One of the scariest things you can do on this planet is take a taxi ride in Manila. So it follows that one of the riskiest jobs anywhere would be to drive taxis in Manila -- especially that holding such a job must be contingent on averaging a certain number of traffic violations per minute! Therefore, it is not surprising that almost every taxi driver has a shrine on his dashboard. Most of them have Jesus and Mary, but if I were them that wouldn't be enough -- I'd have every possible diety I could think of from Jesus to Buddha to Pele to that Hindu god with 20 arms. Only then would you feel truly protected.
I am not exaggerating to say that we almost averaged two accidents per taxi trip. Our drivers went up one way roads the wrong way against gobs of traffic and jittneys, took lefts from the right hand lane, blew through red lights and even went airborne occassionally. All this while trying to get a commission for selling us on going to some strip bar. This was adventure tourism!
Everytime I saw one of these dasboard religious displays, I thought of the Rolling Stones song "The Girl with the Far Away Eyes" where Mick Jagger tells about the radio preacher who said "You know you always have the Lord by your Side" so he ran 20 red lights in his honor. In Manila, we ran more than 20 red lights!
Do you know what makes Manila? It's the people. I'm not a huge fan of Manila as a city as I generally find the traffic horrible. However, I took a wander down some of the side streets and had a great time. Of course basketball, the true religion there, was being played everywhere. I think that I got an offer to play at every game. They must know that white men can't jump!
It was funny how much attention that I got in some of the more run down areas. I guess not many foreigners walk down those paths. Every 15 seconds I got a, "Hey Joe!" One of the best moments was when a girl runs up to me, looks at my shoes, and says, "Hey man! I made your shoes!" Pretty funny.
Favorite thing: When in Manila, keep your own city's SIM card. If your phone is GSM-compatible, get a local prepaid SIM card from any of the three cellular phone operators - Globe, Smart, Sun - costing less than US$4. Calls through your new SIM card should be cheaper than when you use your home city's global roaming service - US$0.40/minute for IDD calls, and about US$0.15 for local calls. Catch is, calls are charged on a per-minute pulse rate basis, rather than the more equitable 6-second pulse rate in most cities around the world.
the dry season and the rest of the year are sodden with
heavy rain. The dry season starts from December to May. From June to
November you might find yourself in a typhoon. The best time to visit Manila
and our beaches are around February to April. The summer time or dry season
is the best time for you to have some relaxation, cooling time and vacation
Favorite thing: With maximum temperatures hovering above 30°C (86°F), Manila isn't the place to go to cool off. There are two seasons: the dry season lasts from December to May; the rest of the year is sodden with heavy rain. From June to November you might find yourself in a typhoon. The best time to visit Manila and surrounds is February to April. If you like some cool places for SWIMMING, SCUBA DIVING, MOUNTAIN CLIMBING, SURFING, BIKINI WATCHING and more go to our beautiful beaches in our country. You will never regret it ‘coz we have also the finest and beautiful beaches.
Manila is a massive modern city, which plays host to just about all the attraction you’d expect to find in a major metropolis. Not only is it a highly cultured town with a varied program of events, including opera, ballet, concerts and recitals by local and foreign artists, but its various theatres also offer English and Tagalog plays, dances and musicals. In fact music is the main form of entertainment in Manila and some unusual groups can be seen, such as the Pangwat Kawayan bamboo orchestra and the Rondalla group. But there is much more than music.
If quiet away from the town, then remember that the Philippines have the world’s longest coastline and are rich in superb beaches.
Capital of the Philippines and home to 12 million people, Manila is a massive modern city, which plays host to just about all the attraction you’d expect to find in a major metropolis. Not only is it a highly cultured town with a varied program of events, including opera, ballet, concerts and recitals by local and foreign artists, but its various theatres also offer English and Tagalog plays, dances and musicals. In fact music is the main form of entertainment in Manila and some unusual groups can be seen, such as the Pangwat Kawayan bamboo orchestra and the Rondalla group. But there is much more than music. Manila is a paradise for those who like to shop. If quiet away from the town, then remember that the Philippines have the world’s longest coastline and are rich in superb beaches.
Metro Manila, the country's business, trade, industrial and government center, sits in the heart of Luzon. Manila, the nation's premier city of 12 million residents, is as urban, teeming and raucous as any major city in the world.
Fondest memory: walking around... enjoying the chaos and noise and all the little dramas played out on the crowded streets. little children are devils, the street vendors always have stories to tell. there is a way of taking in the ugliness of everything and finding it beautiful. silence and order are horrible in their own way, you know? walking through the dark and dingy markets with lightbulbs swinging, buying food from the street stalls...
The simple things make Filipinos happy.
Rainy days don't mean no fun. Kids happily play together, some guys are fishing, others sit on the benches with their umbrellas...
All these...for free...
Along Roxas Blvd. there are now restaurants and cabanas and swings where people can sit around and wait for the sunset or hang out after a morning jog.
This pic was taken on my way to the airport to go home to Bacolod one Sunday morning during the monsoon season.
It's a great place to spend time with the family after mass at the Malate Church across the street or you can take a stroll after lunch at the Aristocrat.
The area can have very busy traffic during the week because Roxas Blvd. is a main thoroughfare and the US Embassy and many hotels are along this road but take advantage of quiet Sundays, early mornings, and beautiful sunsets.
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