Posted by: Worldcitizen Willow | June 7, 2010

arrival in Mindoro


We got up at 4;30 am yesterday for the long road /ferry trip to Mindoro.  First a taxi to Ayala alabang – the first time with the meter actually on – only cost 117 pesos.  Next, a big air con bus to the Batangas pier to get ourferry to mindoro.  Only 1/2 hour wait to ferry.  The crossing was peaceful.. Seats are reserved here, and no bags are allowed in the aisle – just like an airline.  From that , we got our FX jeepney to Victoria, where the Mendez family home is in Mindoro.

As we approached the house, we were welcomed? with the blast of a karaoke machine and what seemed to me like 100 family members!    It is Melanie’s 37th birthday, and she rented the karaoke machine to add to the celebrations.  We had a big feast of spaghetti, pangsit and chicken with rice.  We also watched the children play games for prizes.  One game had a wooden contraption with candies tied to it, suspended from the rooftop.  Kids had to jump at it and try to hit it , til it fell down and all the candy could be had.  Next game was a pot of flour and candy suspended from the same roof.  Kids were blindfolded, spun around 3 times, and then sent marching with a stick to hit the pot and get the candy.  After many failed attempts, the 5th person finally knocked it down, and then there was a scramble for the fallen candy.  No one got covered in flour!  Darn!  THe final game was 3 plates of flour placed on the ground, each with a piece of moneyhidden within.  3 boys raced to dig out the money with their mouths, and came heads up again with a coin between their teeth and a white face – covered with flour!

Followed by more karaoke singing, and then a sudden brownout!  Suddenly quiet.  It was ok at first, until the brown out dragged on and then the fear became of having to sleep in a hot little room with no fan! and plenty of mosquitoes!

We went for  a short visit to the simple home of Fely, who is the grandmother and current guardian of the children that Jocelyn is adopting.  there are 6 kids in all – all very lovely children.  Some smiling, some too shy, all interested in eating ice cream and candy that we brought.  Jocelyn’s soon to be twins, Samyra and Samara, were shy but engaging, dressed in near identical jean skirts and tee shirts, they were hard to tell apart.  Samantha, the 4 year old that I am considering adopting, if i can get over my fear of motherhood and lifelong commitment, was cuter than I could have imagined.  She knew how to make eye contact and smile just at the right time to make herself truly likeable.  They showed me a kind of fruit that grows in their garden, a bit like a lychee sized grapefruit – at least it tasted like grapefruit.  As well, they had calamansi trees and chickens running around their home.

Back at the Mendez home a few blocks away, we sat outside in the dark talking about life, and the crickets that were jumping on us (much better than mosquitoes and cockroaches, i said) and resigning ourselves to going to bed without electricity when Voila!  the lights came on!  I turned on my fan and settled into a cool and peaceful slumber.

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