Trip Start Feb 01, 2008
8Trip End Apr 07, 2008
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Pateros', one of Metro Manila's outer small cities. Engulfed by air pollution
and covered in scraps, and broken sidewalks, and markets galore! Pateros is
probably one of the most densely populated regions of Metro Manila, and
therefore, the Philippines as a whole. Yeah, it's been tough on our lungs to
walk around during the day, and uneasy on our minds to not be allowed out at
night, but we're making the best of it.
Eileen is making amazing progress in her studies. She's
taking a course called "The History of Healing,", the text is "Planet Medicine"
and the context looks at shamans, medicine men and natural healers from around
the world and throughout time,(infact the Philippines been referenced several times
as its tribes are rooted in Shaman Healing to this day.)! It will be
interesting traveling through lands where ancient shamanic medicine and other
healing practices are still in existence. (Such as, the northern mountains of
the Philippines & various parts of India). She's hoping to get this course
done before we leave the Philippines, because text books aren't light. Her next
course is already in our possession, and it's one of the biggest textbooks
she's had so far. You have to imagine, both our bags filled with bare basics,
the lightest in camping technology, and 2 huge textbooks! (Gives a new meaning
to the term "work Load")
Anyways, since we last wrote about Borocay, we've been
keeping pretty low key. We've had a few more day trips, but on the whole, been
hanging around the house studying, and spending the day's at the near by market
(mall), which is one of the Philippines newest modern developments. The area is
called "Bonifacio Global City" It's made up of a number of new apartments and
condo buildings, surrounding a man made community walking street, lined with
shops and restaurants. It's extremely posh for what you would expect to see in
Manila, but it's their newest development, and partly, the center of Manila's
growing economy. There's even a rock-climbing wall in the mall, which we've
been spending our time at. In this part of the nearby community, Global city is the only place with clean and cool air, decent food, a library to work at, and grass to walk on, so this is where we
have been spending a lot of our time. It's interesting for us to look at this
obvious decision, and re-acknowledge how fortunate we are.
It's a really amazing example of the distinct split of
classes found here in the Philippines; from the wealthiest lifestyle to those
struggling in poverty. We walk everyday from our small place in Pateros,
through a few "ghetto" communities filled with children in rags, running
through the streets, ratty shacks, and fast paced motorcycles. We make our way
through busy streets, and up a steep corridor stairway until we reach the
highway. Approaching, the side of the road is littered with garbage and water
waste from the nearby villages. Across the street we can see the luminous
building which represents the rest of the world. "Market Market" written bold
on it's front surface, it seems like a tease to the rest of these villages,
perched high so as to overlook Pateros and nearby communities with it's bright
lights and tempting wealth. And running across the highway to avoid passing jeepney's
tricycle's, buses and cars, we rush into a new world. And the sad thing is, we
rarely look back....
It's one thing to talk about visiting small towns and
villages, and it's another to live the experience. Everyday we pass the by and smile at the faces of those who cannot
afford to cross that highway. And we walk right by them, onwards to the new
world. One can't help but feel ashamed, yet this is life here. Some are
extremely rich, some are extremely poor. I'm really happy to be living where we
are, where my mother was born and raised. It's roots... it's the opportunity to
live a "raw" life outside of what we know as "reality." And a wise man once
said, "you haven't lived until you live on both sides of the spectrum." This is
a good rationale for our choices in life right now. Many travelers intentions parallel, we seek to experience life on
the side of the spectrum. This doesn't necessarily mean we need to live off the
streets and eat what we can catch. But, there is something to be said about
returning to basics.... Returning to living with what you need and nothing more.
And like all travelers, there is an eventual return to a past reality with new
perspectives. This is important for us... to keep sight of our future goals, and
hold them in our pockets as we walk through these experiences.
We'll be posting more pics when we get back..
Dee-Kay & Ee-Why