Tuesday, January 22, 2008

Leaving the thousand islands

It is definitely with mixed feelings we are now leaving the Philippines, going to Norway!
We arrive in the "worst" time possible for Karen, it's the coldest time and I'm thinking, well, now it can only get warmer :-)

So what about this place Land of Islands, it's a place where the people in general are very friendly, every white guy is a "Joe" as in "Hey Joe!" is being said/shouted towards me everytime we move out of Makati. It's a land where the class gap is bigger (than in Norway) this becuase it is not a welfare society. Again that fact leads to the temptation of gaining extra money from "gifts" or bribes to be even bigger. We hear about this also in Norway, and usually when it comes to government related things, the same is valid here only in wider bigger scale, it's not the minds of the people being more "corrupt" it's how the state work.
The intrastructure is (in basically everything) is far from what I'm used to but it works, you just have to plan more time moving between places, and people do. The busses have TVs showing either the local station with entertainment or a pirated movie bloody or not it seem to not matter as long as there is something rolling on the screen in front ;-)
Back home we also value education and family, I believe everyone, everywhere values at least family, here it is even more present. You are likely to live with your parents, brothers and sisters until you get married (or while taking education out of town).
I met a woman that is raising 5 teenagers on her own all sent to top private schools, and who is "the richest woman in miles area" about the shool system here, will you get into the school you want as long as you have the money? "No, because you have take a skills test". Again "Are you just paying for 'the name' of the school or do you really get much better education from school #1 to #2?" "Yes, you are definitel do". People travel to the Philippines to take better education and cheaper compared to their home country, students are head hunted direcly from schools to other countries.
Again - this is for the wealthy population who can afford the private schools.
Devoution to Catholicism is very clear, all over you see pictures and statues, unlike back home (in the land of protestants).
It's a warm country, in people's hearts and of course the temperature all year long. It's great for diving! We both took the "license to dive" here and recently we got the advanced license + nitrox license, much better taking this education in warm clear water than back home :-D
They Loooove videoke! (Karaoke), you find them "everywhere", bars, resaurants and resorts etc.
Right now it's our last day here, we have rented a videoke machine and everyone is singing :-)

Ok better end this so I can pack the computer and join the videoke fun :-)

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