It sounds like you may be in for a little shock when you exit the terminal as it tends to be rather crowded, noisy and chaotic. Then the heat hits you. Yes, it's hot... not to mention humid. The kind of humid where you take a shower and start sweating just from drying yourself off. Plenty of traffic too with a LOT of pollution and smog, a lot of poverty, etc... I'm sad to say I kind of see Manila as a rather grey and lifeless (environmentally) concrete jungle. Not all parts, of course, but the bulk of it. There are of course quite a few posh or upscale neighborhoods/areas which are clean, greener and better maintained.
I remember when we were in highschool... back around '88-'89, we would drive to the perimiter of the airport, walk through a gate, past a guard house, and go sit on the end of the runway. Not sure that's do-able anymore, lol... but what a blast. Quite literally. Got chased away by terminal security a number of times.
I've been through Batangas quite often as we would take a large banca (the local boats) from there to the various beaches in Mindoro - around a 1.5-2 hr boat-ride. Mindoro is a beautiful area with plenty of beautiful, often empty beaches. Haven't been back for 8 years or so though. Personally, I wouldn't have a problem staying around the Batangas area. Definitely (!) different to what you're used to, but I think it'll be a great experience and an eye-opener. Filipinos are typically very friendly, easy-going, welcoming, fun, and hospitable. San Miguel beer is pretty damn good too (not to mention cheap) and I enjoy the cuisine as well. Just don't let them trick you into trying Balut, heh. And if the local cuisine isn't for you, then stop by McD's for some spaghetti
Enjoy and I hope to see some pics when you get back!
|Quoting MD11Engineer (Reply 5):|
She (and her family) are worried, because her home is in Mindenao
I'm German and grew up in Manila - we moved there in 1972 when I was 2. I ended up moving back to Germany and am now in the US, but spent a good 16 years or so in the Philippines. Back then we visited Mindanao as well, but these days I'm not so sure I'd feel safe there. Not alone, not even with a local guide, etc. I'm a photographer and would absolutely love to go back and explore the Philippines - to take a trip from the northern tip of Luzon all the way down south. Unfortunately, this is an increasingly messed up little world we live in.
Now, if even her family
is worried - and they're the ones living there and are able to best assess the situation - I think that should be cause for concern. No doubt you'll stick out like a sore thumb down there.