Meeting more mates in Manila

Trip Start Aug 09, 2010
Trip End Feb 01, 2012

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Where I stayed
Malate Pensionne Manila
Read my review - 5/5 stars

Flag of Philippines  , Luzon,
Monday, May 16, 2011

Hello everyone

And so, our wonderful two months in this beautiful country were coming to and end. We had two more nights in Manila before we flew to our next destination, Malaysia. 

Our first surprise was the place we stayed at. we were expecting depressing and grotty just like our earlier visits here but instead got beautiful, clean and comfortable. We were ecstatic! If you're in Manila and you're on a budget, Malate Pensionne is the answer to your prayers! 

In true wonderful, Filipino style we had a brilliant send off from an old friend of mine and her husband, Fiona and Inaki who took us out for our last night here. They picked us up from our hotel and took us to a much posher area in Manila which we hadn't ventured to. The derelict buildings gave way to huge sky scrapers, beautifully designed malls and great outdoor areas with restaurants. We went to an Italian place and stuffed our faces with amazing food. The warm gorgonzola and spinach dip still haunts my dreams! Divine! We then rolled to a Cuban bar with live music and a great vibe. Fiona had us crying with laughter regaling tales of how she smuggled a kebab from London to Manila, so she could get Inaki to taste this wonderful creation from Maroush. (Now there's a girl after my own heart!). And how she refuses to trust her SatNav, believing her husband can do a much better job of directing her (even though it was the husband who bought the SatNav). We finished off the night by having the Filipino version of the British curry or the Maltese pastizzi after a good night out. Over here they have twice cooked adobo. Normal chicken adobo, i.e. cooked in vinegar and soy sauce which is then fried again to turn it into a mound of stingy, crispy loveliness. About a thousand calories a bite and absolutely perfect!!  They then insisted on driving us back to our hotel where we said our goodbyes. It was such a great night! Thanks again Fiona and Inaki. 


At the airport the next day we were both so sad to be leaving. The Philippines has truly won us over and I'm sure we will be back again. So many things come to mind when I think about the Philippines. Amazing beaches, fabulous diving, the mighty jeepney, tricycles, smiles, crazy driving, awe-inspiring rice terraces, palm trees, palm trees and more palm trees, adobo, bar-b-q's, cute tarsiers, malls, and of course the wonderful warmth and hospitality of the Filipinos. 

It's amazing how quick two months pass! The Philippines is a must see destination especially if you are into empty white sand beaches with crystal clear water. The people are some of the friendliest we have met in the 9 months on the road, the driving some of the craziest as Kaz mentioned. The diving is simply the best I have ever experienced and the budget accommodation some of the worst! One of the more surprising sides to the country is the beautiful countryside. I was expecting the beaches and islands to be amazing but the journeys in between were equally spectacular. So next time you are in South East Asia and want to find a more authentic vibe, head to the Philippines! 


Fiona and Inaki, THANK YOU so much for a wonderful send off from your amazing country. When you are in London we will take you to an old man's pub and a kebab joint! ha ha.

Our next stop is the capital city of Malaysia. KL or as I like to call it Kuala Lumpur. See you underneath the Petronas Towers!

All our love Paul & Karen xxx
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