Right now my family and I are trying to figure out if we will stay here at IGSL and the Philippines or go home back to California.
If we stay here will will need to move over by our friends and go to Faith Academy for school. That’s an international school where a lot of kids from Korea, the United States, and other places go here. Colin and I visited the school once and went to class with our friends Susanna and Daniel.
I think I want to go home in April, but I am still thinking about it. I’ve had a hard time here with some of my friends, but it’s been a little bit better than before. I’ve been feeling sad here the last few weeks.
Yesterday we looked at a house just in case we stay here. It was nice, but we didn’t think it was the house for us. My mom and I went and looked at some more because if we stay we need to find a good place to live since we can’t live at IGSL anymore. I think I am 60/40 going home vs. staying in the Philippines.
I’m not sure I want to stay and it kind of makes me nervous to think about staying here. I really miss my family and friends though I’m really lucky that I get to skype with family and friends sometimes. If we come home soon I can’t wait to see y’all!!
On Saturday, my Dad and I went to see the play Beauty and the Beast. It was my Birthday present even it is January and my birthday is in March. I will be 10! It was really fun, but we forgot binoculars so we bought some plastic ones that they sold for 75 pesos and they worked good.
The play was really, really, really, really good! My favorite parts were the “Be Our Guest” song and when Belle was reading to the Beast, and when Belle and the Beast were dancing together. The tickets said the play was the Broadway performance and it was good. We also ate dinner at KFC which is one of my favorite place to eat here in the Philippines.
When I got home I told my little sister K.K. all about it and she was so excited to hear about it. I had a really good time with my Dad and we like to go to musicals and plays together. Last year we went to a Filipino version of Cinderella. We called our date “Beauty and the Beav” because Beav is his nickname and we were going to see Beauty and the Beast.
Here are some pictures we took from going to Beauty and the Beast.
P.S. Lumiere was so funny!
Before Christmas we went to a place called Baguio, which was in the mountains and about five hours away from where we live. It was really fun. It was really cold and we got to wear jackets!
We did a lot of fun things, but one of my favorite things was seeing Frozen characters at a Christmas Village in Baguio. It was cool. They had a nativity show with Mary, Joseph, baby Jesus, Angels, Wise Men, and Shepherds and it was really cool. At the end of the nativity show it was funny because Elsa from frozen was in the stable with the shepherds for a while. Then we got to take pictures with them.
After the nativity show KK was asking why Anna and Elsa were there and were they lived. We asked her if they thought they were real. She said they were real even though all the characters were Filipino. After the nativity it started snowing, but it was fake snow because it doesn’t snow in the Philippines. It was soapy bubbles that looked like snow.
It was a fun night seeing Filipino Frozen characters and seeing the nativity show and drinking hot chocolate with fake snow. Here are some pictures we took with the characters…..
A few days after Christmas, my family went to a place called Tagaytay. It’s a place in the Philippines that is about two and a half hours from where we live. A man gave some rooms at a hotel and condominium that he build there to IGSL so we went over New Year’s Eve to avoid a lot of the smoke from all the fireworks in Manila. It can get a little crazy on New Year’s Eve here!
We we got to the hotel, we found out we were staying on the 22nd floor. It was high and we could see a lot from our balcony. It was really cold there for the Philippines and we had to wear jackets for the first time in a long time. Our room was small but we had enough beds for all of us.
The next day we went with our friends the Hobson’s to brunch as a restaurant called Antonio’s. My dad, Colin, and Kuya Steve almost died because when they were turning into the restaurant a sports car was speeding and going the wrong direction on the wrong and almost hit them. It was scary, but they were ok. At the restaurant I ordered “The Devil’s Delight.” It is chocolate pancakes with powdered sugar, chocolate sauce, and chocolate ice cream. It was so good! I was so full I could hardly walk.
After brunch, we went to Sky Ranch, which was like a carnival. My mom let us each pick one ride. KK wanted to jump so she did a bounce house. I picked a trampoline where you get in a harness and then you jump super high. Colin picked these car things and we all got to go on them.
My dad was sick a lot of the time. On the day before we went home, he got a rash and my mom was freaking out because she thought it was from dengue fever. But later we found out that it was not. We made it home super fast which was nice because there is always a lot of traffic here.
Here’s a picture from the restaurant where we had dinner on New Year’s Eve. The first island thing you see there is a volcano!
I liked this title because it reminded me of the song “Do you want to build a snowman?” from the movie Frozen which my sister and I like a lot.
Here is a video I helped make with some friends to help raise money for a new playground for all the kids that have to live at IGSL for a long time. It will come in April and some from my school will come too and I am excited about that. Please watch it!
Come Help Build A Playground! from Brian Virtue on Vimeo.
Here is the link to the fundraising page which is connected directly to Kids Around the World which is overseeing the project: http://org.grouprev.com/manilakids
While we were at the cultural park we also went to the museum about native clothing in the Philippines, going back over 100 years! At the museum they did a live demonstration and I and my family all had to try different outfits on.
They showed us how to make a dress, a turban, shorts, and a skirt all from one piece of fabric which is calling a Malong. Some of the women at IGSL wear them at special events like my friend Ella’s mom from India. It was a lot of fun trying different ways of wearing it.
One of the dresses we were was like what girls have to wear in the Middle East where all people can see is the eyes. They told us if you wear it and do not cover up the whole face, that that means you are married. If all you can see are the eyes, then it means you are single. It was a little hot. Can you imagine wearing that all the time? It would be especially hot to wear in the Philippines because it is so hot and humid!
A few days ago my family and I went to a cultural park. We went to a show about the Philippines national dances. There were several very nice dances.
At the end they did one dance called Tinikling and they needed volunteers. One of them picked me since we were sitting in the front row. So I went up on the stage and they helped me learn Tinikling. Tinikling is a dance where there are people who have long bamboo poles and they bang them together while someone else dances over the bamboo poles without tripping or falling.
I was really nervous to do it on stage. I was kind of embarrassed because of stage fright. But I am really glad I did it though. They did a lot of different native dances to the Philippines and they were wearing different types of native outfits. I thought they were beautiful.
I’m really glad we went to see the show and that I got to try the dance. It was really fun. Here is the video of me trying the Tinikling and below is video of other people doing a real Tinikling dance.
Morgan Trying Filipino National Dance from Brian Virtue on Vimeo.
Going home was so awesome!!!!!!!!! It was really fun though I didn’t like the plane ride. We did a lot of fun stuff. But I don’t know what was my favorite . When we were home we visited my Grandma and Papa in Nipomo. We painted a kids jeep to look like Lightning McQueen.
We got to ride bikes a lot while home and that was really fun because we don’t get to do that in the Philippines. We also visited our cousins in Denver Colorado . And it was awesome !!!!!
We got to go swimming, and we went to a trampoline place and saw my other cousins in Long Beach. We celebrated Easter and helped Nana make the lamb cake with all my little cousins. It was so fun!!
Me and my mom also spent the night at my aunt’s house with two of my cousins Adele and Cora while my uncle was out of town. It was nice not being different because here we look kind of different because of our skin. We also got to go to Downtown Disney with my cousins Maddie, Leia, Adel and Cora and our grandparents and one of or aunts. It was fun doing a lot of things we don’t get to do in Manila and be with our family and cousins. Here are some pictures.
I wrote this before we came back to the United States, but it was left on a different computer so I had to write it again.
A month ago the 3rd grade classes and their teachers Miss Cecille and Miss Davidson sent me a care package from LCS. LCS stands for Lake wood Christen Schools. In the care package there were a bunch of letters from my friends and some new kids that I don’t know. But I hope I can become friends with them. There were other things in there too like pencils, notebooks, and other stuff.
And I want to give a specile THANK YOU to the third grade classes. So THANK YOU.
P.S. I am back in America staying with my Dad’s parents Tom and Karen Virtue.
P.P.S. Here are some pictures of me opening the care package. It was a lot of fun and my brother and sister thought it was fun too because we do not get many care packages in the Philippines.