This Is My Neighborhood - Skillful Cook
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This Is My Neighborhood

Kites. All the time.


Barbed wire gates, a tangle of electrical lines, and hard working people.

Woman walking on the sidewalk.

Election posters everywhere, everywhere, and everywhere.

Sidewalk near the street.

And campaign events happening right outside our apartment gate.

Campaign on the street.

Jeepneys and stuff.


The view from where I'm sitting right now. I've said it before and I'll say it again: those kites.

Flying a kite over some buildings.

This is my neighborhood.

Filed Under: Living Abroad

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  1. Skillful Cook Logo

    It’s truly incredible to see real life in the Philippines. They certainly do not lead lives of luxury but they seem to find happiness in the simple things, which is inspiring. I can’t imagine the mix of feelings you must have as you prepare to come home soon. I’m sure they will miss you terribly!

  2. Skillful Cook Logo

    I may have to thank you again and again for taking me (back) to places even I have never been in my own birth country. Beautiful images!

  3. Skillful Cook Logo

    Lovely photos. I’m going to miss your posts from the Philippines. But you’ve inspired me to visit there one of these days!

    1. Skillful Cook Logo

      I do hope you’ll visit our country. There are a lot of beautiful things to see here. 🙂

  4. Skillful Cook Logo

    Wow that looks so amazing! It is so kind of you to go there and it looks absolutely beautiful.

  5. Skillful Cook Logo

    You’ve done such a great job of sharing your reality as you experience it. Thank you for your beautiful pictures and reflections!!

  6. Skillful Cook Logo

    So amazing and beautiful. I am curious as to what your next steps are. I know you are planning on returning to Minnesota and being from Wisconsin…I feel ya! Once we lived in China for a year, we couldn’t go back to normal. I wonder your feelings on the matter.

    Love the pictures and what you did this year. I spent some (very little) time in China at an orphanage and it changed my life.

    Love your neighborhood. Would love pictures of the local street food too. Those are always my favorite. 🙂

    1. Skillful Cook Logo

      Thanks Paz! I wish I had more street food pics to share – but we actually don’t eat street food because we’ve been advised by everyone not to because the preparation, ingredients, etc. are likely to make our weak bodies sick. 🙂 But we do eat bibingka occasionally from street vendors! I think I have a picture of that on one of my older living abroad posts. And I would love to at least get some photos of other street foods before we go even if we can’t eat it!

      We are feeling pretty confident in our decision to move back home right now, but I know that things won’t be “normal” and we are definitely expecting some reverse culture shock. As far as our next steps, we will move slowly back into our jobs at home. I’m lucky that I’m a teacher so my hope is to take some time off this summer to get settled and reconnected and then find something for this fall.

      THanks for the comment! Are you still living in China or are you back in Wisconsin?

  7. Skillful Cook Logo

    Beautiful photos. All those kites remind me of a story my dad told me about growing up in the Philippines. They’d have these “kite wars,” where they’d try to knock over the other kids’ kites and be the last ones in the air. My uncle apparently thought it would be a good idea to use wire for his kite so it was stronger than the rest. But it got caught on electrical wire and he got electrocuted and sent to the hospital. I’m not sure if my dad was just making this story up, but whether it’s truth or fiction, I love it all the same.

    Are you leaving the Philippines soon? Wish I had discovered your blog earlier so I could have followed along in your adventure. I’ll be digging through your archives all day. 🙂

    1. Skillful Cook Logo

      Oh my gosh! Considering the mess that is power lines in the Philippines, I can believe it! We will be leaving to go back home in about a month.

      1. Skillful Cook Logo

        I was just re-reading my comment and realized it sounds horrible that I love a story about my uncle getting hurt. Let me just add that he was always getting into that kind of trouble (such as riding a water buffalo and breaking his arm and having to go to the witch doctor to heal it) and he was never seriously injured.

  8. Skillful Cook Logo

    I just found your site! I’m traveling to Manila in June for two weeks with my daughter. We adopted her from the Philippines 16 years ago!..going back for a visit!
    I’m going to troll your site for sure!

  9. Skillful Cook Logo

    Reading your abroad posts brought back great childhood memories. Thank you for sharing.

  10. Skillful Cook Logo

    Beautiful photos! My son is 1/4 Filipino (my mother in law is from Tarlac), so we are hoping to be able to take him to the Philippines someday.

  11. Skillful Cook Logo

    Gorgeous photos, Lindsay. I love the glimpse at what your neighborhood looks like, and I am always impressed by the kite flying from the rooftops. As a pathetic kite flyer myself, I can appreciate the skill it takes for those kids to learn and become so skilled at maneuvering them.

  12. Skillful Cook Logo

    Hi Lindsay,
    I am from Cebu, Philippines. I stumbled upon your blog looking for recipes from home because I just got here in the States to work two months ago. You have me missing my country more. Reading from your experiences I feel really proud to be a Filipino.
    I’d like to thank you for your generous heart in taking the journey to look and see what a beautiful place and people we have there. You went ahead and capture the things that really matter and heartwarming, more so of the delicious recipes from home. They represent us, I think. Simple, easy and just plain awesome.

  13. Skillful Cook Logo

    I found your blog searching for cookie dough brownies (awesome by the way). We lived in Cebu in 2012 too. Such a wonderful place. I was profoundly affected by how these people, who live in a poverty that those who have never left the US could not even fathom, are so happy. They love their family and their friends so fully and it fills them in every way. I fell in love with these people. It really made me appreciate the important things even more.