Thursday, July 14, 2011

Day 45 - Intramuros and Farewell Philippines

I spend the last full day in the Philippines visiting some of the Spanish influenced areas around Manila. We stopped by Intramuros, which used to be a walled city for the Spanish elite. The walls were closed to the Chinese, who subsequently lived adjacent to it in Chinatown. Within the walls used to be government buildings, churches, monasteries, schools, etc. before being destroyed during WWII. In fact, much of the spanish influence in the area was destroyed during WWII.

It rained hard today in Manila, and I probably heard the loudest thunder I'd ever heard in my life. We took the Light Rail to the city, and took a tricycle ride to Intramuros. Benny said I probably took every type of transporation in the Philippines except horse carriage. There was a lot of character in the city, with it's cobblestone roads, churches, and the European architecture of the buildings that survived the war.

We got to the city pretty late, and most of the churches and sights were about to close, so I was only able to visit a couple of the churches – the San Agustin Church and Manila Cathedral.

Afterwards, we walked our way through the city to find a special kind of deodorant that my friend back in the states told me to purchase for my B.O. Problem.... It's called Tawas and is made of Potassium Alum. The traffic was terrible due to the rain and we had to go by foot through the city to find it. According to Benny, the country has such a bad flood drainage system that whenever it rains like this, traffic multiples due to the flooding. After about an hour of walking, we finally found it along a street full of outside street vendors. Hopefully this stuff works, because I've been suffering, as have many other people I suppose...

At the end of the night, I met up with some of my new friends for a farewell dinner at a restaurant called Lime88. The restaurant served “street food with a spin” and the prices were very reasonable given the presentation and quality of the food! Definitely one of my favorite restaurants of my entire trip so far. I also finally got my jacket that I ordered from Ziggy and he bought me a pair of TOMS shoes because he saw me wearing sandals EVERYWHERE in Manila. I thought of buying myself a pair because I was bummed I didn't bring my own, and I thank Ziggy so much for the thought!

Overall, the Philippines has been an entirely different experience than my other travels. I think I've done a lot more socializing and meeting people here, compared to visiting historical sites in Vietnam, Cambodia, and Thailand. A different type of traveling experience, but equally exciting and rewarding. I intend to come back soon, now that I know how much there is to see here...

New Friends


San Agustin Church

Manila Cathedral


My New Jacket! Get yours at He ships internationally

Balut in Red Wine Sauce

(I love my Balut photos)

Aligue (Crab Fat) Pasta

Pig and Chicken Intestines

Kangkong and Kesong Puti Stuffed Chicken Breast with Mashed Potatoes

The aftermath

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