Pictures from the Philippines..

I've been meaning to post these for awhile now.  Manila was such an enjoyable place to people watch!  I loved their smiles, energy and resilience!  Such a humbling journey...

Without further ado..

I will state the obvious; I have a small obsession with dogs.  I think it's my duty to say hello to every dog I meet.  Overall, it just makes me happy to see a dog; especially one that looks like my old roommate's dog!  Shout outs to my lovely former roomie Jody and her dog Capri!

This is the mass that I stumbled upon in the garden of a shopping mall.  I am familiar with Filipino faith and devotion to the church, as the masses I attended in Northern NJ and Madrid were always packed with Filipino families. Initially, I was really impressed that they love mass so much that they blast the volume of the service through jumbo speakers, reaching as far as the cars driving on the street.  

I later realized that they have this space not because they want to worship at the mall, but rather for a lack of official "brick and mortar" churches.  People need to worship wherever they can, and in this case, it happens at the mall.  From a consumer standpoint, I really appreciate this idea, because it's less intrusive than people approaching shoppers at a mall to convince/convert random people to the cause.  From a faith-based standpoint, it's a more beautiful and natural way to convince/convert people to believe.  It seems to be a more sustainable way for people to make faith part of their daily lives; perhaps the ritual/perceived inconvenience of going to worship services only once a week in formal clothing in a formal building is outdated?? 

Early morning calm of Makati Avenue

My favorite painting in the Ayala Museum!!

SHOUT OUTS TO IBIZA AND MALLORCA!!! (Although more commercial, I'm sure the islands are no less 'splendid' today, than they were in 1963! I love the Balearics!!)

I REALLLLYYYYY really love letters.  Especially letters that are handwritten, but type-writer font is beautiful too!

His exhibit was really inspirational and beautiful.  Be sure to check out the Ayala Museum if you are ever in Makati!

Have you passed the "FOUR WAY TEST" today?

Street market outside of my hotel

Karaoke anyone?

No street fair in Asia is complete without a HelloKitty booth!

Zumba merch at the training workshop

Famous Philippino jeepney!

Finally!  A "brick and mortar" church.

This would be my Zumba classmate, who sat down with me to eat lunch.  I was by myself because I needed a breather after an intense morning at the workshop.  He didn't ask if he could sit.  He just plopped down.  To tell you the truth, I didn't even mind.  I feel like I was humbled by his kindness and natural ability to connect with another human being.  Maybe I'm making too much of it, but how many people do you pass in one day, and never make eye contact, share a smile, or acknowledge another person's presence?  Just like Filippino houses, there are no fences, walls, boundaries to their neighbors, whereas in the States, we are so obsessed with defending our property, our little plots of land, and building fences to block out our neighbors.  I'm a better person because of this lesson!

Grandma here is a little blurry, but she was doing all of the cooking in the hot heat, and man, her food was delish!!

Me in the airplane back to Shanghai....Salamat Filippines!! :)

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