The Philippines: Manilla

img_20160827_141604With the vibrations of my phone, I awoke at about 4.30am, where I got dressed and showered. With my rucksack packed, a take-away breakfast and the arrival of the jeepney, I hopped in to be taken to the airport.img_20160827_122837

Checking-in was simple but you have to pay for an airport fee, which is the first time in my life. Weird. While waiting in the airport, a small band played songs including a couple of Christian songs. The flight to Manila, which took just over an hour, was a quick and smooth process.img_20160827_122338

At the airport, I decided to take a taxi to my hostel as I thought this would be the easier option. However the queue for the taxis was huge so ended up waiting for about an hour. Then once I eventually acquired a taxi, the drive took a couple of hours due to the awful traffic.

My hostel was along a busy road above a shop. It felt like a slightly dodgy place but img_20160827_130145there were many people staying. By the time I reached the hostel, it was about lunch time so I went in search of food. I tried a few smaller place to taste the local cuisine but they didn’t want to speak English and didn’t want to land with a un-veggie meal. In the end, I just grabbed a McDonalds, which I like to experience in every country. Here, an older, Aussie guy started talking to me because he was lonely and struggled with the language barrier. He wanted to hang out but I kindly refused as I just wanted a chilled, alone day.

Opposite was a huge, popular shopping mall, which literally had all the different kind of shop you could think of. After a bit of wandering and picking up a few bits at the supermarket, I walked back to the hostel. I was deciding my afternoon activities when I saw  a book on the shelf I have wanted to read for a long time. Therefore, for the rest of the day, I just read the book in the common room and paused for some food. Just before bedtime, I finished the book. It was such a chilled afternoon, which was bliss.img_20160827_112917

The following day was my last day in the Philippines before getting a flight back to Sydney in the evening so I wanted to make the most of my day. Once I checked out, I left the hostel to wander the city. Heading towards the old part, I took a break from walking and bought a coffee and a cheese doughnut thing from a café for breakfast. Close by was Rizal  park, which had some art sculptures, a waterfall and a Chinese garden. It was a huge park with many tourists around, posing for pictures. In the garden were groups of young people practicing different dancer, I can only assume for some sort of competition or school project.img_20160827_124046

As the weather was so hot, I was feeling sweat so I treated myself to an ice-cream for the next part of the walk. In the old town, it was covered with hundreds of Spanish looking buildings as it was colonised by Spain years before. img_20160827_131515It totally didn’t feel like I was in Asia. I looked around some museums and the cathedral, where I bought a pair of cheap Ray Bans before entering the Intramuros area with Fort Santiago and San Agustin Church.

img_20160827_131210After, I walked along the coast, stopping for an infused tea. I had walked about 10km today so I was feeling knackered by the time I got back to the hostel. I rested and ate before catching a taxi to the airport for my overnight flight.

Going through the standard procedure of the airport was simple. Soon enough, I was sitting on my seat and taking off. I managed to sleep for most of the flight which was great.img_20160827_132852

The Philippine was an awesome holiday with so much to do and see. Yet I still have to visit again as there were many place I didn’t experience.

Now back to Sydney to work for a couple of months to save some dosh.