Monday, March 17, 2014

Family News

Lolo is doing well. He goes to the farm for a few hours every day now, but after he fell last week, Chano arranges for the driver to bring him back after two hours instead of four. It is getting hot out, so I am happier with that.

I have been going shopping: in the last two weeks I bought two pairs of sandals (one pretty, one soft and ugly), and today we hit the Palenke big time: I bought a set of polyester curtains for one of our two windows for about 8 dollars, to replace the lace curtains that we have been using. They are brown and orange on cream, so brighten the room up a bit (the walls are dark wood). I have also bought a chest of drawers for my stuff: The closet was big enough until we had to move the sheets and towels out of the hallway closet to put dishes and pots for parties and meetings in that closet, and I always had trouble finding my stuff (I have lots of old, old and faded things, which I wear around the house, but the good things were getting mixed up in them and then when I wanted to wear a decent blouse to church, it would be wrinkled). I ended up giving some of them away, because they no longer fit, and replaced them with used clothes from the Palenke that were in good shape.

We rarely buy "new", since most of it is polyester, and not that good quality, and I prefer used cotton or blend clothing. For good "new" clothing, it means going to the malls in Manila, and their prices are the same as in the USA.

I should note that Mondays is "palenke day", when the vendors all come in and sell things from outside of town, so there are lots of things to buy up to about 2 pm when they pack up and leave. The regular vendors are there all week, of course. The Palenke is the market with small vendors renting stalls. There are also shops and then there is the mall. Usually our cook buys food at the Palenke, but I tend to buy it at the small supermarket next door, where it is fresh and better quality, although more expensive. Chano likes to go to the very large supermarket at the Mall, where you get a very good selection of foods, but is even more expensive.

So it is a "three tier" society: The rich (mainly in Manila) go to their upscale malls to shop, the middle class (here) go to the palenke, but often prefer the beter quality at the shops or malls to shop, and the poor stick with the palenke and bargain.

Example: Teeshirt palenke $1, used teeshirt, 30-50 cents, regular tee shirt at the mall, $3. Upscale blouse: 5 to 10 dollars here at the mall.

Our mall is across the street from one of the high schools, so it often has lots of kids, and you get frisked and wanded before you enter, because there have been mall bombings in the Philippines (although not in our area)...

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