Live from the Motherland II: Street Defense and Blind Massages

Here’s another cool dispatch from the Philippines from Kru Joey:

Phew, I think my family is trying to kill me with all of the shopping, sightseeing, entertaining and eating.  My first week here and I’ve celebrated my uncle’s birthday, my 18 year-old cousin’s debut and the anniversary of my grandmother’s passing.  At my cousin’s debut I was amazed at how huge my family is. I’ll upload some piks later when I can find a reliable net source but this family is HUGE. Probably my biggest joy is hanging with my cousins, nephews and nieces. I have to say that they are really cute and charismatic. I never felt really comfortable around kids, but this trip may change my view-point on kids…

Shopping with my aunts is a chore in patience.  It is also a study of constant vigilance. In some areas I was warned to watch against pickpockets, muggers and to try and not speak English. Yeah right. It was a good reminder in self-defense, keeping an eye on everyone’s hands as they approached my mother and I (females are chosen, then they approach and slit their bag, then place their hand in to retrieve your possessions).  Watching if anyone was too interested in my mom or her purse. And never leaving anything unattended.  I have been on a lot of shopping sprees, but after a few I was completely exhausted.

Then there was my massage by a blind man. Yes, a blind man.  You guys can stop chuckling. But there is a really good story here. I am amazed at how people can be examples of great strength.  Apparently this guy and the other masseuse, who was also blind, were taken in by an organization that trains blind individuals how to massage, and make an income for themselves. Albert my masseuse was 28, an aspiring basketball player when he was diagnosed with glaucoma. Within 2 years he went blind in both eyes. The other blind female masseuse was blinded during a terrorist attack. A bomb went off in her factory and as a consequence, she lost her sight.  These people make the best with what they have.

Today I have finished a day in the mountains and on the beaches. I wish I can upload the piks. The scenery is beautiful, and sometimes I forget that I have responsibilities at home ;). But don’t worry guys, you are all in my thoughts, and I look forward to coming home soon, Kru Joey de Los Reyes.