June 12, 2011
Nag-shoshop sa Manila!
We started the day shopping at Cartimar Market that is not far from our house. We had fun exploring shop after shop. We saw them selling everything from freshly chopped meat to shoes and hand tailored clothing--when I say fresh, I mean that you get the pleasure of watching them skin the meat and hack away at it right as you order. Not the most beautiful site, although I would have been alright if not for the overpowering smell of dried blood and old discarded meat parts. My mind just screamed 'fresh air, fresh air!' Luckily the next store in was a shoe store with several large fans to calm the olfactory system. It was mesmerizing to watch several seamstresses use old black humming machines to agilely piece together clothing that someone had requested. Down at the other end of the market was the pet shop, or shops I should say. There were all kinds of fish to put in your tank from sharks to koi and small betas. Or if you wanted a cat, dog, rabbit or rat and mouse multiple colors, shapes and sizes were available. If a bird suits your interest then pigeons, parrots, little colorful chirping birds, chickens, roosters and cockatiels can be found. Darkly I hoped that these animals did not eventually migrate to the other side of the market and leave in a bag instead of a pet...ok, next market, I was suddenly done looking at Cartimar.
Greenhills is out in Quezon city, about an hour drive from our house. Quezon is where the temple is and it was neat to look out over the houses and see white steeple sporting Moroni over everything else. Moroni is actually quite famous here in Manila, twice I have had people who find out we are LDS refer to Moroni by name as the 'guy on the temple,' and the taxi cab driver understood exactly what building I was referring to when I asked if he knew where there LDS temple is. He answered, "Yes, yes a beautiful white building with a steeple and golden warrior!" (all in Tagalog of course). SO warrior, protector, or trumpet player, whatever Moroni is known by he is definitely a symbol that is recognized.
Hiva found some great snacks of course, her favorite being fried dough into a cylinder and filled with chocolate ice cream. We ate dinner at California Pizza Kitchen--yes, I know, that is not very exotic, but after a day of chaotic shopping, it was nice to sit in a quiet place with a clean bathroom for a few minutes while we regrouped.
We finished the night off at Mall of Asia, close to our house. Every Friday and Saturday they have fireworks over Manila bay. We got there early and watched everyone coming and going on the boardwalk until the firework show started. When it did, we suddenly found that they were being let off directly OVER OUR HEADS! It is a bit shocking at first, the noise is so loud it pops your eardrums and the small burning cinders look like they will land on your head before they cool! It is something that I guess you take for granted in the States with safety restrictions that makes you stand so far away from the explosions--it added a whole new dimension of adrenaline to the show though!
The thing that impressed me the most about the malls here in Manila is that they have chapels in all of them. Yes, I said chapels. At first I mistakenly thought there was a store called "Chapel" because all the mall directories listed it. But mall after mall this week I was shocked to realize it is a real chapel with Mass! Incredibly convenient I guess to have Mass in the mall and you can get your shopping done after...