Saturday, December 5, 2009

This weekend we attended a gathering of athletes, adventurers and sports enthusiasts at our church. We were happy to meet people who share the same passion. Among those present was  Taekwondo champion Japoy Lizardo, who would be competing in the SEA games this December 9.  


Michael and I were honored to be in the same boat as Japoy. It's a very big privilege to be able to represent our country in an international competition. Michael and I were given a few minutes to speak at the meeting. We were able to show our  video and introduce  the Ultimate Thailand Explorers competition. Among those who approached us after our talk was Elen, a former expat in Thailand. She had a wonderful time as a  teacher in Bangkok.  She talked about the warmth of the people, the delicious food, the year-round sale and the quality of goods. 
Plus, she gave us some tips:   
*As Filipinos, we sometimes pat people's head or ruffle their hair to show our appreciation. It's a no-no in Thailand. For the Thais, the head is the top most part of the body and should not be touched casually. Doing so would be disrespectful.
*Using the toes to point to something or someone   is also frowned upon. It's not good to have your foot point to a person. So ladies have to be careful that when they cross their legs their foot isn't pointing to someone. 
*To get the restaurant bill, we are used to drawing a square in the air to signal the waiter to get  our check. In Thailand, you use your pointing finger to draw circles! That's how you get your bill. 
Elen also shared about the deep love and respect that the Thais have toward the royal family. She was overwhelmed the first time she encountered the  entourage of King Bhumibol in the streets of Bangkok. Unaware that the King was passing by, she was shocked to see everyone on the street stop at their tracks. It seemed like the whole world had stopped moving, Elen described. Everything became so quiet, she thought it was the end of the world! That's how they show their reverence. 
After that, Michael and I met up with our new friend-- perfumer Bugsy Lazo ( We met Bugsy at an internet cafe in Zamboanga City during our campaign in the semifinals. He and his cousins became our instant supporters! The  night we met was the same night we hit first place in votes! Since he's originally from Manila, we met up with him while we were there. The thoughtful Bugsy wanted  to send us off with a gift,  the first we received this Christmas--two bottles of his most saleable perfume! Michael got a scent called Guimba, which means forest in the Tausug dialect. I got a perfume named Sassy, a blend of citrus and vanilla. It smells heavenly. Now we're sure to smell sweet while doing exploring Koh Samui.  Thanks so much, Bugsy!

As we prepare to fly to Thailand tomorrow, we want to greet everyone a Merry Christmas!  May you have a meaningful holiday season! :) 

Love Samui 

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