Saying Goodbye to Marikina

We have enjoyed our time in Marikina, and have seen many beautiful things. It has been nice getting to know Tonet’s family better. I’ll miss the many cats that wander the streets here. I’ll miss the wonderful weather and the surprising sights. It’s sad to be leaving the Philippines, and I’ll carry the good memories with me.

Greg & Sally Tree Garden Cafe

For our last day in the Philippines Tonet and I went with her family to Greg & Sally Tree Garden Cafe, a beautiful restaurant near her sister’s home.

The ambiance was great, with trees providing shade, a couple Buddhas around, a jack-o’-lantern in January, a swing by the table and lots of nice little touches.

The food was very good. Mushroom sisig, garlic tumeric rice, gumamela iced tea, kangkong chips, basil oyster mushrooms and vegetable gising gising were all delicious!

A Long Walk in Marikina

Today I took a last long walk through Marikina. We fly out early Sunday morning and likely will have a full day tomorrow, so it was nice to spend a few hours wandering and seeing a few new places before I go.

Highlights included a statue of former mayor Gil Fernando and the looming Disneyified campus of the OLOPSC Preschool.

Back in Marikina

Last night we arrived back in Marikina and this morning I went out to run and walk around. There are always new side streets and surprising spots to find. I learned there is a House of Unicorns Cafe here!

I had to do some searching, but I did find one more Pokémon straw, this time of Froakie, but I may never have Chespin to be able to slurp through each of the gen 6 starters.

Another Run

It was great to get out for a run through Marikina Heights again today. There’s nothing quite like running through an unfamiliar place; being alert and wide eyed for new sights is such a great feeling.

Statues, murals and wall art continue to be delights. Near where I am staying is a piece featuring interesting characters I don’t recognize. A little further away is a dancing statue.

The highlight, though, was a long mural featuring mermaids and dolphins. It has definitely seen better days, but it is still stunning.

I think finishing my runs with a metal straw as a reward should be my habit while I’m here. Today I got a Pikachu cup and a Fennekin straw to rehydrate with.

Christmas Day

I spent the day with Tonet’s family during their Christmas Day family reunion. It was starkly different from the quiet Christmases I’ve usually experienced; there was a lot more loud music, dancing and throwing of money on the floor.

During our walk home the decorations were beautiful and the air warm. The quiet, peaceful walk was a nice end to the day.

Walking Marikina Heights

Today was the first day since arriving in the Philippines that I’ve been able to go out for a walk and run without some errand or objective, so I relished the chance to go exploring the streets in Marikina Heights.

I’m always keeping my eyes open for interesting art and statues here, and I was finally able to capture some I passed many times. At a small park there is a herd of cattle statues. At The Galleria there are fun scrap statues. Scattered around are other small pieces.

Around the Ayala mall is a series of statues in tribute to workers, from drivers to gunsmiths to sweepers.

Some Cats

Marikina has many cats lounging on the street, haunting wet markets and patrolling turf. Many of them have fantastic markings.

Shoes, Saints & Strangeness: Exploring Marikina

This week we have been staying mostly within Marikina and exploring it more. Among the highlights were visiting Marikina City Footwear Museum, where local shoemaking and a dictator’s wife’s seized shoe collection were featured, seeing Our Lady of the Abandoned Parish, the second oldest church in the city, being amazed by the world’s largest pair of shoes, bowling badly, walking along Marikina River and seeing many statues, street art and Christmas decorations.