They hurry to their room, change clothes and go to the formal dining room. There the waiters are dressed in traditional Filipino clothing. The scent of the beautiful flowers on the tables fills the room. The women sit down at a table for four. A waiter approaches. He holds a tray of various teas and invites them to choose one.
Donita: (To the waiter.) I’d like to try a
traditional tea; what do you suggest?
Waiter: (Points to teas.) This one is a sweet
tea, this one is black, here is a ginger, and
here is a green.
Donita: Thank you; I’ll have the black tea. (The
waiter and his assistant pour hot water into the
tea pot, swirl the water around then pour it out
into a small bucket.. More hot water is then
poured over the loose tea, strained and poured
into individual pots.)
Sandra: I’ll have the same. (Another waiter
appears with a colorful array of small
sandwiches and desserts.)
Donita: This one and that one, please. (Pointing
to her selection.)
Sandra: They look beautiful; can you tell me what
Waiter: This is Bibinka. This one is Cassava
Cake. This is Pastillas de Leche. You might like
to try this one, Pinpig Plovoron. And this is an
invitation for both of you. (He hands an
envelope to Sandra.)
Sandra: Thank you. (Opens the invitation.) “You
are invited to the Fiipino Crew Show in
the Theater. There will be singing, comedy and
dancing by the crew at 11:15 p.m.”
Donita: 11:15! That sounds like fun, but I don’t
know if I can stay awake that late. (Laughing.)
I better take a short nap.
Sandra: Good idea!
The women go back to their staterooms to relax before they
need to get ready for dinner.Donita is very tired and
stretches out on the bed. Sandra starts reading the daily
Sandra: I’m going to read a little more about
Donita: Maybe we should start reading about
Curacao as that’s the next island we’ll see.
Sandra: Maybe, but listen to this… (Reading.)
These people are believed to have left the
rainforests in South American to settle in the
Caribbean. Women spoke one language, Maipurean
while the men spoke another. It is thought that
the reason for this was that all the women had
been captured from another tribe.”
Donita: But wouldn’t they have learned each
other’s language at some time?
Sandra: According to this article, they might
have happened, but women still preferred to
speak to other women in Maipurean and to the men
in Carib. It became known as the language of
Donita: (Sleepily.) I wonder if the children
Sandra: Go to sleep; I’ll wake you up in time for
dinner and the show. Don’t forget It’s formal
After dinner the women join other passengers in watching the
show. Two of the dancers explain the meaning of La Jota
Moncadena (Castanet Dance). Then they watch the “Pandanggo
sa Ilaw (Candlelight Dance). Two women dance wearing crowns
of lighted candles on their heads. The audience seems to
collectively hold its’ breath until the girls finish dancing
and extinguish the lights.
Next the dancers demonstrate a traditional Planting Rice
Dance, “Magtatanim and finally the Bamboo Dance (Tinikling).
The audience jumps to their feet cheering and applauding for
the fantastic entertainment.
The next morning, the women get up early, get dressed and
have breakfast. They are excited about going onshore. While
waiting for the ship to dock, Donita is reading the daily
Donita: This is rather funny! “In 1499 Spanish
explorer Alonso de Ojeda claimed Curacao for
Queen Isabella. Many of the explorers were from
Valencia, Spain and decided to grow the famous
oranges from that region. However, they did not
grow well on the island and had a bitter taste.
In disgust, some of the growers let the oranges
ferment, but didn’t want to waste the food. So,
they discovered by accident the fermented
oranges mad a good liqueur!
Sandra: That is ironic! I know a Margarita would
not be the same without Curacao! Let’s go out on
deck and watch the ship dock.
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