Don't get taken for a ride.

Trip Start Jun 10, 2009
1
2
6
Trip End Ongoing


Loading Map
Map your own trip!
Map Options
Show trip route
Hide lines
shadow

Flag of Philippines  , Luzon,
Thursday, June 11, 2009

Well after all I have made it to the Philippines! First impressions are a cross between Mexico, Thailand and Salt Lake City. The pace can be a frenzy or an endless Siesta depending on which direction you turn your head. I was picked up at the airport (nice place) by a guy with my name on his sign.....a comforting feeling when you touch down in a 'strange land'. My driver told me to 'Be very careful' while I am here...'It can be dangerous' The next morning a couple of girls working the front desk told me to 'watch out for strangers' ....until I informed them that THEY were strangers to me. They were the good kind of strangers though.
     My first day I did what I normally due in a new city and went Walkabout. I was impacted by the immense poverty around every corner. There are people sleeping on sidewalks and in cardboard boxes everywhere. This can be found in every country I suppose, even the U.S. Whenever I see this I want to hand some coins to everyone....but I realize if I did I would soon be finding my own stretch of sidewalk! I made a pact with myself long ago to give something to at least one person every day and this gives me a little peace of mind. So it goes....
     I met some Malaysians in Manila, along with a beautiful girl who shoots a mean game of pool. I have traveled a few hours north with my new Friends and we have stepped into the wild west...and WE don't have any guns! As for 'trouble' here so far, I have been luckier. I took an offer of a horse and buggy ride for 20 pesos agreed upon beforehand (50 cents) When they let me off they asked, in unison, for 20,000 pesos! I was expecting a skirmish, but none ensued.  In the end I gave them 150.00 pesos and more than a few angry words....everyone seemed to be happy. My Malay Friends haven't been as lucky. We went for a ride yesterday to visit the local church and take some pictures. The local transport is called a jeepney...The front half is an old American jeep and the back half is a covered truck bed with benches down both sides.....seating for 18 to 20.....and the perfect spot for a pickpocket. By the time we got to the church it was closed and my friends wallet was long gone!
      My other Friend was a victim of the 'Kansas City shuffle'....while he was in the crowded bar he went to pay his bill....at the same time he was placing his money on the table, his bag was knocked to the ground. By the time his head came back up his money was long gone....so it goes.
      Yesterday, I struck out on my own. I wanted to pay my respects to a memorial site about thirty miles north of here. It is for those soldiers who died, and survived the Bataan Death march. I won't go into a History lesson here....you can Wiki it on your own.....I had the honor to meet one of the men who survived this ordeal and I went to see the place because of him. Actually, He and his sons were nice enough, or crazy enough, to loan me a horse to get to school when I had no other options and lived 8 miles into the country. In case you think I'm speaking of times gone by, I'm talking about 2004! It was a somber place and sadly I don't think too many people make the trip....it was the middle of nowhere and I had to flag down a bus from the highway to get back to town.
      Tomorrow I head North on my own again. Finally gonna get to a beach! Stay tuned for more!
Slideshow Report as Spam

Comments

alex55555
alex55555 on

Hi from Bkk
How long are you going to stay in the Philippines?
Watch out for the strangers.

samgowest
samgowest on

Re: Hi from Bkk
Will be here till the first of August...then back to the States for a while.

Add Comment

Use this image in your site

Copy and paste this html: