5 things I love about Hawaii

Life, Travel

The island of Oahu is so beautiful I have ever visited in my life. I have been thinking of what I really want again.

1. Food/Dessert/Snack

Poke has been stuck in my mind. It is similar to sashimi; however, there are many kinds of flavours. I WANT SPICY FLAVOUR!!! haha! Hawaiian shave ice , acai bowl, and Hawaii chocolate haupia pie are so good! And, macadamia nuts is one of my favourite nuts. I always eat it since I grew up.


2. Art

Amazing things I never stop being fascinated by are: modern patterns, surfboards, skateboards, paintings, home decoration, clothing, accessories, graphic designs, and more! I can say nothing boring. It’s because this matches one of my artistic personality types.


3. Weather

In fact, Hawaii feels like the Philippines I grew up for many years. I like the weather in Hawaii more than in the Philippines because there are more breezes through the houses and anywhere.

4. Activities

Every time I was on the way or went to the beaches, I noticed what people do all the time – skateboarders, joggers, surfers, and many indoor/outdoor activities.

Hiking is one of my hobbies. I heard that hikers go to the trails all the time. For the first time in Hawaii, I went to Pu’u Ma’eli’eli Digging Hill with my relatives. I think it feels the same as I used to hike in the Philippines. I enjoy the nature, though.

And, I saw GoPro cameras are almost available in all stores. Playing with the camera on a beeaacchh! Waaaves! *Splash*


5. Scenery

Beaches are everywhere around the island. I love the feeling of sand between my toes even though it is tiring to walk or run. It gives me calmness and clears my mind. I also love swimming or I’m going to die without saltwater. haha

The mountains and overlooks are sooo… amazing! Whenever I was on the way, I couldn’t stop staring at the mountains surrounded by beautiful clouds and sun rays on the mountains. As for the overlooks, the view is wider! I enjoyed when my aunt drove on the zigzag road… until we reached the top.


After I came back to Vancouver, I had a weird feeling. While I was on the bus, I felt like “Where are the nearby mountains?!” haha

Filipino and Canadian Cultures

Life, Travel


I immigrated to Vancouver, Canada after growing up in the Philippines for almost 20 years. I hardly miss my own country so much. 5 years passed by, I once visited to Manila and stayed there for two months. Filipino culture which I almost forgot shocked me. The comparison of two cultures are obviously different.


There are many customer service/retail workers in the clothing/stuff stores. I was a bit annoyed and frightened by two or three workers. They kept their eyes on me if I were a thief. I know it’s their jobs but they are friendly. In Canada, do they do the same way? No, they welcome and ask the customers if they need help or not.

It’s common for people to look over their shoulder and to hold the open door for the people following them. But in the Philippines, most security guards check people’s bag at the doors before they enter. Sometimes I got ignored by someone who didn’t hold the open door for me. One time, I did that for a lady. She seemed blushed and shy. She guessed I liked her. No way! haha!

The people in Canada always smile at each other every time they pass. In the Philippines, I felt awkward as soon as I glanced and smiled at Filipinos. We lost the eye contacts since they thought I was a stranger. Weeee! Maybe they are shy, aren’t they? haha!


Don’t forget to laugh. Filipinos always laugh because they are friendly people. They feel less afraid and nervous. Every time they do something awkward or terrible, they still laugh. Of course, laughing is the best medicine and happiness! In Canada, I hardly handle myself not to laugh whenever I listen to someone talking about serious things or something. I know some people will suspect why I laugh so loud. haha!


The families prepare and set up dishes on a big table and invite their relatives and even unfamiliar friends. In Canada, the visitors are invited to a family’s house and they bring their food. It’s different, isn’t it?


Almost all of the roads where people jaywalk across scared me. However, jaywalking is prohibited in some areas which prevents the heavy traffic. The footbridges are also there. Can you imagine that people go ahead to jaywalk through and vehicles don’t stop running at the same time? In Canada, not all of the people jaywalk but some people do if there are no vehicles on the roads.

Riding in the vehicles

I was at the airport. I noticed my brother’s car was full. I was told to sit on my sister’s seat even though she still sat. I was like “Oh what?!”. It completely shocked me. Yes, I forgot for a long time. A person sits on other’s hips or two people sit on one seat. They don’t wear the seat belts. In Canada, the passengers must take their own seat and wear seat belts or they will have fine for no seat belts.

Public Transporation

Jeepney and motorized tricycle are popular for the public transportation in the Philippines. The jeepneys are full of crowded seats. They have kitsch decorations, which have become a ubiquitous symbol of Philippine culture and art. The tricycles contain only limited seats (3~5 passengers). But a few passengers often stand in the back of both, not only all. The tricycles transport everywhere, except for on busy major highways and very busy city streets. Also, the buses transport on the highways, including the jeepneys. EDSA (Epifanio de los Santos Avenue) in Metro Manila is the heaviest traffic due to a large number of the buses.

The first week of my vacation, I didn’t get used to the jeepney because I usually take the bus in Canada. There are no spaces on the seats in the jeepney. (see the second picture) I was stuck between people. haha!

It’s about fares. When you pay a fare, you have to hand cash to a driver and to say “bayad mo” which means “you pay”. The driver returns you the change. If you need to get down, say “para mo” which means “you stop”. The jeepney then stops running.

For Deaf culture, how can I say “bayad mo” or “para mo” even I can’t speak? It’s an easy way. I can hand cash (only exact price) to a driver and point to a place. I can get down when I knock the metallic ceiling to stop the driver. But if the ceiling is soft and not a metal, the other way is that I can knock the pole with a coin to stop the driver. Some jeepneys contain loud speakers under the seats in order to knock very hard the pole.

In Canada, I stand at a bus stop and wait for the bus every 5~15 minutes for the day and every 30 minutes for the night. The bus schedules are various in the areas. Unlike stopping the jeepney driver, I have to get down at the next bus stop after I pull a string or press “stop” button to let the bus driver know.

There are three train transit systems in Metro Manila. The operators are in the trains’ head and tail. All the time, the trains are packed with crowded passengers as they’re off to work and schools. As for two of three train transits, female and male are required to separate in the trains (a half train for male and female). The families and disabled people also include the female. It’s because of the safety. They wouldn’t steal anything from each other. However, one of three train transits allows the combination of the passengers to get in.

In Canada, the operators are in a main office and are responsible for tracking the trains through the monitors and CCTV cameras. The trains appear in every 2~3 minutes or it depends on them to arrive earlier. Unlike Philippine trains, the trains are full of passengers in the early morning and late afternoon. It normally takes an hour or so.

While traveling

I wear nice clothes but don’t show off the valuable and gadgets — Flashing jewelry, electronic items and other valuable may attract the attention of criminal. I hid my DSLR camera in my backpack, instead of a camera bag. People didn’t think I was not a traveler. In Canada, I am in a food court or restaurant. I leave my bag on a seat next to me and my smartphone on a table beside my dish. But in the Philippines, I had to hide my things while I ate.


There are three seasons in the Philippines — Cold Dry (December – February), Hot Dry (March – May), and Rainy (June – November). Canada has four seasons — Spring (March – May), Summer (June – August), Fall (September – November) and Winter (December – February).

Hours of the sunlight

In British Columbia where I live, the sunlight is by far longer in the summer than winter. The sun is down by 10PM and up at 4:30AM. In winter, the sunset is by 3:30PM and the sunrise is at 8AM. In the Philippines, the sun is down and up by 5 or 6 o’clock. It’s year-round.


I am the youngest member of my family. I always call my big sisters, “Ate” which means “sister”. For example, my big sister’s nickname is Cocoon. I call her, “Ate Cocoon”. Kuya – brother, Tita – aunt and Tito – uncle.

For the elders, the gesture is almost similar to kissing a hand. Saying “Mano or Mano po”. Mano po means “your hand, please”. You have to say that to an elder and put the back of his/her hand on your forehead.


“Kamayan” means eating with the bare hands. Filipinos traditionally use eating with their hands. Coconut leaves are served as the plates. It’s cool, isn’t it? In Canada, the people use forks and knives, except for the spoons (of course, it’s for the soups).

Food Court/FastFood/Restaurant

After the people are done with eating their dishes, they leave the tables without taking the trays to the trash areas. The cleaning workers only work on cleaning the tables and taking the trays. In Canada, most of the people are responsible for taking their trays to the trash areas, especially recycle bins.

Sending a big box

A great deal of the foreigners at the airports notice Filipinos usually bring pasalubong boxes (balikbayan boxes). “Pasalubong” means the Filipino tradition of travellers bringing gifts from their destination to people back home.


Filipinos mostly love the music. They love to sing loud and even LOUDER. I know it’s kind of annoying but still so much fun. As for me, I’m not interested in this. I am Deaf. However, I can hear very little and love to feel the vibrations of the music.

That’s all what I visualized. If you feel you don’t agree with these cultures, please let me know or comment. I would be happy to hear from you. Anyway, hope you have enjoyed reading it. 🙂

New Year’s Resolution


2012 is warmly welcomed! I realized what I did in the previous year. I love some days of the year since these were the best! So I am going to figure out what my resolution is…

My resolution what I want is…

1. Save up money.

2. Interact with my hearing classmates.

3. Stop interrepting while listening and talking by using sign language.

4. Get a full-time job (graphic designer)

5. Encourage people to learn basic sign language for fun.

6. Exercise.

7. Reduce time to play games.

8. Improve my oral and make my voice loud.

9. Move out.

10. Control myself (Sometimes I am picky. sshh!)

Hopefully, 2012 will be amazing! I am looking forward to succeeding my list after the end of the year. 🙂

One Deaf in the hearing world


Well, this is not about one Deaf in the hearing world but of course, it’s me. I am the one who is Deaf with my 16 hearing classmates in Digital Graphic Design program.

I have an experience that I studied at Miriam College in the Philippines. Deaf and hearing students combined in the classes. This experience is very good for interacting with each other. I was used to communicating with hearing people by text messaging, writing a note, using gestures, and using gestures or basic sign language and I could lip read.

This year, I am currently taking Digital Graphic Design program at Vancouver Community College. I have two interpreters using ASL (American Sign Language).

I was fully shy around my classmates. I know it is my humble personality that I don’t express and interact very much. I lost a part of my communication skills as I had been stuck in the Deaf community for 3 years. It made me forget how to communicate, except for sign language. It’s like I don’t know what to say anything whenever I am asked a question.

After a few months, I got the hang of being with my classmates. I love to tease some of my classmates for fun even though they don’t know ASL. They only speak to me and my interpreters sign for me.

This December, I decided to kill my shyness. I ought to talk to my classmates without interpreters. I want them to learn ASL! I know it’s fun to learn! They should have great experiences!

During Digital Graphic Design potluck, my classmates and I interacted with other classmates for afternoon class. We got used to talking around. One of my classmates asked for joining a pub. I decided to join them since I wanted to gain experiences. After the potluck, I ended up having BLAST with them — having great conversations, teasing, drinking liquors, and especially learning sign language! I couldn’t believe that I do talk with them!

I am looking forward to seeing my classmates when my class is back in 2012!

Exciting School


Well, this is the first day of my class but It’s the orientation day. I came outside of the classroom before 9:00AM.

Once I came 7th floor, I was surprised that there are a lot of students who wear cool garments stylishly. I like that. We waited until an instructor opened the door. We entered into the classroom. I figured out where I could sit at the computer since I wanted to watch an interpreter beside the instructor. Then, the interpreters recommended me to sit on the best spot.

This is way better for me to view.

Three instructors and other two lectured about policy booklet, course outline, student’s union, advising. After a while, my neck was a bit pain. My head didn’t move due to the interpreters. I remember that I did in the Philippines like that. However, it’s normal because of the first day.

One funny thing, the advisor created each group of students and me. My group discussed with me about answering questions. All of the sudden, I was asked to answer. I was not ready and I haven’t thought what I answered yet. I responded a bit after thinking for a while. hehe 😛

After the orientation ended, I went to visit Boardway VCC as I miss there! hehe

I am looking forward to expecting what will happen to me to be successful after a few months. Wish me LUCK! 🙂