Cynch took us to the Ayala Museum in Makati City (which is the central financial district--kind of like Wall Street, but with high rise condos and hotels and, yes, more malls). We looked at an exhibition of paintings by a Filipino artist who has lived in San Miguel de Allende, in Mexico, since the 50s. He's a cubist, of sorts, who paints cockfights and festivals and women with children. His work reminded me more of my time in Mexico than my experiences here so far.
Then we saw an exhibition of Pre-Hispanic gold artifacts (death masks, ceremonial belts, earrings, bracelets), and another of ceramics from 14th and 15th century trading with China. After a delicious lunch--with a crunchy small fish surprise (dili) sprinkled on top of my spicy noodles--at the Museum Cafe, we tackled the dioramas depicting the history of the Philippines from 60,000 BC to the present.
We finished the day off with a trip to Haagen Dazs for more ice cream (Cynch says that she doesn't allow herself ice cream very often; we're her impulse/alibi), and a wander through the Greenbelt mall that houses the Ayala Museum, past Prada, Bvlgari, Jimmy Choo, and other glittering, over-the-moon shops, to a bank machine where, to my stunned surprise, my Associated card worked. Yes, dear friends, I am again completely embodied, able to access my funds. I don't have to be an overseas remittance wife, dependent on my rich, working husband.
It's sunny, the weather's not too hot, it's a holiday (Independence Day), and the only significant damper to our peace is the fact that one of Cynch's good friends, suffering from leukemia, passed away this morning at 10:30 AM, probably while we were looking for parking. The woman's distraught widower wants Cynch to organize the necros (like wakes, I gather) for the woman's UP friends and for her friends in the scientific-governmental community, two different cohorts--for tomorrow and Sunday.
So in the midst of Cynch's shock and grief, she has to organize two major events. Pretty stressful, and sobering: to think that so much life goes on, while one quietly winks out.