Saturday, September 12, 2015


Baliwag is the town in the Philippines where we are living.  In this post we are showing some pictures we took around Baliwag.

 This is what traffic looks like.  It's very crowded and there lots of traffic and people.

 Another crowded street around the town center.  This is a very crowded area.

 Besides cars and buses there are three modes of transportation.  Lots of motorcycles which are the best for darting around slower or stopped traffic.

 These are called tricycles.  They are motorcycles with side cares that people use like taxis for getting around.  People don't pay much attention to traffic lanes.

 This is a jeepney used for transportation.  It holds about a dozen passengers.  Most people don't have cars and they pay to ride either the tricycle or jeepney.  Surprisingly we do not see very many bicycles, just a couple now and then.

 This is the clock tower that's in the town square of Baliwag.

 War memorial in memory of World War II when the Philippines were invaded by the Japanese.  The Philippines fought side by side with Americans during the war and General Douglas MacArthur is a big hero over here.

 A large Catholic cathedral.  The majority religion here is Catholic.

 Ceiling inside the cathedral tpwer.

 Statue of Mose and the Ten Commandments.

 In the town square we each had a Bibingka.  They only cost 55 pesos, which is just about a $1.20.  It is cooking under the coals.

 The Bibingkas are like a hot custard, but are called rice cakes. It is a traditional Christmas food.  Oh, it case you didn't know the Christmas season begins September first in the Philippines and lasts through Christmas.  You can see a little of it under the green leaf. It was about 6 inches in diameter and was served with shredded coconut. I (Sister Swift) really enjoyed it.

 Here is a tiny Dunkin Donuts.

 A large number of the signs (the majority I think) are in English.  Most everyone speaks at least some English, but very little is spoken here in the province or at church during talks or prayers.  I know some of the members can speak it quite well though, and will interpret for me if I ask.  A lot must be able to read it too.

 Of course the McDonalds is in a modern building.

Sunday, September 6, 2015

Church and Visits in Philippines

It's been a busy first week for us in the Philippines.  We got out to our area on a Thursday and have been to church two times now.

 This is the town where our Branch is located.  We're assigned to the San Ildefonso Branch in the Balican District in the Philippines Quezon City North Mission.  We live in the town of Baliwag.

 This is the small Branch building.  Pretty nice.  They have offices and classrooms downstairs and the chapel upstairs.

 We frequently see cows (bukas) in the fields.  This one was by the road.

 The oxen are called Carabaw.

 Here's two missionaries at their house in St. Miguel.

This is us with one of our missionaries and a sister from the church, Sister Priscilla, who seems to just love Jacquelyn.  After we visited her house she went with us to visit the rest of the people we saw that night.

 Elder Barcarse and Articulo.  Local Philippine missionaries assigned to our branch.  They took us out on Thursday to visit seven families.  Then on Saturday we went out with Elders Coombs and Salisbury from America.  We got drenched in a heavy rain and had to walk through lots of water to get to one house.

Here's all the senior missionaries ( the two on the front right are leaving.)  President and Sister Bertin are seated in the middle.