Monday, September 14, 2009

Pictures, Trains, Los Angeles and Little Manila

Last Saturday was fun... there was a really informative Life Group Leader's training session early in the morning. The speaker talked about certain experiences that he'd gone through being a small group leader but also he gave a concise talk about what it means to be a small group leader. All in all, I found the talk informative and enriching.

After the training session...

Bamboo Shoot

I got to hang out with two awesome friends for a little project. (More about that... soon) I'm still working on the photos for the project... but then also still working on the photos for Paradigm Shift Video Music Awards Night, so these are just another two things on the plate. I'm creating a task list as I go and setting really short term goals to accomplish these.

Trains, Los Angeles, and little Manila

After taking photos and hangin out, I picked up my gal and we went to the Fullerton Train station and took the train to Los Angeles.

Fullerton Train Station

It was a great ride, we spoke talked to this guy named Eric, he was a really nice guy. We finally got to the historic Los Angeles Union Station, then we boarded a purple line subway train toward Vermont and Wilshire. We were headed to the Filipino town.

We got off the train and started walking, through what seemed to be Korea town... we came to notice the hodge-podge mix of ethnicities in the city. We had a great time just walking around, talking about the cultural mix, looking around. It was an adventure.

We later found ourselves in a restaurant called "My Mom's Bakery," which isn't my mom's bakery... although she did have one in the Philippines. It's somewhat a tradition in the Philippines to name an establishment in dedication to someone, or state it's clear owner. In this case, it's whom ever's mom's bakery. We came in and proceeded to order food. I was about about to pay for it, but at the time, their card machine wasn't working at all. The guy behind the counter asked the person serving us food, " much was it?" The girl replied, "$12 something...," to which he replied back, "Don't worry about it."

This implied free food. I was only half surprised. The culture in the Philippines, as I was growing up, was somewhat care-free. There was this trust between neighbors based on the decency of the way they spoke and respected the person they were speaking to. I was speaking to him in both Tagalog and English, it was really refreshing to talk to someone outside my family in Tagalog. This man was really nice, he stayed around to talk to us about the culture we grew up in, and not only did he give us free food at the time, he gave us more: Chiken skins (yes, just fried skins), and sinigang (a sweet and sour soup).

It was a great experience just being there and being treated as a true friend. Emily also enjoyed the food, well most of it. We finished eating and dropped by the 7 Eleven a block away, we came back with some cash and still paid for the free food.(Which void's it's validity of being free.) In the bigger picture, it's a business, and the gesture was good. I don't mean to nullify grace, the grace really was the sentiment behind the free food and the hospitality of this good man and not the consumed food. All of which we appreciated. We enjoyed our time spent there.

We left "My Mom's Bakery," (which isn't my mom's bakery...) and were on our way back to the Wilshire and Vermont subway station. As we were walking back we talked a bit about how there wasn't much that distinguished Filipino town, but that was probably because we were in the wrong part of town, the normal part, not the touristy part of town. We finally got to Wilshire and Vermont. Em was resilient, she wasn't tired at all. I asked her if she felt awake, and she said, "Yes..." I told her that Filipino food is usually high in cholesterol, so she'll be feeling sleepy in a bit.

We were in the subway station at this time, just waiting and talking. We heard a sound, the train above our level arrived and departed. A few minutes later, our train arrived... it wasn't our train, before getting on, I sensed that the train was headed north and I asked a stranger what direction that train was going on, and it was headed north... He told us the train we wanted was upstairs.

We hurriedly started running up the stairs, running each step then every two steps. We finally reached the second level... We were aware that we missed our train and we just asked ourselves, "...why did we run up the stairs?" So we waited again, then I asked Em how she felt, if she felt sleepy. She said yes, and I said, it's the food. Shortly after, the train had arrived and about eight minutes later, we were in the Los Angeles Union Station.

We were ready to leave L.A. then, we approached the ticket booth to purchase tickets... and there were no trains coming. We had missed the last train headed back to Fullerton by ten minutes. We called Mr. Winter and told him where we were, then we spent time in the outside square, where there's a fountain, it was beautiful. We spent our time memorizing the top half nations of the continent of Africa. Until Em's dad came and chaperoned us back to Fullerton. He's such a great father.

It was an amazing evening, I can't imagine spending the evening with anyone else.


  1. Ugh! You just HAD to put that picture of me. haha. Great, thanks. Hope the photo editing and splicing is going well :) Can't wait to see it!

  2. "Em! There's my mom's bakery!" That was a little quick letdown, once I realized your mother's bakery is in the Philippines...Hahaha. One thing I learned is that Filippino food gets me hyper and then I crash about 45 minutes after. I'm really happy we did that, and that we shared that adventure together.

    This debrief is very helpful for me to reflect on! It will help me as I write my essay on it! Thank you for protecting me, offering to carry me on your back and showering me with so many blessings. <3


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