Black Saturday

Trip Start Nov 13, 2007
Trip End Apr 19, 2008

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Flag of Philippines  ,
Saturday, March 22, 2008

One of our new friends, David, a local to Alabang, offered to drive us around and be our tour guide.  David is a Structural Engineer on our Design Team for the project.  His boss is Bosie, who took us to Taal Volcano and we stayed at his place there...

Vid came by around 11:30 and picked us up to begin our day. 
As you can see by the first pictures it is a glorious day today!  The sky was SO BLUE and the clouds just awesome like cotton candy.
Vid first took us to Makati City.  Now we had been in "Makati City" our first month here working at the Forssman office, but we really just did only that.  Vid took us to a newly developed area in city that as you can see from the pictures has construction in every direction.  One area that is mostly done, has a wonderful outdoor plaza with stores like a mall, but the area is all open air.

From Makati City we drove north towards Manila's downtown with the intent of seeing the "old city", and area that is within an ancient wall.  Here we stopped and viewed the inside and outside (this time) of the Roman Catholic Cathedral of Manila.  Old and pitted on the outside and serene on the inside, we quietly viewed the church from the back as there was an Easter mass under way, although I think there may have been more tourists inside than actual parishners.

Outside we were set upon by people selling different items and the precious faces of little children begging.  It's been a heart wrenching affair for us all in respect to the children begging.  You want to help them, but it is an issue of safety first as we learned early on.  Pay one and suddenly you have dozens surrounding you.  Unfortunately when there are that many there always is a bad apple and suddenly, if you're lucky, you catch a little hand in your pocket, like I did when we were in Baguio.  We've been warned repeatedly by our local friends to NOT give to them as it will mark us for attention by the older and more darker elements of the streets.

Back in the car we set out to view China Town and some other older portions of the city, including another old church.  Even in the midst of all the architectural and historical attractions, I was still shaken by the poverty that seems to exist in and through everything here.  Humbling isn't a descriptive enough word to describe how truly blessed I personally feel today.

After a more scenic tour back through town and through traffic, Vid invited us to view the city from the 31st floor of a hotel near our flat.  He knew of this cafe at the top of the building that is open to "the paying public" :).
Wow!  Now this was the day to see the city from a bird's perspective.  The food was great, but the view was even better.  Thanks DAVID!!
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