So i posted this quite late, but i would like to share about my first days in the Philippines.
I arrived in Clark's Diosdado Macapagal International airport, in Pampangan, about 2 hours drive north of Manila.And I was welcomed by my very warm-hearted and super nicely friendly local, Darby.
I know him from couchsurfing. I sent a request to stay in his house for a night and he was ok with my request. He detailed all the explanation about how to reach him and when and where to meet. I met him in the Mall in Pampanga.
We introduced ourselves and before we headed to his house he asked me to join him shopping for foods. I was so excited to join with local to shop. Actually I was hungry since i didn't get any meals (meals mean rice for me :p ) just grabbed bread while waiting for him. Actually he was 23 and i was about too turn 22 that time. i am struggling to pursue my bachelor degree but he is already working in very nice place in government for SME program (CMIIW). The first thing that awed me.
What we purchased in the super market? (i didn't buy any from there anyway. only he did). He bought some seasonings to cook and vegetables. Then in the midst of shopping he showed me the 'java rice' derived from java island in Indonesia (when i live) and rice. They call that one because they think it's originally from there. I'll tell you what the java rice is later in Javanese's view.
We were all done shopping, time to go back home! (his home). Before we went to small money changer stall in the local market, so surprised that they even had money changer in this place, then i was thinking about the abundant of balikbayan. We rode a tricycle (pronounced traih-seeh-kohl) to reach his home. it was motor tricycle, and it took about 8 minutes to reach his house. a bit near but he told me that he thought i might be tired so he didn't want to ask me to walk. And to be hones, i was so tired but i pretended to be ok.
Oh finally, home in local filipino. I met Mrs. Bognot who opened the door for us. She was very nice mom and friendly. She's definitely mommy. Darby handed over the stuffs he bought to his Mom. We talked a bit about where i was from, my activity, bl bl blaaaa. Then he asked me to wait a moment while she will cook for our dinner. I was so happy to have that one, dinner with local family. But i know it wouldn't take 5 minutes to prepare and cook the all. So I chilled out in living room, put off all my bags to the floor. I was still unsure where i would sleep that night.
Darby was going upstairs to change his working attire then he went downstairs. He asked me to join him seeing around the city. He has hobby for jogging and running (which is those are not me, i am not that physical fit hehehe). Okay we went out the door started roaming the road in the dusk. A few minutes later we passed intersection with under reconstruction food eateries mall. He told me about how the young people spent their night in weekend. We continued jogging (actually walking) to see his University. His uni looked small compared to mine, but it was the best uni in that province (i guessed) and nice church he and his family belong to.
We were quite tired then we stopped for young coconut. He bought me a plastic of sweetened young coconut water, for 10 Pesos. We walked after several minutes we met a child beggar, she begged to us (and i was saying inside that she was begging to the wrong person). Suprisingly, Darby gave his unfinished drink and i gave nothing. I was thinking it was rude to give that, then it turned out that it was normal in the philippines. You cant do that in Indonesia,, here the beggars dont want anything but money only. enough with that surprised, we stopped again to fish ball stall to buy that street snacks, i was loving that snack, cheap and delicious.
We ventured back to home, and actually i was getting hungrier than before and hoped for the dinner soon. We arrived home and surprised, the dinner was not yet ready hahahaha. Then okay I stopped thinking about dinner, i thought about where to sleep. Then darby invited me to go upstairs and asked me to bring all my belongings but shoes down. Yeah, that the place i slept, darby's private room. I'll say that his room was very cool. not that big but enough for everything. very well-packed, sophisticated but simple. I still remember that room. He gave me additional mattress for me to sleep. we talked a bit and just to-knot-each-other time. His mom then called out to go to dinning room to have dinner. Anyway, his father was home too. Mr. Bognot was so friendly as well, less talkative, looked firm but nice.
The foods were ready! Mrs. Bognot served us the steamed rice, chicken (with curry and it was not spicy), stirred fried eggplant, and java rice! She asked me about Java rice. So Java rice in the philippines is Rice cooked with special seasoning that makes it yellowish look and it tastes like 'nasi goreng jawa' in Indonesia. So basically we call it Fried Rice here in Indonesia.
Mrs. Bognot was TV series lover. She has very good knowledge and very nice to talk to. We were done with all the dinning, it was late time to go to bedroom.
So it was time to sleep!! No I mean. Darby was very smart guy. He knew almost everything I knew but i knew few what he knew. There was no dull in our conversation. We decided to watch a movie from my laptop, so we watched Hindi movie called ENGLISH VINGLISH, and I think he must have loved that movie. We talked about random things so there was no dull of use till the time clicked to 1 am, he had to work in the morning so time to officially sleep.