PHILIPPINES- Manila on the way to El Nido

I boarded most of the planes in the Philippines the old school way – walking across the tarmac! I’ve only boarded prop planes at small airports this way in the past. But fortunately, was not sucked up in any jets lol Made me feel like the president 😉
The end of a lavish meal, eating and drinking with my homie Roberto and his classmates from high school. Decades after graduation, these are the tightest bunch of high school friends I have ever seen. And they’re all super awesome and friendly to friends of theirs 😉
I went with Roberto to his in-law’s house to say hi and take a little nap after the long night of partying. Here is his mother-in-law’s collage of the whole big family! With almost a dozen siblings, and many of their offspring, this is only a fraction of the pictures in the house…
A beautiful sunrise from my Airbnb in the Makati district of Manila. Soooo beautiful. This is in a high-rise tower called the Jazz Residences. While I’m not a big fan of the “mall” life downstairs, it was super convenient to have wash and fold laundry downstairs, haircut, massage (~$8/hr), restaurants, grocery store, bar, etc. Like a little village at the bottom of the tower. And someone even came around 3x per day to pick up trash at the apartment door! Damn.. this is making me even lazier! lol
This is a pic from a diorama in the Ayala Museum. The third floor has a really great series of 50+ dioramas that chronicle the history of the Philippines, mostly detailing the many countries that have colonized the Philippines throughout the years, and their impact on society, architecture, and language in the Philippines. This is a definite must-see to learn more about Filipino culture. From the Chinese to the Japanese, Spain, then America, the Philippines have constantly been under the control of other countries. Many Tagalog words still match up with Spanish, and more Filipinos speak English than any other Asian country I have been to, by far.  It’s amazing that Filipinos are so open and nice to foreigners today, after everything foreigners have done to them in the past. Salamat Po Philippines! (Thank you!)
A cool dot-painting on the ground floor of the Ayala Museum.

I rarely see sunrises, but this was a particularly nice one 😉
The Philippines has an interesting rule of law right now.. The President, Detuerte, has implemented all sort of crazy rules. And the local councils follow suit. Curfews? Could you imagine if this happened in the US (except maybe during war time..?)
The best way to get around Manila are these tricycles. It isn’t exactly luxury, but they will shake you down the road, and they’re cheap! It costs about 10-20 pesos for a short ride of a couple kilometers, and not a ton more for longer trips. With about 50 pesos per $1 USD, it only costs about 20 to 40 cents for a trip 😉

The tricycles are essentially just a motorcycle, with a bolted-on shell that has a windshield, body with a couple seats, and 2 wheels on the back for stability. No shocks, so hold on to your ass!

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