26 February 2008


I attended a CrossFit class last night. My last CrossFit workout, prior to last night, was on Jan 17. That was five and a half weeks ago! Needless to say, I am quite sore today. I was scared to start working out again because I knew it was going to hurt. But I’m so glad to get that first workout over and done with.

Next up, getting back on the water. I haven’t paddled since Jan 20. I know it’s going to hurt, too! Maybe I can procastinate a little longer. I’m such a chicken...

24 February 2008

Back in Vancouver

I got back from Manila a few days ago. I'm still struggling with the change in time zone, five days after arriving. Hopefully, I'll be sleeping normally in a few days. My trip was not really a vacation but I did manage to find time to relax. The best part of the trip was really being able to spend time with my sister, Leslie. I got to see my friends from school and help the Philippine economy by shopping a little bit. I even was able to spend a day at the beach.

My dad, who is the reason I made the trip in the first place, is settling in nicely at the care home he moved into. He has caregivers looking after him 24/7 and he seems to be getting along with them. Finding good quality care for my dad is a big relief for our family.

Pics from my trip are at my Flickr site.

7 February 2008

Driving stress, etc.

I've had my dad's car for a week now. It's great not having to rely on other people to drive for me or to take public transportation. The downside is I have to tackle the traffic and the non-existence of road rules. There are no lanes. If there is an open space, a vehicle goes for it. Vehicles doing a left turn do not wait for the oncoming traffic to clear up (b/c they would wait forever). Instead, they inch their vehicles forward to get in the way of the oncoming vehicles. But while the inching forward is happening, the oncoming traffic swerves to the right in order to avoid the left-turning cars. This happens until the left-turning vehicles have created enough of an obstacle that the oncoming traffic has no choice but to stop. Also, since the cars just go wherever there's enough of an open space, the cars end up being inches away from each other. I swear, my heart is going 200 bpm while I'm driving here.

Going to the mall is the official leisure activity of people in Manila. They don't really shop but they sit and enjoy the air-conditioning. But some people do shop and I must say that I've been frequenting SM Mall since last week. Decent shoes for $20. How can I say no???

Corruption is still everywhere and it doesn't seem to be getting any better with time. My dad has property in a rural area called Lucena. Since we have to settle up the property taxes, we're going to have to go there to pay. I was advised to not talk to the tax people myself since I sound foreign. Apparently, the tax people will make up problems to make it hard to retrieve information or process the payment, whatever, so that I will be forced to bribe them to get the "problem" to go away. So I have to find a local to speak to the tax people. Good thing my mom has relatives in that town. But what a pain!

And that's what I've discovered. Getting things done here can be a slow, inefficient, and painful process. Even getting from one place to another can be very slow and nerve-wracking.

Makes me appreciate Canada even more.

2 February 2008

Manila tidbits

Using a dial-up connection makes me appreciate high-speed connections even more! This is just painful...

Craziness is Manila traffic. Attending my aunt's party in the other side of town (around 50 km), we had to leave my sister's house three hours before the start of the party.

My sister's maid, Jessa, is awesome. I don't have to lift a finger at my sister's house. Having a maid like her is definitely the way to go!

At my aunt's party, they served a buffet dinner. There was no vegetable dish - just rice, noodles, and meat! I wonder how vegetarians make it in this city.

I bought two pairs for shoes for $25. I had a haircut and pedicure at a nice salon for $12.50. I bought a t-shirt for $7. My sister and I had a big lunch for $7. But gas costs $1.10 a litre, just like in Vancouver.