Monday, July 11, 2011

Day 40 - Manila and Jeepneys

There was sadness leaving Boracay but excitement at exploring the capital of the Philippines – Manila. Most of the people I'd spoken with told me that I could probably do Manila in 3 days, but I had almost a week to figure out what to do. I was thinking of maybe visiting the Banaue Rice Terraces, but might pass on it since I visited Sapa, Vietnam about a week ago.

I got to the airport early and was able to take an earlier flight back to Manila from Caticlan. The flight was almost empty with maybe only 20 or so people on board. I don't usually see such empty flights back home, but it's nice when you get an entire row to yourself.

I was able to secure a stay with another Couchsurfer host, Benny, in Manila, specifically in Makati. The entire Metro Manila is pretty huge, separated by a number of different districts. Makati is more of the business district with many expats living in the area since they work for big businesses.

I researched the different modes of transportation in the Philippines and they mentioned that the use of “Jeepneys” was the popular mode of public transportation. I had to research on wikipedia to gain a better understanding on what these vehicles were, and what they looked like. They were originally old U.S. Military Jeeps that were sold to Filipinos after WWII. They were then stripped down and altered to accommodate more passengers. Through the years, new models were built and used for local transportation in the P.I.

There is a certain procedure and etiquette when riding a jeepney, and luckily, I was staying with a local, who could take me around in one of these vehicles.

Benny and I headed by jeepney to one of the malls (and Manila has TONS of them) called Greenbelt and met up with one of my friend's friends for dinner. We had a fancy dinner with fish, beef tongue, bamboo rice, and a vegetable dish.

Afterwards, we headed to a CS-hosted event to meet up with other Couchsurfers. This was the first time I actually went to one of these events, and it was cool to meet so many different people, people who were hosting, and people who were surfing.

I met a Nepalese guy and got some advice on how I should get to Nepal from India. He told me the best way to get there would be through a land route through Darjeeling. There were some scams he told me to beware of, like people offering candies laced with sleeping medication and saying it was from this or that temple and once you took it and fell asleep, they'd rob you. He didn't think I'd have too much trouble in Nepal though. Apparently, I look like one of the two common ethnic groups in the Area. I look like the “Korean” group of people, who are known more as a “fighter” type. Hopefully no one will hassle me there.

The View of Boracay from the Airplane


Inside a Jeepney

Lengua de Baka (Cow Tongue)

Sweet and Sour Dalag (Mudfish)

New Friends Marvin, Ziggy, and Benny

CS Meetup

CS Meetup - I'm darker than the locals! (OK maybe it's the lighting)

1 comment:

  1. hey phil, the fish dish is called sweet and sour dalag (mudfish)- benny