Wikipedia Has Failed Me
Trip Start May 27, 2008
13Trip End Jul 31, 2008
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why you ask? I'll tell you why.
Because it failed to mentally prepare me for Manila. It did not tell me that the streets would be lined with emaciated vendors trying to sell me slabs of dried meat. It did not tell me that the main roads would be 10 lanes wide, with traffic traveling 3 inches from each other, maximum, and motorcycles and tricycles weaving in and out within those three inches. It did not tell me that the constant blaring horns would be just as loud at 4am as it was when I arrived at 4pm and windows do not seal tight enough, nor do fans blow loud enough to drown them out. And it definitely did not tell me that the smells wafting around each corner would each be equally nauseating, yet unique in their composition. Needless to say, I'm not so much in love with Manila. And I can definitely see why world church risk management wouldn't let us stay here for more than one night. I can write this though knowing that I will only be here for two more VERY short stays.
We did get to walk around and pick up some water, international sim cards, and get some delish Halo-Halo from ChowKing. I guess it's a Filipino staple but can vary quite a bit depending on where you get it. Mine had shaved ice mixed with condensed milk (i think) covered with a scoop of ice cream, chunks of gelatin, purple yam paste, strings of coconut meat, papaya, and red mung beans. It was good although I want to try it again in a better state... by that time I was pretty disoriented from dehydration and exhaustion. Don't worry mom, from there we went to buy jugs of water.
THANKFULLY, we're actually leaving for Binalonin in just a few minutes which is a smaller community about 4 hours north of here in the Pagasinan province. I don't know much except that we'll be staying with Josie and Chito Magabalin. I've never met either but I've only heard good things, and how can you not be awesome with names like Josie and Chito? It'll all get better from here I'm sure.
Moral of the story is don't ever underinterpret the statement "With a population of 1,660,714 and a land area of 38.55 kmē, Manila has the highest population density of any major city in the world with 43,079