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First, you can tell that the taxi drivers of Manila have a good sense of humor -- just look at this sign that they have painted on the back of their cabs. What a joke! You would take down the Manila telecommunications infrastructure if you called or texted anytime you saw unsafe driving by a taxi! But you will also find that the cabbies are amiable once you start talking to them. However, you will also notice that many of the drivers tend to use their 30 minutes with you as a chance to sell you on something. Most of these guys have some affiliation with a night club, and they'll try to persuade you to go there -- and obviously they want to drive you there and come in with you so that they can get credit for you. If you are asingle male or a male with another male colleague, these bars wil usually be strip clubs or places where you can buy women -- at least that's what we mostly heard touted. I have no idea what happens when you take a cabbie up on such an offer.
Written Apr 30, 2006
If you are a clock-watcher used to North American-style punctuality, Manila will quickly reduce you to a boiling cauldron of frustrated stomach acid. People and events aren't just a bit late here, but WAY late. I'm not talking about 15 minutes or even a half hour, but hours. Some examples:
1. For our first day of work, we were sent a driver to pick us up at the hotel (even though we only had a ten-minute walk). The driver was an hour and a quarter late (how he managed that we have no idea).
2. We met a Filipina colleague three times. She was never earlier than an hour late and once was over two hours late.
3. We showed up at the Heritage Hotel for a 5:30 p.m. Chinese New Year party at 5:30 p.m., causing great consternation to the hostess who said that nothing was ready. She sat us at the hotel bar and bought us beer, appearing every 15 minutes or so to say "Please don't leave -- we're almost set up" as other guests (all North Americans or Europeans) gradually filtered in. The doors for the party opened at 6:30, and after a half hour or so Filipinos started arriving.
Of course, I had read things would be just this way, but I never really understood Filipino Time until I experienced it. I could never get used to being that late myself.
Written Feb 4, 2006
The Flores de Mayo celebrates the beauty of youth... in flowers and in beautiful young people. barangay or local neighborhood has its own version of the celebration with a large presence of 33 major districts converging on the Greenbelt/Glorietta Mall on May (this year).
The parade of young women and their male escorts also can double as a beauty contest or have other competitions. In Barangay Bel-Air , there was a beauty contest and a dance contest from the local clubs.
But regardless of the content, the dress trends towards the formal and ornate, which means long gowns for the ladies and high end barong tagalog for the men
You can see more beauties by clicking here
Updated May 31, 2008
As in most of Southeast Asia, avoid offering or taking anything with your left hand. See my tip #3, above. However because the Philippines has had so much influence from the U.S., using the left hand is not as culturally awkward here as it is in Indonesia or Malaysia. Even so the right hand is culturally preferred .
Written Dec 7, 2003
The Philippines really seem to have a thing with malls.
There are dozens of them in Manila and they are all packed.
My guess is that because of the heat in Manila people prefer to go shopping and dining in a place where there is air condition.
Written Dec 16, 2008
In Manila, the most common leisure time activity seems to be to hang around outside with one's friends. Everywhere you go -- the Lunta, the Baywalk, Intromuros, Makaiti -- people are relaxed, socializing with their friends, maybe sharing a little food and drink. Shade trees are almost always surrounded by smiling, chatting people enjoying each other's company. After dark, the hanging out increases, as it starts to get somewhat comfortable to be outdoors.
Written Apr 30, 2006
Contrary to popular notion that Chinese are either Buddist, Taoist or other Easter religion, a lot of Tsinoys (Filipino - Chinese) of Manila are either Roman Catholic or Christians. Shown in this photo is the Sto. Cristo de Longos (I forgot the English translation) at the corner of Ongpin Street (the main thoroughfare of the Chinatown area) and Tomas Pinpin Street. A fusion of Chinese (incense burning) and Filipino traditions are depicted here.
Written Jan 28, 2006
I had the chance to get this picture of San Agustin Church during one of the visit at Wow Philippines Intramuros.
San Agustin Church which is located inside the walled city in Intramuros is considered as the oldest stone church in the Philippines
Written May 4, 2006
Balut - an unusual Filipino delicacy that needs a simple courage in order to appreciate the mystery behind its taste!!!
It is a half-boiled, fertilised duck egg. You can feel those crunchy tiny feet, beak, feathers and claws in your mouth but don' forget to put few drops of salt to make it tastier.
Huh, but why Filipino loves to eat "balut"???
Rich in energy as they say...but it also increases your sexual desire!!! True or not...eating "balut" will always be a part of our Filipino delicacy that can be bought during night times.
How about YOU??? Wanna try this "embryo" to satisfy your lonely nights??? Or to increase your strength in love-making? Or even to satisfy your curiosity about this irresistible taste? Try and have some fun biting those undeveloped tiny creature!!!
Written May 19, 2006
2. It is a good idea to carry a handkerchief at all times. Often in a public restroom (called 'comfort room') there is no paper towel or air dryer; the handkerchief is used. There are other fascinating uses, such as spreading it on your back under your shirt/blouse on very hot days in order to keep cool, to wave as a signal from afar, or to cover your mouth and nose in dusty areas.
Written Dec 7, 2003
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