Wednesday, November 12, 2014

Pictures of meals

 Pretty lobster type thingies
 Sean's supper
 Cute fish and weinies
 The best fruit
Soup, staring at us.

Christmas in the Philipines

We arrived in Manilla on November first.  Christmas was already in full swing.  Trees decorated, Santa everywhere and bloody Christmas music.  OMG.... if I hear one more rapped up Christmas carol I will become homicidal.  Not only are they blaring out over ever speaker but people are singing along at the tops of their voices whether they can sing or not.  Augh!  It is November 13 and I am already Christmased out. 
 This is pretty awesome, tho.  It is a REAL, life sized gingerbread train.
 You could stand in the back of this to have your photo taken.  I watched some kids being photographed and they were knocking the frosting off.  Yes, I did want to beat the little gangsters.
Icicle detail.  Cool, huh?

This is the street in front off our hotel.

The fountain in front of our hotel.

Sustainability versus Livelihood

Samar Island, the third largest island in the Philippines, contains one of the largest tracts of unfragmented rainforest in the country.  For many years the conservation of this rich biodiversity was mismanaged due to civil unrest.  In 2003 the Samar Island Nature Park  was established preventing the islanders from hunting, logging and agriculture except in designated areas.  Trees are not allowed to be cut unless they have been planted specifically for the purpose of harvesting. This law has helped to make tremendous headway with erosion control and the conservation of the many plant and animal species on the island. The downside to this is the fact that Samar Island is one of the most impoverished areas in the Philippines.  The local people, forty five percent of who live below the national poverty line, suddenly lost their food and energy sources.  Many jobs were created within the park and also in tourism but not nearly enough to sustain the population.  Illegal logging on large scale by big companies as well as small scale tree cutters looking for trees for fuel is rampant. As well, there is an illegal trade of animals and birds in the area.  The director of DNR was telling us about an incident a few years ago where an informer was murdered.  Since then there has been a military presence here in the park.

This is an illegal logger.  Kind of drives the point home, huh?

 Part of the challenge and the point in the Model Forests reason for being, is trying to find common ground between a full moratorium on timber harvesting for the sake of conservation and meeting the needs of the local inhabitants.

Sunday, November 9, 2014

Signage in Asia

I have missed many photograph opportunities for funny signage because I have been in a vehicle.  Best one ever was the 'WTF Market'.  Would love to know what they sell there!  Here is one that you might appreciate back in Newfoundland.  It really is The Mall.

Stupid Sean and his Stupid Physics Degree

I don't like flying.  By the end of this trip we will have taken 15 flights.  That is a LOT of sweating. Add to that the fact that all I have been able to think about since I have arrived in Asia is that stupid Malaysian aircraft that I have been so obsessed with for the last 6 months.

So, I am sitting in my seat, sweating profusely, at the end of the runway in Tacloban.  The pilot puts on the brakes and revs the engines to full thrust.  Sean leans over and says 'Do you know why he is doing that, Honey?'   I don't want to know and I don't care , but he perseveres.  'It is because the runway got washed away in the cyclone and there is barely enough left to get this thing off the ground.'  I really don't know why I stay with him.


So... we have it all wrong.  Umbrellas are not to keep you dry.  They are to keep you white.  Philippine people want to be white.  The pool attendant in Manilla was telling me about her cousin who uses whitening cream and takes injections in pursuit of the perfect skin colour.  It is funny to be on the beach here in Borocay.  Philippine people are all hiding out under the trees and white women are stretched out, half naked on the beach.  The people here, understandably,  just don't get us.
They won't even walk from the aircraft to the terminal without protection.

The market

Everybody here goes to the market at 5ish in the morning to get their fish, meat and vegies for the day.  Nobody keeps  food around for more than a day.  It's FRESH
Fresh fish.
 Fresh roasted pig.  This is a delicacy.
 Mmmmmmm.  Eel.
 Iris sniffing the rice before she buys it.  Iris works at Samar National Park and she became our buddy.  We will miss her.
 Duck eggs.... with the ducks still in them.  You suck them out thru the end.  I was not adventurous enough to try this Philippine delicacy.
 Mama Tess (our other buddy) sniffing the mango before she bought it.  Nobody here buys anything without sticking their nose in it first!
 Iris choosing a rice for lunch.
 More fresh fish.
 A lovely display of fish.
.Bananas.  Almost everything is displayed on the ground.
The vegie table.  Their tomatoes do not even compare with ours.  Or their cucumbers.  Ours are WAY more flavourful.