Friday, April 20, 2012

Cool photographs from Cebu City, Philippines - the perspective of an 8-year old photographer

During our last trip to the Philippines in July and August 2011, my wife and daughter and I stayed for a large part of the time at my wife's parents' place in a subdivision in Cebu.  While staying at her Lolo and Lola's house, our daughter (almost 8 years old at the time) developed a real bond with her Lolo and Lola's helper.  We had been to the Philippines in 2008 when our daughter was almost 5 and she also had the opportunity to meet this young lady back then, but I doubt her memories from that trip are so distinct and lasting.  This time, she became a true buddy with her Lolo and Lola's helper, and referred to her as "Ate" (pronounced "Ah-teh"), which is the Filipino word for older sister. 

Our daughter and her Ate had a mid-morning ritual of walking a few blocks together down to a sari-sari to get a little treat.  A sari sari is a small shop selling various foods and convenience items that in most cases is usually open-air and quite accessible from the street or sidewalk.  Sari-saris can be found anywhere in the Philippines,  from rural to urban to suburban settings, and are found in residential areas just as frequently (or perhaps even more often) as in commercial settings.   During these walks, her Ate would bring along an umbrella to shield themselves from the sun, and the two of them would have great fun walking together and smiling and giggling,  stopping sometimes to meet and talk to friends of her Ate (who were usually other helpers).  They truly had fun together.  These were unique experiences for our daughter, because in the States we don't have sari-sari stores (we have some similar but not exactly like this), we don't typically use an umbrella unless it rains, we don't have helpers, and the architecture of houses and the plants/trees are quite different from back home.  And then there is the much different selection of treats and goodies available at a Philippine sari-sari!  Our daughter tried a variety of Magnolia ice cream drumsticks, some Mentos different than the ones we have in the U.S., etc.

One one or maybe more occasions, our daughter brought her camera along on these walks, and took some really interesting photos from the perspective of an almost 8-year-old Filipina-American who was developing an appreciation of both the fascinating differences and similarities between her own familiar world back in the states and those within this little microcosm of a small subdivision of Cebu.   Armed with a camera and a smile, and free from her parents for a short while with the gracious help and interpretation of the Visayan language of her Ate, she had some experiences that  truly made an impression on her and for which she'll have lasting memories.  The photographs speak volumes about the pure wonder and innocence of a child, her physical height above sidewalk/street level, her interests and things that she deemed important or fantastic or notable.   And the photographs show the love and kindness of her Ate who, although not a blood relative, took care of her just like a little sister, both of them communicating and enjoying each other's company despite   more than a few barriers and challenges in the dialogue between English and Visayan

Here are some samples of the (many) photos our daughter took from their walks together; only one was not taken by our daughter:

One of Ate's friends in Cebu City

"Ate" in her Joe Cool Snoopy shirt

"Ate" upholding the shade

"Ate" with some of her friends in Cebu

In the sari-sari (the only picture not taken by our daughter, but by her "Ate")

Garbage dumping fine:  500 pesos

Philippine papayas

Fridges inside the sari-sari (I'll take the one on the left, please)
Lonely trike (Cebu City)

A mama (or maybe a helper) shielding the baby with an umbrella (Cebu City)

Bananas hangin' high

Sweet wrought iron gate design pattern (note the bubbles)! (Cebu City)

The infamous "business end" of a dog (Cebu City)

Another interesting gate design (Cebu City)

House and truck - cool roofing tiles! (Cebu City)

Fat-bottomed tree (Cebu City)

Multicab pickup truck (Cebu City)

Pedicab driver with gloves and biking sleeves (Cebu City)

Pedicab driver picking up passengers (Cebu City)

Taxi cab driver hangin' out (Cebu City)

Trike trekkers carrying a load (Cebu City)

Camansi fruits on tree in Cebu

Gate and wall around a house (Cebu City)- hey, isn't that those trike guys down the street?

Water storage tower in Cebu

Saturday, April 14, 2012

The Versatile Blogger Award

I have been remiss in posting this, as I've been busy with work lately.  Recently,
I was awarded the Versatile Blogger Award.  Thank you so much to Honey 
(of Little Miss Honey) and Donah (of Mnemonic Reveries) for giving it to me, that 
was very kind!

This award has its rules; if you receive it you have to:

- thank the blogger(s) who sends you the award and add a link to her/his blog

- write 7 random things about yourself

- give the award to other 15 bloggers you love and tell them.

7 Random Things About Me

1. I enjoy spending time with my wife and daughter, especially outdoors and/or traveling

2. My favorite place to visit is the Philippines

3. I'd like to own a bangka boat some day and spend a lot of time out exploring on the sea

4. I once rode on the back of a carabao (water buffalo) 

5. I love history and am intensely interested in manned spaceflight

6. I once got charged by an angry mother moose in Yellowstone National Park

7. My favorite flavors of ice cream are (in no order): anything coffee-related, maple nut, 
black walnut,  anything peanut butter-related, mint chocolate chip, and ube

These are the blogs whose bloggers I want to give this Versatile Blogger Award to.  
I had a hard time coming up with 15 because I'm relatively new at blogging, 
and two that I would've given it to were the ones who nominated me.



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