Friday, September 29, 2006

The first typhoon experience

Yeasterday there was a typhoon here! It was the first typhoon experience I've had, so I was a bit excited :)
This stuff I had only seen on TV.

Before going to bed the day before it said on the news that a typhoon was on its way, it ranges in strength from 1-4 (after 4 it becomes an hurricane), the TV said Metro Manila would be hit with strength 2.

As we woke up there was a "noise" outside, we figured it could some signboard fluttering in the wind. Going to the reception people was talking a bit loud and mentioning a flooded hallway.

Correct, the back entrance was flodded with water, one guy was holding the door shut. I had to go in there and see how it looked.

It was first too much rain inside the 10 meter long hallway that I didn't take a picture, but as you can see I changed my mind after some time ;-)

You can also see people hiding from the weather here.

Outside we found the "noise", as you can see.

We wanted to take a cab to Starbucks in central Makati, no taxi driver would go there as the road to there was flodded. So we took the bus. Trafic was slow and trees was "lying all over the place" :)

Here you can get an idea of how windy and rainy it was, it also shows a big structure for signboards. Taking down the signboards is a standard precaution before typhoons.

And on this picture you can see some guys working to take down a smaller signboard (probably they thought it wasn't neccessary at first)

The aftermath. A park in Metro Manila.

Now the second day we can see even bushes still bending the way the wind blew yeasterday. basically all trees (except a few palm trees) are bent that way.
No electricity in big areas, luckily the malls or similar have power generators.

We love Starbucks ;) (Here I am working outside a closed starbucks having bought some wi-fi credit)

We bought an extension for the power outlet and it's HIT at various coffee shops with wi-fi connection. (Now crowded with people in need of an internet connection)

We are in good shape!

An small article about the event.

A series of pictures from the destructions

Some people from Kristiansand (my hometown) helping people in need

(editing the third day after)
We have learned that "all" the hotels are fully booked as most residential areas here and also nearby provinces are without electricity.

In general this seems aaalmost like a normal event for people here, if this was back home if would be "really bad". One fact is of course that its warmer here and you wount die from the cold here.. Today the generator where we stay "went down", no worries, and later on it was back on :)

Still in good shape!

Sunday, September 17, 2006

"The trip", part 2. Sagada

Next stop was Sagada in the Mountain province

As you can see the weather was not at it's best this day, and this picture is not lying, we could haaardly see the yellow divider line in the middle of road and still the bus was going at normal (if not even faster) speed. Sagada is in the mountans, so the road was going up up and up, hence the fog(clouds) and the road was mostly hairpin bends.

In this picture here we are actually passing another vehicle in this bad weather and bendy road. Good thing the bus had a horn to alert others...

This was the first time I was freezing, honey too :)

Some more pictures of this "exciting" trip :)

Here is were I get excited! A car litterally filled with (Chinese) cabbage.

CR = Comfort room, or "toilet", it's usually a water closet, but you might have to pour the water yourself, and there might not be any water around, and by all means having your own tissue/paper for wiping is really good! So why they call it a "comfort" room I don't know...
Probably because it's always nice taking a dump regardless of the place :-D

At Sagada it was raining heavily but it ended just before we had to leave for our next destination. So from Lonely Planet we learned about the "Hanging coffins" and set out to find them.

Here we are passing by the stone church on our coffin expedition.

The surroundings combined with the weather made it a bit spooky.
Here passing through the semetary.

Narrow pathways leading up to view over the valley with the hanging coffins.

In the end (probably after passing several ghosts) we found the hanging coffins! :-) Here you see them hanging high up in the mountain side on two different locations. Unfortunately we didn't have time to go over to them.

Here you see Sagada center, we stayed in the peach coloured building at the back, and our ride out of here was the blue jeepney to the right. From Sagada we went on a long journey to Banaue, Bagabag and then Tuguegarao were we again slept in a bed :) See Part 3

Saturday, September 16, 2006

"The trip", part 1. Se-Bay + Baguio

So our trip starts, heading for "Se-Bay" a surf resort just outside of San Fernando in the Province La Union.

This pic is not from the very beginning but it's a typical one ;-)

This is how our first room looked like, one of the few at this resort having a double bed. (It was terrible by the way ;-) )

Beginners and more experienced surfers were out in the waves, here is a picture of a normal day when we visited the place, the waves were not too big. The sea temperature warm, easily 26 degrees celcius, nice! :) After a total surfing experience of 1,5 hours, and a big smile from the good start we went on to Baguio city.

(A river with fish pens on the way)

Here is our dinner one day, it's equivalent to less than 10 NOK, the cheapest dinner so far.

As I'm very sensitive for sound/noise as I can't sleep if there is too much of it (my place back home in norway is very quiet) so we usually asked for a quiet place/hotel wherever we came, so in Baguio we was recomended the Henricos hotel, ok it was quiet... at night!

But at close to 06:00 AM this %#¤=!@&* rooster was next to our room (picture taken from bathroom window), cock-a-doodle-doooooooo - cock-a-doodle-doooooo. We moved to a new hotel after that! ;) Hehe I can laugh now, actually I laughed then as well, but with a very tired face :-p

I wasn't the only one annoyed by the sound, if you look close enough there is "something" lying in bed hidden under the pillow and blankets :-D

Exploring the spots in Baguio city the we had to check to underwear on the statues. We are on our way to Burnham park here.

Baguio Cathedral.

This is me in the future with a walking stick (and an axe ;) ), taken in one of the many souvenier shops at the city market.

It was a rainy day and here is the main street of Baguio.

More warrior fun at the city market shops :) Pretending to be two Warriors :)

Friday, September 08, 2006

Living as a "Filipino"

Hi, so finally I ended up at blogspot.. and in a foreign contry, I'm now a foreigner and can feel every day that people look up as you pass more often than back home.

Here are some "facts" and my comments:
- A real filipino eats 5 or more times a day (and takes time doing it), I'm not quite there yet ;)
Breakfast, snack, lunch (1hr min), snack, dinner, snack ++
- Having the cash rolled up keeping then at your waist between your pant and your skin (you might not have a pocket)
- Txt msgs r as shrt s p0sble & "0" nstd f "o" s cmn. cn u rd ds? ;)
I'm starting to be able to read the text messages now, in the beginning I handed the phone over to my honey Karen for translation :)
- Being tired seems common, on the busses the conductor shakes his hand holding coins as he moves, and we think this is because people half asleep can get ready to pay as he gets closer. This made perfectly sence yeasterday as I was very sleepy. (We are currently staying at a questionable hotel every night as we are looking for a good place to stay, the contracts here is at a minimum of 6months (with 2 months deposit you loose upon breaking the contract) so I dont want to sign up for one too fast.
- Using an umbrella mid day when the sun is shining actually makes sense here, the sun is very intense. In addition there might come some sudden rain as well, here in the city you see mostly tall buildings and as the rainy season is still here it might suddenly come a dark cloud over the roof tops.
- Only 2 seasons exist, rainy season and summer. Its safe to say that I'm not looking forward to the summer as they say it will get very hot. But I'll survive ;)

Well, now its back to work! (Karen is out looking for a place to stay, I had to stop doing that mid day as little work was done) More later!