I am totally going against what I had planned, but I have been so behind on blogging that I have no choice but to catch up this way. I am going to write about recent events and if I ever get the chance I will fill you in on the days of typhoon Yolanda and our Christmas here. I will make sure and set aside time to write about them, but for now I have another exciting adventure to tell you about.
Dec. 30th I met mom, Kari, and my kids in Manila because they were coming here to stay. Upon leaving Manila we left a pink backpack in the back of the taxi that drove us to the airport. Normally I would just take it as a loss, but inside the bag was my kids 3 Kindles, which they received from their Nana before moving here. Now, again, don’t get me wrong: know it’s only material possessions,but I feel my kids have made so many sacrifices that them having to give up, yet another, favorite thing did not set well with me.
Immediately upon realizing we left the bags I contacted the hotel where we had stayed to see if they could help me. Turns out they had a video of the cab and were able to give me the company and license plate number. I asked them if they could contact the cab company for me since we were about to board a plane and I would call them that evening. They very graciously agreed and were so helpful. Well, that evening when I called back they had not been able to locate the cab company and the next three days were holidays; chances of reaching anyone were slim.
During the days to follow, Mom and Kari were here, so I was distracted with that, but the loss of the bag still did not sit well with me. After they left which was on Jan 3rd, I began to make regular phone calls and search the internet as much as possible. I kept getting a complete run around soter talking to James we decided I would go to manila and try to track this bag down. Now, keep in mind, manila is the size of NYC but it’s much bigger as far as land mass. Therefore my search would not be easy, but something inside me knew it would all work out. After all, the kids and I had been praying to find that bag from the day we lost it.
On Tuesday, Jan 7th, we bought 2 boat tickets my friend, Ana and myself. On Jan 8th, at 6am she and I set out for our "getting the bag back” journey. The boat ride (like a very small cruise ship) is 8 hours, which allowed us time to visit and rest.
Upon our arrival in Manila we went straight to the Best Western Hotel and got some more info on how to find this company. Also, on the way, our cab driver was a great help. Ana talked to him about our situation and he took our name and number. Sometime later that night he saw a cab from the company we were looking for; he followed it and got the name and address of the company and text us. By Wednesday night we had all the info we needed. The next morning I called the number and the lady said that was the wrong number. So we decided to go to the address, but the security guards would not let us into the residents.
At 8 am on Thursday morning we were already stumped. That’s when we went to see Ana’s family and in the meantime James found the info for LTO (some transportation office) where we needed to go and file a claim. After seeing Ana’s family (which she had not seen in 2 years, some people even 10 years) Ana, myself, and her sister set out to go to LTO. Instead of using taxi’s they introduced me to the very best and cheapest Filipino types of transportation.
First, we rode in a Jeepney. This is a stretch Jeep. It’s covered top, but open along the sides and it really only seats 12, but in the Philippines they literally fit 30. Then we had to take a trike. This is a motorcycle with an attached space for passengers. You can fit about 8 people. Then we took a bus (finally something familiar).
Upon our arrival to LTO we were told to go to one location. Well, that was the wrong one, so we walked 5 blocks to the correct location. Once there, we realized there was a dress code and we were not dressed to meet the requirements.
Check back tomorrow to find out if Ashley and Ana can figure out how to meet the required dress code.