the summer has begun
and i am doing what i love- being with my favorite people and traveling the world.
i am in the airport in seoul korea and i am flying solo surrounded by many (strange)rs. i have a 2 hour layover on my way back to the states from manila philippines.
we stayed in three different hotels. they were cheap compared to what they would cost in the states but high rolling for the philippines. my favorite was the 'treehouse/log cabin' bc we had a balcony.
money went really far (50 pesos= 1 dollar)
what would be a 20 dollar cab ride in NY is 100 pesos=2 bucks.
i got ear candling and a hour long massage for 14 bucks. i got a 2 hour japanese hot stone massage for 25 bucks.
greenhills= black market/fake designer bags
we bought 9 packs of half pack cigs and a lighter for 4 bucks.
the mall and spa were attached to our first hotel.
mall of asia (the biggest mall in asia)
our 2nd hotel had an amazing pool that reminded us of maui with small waterfalls and bridges and palm trees.
4 malls were attached to our 3rd hotel
we made ourselves and left an image at each hotel. to some- we are in a band. to some- we are actresses doing a movie about native americans called suskachawan bay (they didnt question why it was being filmed in the philippines). and to some we are doing an oprah special on revealing the prostitution of young filipino women to old american men.
we definately were living first world in that third world country.
all of these things were quite amazing and i definately caught myself walking tall and feeling famous as people complimented my hair and stared us down everywhere we went (one guy even looked up libby's skirt with a mirror- lou yelled 'NO!').
but these were the highlights for me.
there are these buses called jeepneys- they are the remnants of the world war 2 vehicles that filipinos use as local transportation. they decorate them beautifully and eleborately. we rode in them twice and both times, even though the cost to ride was 7 pesos- we gave them 100 pesos.
(its easy to bless people here. even though 100 pesos is such a small sacrifice for me of 2 dollars, to them in is a huge deal.)
quiapo church= chants on microphones sound the backdrop of hundreds of vendors all selling the same thing- their faith in the form of rosaries and catholic icons. i bought into it and dipped the rosary into the churches holy water bc an old man told me i should bless it before wearing it. kids ran loose eveywhere and would follow us for blocks until finally i gave one a mini banana i remembered i had brought along.
flowing flowers draped above the plaza
men blowing bubbles
i couldnt make myself complain about the heat or the smell bc i was happy to make ppl smile with the touch of my dreads or a wave or a kiss i would blow their way. they are satisfied, it seems, on 5 dollars a day and we couldnt last an hour.
the kids are precious
we saw one girl chasing her puppy in a circle on a main rode in a median. kids walk right up to your car window and hold up their hand to pear inside to sell necklaces of the countries flower. they stare until the light turns and you continue on w your life as they soon have to report back with how much they have sold- being rewarded maybe a pat on the back and the flip of 10 cents.
the skys are smog
and the oceans oil
but they pose for pictures here.
they built this walled city right in the center of manila when the spanish colonized there in 1571. it was quite intrigueing to walk along the walls that once held boundaries and to see the ppl now flowing through. we found handicrafts and walked down alleys of small vendors. we sang karaoke w some highschool girls in some empty restaurant. (10 cents a song)
we caught a rickshaw, and we rode in the side car of a dude who we found out makes maybe 40 dollars a month. what he takes quite serious gave us an experience and a sweet video clip. (sada saaa)
one of my favorite parts of the trip was coming around the corner to a bunch of guys playing basketball and some kids playing wallball. we went over to the kids and let them pose for pictures and videos and then we showed them their faces. i wanted to move there right then.
taal volcano=the smallest active volcano in the world.
we followed the dude in the yellow motorcycle with a sidecar down a windy road about 20 minutes to sea level, parked the car and boarded what looked like a brightly painted motored gondola. once we got there we decided not to hike the volcano or take their offer of a donkey ride up so we made a quick u-turn.
on the way back we took a slight detour down the coast and then headed on. i made sure to take a closer look at the water houses. i cant explain them any other way then that they look like scrap houses on thin individual rows of logs and plywood.
on the way out of town we bought a whole stalk of mini bananas, ate three and blessed the bellman at the hotel.
a day later we caught our flights back and i miss it there.
luckily i had a tv screen on the back of the chair in front of me on the plane.