This morning I had the pleasure of joining my friend Barb (and 2 other lovely ladies) for a shopping adventure at Divisoria (which is like Greenhills, only more chaotic). Our mission: To spend $150 on toys for kids at an orphanage in Afghanistan (who have none). Thankfully, we can make the dollar go a VERY long way in Manila….
Barb was our mission master and boy oh boy does she know her way around this maze. I was so thankful we had her (and her driver, who served as our runner back and forth to the car). She comes here almost every week and has grown fond of a ‘clan’ that hangs out near the entrance. Each time she comes, she purchases 15-20 bags of rice or fried noodles and brings them over to her friends to share. I was SO TOUCHED by her display of generosity and loved how fondly they regarded her. You can see in the picture above how eager they are to get that food!
Of course I had to capitalize on this opportunity to get some shots with the adorable kiddos. Seriously, I may be biased, but I truly think Filipino kids are the cutest of all the Asian countries… :) Their adorable little faces melt my heart! As you can tell, we didn’t blend one bit. It was fun though because nearly everyone we passed called out to us with a good morning or a hello. One woman even came up and told me that I was the first ‘white person’ her child had seen. I made sure to smile extra big for that child so she’d be left with a very favorable impression of us! :)
We eventually had to move on from the kiddos, but their big smiles stayed with me all morning and gave me energy to fuel the next 4 hours of shopping. If you want to see more pictures, head on over to SMUGMUG.
If you thought the outside looked chaotic, just wait until you got inside. There was row upon row of merchandise, all insanely inexpensive. We went nuts, loading up our 4 bags to the brim. For you serious shoppers that are coming to visit, I now know that THIS is the place to go (although they don’t have pearls here). After lots of bartering, here’s what we proudly hauled away with our $150! I’d definitely call our morning a huge success. Barb is going to get all the things packed up and shipped to Afghanistan, where a USAID connection will distribute them to the orphanage that’s in need. I’m proud to say I was a part of this project – thanks for including me Barb!