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Under the sunset of Subic Bay

I still didn't know quite clear what on earth a bridesmaid should do on this exotic,
Seventh Day Adventist's wedding at the moment when E-li invited me as her bridesmaid. 

My confusion even lasted until I put on my bridesmaid gown, stepping in the small coastal chapel in this foreign country.

“You are very important to us, Jess,”
E-li was surprised when she heard that I intended to carry a camera running about the wedding.

“Dear, ”she tried hard to persuade me in a overseas phone call,

“You would never have the chance to touch your camera, believe me.”

I recalled varied weddings I once attended (of cause, they were all in Taiwan), the job of a bridesmaid came to a successful end after she had carried the bride's dress tail and proceeded in the wedding banquet. Surely, a diligent bridesmaid would help in receiving monetary gifts and receiving guests, support all miscellaneous events that might happened in a wedding (Of course, including photography!). In Taiwan, there are even wedding occasions with no bridesmaid!

So, what should a bridesmaid do?

Not to mention that there are 8 couples of groomsmen and bridesmaids, 16 persons in all, supporting on E-li's wedding!

A grand band of groomsmen and bridesmaids

Just imagine a marvelous picture, in which the 16 groomsmen and bridesmaids were wearing ceremony dresses and running about the wedding.
I thought I should be able to concentrate on photographing with all other groomsmen and bridesmaids' support in the wedding.

So I checked-in my flight with carring the camera set on plane with me. I thought I might take some photos to commemorate the first church-style wedding I ever attended.

2006/12/16 15:00 PM
One day before the wedding

Afternoon sunrays agley poured down through the thick palm leaves in the lobby of this Southeast Asia style hotel. Subicbay is just opposed to the hotel crossing the street, with warships and commercial ships lingering in and out, you might smell the sea at each of your breath. 

It had been five-year long since last time I met E-li. 5 years, From Europe to SubicBay, I wandered if she would have some changes, or me, if I had had some changes.

Cat strolling in afternoon. Pictured on the green lawn beside the hotel.

A car suddenly stopped in front of me, a girl in white suit got off, anxiously looking here and there (where she actually addressed her eyes on me for a second). Then she rushed directly to the hotel lobby shouting out some words, and did the same in the hotel bar, and then in the cafeteria also, till then I discerned her words:

“Jess? Jess?”

“E-li ! ”
I run up to her excitedly, she addressed her beautiful eyes on me, and after paused for two seconds, she replaced with an expression of incredible surprise:

“Oh my god !!”
The little sweety gave me a bear hug again, and then I was dragged and pulled by her onto the car.

“We are late for the wedding's rehearsal ! “E-li said, shuting down the are door with a ‘Pang!’. A car of unfamiliar Philippine faces wore friendly smile, crowdedly and fervidly said to me: “Hi ~ ”

What a busy start, my Subicbay wedding!

*Considerate and Hospitable Philippines*

Heard that I was the only foreigner invited on the wedding, all attendants curiously gathered up when we arrived at the church. E-li introduced me to everyone there, and everyone was holding my hand, asking me this and that.

I couldn't speak Tagalog (mother-tongue of Philippine), and could only communicate with them in English. It made me a little nervous, in fear that being the only foreigner would cause any estrangement or burdens on others in our communication.

However, perhaps the English capability of Philippine people are generally good, or perhaps Philippines are considerate and zealous  in nature, I didn't notice any doubtful or impatient countenance. No matter they were E-li's colleagues, cousins, aunties, friends or whoever they are, every pair of hands holding me, and every eye contact delivered warmness, friendliness, smiles and careful listening.

Even every time when there's a Philippine joke causing laughter among people, there would always be someone who would considerately translate it to me in English at the next second.
Friendliness of Philippines had deeply impressed me several years ago when I worked in Subicbay, but now many years past, I was still deeply touched. I am a foreigner who speaks different language, but among them, they are so considerate and would not even let me miss a Tagalog joke.

When E-li delightedly introduced her groom to me, I showed the Tagalog that I learnt from a Philippine old lady sitting next to me on the plane:

“ANG...  ANG...”I flushed and stammered due to a hard try.

On the plane, I talked with an old lady who's sitting next to me, and learnt from her several phrases of Philippine language. The above is the old lady's autograph.

“Jess, say it !  Just say it !”Philippine friends shouted excitedly!

“ANG ASAWA MO AY GUWAPO  ! ”(Your husband is definitely handsome!)

My Philippine pronunciation must be funny, so all Philippine friends were applauded and burst out laughter in this small church.

I discovered a fact that whatever country you are in, if you are willing to speak a little local tongue, you will always win the friendship of local friends who are used to their mother language.

*Philippine Gentleman*

The groomsman, Edzel, who's in a couple with me, was the groom's college classmate. He was working in Cisco in Manila, and particularly came to Subicbay for attending the wedding.

Edzel was a considerate gentleman who loves laughing, and might also be the one who spoke the best English among the groomsmen. We both love photography and traveling, so we talked much with each other for out hobbies.

What surprised me more was that he was an amateur drummer and placed a drum set in his office in Cisco.

This photo was taken in the wedding day, in front of the chapel.

On the wedding day, groomsmen and bridesmaids should successively proceed in couples, go up stage and then down stage, pull down long carpet for bride and groom to proceed in, and... The day before the wedding, we practiced several times, and it was late when the rehearsal was ended.

All decided to have dinner in the Bar opposed to the hotel I stayed in. Since I was a bit tried, I told Edzel I gotta go back to the hotel, but he insisted in sending me back.

“It's just over there,”I thought he didn't know my hotel was just tens of meters away, so I pointed to the hotel and said.

“I see, but I should send you back, ”Edzel insisted courteously and gracefully.

We discussed about whether he should send me back or not for a while in front of the Bar. Finally, Edzel failed in persuading me and even got flushed. I felt sorry about discommoding him and tried to comfort him: 

“it's really just several steps sway, so please don't worry about me.”

Edzel was still somehow hesitated, reminding me about how to keeping myslef in safely again and again. Before he entered the Bar, he still worried about me and turned backed to see me leaving.

I never expected there came sound of running footsteps when I walked only steps away. I turned back, it was Edzel!

Bathed in the shines of streetlamps, he looked relieved because of the decision he just made.

“Let me send you back ! ”He gave me a big smile.

Looking at him with surprise, I suddenly realized that how impertinent, impolite and reproachable it was for such a gentleman to leave a lady (who is carrying with camera and backpackalone) alone. My insistence did put the gentleman in such a quandary!

I smiled, no longer insisted, and let him take my backpack and camera set.

2006/12/17 11:30 AM
The wedding day

It was really impolite for a bridesmaid to sleep till noon, and arrived the wedding without makeup -- while I heard all the other bridesmaids got up very early for dressing up themselves. Edzel wasn't scared away by my poor dressing and makeup as he came to pick me up. However, he was instead scared by the stuffs I carried with:

A big backpack, a picture with frame I intended to give E-li for wedding gift (which was not small in size, and was carried from Taiwan to Manila to Subicbay) and my photographic equipments.  

Edzel took the picture on shoulder without any hesitance, but shook his head toward other stuffs,

“You wouldn't have any chance to use your camera, Jess. ”he tried hard to persuade me to leave my camera bag in hotel.
We discussed for a while, finally I left that big backpack behind, and insisted taking my camera bag.

The wedding ceremony began at 2:00 pm, before the wedding, all the groomsmen and bridesmaids took a group photo in the hotel the groom and bride stay in.

When we arrived at the bride's room, there were busy people all over there: people finding Bible, people carrying gowns in hand, people carrying makeup box, hairdresser, and people from photographic company…

E-li in half way of her makeup, was with the zipper half-open on her back.
Bambi took her hand, gently looked at his bride.

Well dressed E-li, sweetly smiled
Since it was a Seventh Day Adventist's wedding, according to religion's rules, the bride could not wear decorations. So E-li was the most simple-dressed bride, but reduced no her beauty.

E-li and her father have very closed relationship, she often acts like a little girl in her father's arms.

Handsome daddy is absolutely a man with style in my heart.

2006/12/17 14:05 PM
The Church Wedding/ Subicbay SBMA Chapel

It was a very nice day that day. Sunshine poured down the little church, rose petals scattered on the red carpet before the church.

Shy flower girls

Flower girls walked out to welcome guests, the wedding officially began

Bridesmaid Franda and the flower girl

Franda is E-liss relative, who just returned from Oxford.

She has totally different temperament and distinct personality among Philippine girls: most Philippine girls are gentle, soft and sweet when speaking. However, Franda is a extremely active and smart girl with advanced thinking, and quick tongue. I was often teased by a long cluster of words of her, amused by her and burst out laughing till getting a pain on stomach. 

This photo is precious which captured her quiet and femininity :-)

All people gathered around when I arrived at the church, persuading me to take off my camera,

You would never have any chance to touch your camera. Everyone told me the same thing.

Frankly speaking, I still didn't know quite clear what on earth a bridesmaid should do on this exotic, Seventh Day Adventist's wedding at the moment when E-li invited me as her bridesmaid. 

I could only turn my camera to Edzel and let him take it back to car for all the other’s reaction and persuade. Edzel showed smile with great relief -

Edzel had always been protecting me and my camera during proceeding in and out. It's said that poor thieves in Philippine are skilled at stealing properties in such occasions like wedding, when all people are busy. So people here are cautious even in Subicbay, where is with better public security. 

I had really been regretted when Edzel ran back out of breath from car to the church.

“I'd very-much-like-to take my camera with me, please...” I said with sorry.

It's really a hard request for me who has always been considerate and never wanted to trouble anyone, but how eagerly do I want to catch  every moment I experienced by my camera! (Friends who love photography must understand this!)

Edzel opened his eyes wide, still gasping. However, as a gentleman, he must understand a lady's gloominess. So, after a hesitance of several seconds, he said gaspingly

OK, I will get your camera back.

Five minutes later, I carried my camera contentedly, waiting for the beginning of the wedding.

They are right: I was really as busy as had been told. Thorough the whole ceremony, I hardly had a single chance to touch my camera, not to mention taking photos.

Groomsmen and bridesmaids were first to enter into the church, after stepped up and down stage, and pulled down the carpet and received the bride. We were obliged to sit through the whole ceremony on the stage until the end of wedding - the new couple moved out of the church.  As a bridesmaid, I was bound to keep nice gesture, smiling elegantly, but groomsmen were more demanding. To maintain the sturdy, strong and gentleman manners, they were bound to stand behind the bridesmaids all the time, no chance to sit.

On both sides of the stage were 4 couples of groomsmen and bridesmaids.

This was really far from what I had expected. I thought I could wonder around in my bridesmaid gown, with a camera.

Though everyone strongly urged me to put camera back into the car, I could tear myself away from my camera so far away, so I secretly hided my camera beside a glass coffin, where lays the status of sleeping Jesus. I became swollen with my petty trick till Franda discovered my carema behind the coffin:

“Oh my god, the camera will certainly be stolen!”She shouted.
“I think it is safe beside the God,”I said half-seriously,“because the God will take care of it for me.”

Franda burst out laughing:
“Jess, ”She said:When the thieves are stealing something, they wouldn't respect the God!”

Once again, I gave camera back to E-li's relatives.

The priest who would hold the wedding ceremony stepped into the church.

Groomsmen and bridesmaids came in one after another couple.

I had thought 8 couples of groomsmen and bridesmaids played a bit role. In fact, from the beginning to the end, as good friends of bride and bridegroom, we were treated with courteous attention at all times.

For example, instead of grouping into the church together, 8 couples of groomsmen and bridesmaids would walk along the red carpet one couple after another alone. The following couple wouldn’t step on the red carpet into the church until the former one having walked on the stage.

My groomsman was Edzel.  I was the only bridesmaid who wore no make-up.
Many girls have dreamed of a romantic wedding ceremony in the church, in which she is stepping on the romantic red carpet.
However, my first chance to realize my dream to step on the red carpet into a wedding was with a foreign gentleman I first met just two days ago.
This matter went a million miles out of my way.

The boy holding Bible in hands stepped into the church

The boy holding marriage certificate in hands stepped into the church.

Each of those women guests, no matter old or young, fat or slim, beautiful or less beautiful, dressed up for this ceremony!

Male seniors in the family attend the wedding ceremony.
All of them dressed in traditional formal attire of Philippines.

Daddy arrived in his wedding car.
Daddy was following the western fashion and he wore western suit.

E-li also got off the car.
In the ceremony, Daddy would give away his daughter.

As a bride, E-li is so pretty and catched all's eyes.

Daddy and daughter came in, arm in arm.

Bridegroom waiting in the church

The ambiance in the oceanfront church was warm and mirthful

Daddy would give away E-li to bridegroom

He picked up bridegroom's hand,

Gently patting the brow, seemingly saying you were bound to look after my daughter from now on.

E-li kissed her bridegroom's mother

E-li kissed mother

The whole church resounded pleasant violin, piano, and vocal music.
One of the relatives in E-li family was a vocalist, always traveling around Europe and America for performing in concert.

His melodious songs throughout the ceremony, accompanying with piano, violin, was such graceful and harmonious music. The melody was so charming that I couldn’t help completely fall entranced.

The whole church was bathed in saint and peaceful light.

Yes, I do !
Many girls once dreamed of meeting her Mister Right and then speaking out such promise, sincerely and happily

The priest began the praying ceremony.

"You can kiss the bride now ! "
The whole church burst into applause.

The importance that Philippines attached to the wedding ceremony broadened my view.
All of guests wore well-selected formal dress and wore elaborate make-up.

Were it not for their distinctive difference in appearance (fat or slim, tall or short) suddenly reminding me, I would have imaged I was standing on the Walk of Fame of Hollywood.

It came to the photo-taking time after the wedding ceremony. Unlike Taiwan, Philippines had no such customs as taking a series of formal wedding album months before the weeding. So all the photos related to marriage were taken on the ceremony day.

Until then, I came to realize that the second major duty of groomsmen and bridesmaids was to take wedding photos.

Of course, we played supporting roles to bride and bridegroom
Have a look at wedding photos of Philippines people!

Taking a standard wedding photo

Another standard one

After taking photos of the church, we moved to the coastal restaurant to have dinner. This hotel lay along the ocean. Now dusk had fallen down, and behind us was overspread with the beautiful sunset of Subic Bay

I liked this photo very much. Everyone showed different expressions and posts, lively and amusing, just like they are a cool and famous Band or something like that  !

Beside the bay

I liked the composition of this photo:
The bright color of the boat setting in the blue bay turned a romantic flavor;
The coordinated skirt tail and direction of the boat made the whole photo harmonious and perfect !

Scenery on this photo was charming. Bride’s long hair was dancing in the sea wind, which brought vigor and vitality to the photo. Moreover, the bride’s charming post, kissing and lifting her skirt, turned out to be romantic.

On this one, the bride was greatly lovely, even a little naughty.

Groomsmen and bridesmaids' supporting time !

Subicbay at Sunset

Subicbay at Sunset

2006/12/17 18:30 PM
Wedding dinner/Subic Bay Yacht Club

Due to my poor vocabulary, I couldn't find suitable word to describe this dinner, only really “incredibly beautiful”.

This was an absolutely western-style dinner. We would enjoy it in the open-air hall along the seaside, with two sides surrounded by sea and one side faced the swimming pool of the hotel.

It was at sunset when we arrived. The bay and the swimming pool, both were glittering gold shines, so amazing, and is so breath-taking and so unbelievable.

Bambi & E-li walked across the sword bridge supported by the soldiers' hands.

Once more, This bridge showed us how much attention the wedding host had paid to groomsmen and bridesmaids.
After bride and bridegroom came the 8 couples of groomsmen and bridesmaids’ turn to walk across the bridge and enjoy applause of all guests
When every couple of groomsmen and bridesmaids stepped into the dinner hall, master of this wedding ceremony would introduce them to all guests, such as name of this groomsman, relations between him and the bridegroom, name of this bridesmaid, how she made acquaintance with the bride, etc.

Moreover, about the same as crossing the red carpet in the church, the following couple wouldn’t step on the sword bridge and enjoy the blessing of master and guests until the former one had sit down,

When Edzel and I were coming in, the master introduced us in Tagalog, so I only made clear of two words, "Jessamine Hu" and "Taiwan". I thought that was the entire introduction, however, the master had just read it in Mandarin:

“Let's say to her: Ni-Haw-Ma? ’ ” Everyone understood it and applauded...
I was too moved to speak out a single word.

I had one arm taken by Edzel and the other hand up to vigorously wave to all the guests.

Who taught her? I couldn’t fall into imagination that E-li asked Taiwanese in Subic Bay how to read these words in Mandarin. How moving! All of a sudden, I remembered on the night before the wedding ceremony when we were rehearsing in a small church, I tried hard to speak out such a sentence in Tagalog,

“ANG ASAWA MO AY GUWAPO ! ” (How handsome is your husband ! )

It was so amusing that the small church broke into a hail of applause and laughter.
Suddenly I really understood why they were so happy after my Tagalog show -- 

It was greatly moving, because you can truly feel that people do place importance on you.

Bride and bridegroom opened a cage and white pigeons flew into the sky.

According to the western-style dinner, groomsmen and bridesmaids should sit by two long tables beside the main one and waiters would serve every course. Since I arrived at Subic Bay, I never had any chance to taste the authentic Philippines dishes, so I greatly looked forward to every served course:

“Is it authentic Philippines dish?”I was always asking with expection.
“Hmm... No, Sorry, ”Edzel responded with sorry, “This dinner is over-westernized

When I finished my duty as a bridesmaid, I finally took back my camera!

Violins gave forth a pleasant, lingering overture of "Money Dance"

On the flight to Manila, not only being crammed for my Philippine language with my neighbor, an old woman, I incidentally inquired about customs of Philippine wedding ceremony.

“In China and Taiwan, there is a custom to send the new couple certain amount of money, which is put inside a red envelop, on the presence of wedding ceremony.”

I asked her in English:“Do you have such custom?”

“Sometimes we have Money Dance”she responded, “not every wedding ceremony has Money Dance. Sometimes a certain kind of long dance song will be arranged. Bride and bridegroom will be firstly invited to the dance floor and then guests will pin envelope with money inside on the bride and bridegroom”

I was not sure whether E-li would follow the Money Dance custom. In case of need, I lost no time to buy some envelopes and pins in Manila, as soon as I got off the airplane.
As expected, violinists began to play melodious waltz, which served as a prelude to Money Dance.

Elders and relatives flowed onto the dance floor and pinned small money-bags on the dress of the new couple.

It was lucky that I had taken back my camera, so as not to miss the photo of “Money Dance”

After bride and bridegroom removing those small money-bags and pins, it came to dance time of the wedding party. Daddy and E-li in dancing. She closely nestled her head on his shoulder, secretly whispering to him. Daddy's face was glittered with his love of her daughter and reluctant to be part from her.

Four groomsmen took a group photo.
My partner Edzel (Right) was not only a gentleman, but also a comedian in nature.
When he tried hard to make a face, he was unaware of his cool image as drummer of the part-time rock and roll band

The whole E-li’s family members are very close with each other. How admirable!
Three persons in the back row (from the left): first younger brother, Dad, bridegroom Bambi
Three persons in the front row (from the left): E-li’s mother, E-li, 2nd younger brother

Toward the end of the dinner, E-li and her bridegroom gracefully shook hands goodbye to their relatives and friends. All the day was so busily scheduled that I hardly had any chance to chat with E-li, so I stood at the back of the crowd, hoping for sufficient time to express my blessing towards E-li.

At last came my turn. I gently embraced her. When I fell on her neck, intending to express my blessing, E-li whispered to me first:

“I am starving ! ”

“Oh my god, poor girl, ”I also whispered to her, “Moreover don't tell you haven't been to the restroom the whole day? I noticed you hadn't”

“Yes, because of the gown!”
she said with a low voice.

Another crowd of relatives came to say goodbye to E-li. She still kept smiling gracefully, shaking hands and taking photos with everyone.

My god! It was miserable not to have been to the restroom the whole day. Fortunately, such miserable experience was only as long as one day in all one's life.

Returning the hotel, the counter phoned me, saying that several people had called the hotel to look for a Jessamine from Taiwan. 

I answered it's me. So the phone was received in and it was E-li.

I first confirmed that she had get rid of her long dress, had urinated, had drunk water and  eaten something; Then after a busy day, she started to ask me carefully about every detail of the wedding, and whether I like it or not...

The dishes, the church, the dinner party at the seaside, the piano, violin and vocal music, the food... she asked everything of the wedding. After making sure that I liked every detail she arranged, she smiled relaxingly. We chatted over the phone for a long time. Although I constantly urged her to rest, she still left a lot of time for me to chat more. If I estimated the time correctly, she called me almost immediately after she went back to the hotel.

“Jess, can you ask for a leave at the end of this month?”She said, “We will go back to Palawan (E-li’s hometown)for the New Year. My family like you very much, and would like to invite you to spend the New Year together with us.”

In fact I might not be available for a leave at that time. But I was deeply moved by such invitation.

“One day in the future, I will go there and visit you.”I said.

I urged E-li to rest early. But soon after I hung off the telephone, another call was received.  It was E-li's younger brother.

It turned out that E-li's family worried about me going back Manila alone tomorrow.

“I will take a taxi to go back. Don't worry. ”I said to E-li's family. But it seems they were still very much worried about my safety. On the other end of the telephone, it turned to another person of the family, saying they would like to go back to Manila with me; everyone told me the horror of Philippine's public security, especially when I am a foreigner and a girl, which may be a clear goal of the villain:

“Dear,”now it turned to E-li’s Daddy,“Never, never trust anyone here, ”
“But I know I can trust you  ! ”
I was a little glib talking to daddy in this way. However, those words are also came from my heart.

“Yes, ”Daddy laughted,“Only me, please.”

I suddenly thought that on the way back to the hotel, Edzel insisted on seeing me off even it is a short distance. It may be partly because of the public security, but more likely it is the Philippines' enthusiastic care of a friend. I thought of Edzel's being dilemmatic when I politely declined his offer. Then if I politely declined the goodwill of E-li's family, I would equally put them into dilemma. 

For E-li's family, in any case, it is absolutely impossible to make their female friends, who had come a long way to attend the wedding, be taken away by a strange taxi driver. What If he was a villain? They could not allow such what-if.

I agreed to go to Manila with them tomorrow. On the other end of the telephone, E-li's family disburdened and hung off the telephone. At this time, I received a short message from my Wedding bridegroom, Edzel:

“Jess, let me take you to have Philippines foods when you come to Manila.”

2006/12/18 9:00 AM
The next day after the wedding
Subic Bay, Hotel

E-li took me to the hotel she and the bride lived in early in the morning. There we playing in the bathroom and took some photographs.  
This is a picture of us sitting on the toilet in the bathroom.

While taking photos, there was a dialogue between girls:

E-li:“Jess, you look much prettier now ! ”
Jess:“Ha, really ? ”In fact, of course, I was very glad to hear that.
E-li:“Yah, and you even look younger, ”E-li said,
“You look like a girl now, you didn't look like a girl before !

Jess:“Ah?”I made very sad voice: So how ugly was I before?

Taken at the Balcony


Arriving at Manila, E-li's daddy and younger brother Nior, got off the car and said goodbye to me.

Nior gave me a key ring of Palawan:
“Do come to visit us at Palawan.”

He gave me a deep hug,
“Thank you for your coming. You make us feel special.”

“SALAMAT ! ”I said in his ear.

This is a Philippines sentence, meaningThank you, and is the second Philippines sentence I could only remember.
Daddy and Nior smiled happily. We finally bid farewell.

The considerate warmness of Philippines friends made me once again surprised and impressed!

That evening, Edzel really went to my hotel and invited me to have Philippine food!

Since he is always so busy in job, he was a little late for the appointment and came by taxi at over 7 O'clock.

However, I am even later then him! I became tired and fell asleep in my room, so that this gentleman waited me in the lobby for nearly 20 minutes. When I took the lift down to the hall, I had felt very sorry. I was moved by the Philippine friend's taking care of me, while I simply didn't know how to feedback them.

Edzel noticed that in the wedding dinner, when each course was put on the table, I would ask whether it was the Philippine food or not.

“You comes from a long way, and so much like to have Philippine food, how could I just let you leave without treating you a Philippine meal?”

The Philippine people do love rice! Edzel ordered several dishes, as well as a big bowl of rice. He had several tablespoonful of rice on his plate, stirred the rice in the plate. The rice steamed. Edzel drew a deep breath of the steam, spooned a spoonful of rice into his mouth, munched and seemed very enjoying.

“Ha, Philippine people do love rice ! ”
I learned from Edzel and tried to eat rice as the way he did, just like I am a gormandizer who knows very much about Philippine foods.

I recalled all the things happened in my trip to Subic Bay this time:

*The big hug E-li gave me when we met in the lobby of my hotel, which almost makes me hardly to breathe,

* A car of unfamiliar Philippine faces wore friendly smile, friendly and fervidly said to me:
Hi ~

*When there's a Philippine joke causing laughter among people, there would always be someone who would considerately translate it to me in English at the next second.

*Though it is just meters sway, the Philippine gentleman would never allow themselves to leave a lady alone and walking by herself, no to mention that she is carrying with a big backpack,

*The mandarin introducing of me to all guests in the wedding party,

*I just incidentally asked about Philippine dishes, but the Philippine friends kept it in mind and insist to treat me a Philippine meal after we coming back to Manila

*E-li insisted to give me a phone call after such a tiring and busy day, just to make sure I feel enjoyed about everything in the wedding

*E-li's family would never allow me to go back to Manila alone by taxi
*The invitation nro Palawan

I just realized at this moment when I sat in the restaurant with Edzel, munching the rice:
Perhaps I never really started understanding the simple and zealous people and the bunch of happy Philippine friends, until this moment.

Edzel gave me a Christmas gift when he sent me back to the hotel. It's a photo of Manila sunset, taken by Edzel, and is well-framed.

*Most of the photographs in this article were taken by the local photographic film company., except those with my signatures (Photo by Jessamine) which were taken by myself.

*I write in below article about how E-li and I get acquainted with each other:




 [Filipinos’ English]
Filipinos' English capability is generally very good. This imight be related with its religion. The Filipinos mainly believe in Catholic or Seventh Day Adventist. No matter the Bible or Bible-reading courses in the church, are all in English.

Though the first language in Philippines is Tagalog, all the official websites in Philippines are in English, for example, “Yahoo! Philippines” is in English environment.


[Philippines’ poverty]
Generally our impression towards Philippine is poverty. But this is an extreme impression.
There is a great gap between the rich and the poor in Philippines, yet poverty and dirty is just part of the society.

My friends in the Philippines mostly belong to the middle class (bourgeoisie). They buy cars, travel, equip teeth crowns, learn violin and play in a rock bank, which are just the same things we do in Taiwan.

 [Taiwan people in Philippines]
F4 are very popular in Philippines!
The young in E-li's family (both boys and girls), always scream loudly when mentioning F4. Moreover they kept asking me the news about “Dao-ming-shi” (Jerry-Yen) in Taiwan!

 [Filipinos’ politics]
Most of my friends in the Philippines are considerate, kind, and very smart. According to my previous work experience abroad, the Philippines are very likely wiser than people in Europe and the United States. People all over the country can speak English more or less, which is quite amazing. How competitive the country shall be!!

However, it is an indisputable fact that Philippines’ national is somehow turbulent.

A few decades ago, Philippines were a country with strong economic power in Aisa. From the decades of history, the history tells how a country with chaotic political environment led people into poverty.

It is worth Taiwan's politicians to learn from and think about what they have done to the country and people.


This Article was elected by Taiwan Yahoo! as Best Article of a week on 2007/4/11