Sunday, February 11, 2007

Trip to Manila / Cavite *again*

I just came back from Manila last night. And yes, this is the 2nd time I went to Manila to attend a training in Cavite. Despite the fact that we only have 5 hours sleep as we need wake up at 4.30+am to get onto the shuttle at 5.30am (the journey from Makati - Cavite is 1.5 to 2 hours..), the two trips are totally different experiences.

The first time when I went in March 2006, I did a lot of shopping and spent most of my times walking around the shopping malls near Makati - i.e. Glorietta and Greenbelt. The shopping malls are classy, big, and with great sales. We had good food and took a lot of pictures with a few great restaurants.

As for this time, it was a totally different experience as I went again with two of my good friends from Kulim and ChengDu. We have decided to be more adventurous by going around Manila. On the first Sunday, we took a taxi down to Intramurus. We walked around the area for almost 2 hours (it's a BIG circle) and we went pass a few old churches, and Fort Santiago. The weather was not as hot as I experienced last year. The locals said it's the cold weather now so it's quite a pleasant walk around that area. I have taken some pictures at that area.

San Augustin Church outside.

San Augustin Church inside.
Someone just had a wedding there.

Fort Santiago @ Intramurus

We walked on it. It felt real good as you can see great views over the fort.

Views over the fort. A lot of couples were dating there.
The weather was good with fresh, cooling breeze. The walk was just very relaxing.

The grand old Manila Catheral

On Thursday, we went to another place in Manila which is called Quiapo. It's a free market underneath the bridge. Apparently, the hotel people was telling us it's not recommended as it's kind of crowded and it's not safe. But, being adventurous, we got on a taxi and went there after our breakfast (Training was in the afternoon). I won't say it's impressive but it's another experience. There's a market nearby so it's dirty, smelly, crowded, and hot. I had to be very careful when I am walking as there are pot holes everywhere and you wouldn't want to step on any unpleasant things.

One of the streets @ Quiapo Ilalim

Clockwise from top left: Quiapo Church, Statues of Christ, Street snapshot, Kids playing on streets

On Friday, most of us have used up all our cash. We wanted to go somewhere further or different, but the day tour was just out of our budget (~USD100 per head). Besides, the weather also turned hot. So, we only went to China Street at 4pm. Well, all I can say it, it's quite a bad experience. The place is crowded, noisy and smelly. And the place was just filthy with all sort of people all around. Buses and jeepneys stopping everywhere and shouting for passengers. I had to be extra alert while I was walking as I could trip anytime. The shops are small, and you have to give way everywhere you walk. It's just not a very pleasant experience.

Clockwise from top left: Statue of Ong Pin (I guess it's a hero), carriage on the street, fire engine out of no way, Binondo's church

On the street in China Town - looks crowded to you?

Welcome to Manila China Town

Lastly, when we tried to get a cab back to our hotel, we couldn't get a taxi. How great right? Ended up we stood and waved for almost an hour then only we managed to get into a taxi, and paid the driver almost double the taxi fare as he said the traffic to Makati is terrible. Out of desperation, we did. Anyway, the taxi fare wasn't that expensive.

I can't imagine that I need to go there again in April. It will be my third time in Manila again and tell you what, I have decided to stay just in the Hotel and maybe just do a little shopping like dried mangoes and pearls. I am not coming out ANYMORE!!!!!!


Loong said...

Can you buy me a necklace when you go in April? Hehe ..

pENguiN~ said...

Err.. are you serious? :P