What a day this has been. Heeeewh. We got up after a great nights sleep. The bed was good, the temperature perfect and company exquisite. Then the day started.
We did breakfast in the usual way and went downstairs. There we met Cydel, GM’s daughter who do most of the office work around here. She took us outside and showed us to GM’s workplace where all the sticks are produced. We met one of his sons, Getchin, who was in production of the sticks. GM showed us around and explained the production to us. If you buy sticks imported from the Philippines, you should not complain about the price. The production is manual and time consuming. From drying the rattan for a month, to cutting it to your preferred length, rounding the tips, polishing the length, strengthen by fire and straightening it. All by hand. Worth a thought the next time you buy one. There’s a lot of professional love in these.
GM also showed us his garden and we got some cucumbers that we ate during the day.
We got ready for training at 9 and did two hours of intense training. We covered the DAS classical empty hand for the first hour, and the the beginning of DAS classical double stick. The gym is nice, but it is humid today and we sweated so much we slipped and sloped around on the floor. GM’s son Getchin was with us at training and that gave us both a very good feeder. When training was over I was beat. This is old school no nonsen training. Very precise and very fun.
We got it together and rented a motorcycle from one of the other sons and went into town.
We needed to fill up on water and sports drinks in addition to get lunch and prepare dinner.We did a first stop and got us a coffee and downloaded a map of the city. Then we moved on to a eatery and was baffled. There where five persons working there and when we asked them the simplest question about the food and procedure they all looked at us like we spoke Norwegian. When we asked if anyone spoke English one of the other guests claimed they all do. Could’ve fooled me.
At last we got the basics and ordered food from the stall around the corner. The food was excellent and we might go back tomorrow messy, quick and cheap. All inclusive for us was 300 pesos. That’s equivalent to one dish in Manila.
The we saddled back up and went to the supermarket. The guard told us we had to check the backpack we brought for just that purpose. No bags allowed. It’s he same store we visited last night when we came in. In daylight you can see that the Filipinos are sweet tooth’s. Half the store is candy, caramel, biscuits, chocolate, chips and gummy bears. It’s no whole grain bread to be found, and a small selection of oatmeal and cereals (most with chocolate).
Back on the bike and head back home. A bit of rain caught us, but nothing more than we could handle.
It was good riding a decent bike again and not a scooter. Gotta say I really enjoy driving around here and the traffic is not so bad just here.
When we got back GM had visitors. From “just up be road” came GM Rene Tongson and his student Aleksander Piskarin from Russia.
We’ve met Aleksander in IKAEF summer camp in 2010, but we were not familiar faces to him. We all had a nice talk and then it was time for training again.
We did another two hours from 15-17 and now we focused on DAS classical single stick. We held a high tempo and incorporated the classical into applications. The we moved on to disarms and did some work there. When your sweat the grip doesn’t really hold the stick all that well. And when you incorporate grips, locks and freestyle inside these drills it literally splashed sweat around when Katja and I did the work together. We now have a mop and a pillow that’s used for drying up the floor. It was heavily used. When we finished I took my singlet and wringed it in the bathroom. I think it contained a liter of sweat, at least. We’ve been drinking about a liter each during training and the rest of the evening is going to be an endless stream of water to get ready for tomorrow’s new session at 9.
We did a short walk in the neighborhood, but the street was really not a good walking street. Busses, Jeepney’s and trailers all go by here. The people are friendly and greets us as we walk around maybe there’s a back road we can try tomorrow.
For dinner we had planned something as spectacular as instant noodles. We have som cabbage we bought yesterday and the cucumber from GM. All in all it was a decent dinner and it quenched some of the salt cravings we had from all the sweating.
Now we’ve just done a stretching routine while this blog has been written. Much needed, to seldom performed.
Katja has now cut up fruit and today’s dessert will be fruit and yogurt. I guess we’ll turn in early, as our bedroom now is cooled down by the aircon. I guess it’s still about 27 degrees in the gym where we are, and about 20 in the bedroom. A difference you quickly learn to appreciate. A little light read on the bedside and lights out.
Oh, and we got access to WIFI and can now post online.
Once a year, go someplace you’ve never been before.
– Dalai Lama