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Andreas's Travel Blog

Published: 08.06.2010, Updated: 03.03.2017

Ready for take-off -  Gardermoen Airport, February 15th 2008: I was sure that I wouldn’t miss Norway one bit. Yet I could not understand that this was THE DAY. We had been talking about it for years, that we wanted to visit “Aunt” Nora’s home country – the Philippines. Finally we got a formal invitation.

Mamasan and Papasan (Nora’s parents) were going to celebrate their Golden Anniversary – 50 years of marriage (cn U believe it?) and invited all their children with husbands, grandchildren and friends. If U wonder about me, I’m in the last category together with my parents.


Arrival

Flying gives me the creeps, so let’s just put it this way – 19 hours up in the skies - from Amsterdam, Singapore Airline brought us via Singapore to Manilla. I will never forget our arrival – the hustle n' bustle of cars, waving and screaming people and the damp air. Cousins and distant relatives were all over the airport wanting to give us the warmest welcome ever and we climbed into the vehicles that were supposed to take us to Angeles City, not the fanciest cars I’d seen, but who cares – I was like a zombie after the exhausting flight. However, I instantly made up my mind – when I get my licence – I will never drive in Manilla. The traffic was the craziest I’ve ever seen and people practically lived on the streets, on the pavements or in sheds.

Magandang Umaga - Good Morning!

Andreas PhilippinesAndreas Philippines
Opphavsmann: Eli Huseby

I don’t think I understood the HUGE difference before I woke up in the morning and had my first breakfast – Coconut, papaya and mango. Apart from the memorable breakfasts, what will I remember 4ever? No doubt, I will not forget about my meeting with the Aetas (the indigenous people in Angeles) in a village surrounding volcano Pinatubo. In 1991 the volcano erupted, and the Aetas, who lived as nomads, lost everything. Now – after 17 years – Pinatubo had got some of its vegetation back and the people had started to build up small villages of sheds. Together with a doctor that had worked among the people, we went for a visit. On his advice we brought candies for the children, and they were all but smiles. Look at the line in the picture, then you know what I’m talking about!

Getting Familiar with Filipino Ways

Michael in BarongMichael in Barong
Opphavsmann: Eli M. Huseby

Of course I won’t forget the wedding either. Mama – and Papasan are passionate Catholics and they actually re-married in their local church! The only thing I didn’t like about the wedding, was that I had to dress up in the local barong like all the other men. I'm a chicken, I know, forgive me for attaching a snapshot of my friend Michael, and not myself, dressed up in a barong for his prom. Eh, and one more thing – the Filipinos have a crush on caroche, I thought I would  go mad.  What I actually handled better, was the food. The people are quite practical about that. One dish which actually became one of my favourite was frogs (tasted like chicken). I wanted to taste the cobra as well, but then my usually calm mum panicked. We spent our last week in the Philippines in a bamboo hut in the Northern part of Luzon, scuba diving. However, there was a bitter taste to this tropical adventure, people were so poor that it really made me think. Yet they were so friendly – and take my woe: I will be back ASAP!

Andreas

 

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