Trip Start Oct 06, 2007
16Trip End Apr 06, 2007
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First, we stopped at the Hobbit House, a restaurant-cum-bar that is completely staffed by little people. That night, we sampled adobo chicken while listening to Freddie Aguilar, one of the Philippines most famous singers.
The next day, we visited Intramuros, Manila's walled, historic old-city. There, we hit up the Church of San Augustin, the Manila Cathedral and Casa Manila. From a plaque outside of the Manila Cathedral, we learned that while the building has been sited at the same location for 500 years, due to typhoons, earthquakes, the odd canon shell, and Ethel Merman, it has only been intact for about 50 years.
We had ambitious plans for our third day - hiking up the world's smallest volcano, visiting a flower flower, and taking a tour of some honey bee colonies. Although two of these three events did not come to pass, it was our favorite day in the Philippines. We arrived late for our tour of the flower farm to find that our tour had already left. Fortunately, the proprietess, Mrs. de la Rosa, was wandering around, cigarette in hand, looking for something to do. So instead of the hands-off standard tour, she guided us around inviting us to sample "miracle berries" that turn sour foods sweet (really) and regaling us with how she managed to liberate a number of her fine specimines from gardens around the world. Our forty-five minute tour turned into two hours, and we arrived for our 1 p.m. lunch reservation at Sonya's Garden at 3 p.m.
In our final two days, we spent some time at the Ayala Museum and saw a Bamboo Organ Concert, but most importantly, Jill had the opportunity to visit Reena's reading clinic. At the clinic, Jill put her M.A. to good use (thank you Sallie Mae!) and taught three kids how to read - just kidding. However, she did observe some of the fantastic teachers and students. Oh, and the tasting tour continued with samples of bangus, Jollibee, buko pie, and drinks on the 31st floor.
A special HOLLAND & ITALY shout-out to Reena and CJ for a great time in Manila.