Sunday, June 22, 2008

Mabuhay in Manila

Well, we made it to Manila after about 18 hours on a couple planes, and just in time. Typhoon Frank hit just minutes after we landed in Manila and has since caused 89 flights to be completely canceled. (How much would that suck to travel for 18 hours and have to turn around for a couple more just to make it to a safe place to land? Besides the fact that we would have been stuck wherever that is for quite awhile!) I think the worst of it is further south than we are - unfortunately 19 dead at this point - but we've had some amazingly heavy and constant rain since we landed almost 22 hours ago, and Manila is under Public Storm Signal No. 2, whatever that means. The lights have flickered a couple times, the pool flooded and has closed off part of the 2nd floor, and there seems to be some interference over phone lines but we are by far better off than those in the hardest-hit areas. It's supposed to rain for the rest of the week, so I do hope anymore casualties can be avoided.

On a more personal note, I am ti-RED! I'm writing this to try and stay awake for another hour. My body clock says it's 7:50am and I haven't been to bed, but it's actually 7:50pm in Manila and if I go to bed this early I'll be up well before the sun and worthless by the afternoon. We start rehearsals tomorrow, so I've got to get on a good schedule here soon . . .

Haven't had much of a chance to look around, yet, or see anything interesting. I did find the grocery store today, and I don't know if they're all like this in the Philippines or not, but I frikkin' love it. Anything and everything you could possibly need - and even multiple brands of each! Just one of those things that Manhattan doesn't really do well: well-stocked and plentiful grocery/drug stores. (Sigh) Sure could get used to that one-stop shopping.

Fading fast here, but I've only killed about 10 minutes so far . . . hmmm.

Walking around today, I was really happy to encounter lots of smiling, warm, and generous faces; can't really say yet if that's a cultural thing or just really great customer service and a few randomly friendly strangers but, again, a welcome change from NYC, where merchants act like they're doing YOU a favor by letting you buy their merchandise, and you're lucky to get ANY kind of acknowledgment from strangers - much less a smile!

It's now 8:16pm and I'm just not going to make another 44 minutes. More later, of course; I finally joined the 21st century and bought a digital camera today, so I'll also be sharing pics as soon as my eyes are rested enough to be able to read how to work it!

Good night, Philippines/Good morning, USA.

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