We were in the Philippines for ten days at the beginning of the month. We visited Manila for a few days, and then went on to Cebu for a wedding.
I found that Manila reminded me a lot of Jakarta. There are similar visual themes running through both cities. The climate is similar (though Manila is dryer, I think). Little road-side stalls serving simple, hearty dishes brought to mind their equivalent in Jakarta. The traffic. Oh the traffic. Sama-sama. The mall culture was so like that of Jakarta. The urban chaos, the rhythm and strum of the city felt so familiar to me.
But, at the same time, I kept having this feeling that Manila felt more familiar. And I was wondering, is it the spanish influence? It feels more like central america (i've never been to central america, btw, but i know my way around a good taco, so obviously i'm an expert, riiiiiight?) Or maybe it's that things are just a touch more organized in Manila, so maybe that's why it felt familiar?
And then it occurred to me, noooope. The reason I understand this place is that, uhhhh, duh, all the signs are in English. Which, as it turns out, results in a far less removed feeling when you're traveling.
One thing that was different, though, is that Manila is entirely more walkable than jakarta. The city is more spread out, though. So taxis etc are still a requirement. (As are hours spent sitting in traffic). But we did take our stroller down to the old city, and we wandered around there with no issue. WHich is basically unthinkable in Jakarta.
Yeah, so Manila. We liked it. We stayed in a new fancy hotel, which was amaze. Really. And even though there was this great colonial city to explore, new foods to try, and beautiful places to visit, all my kids wanted to do was play at the hotel pool. Typical, right? ;)
Anyway, Here are a few pictures of our time in The Phils. I took my film camera along. I have to say, I'm not very impressed with or happy about my work here. The exposures are off, I think. I was feeling pretty low energy, thanks to a flu bug and general meh-ness. So, that'll be my excuse, okay? But it's a process, this learning thing. Hopefully my next rolls are a little better!