I landed in the Philippines and quickly got hold of a prepaid Sim card. My goal was to couch surf the country and a phone was essential for this quest. I got to see some nice hard core traffic in to the city from Clark airport as well. At Ayala station I would meet my first host Donna, or miss Giggle as we shall call her. A smiling Filipino, not uncommon, that is giggling all the time, also not uncommon. She had gotten consumables and was going to a spa resort with her cousins. She had told me I could come, but I didn't really believe it before I saw it. A couple of hours in the car with her and her giggling cousins, the tall and the tiny ones, and we were there. The rooms had jacuzzis and there were swimming pools outside. A couple of days earlier I had been in the jungle so this was quite an upgrade. First things first, I tried out the jacuzzi and had my first contact with hot water in a couple of weeks I think. We then had a beer and an evening walk around to check the spa. I had a room for myself and the girls shared one, four of them in one bed haha. They said it was for my own good or else I would've been gang raped.

The next day started with a nice breakfast and then a swim in the outdoors pool. The girls had a race and I was the ref of this paralympics event. After the swim we went inside and had a fifteen minutes jacuzzi before my massage. It's tough being a couch surfer in the Philippines. We had lunch and my first Halo-halo (mix mix, they tend to say things twice, I don't know why yet) a dessert made out of loads of things. When we checked out, the receptionist found it strange that the four girls had shared one bed. Why didn't they come and ask for a couple of extra beds in the room? I promised I wouldn't tell her cousins haha. In the afternoon we went for an excursion to Jose Rizal's home. He is a national hero and I got the history lesson of the day. About time since the girls were getting a bit tired of all my questions. We went to Taal, the world's smallest volcano and sat there, enjoying the view. We had some snacks, breaking the slogan of one of the tiny ones: "commit to fit". An evening trip to Caleruega and checking out the chapel there was a nice ending. As dinner I had my very first mushroom burger. Miss Giggle dropped me off in Makati, the business area of Manila. There I walked up to find my next host, Mike Torres.

Mike is a food enthusiast and writes a blog about eating in the Philippines. He has three books with restaurants that he goes through, eating out three times a day to make sure he visits them all. He took me out for lunch and showed me some Filipino cuisine. Taking pictures and writing down the verdicts, the whole meal got documented. If you have any interest of checking out what I've been eating, check the latest entries on this link:


Miss Giggle had taken half a day off work to come and pick me up and go with me to an orphanage funded by Norwegians from my home county. My private driver was able to get us there without getting lost once and smiling we entered the orphanage with the Norwegian flags swaying outside. I got out of the car and started chatting with the two Norwegians that were there. They gave us a tour around the place and we got to see what was going on there. Some nasty stories with uncles paralyzing their nieces and incest were only some of the stories we heard. Still the kids were smiling and laughing, which I found hard to believe, and they liked playing with us. Darkness came and it was time to go home. We went up to Mall of Asia, which is guarded by armed guards like every other thing in Manila, and had a ride in the Ferris wheel and listened to some local cover bands.

The next day Mike and I got up early and headed down to lake Taal again. He had vouchers for a buffet down there and we were going on a day trip to test it out. The restaurant was in a hotel and it was nice. There was a lot to eat, and like every other buffet, it had reason to fear me. I ate loads of good food and was even able to compose my own halo-halo. I have to admit it is a cool and good dessert. The view over the lake from the hotel was even better than the last time I was there, so it was cool to see the lake from another angle.

The days in Manila went by and I went to museums, cemeteries, restaurants and the bureau of immigration. I spent the time with Mike and Giggle and planned out my trip around the country with their help. I would have one more weekend in Manila before I left for North Luzon.

Photos come later.

No comments:

Post a Comment