Apr 23, 2007
May 17, 2007
Arrived in manila after what feels like forever on the road. First impression stepping out of the airport....it's HOT as HELL. It was mid 30c with high humidity. Turns out it's peak summer there from march to may, so if you plan on visiting my advice is to go there other than peak summer months. I met up with my brother and the other guys at the heritage hotel at the intersection of EDSA and roxas, both considered big main streets of manila. It's a decent central location and the price is pretty good at about usd$70 a night. Manila has a population of about 9 million and what seems to me like 10 million jeepneys on the road. Traffic is absolutely the worst of any of the big cities I have ever been to. We walked from our hotel to do some sight seeing around the neighboring streets. we came across several food stands and naturally I tried a couple of different things. There is a desert dish called Halo-halo, it's made from crushed ice mixed with fruit preserves, sweet corn, young coconut topped with a wad of crème caramel and a scoop of ice-cream. Very colorful looking desert tastes excellent in the summer heat. There is the grilled chicken intestines, coconut flavored rice wrapped and grilled on banana leaf, and of course the local delicacy balut, the feared 18day old duck egg/embryo. I have heard and seen pictures of balut, and about people's impressions on eating them. To me it taste very 'non exotic' and ordinary. Everyone's had hard boiled chicken eggs and chicken meat. Now, combine the 2 in one bite, and that's what balut tastes like. It's just cultural biases that makes balut seem scary. On my scale of weird food, this is barely a 1 out of 10.