The Philippines part 1 - Manila

Trip Start Mar 26, 2008
Trip End Mar 26, 2009

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Flag of Philippines  , Luzon,
Thursday, February 5, 2009

I arrived in Manila in the evening and took a taxi to Malate, the cheap area I would be staying at. I could instantly feel the difference from being in Sydney for 2 months. The buildings were not shiny and new but the hotels can have tacky flashing lights up to the roofs, scattered crazy traffic.. it was great!  .. but the signs were all in english and most people spoke english which I found very strange.

I had to wait for a day for Fran to arrive and explored Manila with some people I met at the hostel. Manila is massive made up of many areas with no specific center. We walked through a park which was blaring really bad eighties music through loud speakers haha!  the people here are so freindly, they do stare but always say hello. The philippines was ruled by the spanish 400 years ago and I noticed some speak a few words and we also visited the spanish quater which still retains the spanish architechture. Manila has much poverty, many kids asking for money or food, and they do not have pavements!

The morning Fran is arriving, im so excited. I was worried about her never leaving brazil and flying via amsterdam
for 33 hours!.. and at the airport they wouldnt let anyone wait at the door they come out, it was a level down.... but there she came smiling and waving with no worries, she even got a ride round the amsterdam airport on a buggy when they changed the gate at the last minute and she made friends with a 50 year old fat philipino man on the flight , and said she quite enjoyed the flights LOL. we grabbed each other and both squeezed so tight for ages.. god it was so good to be together again.

I thought jetlag would set in big time.. but nothing, an hours nap (for both of us) then the next night we went out for drinks with a bulgarian, spanish and an estonian and Fran ended up singing on the mic with the DJ !

We visited the chinese cemetry which was really interesting. Each grave is a full house!.. some have electricity and 2 floors with a bedroom and a mailbox!.  Its crazy, these things cost a ridiculous rent of a million pesos and the local philippinos are not allowed in there while they live on the streets outside!

4 days is enough in Manila after the humidity and the smog and we headed for the hills of the north.
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