A: Yes, I went to Mexico on October 6 - 10, 2008 by riding in a cruise. This is my first time to see Mexico. One of my dream, which is traveling to different parts of the world will be granted. You have to be positive all the time so that your dreams will come true. This is my 3rd country that I have seen in my whole life. First, of course my homeland, in Philippines, second in United States of America, where I am living now, and third, in Mexico by taking a cruise.
Q: Where did you go in Mexico and how do you get there?
A: I went to Mexico on October 6 - 10, 2008 by taking a round-trip cruise for 5 days. I have a plan to take a cruise because I got a paid vacation in my recent work after I got a permanent position and I want to have an experience in cruise, too. I have a lot of friends that I know who are already took a cruise. I went to a website of my travel agency, which is Cruise.com. At Cruise.com, they have promotions like discounts up to 80% of the actual travel cost including the airfares if there are connecting flights. My friends were recommended me to make a reservation at Cruise.com and they are right because I saved a lot of money. Honestly, I cannot afford to take a cruise before because of the fares are really expensive and I don't have a time to take a cruise especially when I was working as a temporary position in different pharmaceutical companies and I don't have paid vacations. When I made a reservation at Cruise.com, I chose a 5-day round trip to Ensenada. Ensenada is also a popular city in Baja California Norte.
Q: How's the weather there in Mexico?
A: Well, it depends where in Mexico because Mexico is also a big place like in United States of America. The weather there is nice also because most of the whole area is sunny and the temperature there is ranging from 65°F to 100°F. It is also a humid place like in Philippines and I got sweat there.
Q: What is the currency in Mexico?
A: Well, the currency in Mexico is Mexican Pesos. Most of the people in Mexico are using Mexican Pesos. The exchange rate is ranging from 12 MXP to 15 MXP for every 1 USD. Some of the places in Mexico especially near to the boundary of United States of America are using US Dollars because there are many tourists from United States are visiting to Mexico by driving. Folks, if you are planning to visit to Mexico by long drive from United States, you have to bring your documents like your green card or US passport because at the boarder of United States and Mexico, the security checkpoint from US Department of Homeland Security are very strict because many of the people in Mexico are illegally crossing to the boarder.
Q: What is the unit of measurement in Mexico?
Well, in Mexico, they are using Systems International or SI Units. They are using kilograms for mass, Newtons for weight, meter and kilometer for distance, liter for volume, degrees Celsius for Temperature, and so on.
Q: Did you collect Mexican money?
A: Yes, I collect many Mexican money when I went to Santander Bank to exchange some of my US Dollars into Mexican Pesos. I collect many notes and coins. Some Mexican folks were helped me to get the notes and coins. I collect all the notes and coins except for 1000 and 10 notes as well as the 5 centavo coin. 1000 MXP is the highest note so far and it is hard to find it even in the banks while the 10 MXP note is very rare and it is hard to find it too because right now, the 10 MXP note is converted into a 10 MXP coin. The 5 centavo coin is no longer in the circulation because it is no longer valuable anywhere in the stores there.
Q: How many provinces/states that Mexico have?
A: Mexico consists of 31 states plus Mexico City, it's capital.
Q: Have you ate Mexican foods there?
A: Yes, I ate a lot of Mexican foods there. After I went to Santander Bank to buy Mexican pesos, I bought some souvenier items and ate a lot of Mexican foods there like burrito, tacos, nachos, tamales, flautas, enchiladas, menudo, pozole, horchata, tamarindo, and fresa. I also drunk Mexican Beers like Tecate, Corona, and Pacifico. The popular softdrink in Mexico is Jarritos. There are lots of street foods and restaurants there. I went also to Mango Mango Restaurant, a well-known restaurant in Ensenada to eat a lot of Mexican foods, too. Although they are most spicy, they are all delicious because of the native style in cooking there.
Q: We heard that the people of Mexico are eating cactus, isn't it?
A: Yes, it is. The people of Mexico are eating cactus. They called the cactus as nopales. Nopales is also a good appetizer and also they used it to mix in other Mexican dishes. Nopales can also be used to make a jam.
Q: Do you know any Mexican restaurants in your hometown so that we can taste their foods and dishes?
A: Well, there are so many Mexican restaurants in United States of America because Mexico is closer to United States. I will give you the list of Mexican restaurants that I know here as well as in Philippines:
Q: How do you compare the people in Mexico from the people in United States and Philippines?
A: Well, the people in Mexico are also friendly and approachable, too like in Philippines and United States of America. The culture in Mexico is similar in Philippines because Mexico is also colonized by Spain for hundreds of years. Mexicans are also Roman Catholics and there are also lot of old churches that they are also tourist spots. I want to see also the old churches if I have a time to visit in Mexico again especially in Mexico City, it's capital.
Q: Do you have Mexican friends?
A: Yes, of course. I have a lot of Mexican friends. When I visited to Ensenada, Baja California, I have friends there especially our tourist guide, Ms. Brenda Sanchez and the tourist bus driver, Mr. Roberto Garcia when I took the cruise on October 6 - 10, 2008. Also, some of the people in Ensenada when I visited there and they helped me in getting around there. Recently, at my work in Morton Salt located in Newark, California, I have also Mexican friends. They are telling me about the politics, cultures, and geography of Mexico especially at their hometown. If we have a potluck in our work, they will bring their native dishes and most of their dishes are delicious. They shared their recipe of their dishes and I tried to make these dishes at home. The ingredients are easy to find especially mostly in many Hispanic groceries.
Q: We heard that there are also cock fighting in Mexico, isn't it?
A: Yes. In Mexico, there are also cock fighting there like in Philippines because the culture in Mexico and Philippines are similar due to have a same colonizer.
Q: Is it true that most of the well-known boxers in Mexico were defeated by Manny Pacquiao from Philippines?
A: Yes. Most of the well-known boxers in Mexico were defeated by Manny Pacquiao, a well-known boxer in Philippines. Actually some of the folks from Ensenada were mentioned that Manny Pacquiao had visited in Mexico, too when one of the boxing tournament was held in Mexico City.
Q: Do you recommend to anyone to visit in Mexico?
A: Yes, I will recommend to anyone to visit in Mexico because it is also a nice place to visit. The people there are very approachable especially to the tourists. It is better if you can speak Spanish because many of the people there are not fluent in English. Their medium of instruction there is Spanish and most of newspapers, bulletin boards, and television shows are in Spanish.