Tuesday, August 7, 2012


If you can picture the worst traffic on I-15 and then multiply it by 3 you'll have the daily traffic in Manila and Quezon City!  It is something to behold!  The only reason people are still alive on these streets is because the traffic moves slowly (at least most of the time).  You definitely have to know ahead of time where you are destined to go.  There is not much room, or time to change your mind!  We both have our driver's licenses, but Elder Harris is a much better driver than I; so I am the navigator.  It seems to take two of us to get where we need to go.  We do have a map, but it is very hard to read and there are few street signs.  We have to go by "turn by the big tree" or "turn at the roundabout", or "look for the Provident Living sign".  Sometimes the Jollibees are good location markers.  A Jollibee is a hamburger joint.

The different modes of transportation are walking, lots of jay-walking, bicycles, motorcycles, trikes, jeepneys, cars, trucks, taxis and very large trucks.  We try not to travel on EDSA.  EDSA is the biggest main artery through Manila and surrounding cities.  There are usually 4-6 lanes going in each direction with a fenced barrier in between.  Adding to the driving difficulties here is the fact that there are very few left turn intersections.  In order to turn left you must go through the intersection and then drive until you see a U-Turn sign (it might be a few kilometers or as much as a 1/2 mile or so). Then after you make the U-Turn you must go back to the intersection and make a right turn (hope you followed that explanation). The U-Turns are few and far between and sometimes the lines are very long.  If you miss one, it could be miles before you see another. EDSA has buses and bus lanes that are good to stay away from!  If you happen to turn into a bus lane, you could be there for a long time waiting for the bus to move, or a bus may tailgate blasting his horn until you are out of his way or he can get around you . As you can see, EDSA is not our favorite street.

Aurora Blvd. north of Mission Office

Train going East above Aurora Blvd.

Jeepneys and trikes are modes of transportation that we have never seen before!  We have climbed into a jeepney, but have yet to ride in one or a trike.  President DeLaMare suggests that we not ride on them because they stop and start fast and we may get hurt trying to get on or off.


Is Anything More Fun than Water!!?

Yes, More Water!

They love to pose for pictures!

Are words really necessary?  What treasures!  Filipino children will sometimes take your hand and put the back of your hand to their foreheads as they bow to you!  It is so precious!  They catch you off-guard.  You just want to hug them, but we are cautioned as missionaries to not hold the babies or hug the children.  So sad for loving grandparents that we are, but we will follow the rules.  However, many children will come and climb up on your lap and I do not stop them.
You see children everywhere:  among the cars on the busy roads, alongside the road, playing in the dirt or in the puddles, carrying each other; and they seem to always be smiling.
They call you Mum, po (an expression of respect) Sir, and hardly ever hesitate to shake your hand.
("Except Ye...Become as Little Children")