It’s more fun in the Philippines

What was it about Manila that is memorable?

Bonifacio Global City

The first thing that pops to mind is the intense security detail.  If you’re looking to invest in a business in Manila, protective services is it. It is ubiquitous and pervasive, just like the internet. I do feel safer, but at the same time a little apprenhensive about why they needed it to be so intense. The guards come with shotguns, not pistols. Do something wrong and you EXplodE, not just get maimed or wounded! They probably have a license to kill. There are also security gantries that beep for metal at entrances to the larger establishments, much like the ones you find at airports. Some have guard dogs too, Alsatians and Retrievers. I was quite amused to see a Retriever come up to sniff my luggage when I arrived at the hotel entrance. He* must get a lot of odd smells now and then – only if he could talk we’d know.

*’He’ because of higher probability as security is, afterall, a male-dominated profession

The second is our virgin Segway ride. We did this with White Knight Tours to see the sights in Intramuros. Our ‘handlers’ (Adrian, Adam, Harold) got us to practice within the safety of their grounds before we ventured out onto the roads with honking traffic. I took a while to get comfortable, but I don’t think I mastered it going downslope – I tended to slide sideways. Gaahh! If the staff weren’t around, I would probably have landed on my butt two times. They must have been lamenting inside about walking under the hot, hot sun alongside this numskull with clumsy control of  a simple machine. I had foot cramps (!!??!?) after ‘cos I was so tensed up. But they were very good-natured, friendly and reassuring – it was fun! I remember St Augustine’s Cathedral, the Fortress and the garden with all the metal portraits of Phillipine Presidents – but I don’t recall the rest due to nervous rider’s amnesia…

SJ raved about their food. I know why.                                                                                 No veggies. Fried stuff. Quail eggs in his Beef Pho! His type of diet served on a platter.

Food was really quite good, particularly at this place called Sentro 1771 where they serve inexpensive, local fare. Recommended dishes to be accompanied with rice:              Rated GG: Galunggong fillets (it’s fish) in garlic oil
Home-styled Chicken Adobo: Chicken stewed in cane vinegar soy sauce and native garlic                                                                                                                                       Soup: Vegetables in tamarind soup

BeST meal I had there!

Manila exceeded our expectations. We never expected Bonifacio Global City nor Greenbelt Malls nor the unassuming, warm-hearted people.  The massages we had at LeSpa@Sofitel were fantabulous. This is a place I’d go back to someday.

 

[First published: 22 Mar 2013]

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