Hooray--pictures! They're ridiculously easy to add, as it turns out. I swear that "add image" button wasn't there the first seven times I posted.
The boys will be going back to school in two short weeks. I think we're all counting the days. The Filipino school year runs June to March, coinciding with the start of the rainy season. Can't say I'm sad to leave the summer heat behind! The rains linger until November. I've always liked rain, and the storms that pass through are impressive to see. Last year's Typhoon Mileno was the strongest we've seen in Manila. Not your typical five-minute downpour! It was humbling, and we didn't even get the worst of it. The provinces are usually the hardest hit, with appalling loss of life and property.
Speaking of nature's power, the second photo was taken in Tagaytay above one of the many active volcanoes in the Philippines. The city of Tagaytay is built along the rim of an ancient volcano. You can drive parallel to the rim and glimpse gorgeous views of Lake Taal, situated inside the giant extinct crater. You can drive down to the water's edge, hire a boat to cross the lake to an island in the center, then hire a horse and guide to take you up a trail to the rim of the "baby" volcano (pictured). Of course the horses are more like ponies and the guides try to gouge your wallet at every opportunity, but it really is a cool little day trip.