shopping, samba, and Imelda Marcos

Yesterday Tito Nilo took us to Greenhills to finish off our shopping list:
  • big bag for Mom to use as a carry-on
  • barong tagalog for Ian — this is a traditional dress shirt, see through and worn over a white t-shirt
  • a fake certain brand of purse, requested by Karen
  • final souvenirs to take home for family and friends
The shopping area was crazy: no distinct organization so you had to wander around and find vendors with the items you had in mind. Every place you walk past, the vendors encourage you to purchase their wares. "you buy sexy shorts, ma'am sir, we give you discount." Then there are the guys trying to sell pirated dvds. They sidle up beside you and whisper, "dvds. you buy dvds." They evoke images of drug dealers. Don't worry, we didn't buy any. We did, however, find a great deal on some high quality not-so-designer purses — a big one for mom ($14), and smaller ones for me and Karen ($10 and $6), as requested.

We also found a barong tagolog (only $20!) for Ian at the same store where Tito Nilo purchased a few for the ushers at our wedding. To speed the process and protect their merchandise, they helped Ian get the shirts on and off. One guy kept telling Ian, "Up hands," to slide on the next shirt. Mom couldn't stop laughing, but as silly as it sounded, Ian knew exactly what he was supposed to do!

After an interesting day of shopping, we headed back to Makati and Power Plant for some dinner. As we ate, we heard music from an upper floor. Intrigued, we went upstairs to check it out. We were just in time for a cd release party/concert by Nykó Macá + PLAYgROUND, a "Sambatronica/Fliphop" band that was fantastic! You should definitely check them out.


For nm+pg's final song Brigada, a samba drum line from the University of the Philippines, joined them, then continued with eight more encore songs of their own. They were incredible and it's amazing an open drum line can have such precision.


Today, after lunch with Tito Mar, Didy, and Tita Gerts joined us and Tito Nilo for another tour with Carlos Celdran, completing our Filipino history lesson. Our previous tour covered Spanish control through WWII. "Living La Vida Imelda!" covered more recent history, focusing on the Marcos family and their impact on the Philippines, both good and bad.

picc lobby
the final days of marcos
"l" in memory of cory aquino

The tour was especially relevant in light of Cory Aquino's passing today, due to cancer. Cory was the wife of Ninoy Aquino, whose assassination led to the peaceful People's Revolution, overthrowing Marcos and electing Cory president. She was a beloved national hero and she is mourned and honored by the entire country. Yellow, her color, is fluttering and blooming everywhere you look, from street lights to store windows to restaurant tables, reminding me of the beauty of a life dedicated to freedom and justice in the face of violence and tyranny. It cannot stand against forgiveness, honesty, and selflessness.