Send us your photos with Filipinos you meet in your travels. Each photo should be accompanied by an extended caption that will give the names of the people in the pictures, their city and country of residence and how you met them. We request that you get permission from them to publish their photos on the web.
Positively Filipino is not responsible for pictures posted without the subject(s) permission.
I stayed at the Renaissance Aruba Resort & Casino in the heart of downtown Oranjestad, the capitol of Aruba. Surveying the area, I entered the V.I.P. Gift & Souvenirs, where sales clerks, Kathy Vesico (Candon, Ilocos Sur) and Kath Calano (Rodriguez, Rizal), immediately “Pinoyspotted” me. They gave me directions on how to go to the Filipino restaurant in the area.
I bought some fruits and vegetables at the Kong Hing Supermarket. I asked the cashier if there were Filipinos working in the supermarket. She introduced me to Myla Layos Avecilla (Quezon, Isabela), who emerged from the office. She has raised her family in Aruba.
I entered the Payless Gift & Souvenirs, and I was greeted by sales clerk Perlita Catbagan Miranda (Santo Tomas, La Union). We exchanged pleasantries in Ilocano.
I “Pinoyspotted” Liza Ramirez Catibog (Batangas City, Batangas), who was sitting on a bench. She just finished working in a supermarket. After a few minutes, Cherry San Juan Catibog (Cardonal, Rizal), her relative by marriage, came out of the jewelry store where she works. They were going home together.
I took an island tour of Aruba. Our first stop was at the California Lighthouse. I entered the La Tratoria El Faro Blanco Restaurant to use the pay toilet. I “Pinoyspotted” Cherryline Batulino Perez (Davao City), who was working at the front desk. She then called Sherwin Bambo (Morong, Rizal) to join us.
After our photo shoot, Sherwin asked the toilet lady not to let me pay. Now, I call that “Pinoyspotting” clout!
I met Precilla Policarpio Antioquia (San Jose del Monte, Bulacan) the owner-chef of The Kambal Bar and Restaurant in Oranjestad, Aruba. Catering to locals, tourist, and Filipinos, it has earned a Trip Advisor sticker. Helping in the restaurant are her Aruban-born and Tagalog-speaking grandchildren: Jayr Salamatin, Jolina Salamatin, and Jessel Salamatin.
Grace Ramirez Nacito (Kapalong, Davao del Norte) and her fiancé, Steven John Scully, were eating at the Kambal Bar and Restaurant. Based in New York City, they were visiting Aruba. She is a nurse, he an interventional-radiology technician.
I had a few hours to spare before going to the airport. I went back to the Kong Hing Supermarket, and I finally met Randy Avecilla (Quezon, Isabela), who was working in the backroom. He entertained friends working in a cruise line the day before.
I also went back to the Kambal Bar and Restaurant and I “Pinoyspotted” Jennifer Descaya (Iloilo City, Iloilo) and Neslie Mae Martinez (Legazpi City, Albay), who were relaxing, sipping soft drinks and working on their cell phones. They took a break from a cruise line, which docked in Oranjestad. Both work in the beauty department of the cruise line’s spa and salon.
Kambal (Twins) Bar and Restaurant is named after the Antioquia twins: Rodenn and Rodell. When I went back to the restaurant, Rodell who is older of the twins, was at the cash register. His full-time job is head waiter at another restaurant.
On my way back from Aruba to Chicago, I had a stopover at the Newark Liberty International Airport in New Jersey. I “Pinoyspotted” Sarah Day Dayon, who was waiting for the same flight to Chicago. She was visiting her family in Chicagoland. Also, she would be attending the launch event of UniPro Chicago–Midwest. UniPro or Pilipino American Unity for Progress, Inc. (unipronow.org) is a New York City-based nonprofit organization that educates, empowers, and connects the Pilipino American Community.
Sarah has an undergraduate degree in ethnic studies and biology from Brown University in Providence, Rhode Island. She is pursuing her master’s degree in teaching also at Brown University.
I retrieved my suitcase at around 11:15PM from the baggage carousel at the Chicago O’Hare International Airport. Just as I was taking out my winter coat, I “Pinoyheard” sisters Marissa Marquez and Julieta Marquez Panergo talking in Ilocano. Residing in Winnipeg, Canada, they had a long layover in Chicago to catch their flight to Philippines via Hong Kong. Marissa is a nurse, whereas Julieta is a financial analyst. Their hometown in the Philippines is Nampicuan, Nueva Ecija.
Rey E. de la Cruz, Ed.D., writes from Chicagoland when he is not loving the arts and traveling. He is the author of the children’s book, Ballesteros on My Mind: My Hometown in the Philippines, which also has Ilocano, Spanish, and Tagalog versions.
More articles from Rey E. de la Cruz