So I woke up yesterday morning, and all of a sudden, I was twenty. o.o It was weird.
My birthday turned out pretty good. I, of course, don't get a day off or anything for that. ^^'' Work pa rin. But it was still good. We bought ice cream to celebrate, and Brother Dave Todeyo, an RM who lives right across from our apartment, cooked adobo for us for lunch. It was masarap. :D And, of course, everyone told me happy birthday (everyone that knew about it, or that we told about it, anyway). For "Happy Birthday" here, most people just say... "Happy birthday." But they also use "Maligayang bati," which means "Happy greeting." I haven't received your package yet, but I'm sure it's quite tasty. :D
Today, as a zone activity, we went to Intramuros, "The Walled City." It was built in the 1600's by the Spanish, as a way of segregating themselves from the native Filipinos. We went through a museum, which told about all the Filipino revolutions against the Spanish, and how their national hero, J. P. Rizal, helped open the way to freedom. I don't remember half the details anymore, but that's sort of the jist of it. It was pretty cool. The oldest church in the Philippines is there (which we didn't go into, mostly, I think, because it seems kinda iffy to have Mormon missionaries touring a Catholic church... And time was limited), and there was some pretty cool architecture and cobblestone roads and stuff that reminded me quite a bit of Europe. There were classic horse-drawn carriages, as well, though we didn't ride those, because they were expensive and would have used up too much valuable P-day time. :/ I think some of this stuff was pictured in those postcards I sent home. I was sure to take lots of pictures, but I didn't bring my USB cord to the computer shop, so susunod na lang.
Add one more to my list of weird stuff I've eaten out here... It's called "dinuguan," which literally means, "blooded". It's basically pig meat roasted in pig blood (usually it's even weirder--pig intestines and stuff roasted in pig blood--but I got off easy this time...). It's not an experience I'd like to repeat... D: It's kinda nasty... I think it's actually the first thing I've eaten here that's made me want to throw up. Usually, American missionaries aren't supposed to eat it, especially when it's sold out on the street (for our own safety), but a member family cooked it for us, so it was safe enough. But it also made it a little more embarrassing that I didn't like it ("How does it taste, Elder?" "It's very... interesting..." :D ).
Also last week, we were knocking doors in an apartment complex called Makati Homes, and we came up to one apartment. When we knocked the door, a little girl, about four years old, popped her head up in the window with a big grin on her face and surprised the living daylights out of us. Not her popping up in the window, mind, nor the smile on her face. She was white. Her hair was brown and very curly (remember, this is a world where everyone, with very few exceptions, has brown skin and black hair). The woman who was in the house with her (Filipina) told us they were busy, come back next time, etc., but we asked about the girl, and she told us she was German. "...What?! ...Um... Guten tag? Wie geht es dir...?" Really, what on earth is a little 4-year-old German girl doing out here in the middle of nowhere? I guess I'll never know...
I'm glad to hear that band camp was a complete success. :D Good job, everyone! Keep being amazing! ...And good luck with movement three. Sounds like it's a beast. YOU CAN DO IT. KAYA N'YO 'YAN!!
Also, good thing you're not going to Yakima this year. That field's a piece of crap. :P Good luck this year! Keep me updated.
Richelle, I find it highly amusing that you've destroyed two pairs of mallets within the first week of band. Good job. :D
Also, in your last e-mail, you kept mentioning Mariah, and I kept reading it "Ma-RYE-ah", and I was like, "...Wait, back up, who's Mariah? ...Oh, MaREEah! Gets ko na!" ;P I think it might be spelled Maria, but I dunno.
Apparently, I've been receiving comments on my use of proper grammar in my letters home. To be honest, it's mostly because I don't feel like sounding like a moron when I write home. ;P Also, it's because I want to prove to myself that I can still speaking English good. :P
...Nope, haven't felt any earthquakes recently. I'll let you know when I do.
Good luck to the Stake Choir this weekend. :D
Other than that, I think I'm about out of stuff to write about for this week (and out of time...), so until next Monday, ingat kayong lahat lagi! :D
Elder David Jones