Signs, signs: Self-service?

I’m coming back to Signs, signs meme again as I think I have lots of signs that need posting here. It’s just finding the time to post, that’s all.

Anyways, I was in Iloilo City two months ago for a training. For those who do not know, Iloilo City is one of the highly-urbanized cities in the Philippines, and the capital of Iloilo province. Iloilo City is a two-hours bus-ride away from my hometown, Roxas City, in the province of Capiz. Anyhoo, the training was conducted at a mid-range hotel, and it’s also where we (participants) stayed.

In one of the coffee breaks, I dashed to the loo only to be surprised at the sign waiting for me.

toilet sign

I was puzzled at the sign in the beginning – the “self-service” part, lol. It was only later on when I realized what it meant!

open

Monday Mellow Yellows 059: Taxicabs

Seen through the glass walls of the airport is the skyline of Metropolitan Manila.

monday mellow yellows manila skyline

The yellow cars on the right side of the photo looked like a fleet of yellow taxi cabs. I might be wrong, considering my distance from the said area.

Monday Mellow Yellows

Monday Mellow Yellows 056: Angry birds

Is it just me or the week has gone slowly?

Oh well, please excuse this pregnant mama. I kinda felt like the days went by ever so slowly last week. It’s like waiting forever for Monday to come so I can post my Monday Mellow Yellows entry. So here it is:

monday mellow yellows angry birds

This Angry Birds statues are located inside one of the popular restaurants in Tarlac. I don’t exactly get it why they have Angry Birds in the restaurant. Sure it’s popular to kids but what does it exactly do? For picture purposes?

Add to that, they also have statues of the past Philippine presidents, particularly Cory Aquino and Joseph Estrada, in the restaurant garden. And not the usual standing statues, mind you. They are seated on benches around the restaurant. I kind of find it spooky. It just feels weird.

Monday Mellow Yellows

Monday Mellow Yellows 053: Roosters

Our company has alloted some budget for our teambuilding activities. Of course we all know what it’s purpose is for. And, as employee, I think it is really great that companies do spend money for staff development and boosting morale via fun trips like we had recently.

Anyways, in one of those trips, I came across this posse of roosters at a restaurant. Not exactly a sign that they’re serving chicken dishes (the restaurant serves seafood). Had my son been with me, he would have blurted out “manok ni San Pedro”, or, St. Peter’s roosters! Lol.

mellow yellow mondays chicken statues

Wait, these are roosters, aren’t they?
You could tell from the red comb on their heads and the red wattle on their necks and have sickle-shaped tail feathers.

Monday Mellow Yellows

Mellow Yellow Monday 044: Clowning around

Greetings from Isdaan (fishpond) Restaurant in Tarlac City (Philippines)!

I actually wrote this a week ago (and was set to autpost) while I was there with my office-mates for a company-sponsored team-building activity. Isdaan is located along the long stretch of Gerona Highway. From outside, you would think it is a big eclectic themed-park or resort. I said eclectic because of the presence of huge statues of monkeys, Buddhas, former Philippine presidents, and a lot more. I don’t know really know what they’re trying to achieve with this mix.

Anyways, as the name suggests, fresh fish are the main attraction at the restaurant. However, other favourite Filipino dishes are also served. In my opinion, I don’t think the food is outstanding – just okay – and the place is so — outlandish. Pardon me but that’s how I felt when I set foot there.

Oh, and there were clowns who entertained us on the day we went there.

Clowns!

Not your usual signs made by Lowen Sign Company

It’s been two years since I came home from Kenya, the country where I lived for 14months to work with a local community in the eastern coast of the country. Despite the pre-departure training volunteers undergo before the big move, it was still a big shock arriving in a new country. My senses were assaulted (in a very good way, that is) with everything right at the moment we stepped off the airplane and set our foot on Kenyan soil! At that time I could feel the signs the heaven was sending to me – like those signs at that flag your attention right away- as if to tell me that it it was going to be a helluva experience!

At the airport, on our arrival, we were greeted by the following sign. Sure it’s not a professional looking one like the ones made by the Lowen Sign Company but we had no trouble finding our welcoming committee.

VSO Jitolee, Filipino VSO Volunteers
Here I am with a fellow VSO from the Philippines arriving in Nairobi. We had no trouble spotting the sign.

I was so tired; my head ached and my body was yearning for a warm shower and a nice, soft bed to lie on and have a shut-eye but you still see me smiling here because I felt so relieved to finally plant my feet firmly on the ground after a long haul flight.

We didn’t have time to go sight-seeing in Nairobi because after our orientation and language course we were immediately sent to our respective areas of assignment. I lived on my own in the community with only the very basic Kishwahili language skills as my tool to help me get by. My work as a VSO Volunteer in Kenya has allowed me to travel inside the country. Living abroad has made me notice new things around me, especially signs that are different or not found from where I come from.

There were so many new things around me! Imagine seeing giraffes walking along the roadside? Or the noisy babboons while stopping for a rest during a road trip? Oh, only in Africa!

 Here’s a friendly reminder that I keep in my mind all the time.

 And this I miss so terribly…. the chocolate, okay?

 These are actually great points here but, sadly, not strictly followed, especially the part of using a mobile phone when driving.

When you see this sign, you should be scared… Really scared. Riding on a matatu is not for the faint-hearted.

This is from my fellow volunteers Bara and Chinita. Matatus are vans turned into a public transportation.

amel advertising. Anyone? This is a very common site in the tourist town of Mombasa. We don’t have this in the Philippines.

There are so many stories I have yet to tell (or post here) but I’ve been caught up in my present life, working in an industry that is alien to me and in an environment that I’m not accustomed to. But a mama’s got to do what she has to do, right? Just like a real trouper, I picked up where I left off and slowly, but carefully, move on with my “now”.

My stint in Kenya was only short but the memories are enough to last me my lifetime. Although they are now in a special compartment in my brain, they have a way of getting creep out to me at times. Looking back, I should’ve taken more photos of the different signs there and compile them into one book 🙂

***
This is a sponsored post, however, all the contents and views presented here are all mine.

Mellow Yellow Monday 043: Golden Christmas decors

I missed last week’s Mellow Yellow post, my fault. I was still in a lazy mood last Monday (a state I’m frequently in after a weekend’s rest) so I allowed myself to be tossed by the wind, so to speak.

The malls in Angeles are now decked in holiday decorations. I think that the mall management have already been ready with their stuff on the eve of the start of the first -ber month (September). As soon as the clock struck midnight, the sales staff (or elves, if you like) started the makeover in preparation for the holiday -ber months (September – December).

And on the first day of September, the mall was magically transformed! With lots of red, green, and sparkling gold in every corner, the mood there is very festive! Ho-ho-ho!

christmas decors
Christmas decors are already on display at the malls as early as September.

Mellow Yellow Monday 029: Flower decors

MellowYellowBadge

Hello friends, I’m back online.

I am ashamed that it has been two months that I have not updated this blog. It’s not that Internet is inaccessible. It’s the whole work and family life! Classes have opened again and my son is now in the second grade. Fortunately, my husband is already here with us so it’s not that difficult anymore compared to last year. We take turns in being in charge of our son’s school stuff.

Life is the same. Some economic experts are saying that the country’s economy is showing positive signs of recovery and that bright days are ahead. To us, common citizens, unless there are concrete signs that we can see and feel, everything feels the same. A tough life we are having but nothing we cannot overcome if we work hard enough.

Anyways, the Filipinos seem to cope well enough during these hard times. I mean, what else is there to do, anyway, but to adapt to the current situation? We just keep on keeping on. We live simply. We make every centavo count. And find joy in even the littlest of things.

Before I get all too melodramatic now, I want to share with you my entry for this week’s Mellow Yellow Monday. I took a picture of this bunch of flowers made from ribbons.

Flowers out of ribbons, great idea. I’ve always wanted to make one of those.

They are used to adorn the booths at the mall. Aren’t they lovely?

Mellow Yellow Monday 026: Women at the market

Just a random scene at a market in rural Kenya. On weekends, oftentimes I went to the market just so I could soak in Kenyan culture. Although this market is small and not like any other markets in the western world, I love going to this kind of market. So many things going on at a given time – so many colors, sounds, and oh, the smell!

These yellow plastic buckets are used for carrying water and other stuff.

While I was there, I was trying so hard to speak the Kishwahili language. Although not fluent enough, I practiced by talking to the women in the community where I was working. Oh what fun. Imagine if I had mastered the language – not only it would have been very helpful to my work but I would probably bonded more with the locals.

Mellow Yellow Monday 023: A pair of yellow birds

After two days of holiday food and merry-making, my head is throbbing and my stomach, errrm, not settled. I think the acid in my stomach is acting up 🙁 I better buy nexium before this condition goes out of hand! I think most people are experiencing this situation. Holiday food – at least in the Philippines – could be very oily, too sweet, and laden with lots of fats and cholesterol. Good thing is that over the counter drugs for acid reflux, high cholesterol, among others, are now available without so much fuss. You can get your medication conveniently. Also with the help of the Internet, these medications are also available online. The other day, while browsing the Internet, I came across the Canada drugs site and was amazed at the convenience it brings to its consumers. You place your order for prescription and non-prescription and generic medications. They also have medications for pets. A lot of people attest to its low price and fast and efficient shipping and services. How good is that? If only we have the same here in the Philippines. Mothers like me could save time and spent it on other household or mommy tasks.

Speaking of tasks… I was on chaperone duty for my son. His school went on a field trip. One of the stops was Zoobic. It’s a zoo in Subic, get it? Lol. Anyways.  birds have always fascinated my son and when we reached the birds section at the zoo, he spent longer time looking at these gorgeous yellow birds:

Aren’t they gorgeous? They’re indeed a crowd-drawer. Plus they are so noisy!

Either they are young parakeets or Amazonian parrots. I forgot now. There was a sign o the cage but I could not remember anymore. Please help  with the info?

It took awhile before my son had enough of these birds. He was asking me lots of questions — questions that are actually feelers that he wants to have birds like these for pets. Of course, the mommy radar is quite strong on this one. I think he is too young to have pets and besides I, for one, don’t like caged birds. I want them to live in their natural habitat. So I asked him to wait till he is big enough {three birthdays more} and see if he still wants to have birds as pets. By then he can decide whether he is able to take care of birds, or any other pets, on his own because MamaGirl doesn’t have extra pair of hands 😀

Mellow Yellow Monday 014: Yellow-striped matatu

My new job is keeping me away from blogging… tsk.. tsk.. tsk. So, being a Monday, I’m in a manic mode as I’m supposed to be in the office in… two hours. I can only post photo memes for now. So this is going to be quick:

This was my ride to work when I was in Kenya a year ago. It is called a matatu. You can find my posts about matatus under the tag "matatu". I promise to update when I can.