goat, jackfruit, avacado shake/pudding

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