Amazing as it seems I am two weeks through my visit here.
Some might be getting a little confused about why I am here. There is only one important reason and that is to be with Dennis. This isn’t a vacation to me, it’s just about having to travel to the Philippines because it is where Dennis happens to be. I’m still in very regular contact with home dealing with daily issues, the council, social services and so on. I am geographically away from it but technically still connected.
Obviously it’s cool to wander into Manila and see the place, travel in a Jeepney and so on. Wandering around the malls is fun but it is who I am with rather than where I am that matters most to me.
Highlights for me, apart from every second I spend with Dennis have to be meeting family and friends.
Veronica and her family and Imee of course who has kept me entertained for hours with conversation about anything and everything
Ireneo too tries real hard with his English and makes me feel welcome. Of course, my grasp of the local language is the reason I don’t communicate as much as I would like. I am hoping, now that I have heard it a lot more that I can contextualise better at home and learn a bit more.
‘Along’ or ‘Rusty’ or ‘Charles’ I really hope gets far in life. It’s quite difficult for me to accept that a younger person can be so willing to help older (not old) people. He just does what he is asked to do and often does most of it way before he is asked to do it. So many in the UK could learn a lot from people like Charles. I guess it is maybe a Filipino thing, something perhaps which used to happen in the UK but has been long since forgotten.
This is Grace and her family. I keep forgetting to get a picture of Teresita (is that the right spelling) though we’ve already met Twice. Veronica, Grace and Teresita are all Dennis’s sisters. Imee is a cousin and Charles a nephew.
All the family make me feel so welcome and make a huge effort to communicate apologising for their poor English. There is totally no need of course, it’s me who should speak the local dialect or, at least, their dialect. I am hugely grateful for all their efforts to involve me.
As well as family there are friends. Joy, sadly, needed to leave not long after I arrived. Last weekend I got to spend time with the lovely Richie and Andrew (Nanu) both here and at the Mall of Asia in Manila. Got to watch a really cool fireworks display too. Charles had never seen fireworks like that and I felt quite humbled to think how often I had and how much we take such things for granted. It really makes me feel like I want to personally raise this country to the level it should be but, I of course, can’t do that.
Sure, a few times the issue of the allegedly rich foreigner has raised its ugly head whereby some have presumed it’s OK for me to pay a small fortune but it’s totally not caused an issue and I think allowed a learning curve.
Coming was the right thing to do, thank you Steve C
and this is why …. me and Dennis together at last. Roll on next spring when hopefully he is in the UK with me for a visit and then full steam ahead to 2017