Manila, Philippines 8th June - 12th June

Trip Start Dec 13, 2012
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Trip End Apr 02, 2014


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Flag of Philippines  , National Capital Region,
Saturday, June 8, 2013

Location: Manila, Philippines

Dates: 8th June – 12th June

Introduction

After a very early start and a delayed flight we finally made it to Manila!

We stayed in an area that wasn't the best, but it was the cheapest for us and all the main areas were within walking distance. A lot of the city seemed to be quite built up but also run down at the same time, in serious need of a revamp. There were also pockets of areas where there were brand new developments that were very nice i.e. massive shopping malls and new high rise business and residential complexes.

There was so much poverty around it was unbelievable. We have seen poverty in countries such as Cambodia and Laos, but there was no infrastructure there to support them so everyone was poor, whereas Manila is a capital city built up with train stations and high rises so we really were not expecting to see the things we did. People had set up homes all over the sides of the streets in anything they could find, cardboard boxes, sheets of metal, anything. It was a very surreal experience to see such a clear divide between the rich and poor.


Things we did

Walking ,walking, walking

We spent days walking around exploring the city as much as we could. We were recording our walks as we went on an app and we walked around 50kms in total! This ensured that we got a good overall perspective on the city. We went through side streets and main streets of Malate, which used to be the place to be in the 80’s but now is very run down. We walked through tiny street markets all over and visited the 4th largest mall in the world which had an ice rink inside it!

We walked in the main city areas, down by the harbour side, around the CBD, through the old Manila town. There was certainly lots to see and lots to take in and some very old architecture.


Visiting a Friend


We went to visit our friend Ian for an evening in an area called Makati. This area was only 10kms away from where we had been walking but it was like a completely different world. Brand new high rise buildings and shopping malls interconnected. All through them were green areas, upmarket restaurants and bars. Even the people looked different too. It felt very strange as we had been surrounded by poverty for days – such a striking difference

We went for some proper Filipino food which was delicious, and then headed on for some drinks and live music. It was a lovely evening and great to catch up. :-)


Food & Drink


Favourite Local Dish: Crispy Pata – Pork with crackling. We aren’t usually fans of crackling but this was sooo nice!

Local Dishes:

-         Kare-Kare – Vegetales in a peanut based sauce

-         Crispy Pata – Pork with crackling

-         Adobo – Chicken and vegetables with soy sauce

-         Sinigang – Sour & chilli soup – we got to taste the broth and request more chilli or sour




International McDonalds Meal: Spaghetti bolognaise & chicken drumstick

Local Beer: San Miguel, Red Horse


Strangest Things to happen

         Children sniffing paint from a bag just as we were arriving from the airport

         Neil got hit on and followed by a guy

         People call you by saying "psssst" in the street

Accommodation

Leesons Residence - $27 a night in an area called Malate aka to us “the ghetto”. Hotel was nice enough though – big spacious room with WIFI air-con and fridge.

Expenses

                Meals: $1.50 - $15

                Water: $1 for 1.5 litres

                Alcohol: $2 - $4 a beer

                Transport: Taxi was about $4 for a half hour journey.


Average Daily Spend per person:
$45

Transport there for both of us: $70

Total Spend for both of us inc. Transport: $350
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