Trip Start Jan 13, 2007
Trip End Jan 28, 2007

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Where I stayed
Paragon Tower

Flag of Philippines  , Luzon,
Thursday, January 25, 2007

Our flight into Manila was uneventful.  We landed at the main terminal and picked up our luggage and then tried to find a taxi into town.  The hotel is in Makati, and is owned by a relative of Allan's so we got a good deal.

The taxi trip in followed along the Bay and we saw lots of sights including the Mall of Asia, the US embassy and Imelda's Fine Arts Palace. 

Even more interesting to me were the street vendors. At stoplights there were all sorts of vendors, including a guy with a barrel full of hot peanuts in a wagon!  Guys were walking between cars selling water, cigarettes, gum, beer...

We got to the hotel and decompressed, then took a walk to the Park of National Heros.  There is a huge statue of Lapu-Lapu there, the filipino native that killed Magellen back when Spain first arrived.  There are several busts of other National Heros there, as well as the burial monument for Jose Rizal, the Philippines National Hero. 

We walked back to the hotel, and had dinner at McDonald's...We had fried chicken, rice, spaghetti and the McRice Sandwich!!!

After dinner we took a cab to the Mall of Asia.  This is a huge Mall, 4 buildings, with hundreds of stores, easy to get lost. It has a skating rink and a 2000 seat amphitheatre built in it.  Allan did some shopping, I couldn't find anything in my size.

Back to the hotel, and bored, so we decided to go out. We had seen a Macho Dancer bar on the way to the Mall so we went there, Mr. Valentines.  They were quite happy to have "Joe" there, and even called out to me from the stage.  Each of the dancers spent time trying to get my attention, but we were there for the show, not for the extras.  We had a couple of beers, and headed back to the hotel and to bed.

Next Morning, we got up and went up to the Lounge where they were serving Breakfast.  After breakfast we headed over to Intramuros, a major historical part of Manila.  It was originally a Spanish fort, that has been used in more recent times by the Americans and the Japanese during their occupations.  It was also where Rizal was imprisoned before he was executed, and there is a shrine there honouring him.

When we got to the Fort, a guide on a horse drawn carriage (kalesa) offered to tour us around. He called himself Georgie Porgie, and he was very entertaining.

We took a good tour through the fort with Georgie accompaning us, and then he took us on a Kelesa ride through old Manila.  At one point in the tour of the fort there was an old piano, and he played a couple of Beatles songs!  Then end of the tour was at the gift shop, and there was a vendor that was selling folding straw hats.  I bought a couple, one for my sister as a gardening hat.

We walked around a bit more and then walked over to the Manila Cathedral..More vendors insisted I buy something, but we resisted.  We walked around the church at bit, but had to leave because there was going to be a wedding. 

We next took a taxi over to the presidential palace.  All the streets around the palace are closed off, with several security check points.  At one point the palace was open for tourists, but this time it we found out you had to have a security check and an appointment.  We were not allowed to take any pictures either, but we did get one picture with some of the military guards.  Others tried to sell us some really nice hammocks, but we had no place to use it.

At this point a young Polish tourist kind of joined us and he joined us in the cab back to the hotel.  His hotel was apparently close by.

We also did some shopping afterwards in Makati at the Greenbelt Malls.  We got back to the hotel after having dinner at the mall, went to sleep.  Next day I was heading back to Canada, and Allan was spending another week with his family in Lezo.
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starlagurl on

What a busy day. Glad you guys are having fun. Keep up the great writing.

Louise Brown
TravelPod Community Manager

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