Bushman in The Philippines: Manila

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Photos by MJ Klein

Recently, I was in the Philippines on business.  I spent a few days in Manila and then I went up north to the Cagayan Valley.  First I’ll show you what it was like in Manila.

Bushman in The Philippines: Manila

Greg (on the left) was our driver, and Sonny was my guide in the Philippines.  Greg is a former Manila taxi driver and he knows the city like his own backyard.

Bushman in The Philippines: Manila

Everyone I met in the Philippines was exceedingly polite.  In general, the people that I came into contact with were perhaps the nicest people I’ve encountered in all my travels.  This photo is one example of a “Jeepney” vehicle, the main form of public transportation in the Philippines.

Bushman in The Philippines: Manila

We went out to eat and pulled into this area, known for seafood.  Notice the touts running around trying to get our attention.

Bushman in The Philippines: Manila

Very persistent, the touts compete directly against each other for customers.  They are paid by the various places, and I assume it’s on a commission basis but I’m not really sure.  I just know that they are rather annoying when you’re trying to negotiate the street without hitting them.

Bushman in The Philippines: Manila

Like many countries around the world, the Philippines has it’s share of political turmoil.  As a result, there are armed security guards in most places.  Even though at first it seems strange in the presence of people carrying guns (and sometimes automatic weapons) I felt entirely safe while I was visiting.

Bushman in The Philippines: Manila

Everywhere I went, the security personnel were very professional, polite and approachable, unlike security forces I’ve seen in other countries.  The guards held doors open for me on many occasions and always had a nice warm greeting for me, never failing to call me “sir.”  That’s a tactical shotgun this guard is sporting.

Bushman in The Philippines: Manila

As we neared our destination, we saw touts along the way, beckoning us into their establishments.  It wasn’t unlike visiting a fish market in Taiwan, for example.

I’ll be showing you some choice examples of the food I enjoyed in the Philippines in separate articles at the end of this series.

Bushman in The Philippines: Manila

One tout makes a final desperate attempt to get our attention!

Bushman in The Philippines: Manila

We had to visit several companies in the metro Manila area.  So we bought a large map of the area and laid it out on the restaurant table and located the places we wanted to visit so we could set up a logical route.  The greater urban area of Manila is the 5th largest in the world with an estimated population of 20.6 million people!  It was a good thing we had Greg driving as I would never have been able to manage getting around so efficiently without him.

Bushman in The Philippines: Manila

Here we see Sonny, Greg and one of the girls from the restaurant trying to locate a place on the map.

Bushman in The Philippines: Manila

Bushman in The Philippines: Manila

Driving around, we saw lots of Jeepneys.

Bushman in The Philippines: Manila

Just like Thailand, there are lots of street vendors who walk in between the lanes of cars stopped at traffic lights.

Bushman in The Philippines: Manila

At night time, Manila has some great places to eat and hang out.

Bushman in The Philippines: Manila

Bushman in The Philippines: Manila

Bushman in The Philippines: Manila

Bushman in The Philippines: Manila

Bushman in The Philippines: Manila

This is another very common form of local transportation in the Philippines – called the tricycle.  It’s a motorcycle sidecar.  Yes I did ride in one, and no, I did not fit.  I couldn’t raise my head enough to look out the window!

Bushman in The Philippines: Manila

Bushman in The Philippines: Manila

In some places the number of tricycles is considerable.  We’ll see more of them in the next installment.

Bushman in The Philippines: Manila

Some tricycle owners have a sense of humor.

Bushman in The Philippines: Manila

This is our hotel, the Aloha.

Bushman in The Philippines: Manila

Since firearm carry is legal in the Philippines, many places aks you to check your firearms with security upon entering.  Our hotel was no exception.

Bushman in The Philippines: Manila

This is the vehicle we used.  It was very comfortable inside, with sliding doors on both sides.

Bushman in The Philippines: Manila

Our driver, Greg, poses for a shot.

Thanks for reading.  We look forward to your comments.  Please feel free to use the Apture bar above, or the ShareThis service below for social media sharing.

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10 comments

  1. Pingback: GlobeSeeing
  2. Hey MJ, A teacher just returned from holidays there for 6 weeks. he said that he had never been to such a dirty country. He has travelled nearly everywhere.

    Your picture the streets look very clean but again this is the capital.

    The touts are huge pains in the butt, I have stopped to look at menus before here in Thailand and next thing are virtually being dragged inside.

    These people never get my business, I will walk into the place next door to spite them.

    I look forward to the rest of the trip and the pictures of the food as well.

    Thanks for sharing.
    Brunty´s last post ..Beauty Pageant Mothers Are Freaking Crazy!

    1. hey Brunty. well i didn’t think it was dirty, not any more dirty than anywhere else i’ve been. i did go to a village out in one of the provinces and it was nice there, not dirty at all. you’ll see more photos as i develop this series.

      once in Bangkok, for some reason, a tout for one of those girlie bars decided to latch onto me as i was walking around. he followed me for blocks until i directly told him that i wasn’t going with him anywhere. he split. i have no idea why he thought i was interested.

      take care Brunty. btw i’ve been enjoying your posts of late.

  3. Looking forward to the updates. It’s strange, I have a friends in the Philippines, but have never manged to visit. Just got another invite recently, maybe I’ll actually manage to go next year. 🙂

    In any case – it’s always enjoyable to read about your travels.

    1. thanks Stefan. i won’t have such a long series on the Philippines like we do on the other places we travel, but mostly because i was there only for a week. i wish it were longer. you should check it out – i had a great time there!

  4. Many of the firearms carried by security guards in the Philippines are a) not loaded, b) non-functioning.

    That tidbit aside, I try to avoid visits to the Philippines. Its legacy of American colonialism, dictatorships and political turmoil has left a lasting and depressing mark on a beautiful country and its people.

    1. in other words, Isham, you’ve never been there, which makes me wonder how you know the above to be true. oh, and you’re apparently one of those hypocrites that likes the trash the USA, but you live there. nicely done!

  5. Hi Bushman,

    Nice sharing of your post. Gain lot of information reading it, especially I’m going to Manila for the first time on 13th June 2011 for business trip. Is it possible for you to share the drive’s (Greg) contact number? I would like to engage with his service to take me around Manila. My email address is derik808@gmail.com.

    Many thanks for your help.

    Truly,
    Derik

    1. hi Derik. Greg lives pretty far away from Manila, but i’ll see if i can get his phone number to you so you can discuss things. take care.

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