One of the issues you face when living in Manila is noise pollution. There’s the general noise, for example, like the sounds of engines and horns.
But it seems I’m always subjected to my own personal barrage of audio delights. There is a videoke bar located across the street from me. Inebriated patrons belt out lyrics, convinced they are singing a near-perfect rendition of their favorite songs (in reality it sounds more like a cat being run over by a lawn mower).
Then there’s the construction noise. The apartment below me has been under renovation for what seems like an eternity. Now it is about finished, so I thought I’d have a little more peace and quiet (relatively speaking, of course).
Who was I kidding–my neighbors have invented yet another way to make noise. The powers that be decided this apartment building next to mine needed windows in the parking level (I don’t know why they didn’t make this decision while they were building it). Time to break out the jackhammer and make some noise. I took this video from my porch.
God is either working on building my patience, my sense of humor, or both.
I’m looking on the bright side–they are almost finished with this latest, noisy project.
I thought I’d share a funny story from October, 2003:
It was a Sunday morning, and I was in Intramuros. I stopped by an ATM machine before going to church. A couple of small children kept watching me as I punched numbers and made my withdrawal. They were clearly fascinated with the pale stranger before them.
One of them approached me for a short conversation:
Kid: “Sabi ng tatay ko, aswang ka daw.” (my father says you are an aswang)
Kevin: “Ano?” (what)
Kid: “Sabi ng tatay ko, aswang ka daw.”
I was pretty good in Tagalog at this point, but I did not recognize that word (aswang). It didn’t sound too flattering. I later asked a friend at church about my mystery title.
Kevin: “Johnette, some kid just said I’m an aswang. What is that?”
Johnette: “It’s a monster–kind of like a vampire.”
Turns out that the aswang is the most feared creature in Filipino folklore. It is a mythical, vampire-like creature that has wings but only half of a body (though descriptions vary greatly).
The kid didn’t seem the least bit afraid of me. Maybe he didn’t believe his father, or maybe I didn’t look hungry.