Monday, March 19, 2007

A photo tour around Calapan

I thought some people might like to know what our town looks like and what our daily lives look like, so this past week I went and took some pictures of the various places we frequent and spend our time. This isn't everything because that would just be boring. You can click on any picture to see the larger version (as is true of every photo on the blog).

This is the downstairs part of our apartment. Abby just finished tiling the bathroom because she wants to be on the Filipino version of "This Old House."

Here is the front of our apartment. It used to be just a boring slab of concrete until we turned it into a kick ass outdoor seating area.

This is Block 1, our street. It's generally nice and quiet, lots of families and kids and whatnot. What I left out of the picture was the vacant lot/garbage burning area.

Now to the untrained eye, this may look like a vacant marshy field. But no! It's so much more than that. It's a playground, a kite-flying area, a tricycle driver urinal, a grazing place for your goat/cow/water buffalo, a place to get firewood or look for edible leaves...

Signs like these are in every town in the Philippines. They may be encouraging you to avoid drugs, keep an eye out for crime, to recycle, or in this case, to keep the barangay clean. It roughly says "Let's band together! My dedication! My clean!" The sign next to it says "Don't throw your trash here." Good luck with that one buddy!

This is just a little welcome sign to our barangay. It listed who the captain and council are. They have these for every barangay, who knows how old this one is.

My favorite Filipino invention, the sari-sari ("everything") store. Your average block with have anywhere from one to twenty of these things, and you buy all sorts of stuff from them. Chips, vinegar, cigs, beer and booze, soy sauce, shampoo in single use packets, a single hard candy, candy, text load for your cell phone, sometimes veggies and eggs... I love 'em!

I know what I'm doing for my next birthday!

Tricycle drivers all lined up and waiting to yell at me. I mean, pick up passengers. These dudes will just sit around and wait forever for a fare. Behind them are awesome home-made kites for sale. It's summer, so it's also kite-flying season.

This is the gate that leads into the Capitolio complex, where I work. My office is down the left side, way in back.

Jose Leido National Memorial High School, where Abby works. Also known as "JJ" and "Lemnahis." Abby said this photo sucks, but tough, I'm using it anyway.

This is the main street through Calapan, Jose Rizal St. It's where most of the shops are, and traffic.

You think this looks bad, it's three times more crowded after school and work let out. I avoid this street like the plague from about 3pm-7pm.

A Filipino once asked me if Calapan was a big city. I said I didn't know. He then said, "Let me ask you this, is there a Jollibee in your town?" It's a fast food place, but in addition to burgers you can also get fried chicken and rice, taco hotdogs, spaghetti, something called a "tuna pie" and ice milk topped with purple yam and cheese. Awesome!

Citimart is kind of like a department store. We never go to that part of it, but they do have a sweet grocery store.

The market is a big complex, part inside, part outside. The fruit vendors are all outside and you can get some killer oranges and mangoes in this country. On the other side are the bootleg dvd vendors.

This is the main street by the market. It may look busy, but it's not. This was taken at about 2pm, and the market is really bumpin' around 7am.

This is the indoor wet-market. You can get fish and seafood, meat and veggies in here. Behind it is the dry market where you can get a ton of crap that was made in China.

An average veggie stand: japanese eggplant, tomatoes, bitter gourd (ampalaya) and a ton of stuff I only know the tagalog word for.

This meat sits out all day, so if we buy it, we make sure to get here early. In the heat of the day at 3pm, this place is enough to make you a vegetarian for life.


vanessa said...

hi how are u????

heeeyyy great...
and now where do u live

i have in calapan also a house...

Anonymous said...

the vacant marshy field is now the place for the construction of Bay City Mall of Calapan.... construction of Xevera Neo City is on going. This will boom the socio-economic status of Calapan City.....

Maria said...

Very nice. I am a Calapan girl. But sad to say that it's been six years that I don't see my hometown, and these pictures that you posted really gave me happiness inside. I hope to be home on may 2010. Thanks a lot!