22. Stasis in Places

  1. 01. Giving It Away
  2. 02. Mind Games
  3. 03. Customer Service
  4. 04. Getting Down to Business
  5. 05. …And Not a Drop to Drink
  6. 06. The Commission
  7. 07. Service!
  8. 08. Instant Celebrity
  9. 09. The Pinoy Diet
  10. 10. Life As We Know It
  11. 11. Doctors’ Borders
  12. 12. Poor, Poorer, Poorest
  13. 13. Half Empty
  14. 14. Me and My Leg
  15. 15. Always Be With You
  16. 16. Going Underground
  17. 17. Decisions, Decisions
  18. 18. I Shall Depart
  19. 19. A Volcano within a Volcano
  20. 20. A Nod and a Smile
  21. 21. Not Fighting City Hall
  22. 22. Stasis in Places
  23. 23. Fond Farewells
  24. 24. Parting Shots

The last two months in the Philippines were undoubtedly more fun than the first seven. There were several reasons for that.

For one thing, it was rather freeing to know that a bureaucratic stalemate made implementation of our planned work impossible. Rather than wandering in a fog of uncertainty, I now had a good idea what was going on: very little. Where once there was confusion and frustration, now I employed much eye-rolling and shrugging.

Another reason was that the wet season turned into the hot season, which morphed into the hot HOT season. We attended an increasing number of events at resort-like venues: retreats, planning meetings, congresses, exchanges, and the occasional piss-up. Continue reading 22. Stasis in Places

21. Not Fighting City Hall

  1. 01. Giving It Away
  2. 02. Mind Games
  3. 03. Customer Service
  4. 04. Getting Down to Business
  5. 05. …And Not a Drop to Drink
  6. 06. The Commission
  7. 07. Service!
  8. 08. Instant Celebrity
  9. 09. The Pinoy Diet
  10. 10. Life As We Know It
  11. 11. Doctors’ Borders
  12. 12. Poor, Poorer, Poorest
  13. 13. Half Empty
  14. 14. Me and My Leg
  15. 15. Always Be With You
  16. 16. Going Underground
  17. 17. Decisions, Decisions
  18. 18. I Shall Depart
  19. 19. A Volcano within a Volcano
  20. 20. A Nod and a Smile
  21. 21. Not Fighting City Hall
  22. 22. Stasis in Places
  23. 23. Fond Farewells
  24. 24. Parting Shots

I was staring at a worksheet, lost in thought, trying to figure out how to estimate the salary of a grocery store manager in Metro Manila. Vanessa dropped an opened letter on my laptop, obscuring both screen and keyboard, interrupting me mid-wild guess.

“We have to go to this.” she said. “Frank, too.”

Frank came across the room to read the letter over my shoulder.

Mayor Herbert M Bautista

Dear community development organization,

The Philippine National Volunteer Service Coordinating Agency has advised the Office of Quezon City Mayor Herbert M Bautista that your organization hosts foreign nationals as volunteers in Quezon City.

On behalf of Quezon City Mayor Herbert M Bautista, we request that you attend an informational interview with the Quezon City Community Relations Office, 5th Floor, Civic Center Building A, Quezon City Hall Compound at 2 pm on Wednesday, January 18, 2017.

Thank you for your cooperation.

God Bless Us All!

It was not signed. Continue reading 21. Not Fighting City Hall