Wednesday, March 30, 2005

The Pinay Network

The Pinay Network

I haven't exactly been working that hard here in Manila so far; meetings have been sparse but they've been very fruitful. Blogging has been intermittent for the past couple of days because of a few reasons--mainly it's because I hate to pay 10 USD per-day for the broadband Internet service at my hotel since I only get to use it for a couple of hours everyday.

My nights here have not been adventurous either. I reacquainted myself with places that used to be familiar to me--the area around Shangrila Makati, mainly the malls at Ayala Center. Six or seven years ago, I was more into clubbing and the nightlife. I remember lots of fun nights at places like Hard Rock Cafe, Zu and some of the bars at P. Burgos.

But I'm such an intolerably dull creature these days; I've been spending my evenings quietly at the hotel lounge, drinking the excellent local beer Red Horse (the "strong beer" from San Miguel), deeply engrossed in my Marquez book.

To prevent myself from succumbing to my hermetic habits, I've decided to go for dinner with a good Filipina friend of mine tonight, Sophia, who happenned to be back here from the States. (It's interesting to note that in Malay, we refer to the country Philippines as "Filipina" but here the word is used as the feminine form of "Filipino"). Sophia has been living in the US for a couple of years now but she's back for the Holy Week/Easter celebrations, which is the most important celebration for the Philippines people.

Those who have Filipina maids will know that they are a very closely-knit community--clannish and chatty. News and rumours travel faster than the speed of light on the "Pinay Network". (Filipinos and Filipinas refer to themselves as "Pinoy" and "Pinay" respectively). If you have a Filipina wife or girlfriend, don't even think of flirting around with another Pinay! It is no surprise that Philippines has the highest volume of SMS traffic in the world.

So, enough of Marquez for this trip, I'll look forward to a good dinner with Sophia and friends tonight and enjoy all the latest gossips from the Pinay Network!

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