Saturday, January 1, 2011

P.Y.C. (Philippine Youth for Christ)

We decided to wake up and get going around 7:30am. Even though AUP (Adventist University of the Philippines) is only 7 km (4.3 miles) away from AIIAS, the traffic and driving around these areas are insane! And on top of that we were going to have to take a Jeepni (a form of public transportation...kinda like a bus...but WAY more crowded) So...we were looking at a 2-3 hour trip to AUP.
So around 7:30 we headed out. Before we even got to the AIIAS gate, a guy pulled up along side us and asked "Where's everybody going?" "We're going to AUP" Allison replied nonchalantly. It turned out that guy's wife was going to be one of the speaker at PYC and he was headed there. "You guys must have been praying really hard" he said as we drove the 30 minute drive to AUP. Around 8am we arrived, a whole 2 hours earlier than we had planned, thanks to our angel on wheels.
David, our angel on wheels.
We had been looking forward to PYC for about a month now, not only for the main speaker (David Asscherick, who is our ALL-TIME favorite evangelistic speaker) or the spiritual revival that we hoped to receive, but also to feel like small fish in a big pond once again. Allow us to explain. We can count on our hands how many white people we have seen in the last 4 months (most of which are our fellow missionaries). Not that we mind, we love the Filipino culture and the Filipino people. However, we've never grown up being the minority. We've never been stared at while walking down the road, or eating a meal. Never had people giggle incessantly when we ask a simple question or refer to us as giants with long noses (will explain in later post). When we thought PYC we thought GYC, at GYC there is a complete melting pot of different people. Well, we thought wrong. It wasn't until we were registering and had the registrars be SOOO excited to see us that we realized that we were once again the minority. In fact we had a couple people ask if we were speakers for the seems we will have to wait another 4 months before we can blend into the crowd once again. LOL.
Anywho, so after registering, being escorted to our dorm, learning our meal tickets for the cafeteria don't start till supper that night, receiving offers to have lunch bought for us,unpacking our bags and realizing we had ALOT of time to play with, Monica decided the we should go to Paseo which is a shopping district in the next town over. The first step in this adventure is to wave down a Jeepni. Monica said that we would probably have to wait awhile for one, but right as we got to the gate 3 Jeepni's stopped. As we mentioned earlier Jeepni's are like the public transportation here. They're pretty cheap to travel by, however the rule is whatever fits, goes. You will constantly see 3 or 4 people hanging out the back of a Jeepni for this reason. So we were able to enjoy our first ride in a very crowded Jeepni.
Upon arriving in Paseo we saw alot of store/restaurant names we didn't recognize, some that sounded familiar, but ONE that stood out and made our heart to backflips....STARBUCKS!! Yay! They were currently running their Christmas drink specials, so we shared a Peppermint Mocha Frappachino. Yum! It was pretty much the most amazing thing ever! We even managed to get a picture of the barista who made it for us. Oh Starbucks, how we've missed thee. At this point, we were mentally planning to come back atleast twice a day. If we had known what the following days would be like, we would've laughed at ourselves. lol.
After seeing all the different restaurants we finally decided on a Mexican restaurant called Paquito Mas because we hadn't had Mexican food in SUCH a long time. It wasn't until after we got our food that we realized it was a Filipino version of Mexican food. So it didn't taste like the real thing, but it was still quite delicious.

After eating, we spent alot of time window shopping and exploring different stores. We spent quite a bit of time in the Filipino version of Barnes and Noble which is called National Bookstore.  Paseo was a very picturesque outlet mall. In fact, more than once, we had to remind ourselves that we weren't in the U.S. After we saw all we needed to see we took a Jeepni back to AUP, but it was an AWESOME way to spend our day!
Philippines version of So. Cal's 'Pinkberry'
Sam and Monica on the Jeepni ride back to AUP.
The first meeting began at 7:30pm that night. The speaker was the President of the Southeast Asia Adventist Conference. His sermon was describing our theme for the week, Empowered. It was the perfect way to open the conference. After hearing him, we were really excited for the week to go on and to be able to learn SOO much more about our Lord and Creator. Till then...

~Me and Her


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