An Englishman In Isabela Blog #135 – Jollibee Birthday Party

Friday, April 09, 2010

Category: Travel and Places

Take the Philippines top fast food restaurant, add 25 children, party balloons, a master of ceremonies and games, party hats and the loudest amplification system you can find and you have a private Jollibee party to celebrate Macky’s (real name Mark Kristofer) fifth birthday. So we took a tricycle into the city and joined the excitement. I even participated in one of the games. At two years old our son, Justin, is still maybe a little young to understand what it’s all about but we think he still enjoyed it. The appearance of the Jollibee mascot was the highlight of the entertainment, followed by much jigging about to music from Lady GaGa’s album, "Fame".
I’m reallly enjoy immersing myself in the culture here. There was even that feeling of how different life is now as we left the party to return home by tricycle after dark, capturing the atmosphere of city nightlife in this part of the Philippines. Yes we are in a rural area compared to Metro Manila but Santiago is still a smalltown city with its own distinctive character. While people are not wealthy by Western standards they are generally happy. At rice sewing and harvest time there is usually employment if you want it, and with the possible exception of electricity most necessities are not that expensive. I wonder why anyone would move to the concrete jungle of Manila where those natural sources of income are non-existent and families end up living in cemetaries, but some do. They must be crazy or desperate but sometimes folk think there is more opportunity in the big city and they don’t see the documentaries on TV that tell a different story.
Photos to be added.