Life in the Philippines

Inday Vinyas

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Send email to my bro at if you want to know more! Maupay na aga everybody! These are local Waray Waray words to say Good Morning to you. Where I am from in Samar province Tagalog is not the first language, but we learn to speak it just as well as anyone else. Some of us also learn English, but not all. The nearest city is Tacloban, in Leyte Province, on the other side of the longest bridge in the Philippines. Many Kano know Leyte from Gen. Douglas MacArthur, who is even today a hero for people in the area. If you read my blog stories, you know that life is very hard for many people in the province. No electricity and no money in many places. Very small poor houses. I left the province at 18 because I had to work to support my family But you know the people there are friendly to visitors and can be very funny and silly. Today I live in Pampa... (more)

Typhoon Ondoy (Ketsana) and Floods Hit the Philippines

I was lucky that Typhoon Ondoy did not affect my apartment. We are out in Pampanga two hours from Manila but we did not have a flood in my little neighborhood. But so many people died in this typhoon, and now the world knows what can happen in the Philippines. We get more than 20 typhoons each year and they cause many problems. Typhoon Feria back there in June damaged many houses in Samar Province where I am from. I was visiting then and it was very scary. You know we don't have a radio there or any way to know when a typhoon is coming. We just hope for the best and we know tha... (more)

Typhoon Ondoy (Ketsana) Hits the Philippines (Part 2)

The Philippines on Ulitzer I have received so many visitors to my post about Ondoy. So I want to talk a little more about the calamities in the Philippines. First, here are places you can go to help: - I mentioned this one before. - This is a newspaper website. They have a lot of information about the Ondoy Relief Drive. - Yes, they are very active here just like in the US and other places. I want to let everyone know again that this is not the only time that we have trouble in the Philippines. We have so many typhoons eve... (more)

Wealth Disparity in the Philippines

I know people use the words "wealth disparity" to describe the difference beween rich and poor in the Philippines. This is something I know about. Back in the province, many people have no money at all, not even one peso. Now I live in Pampanga, close to Manila, and things are different. Life is not easy here, but some people do have work and there are many stores. There are trikes and jeeps for transportation, and there are shopping malls! Then the other day I went to visit a government agency in Makati. So I took a bus to the Araneta/Cubao station, then a taxi to Makati. The driv... (more)

Sailing the Sea of Samar, Philippines

I traveled to my home village in the province of Samar to celebrate the Fiesta San Juan. I was lucky to fly from Manila to Tacloban, Leyte. The next day I took a private boat with friends and family. The trip takes four hours and goes under the famous San Jacinto bridge into the Sea of Samar. The boat is a normal "banca" boat, but bigger than most of the boats in my village. We are loading the boat in this picture. I was lucky and slept in a hotel the night before we sailed to my village. Six members of my family joined us to eat that night, and then they just slept on the boat. ... (more)