I got some emails & Facebook questions (apparently I didn’t answer in my posts), so:
- Would you come/go back? And would you recommend? Yes and Yes. The flight from the U.S. is long though, so for the longer portion IF you can get yourself in a business class (or First class) seat, I would recommend it. At least you can sleep (better). Although we were lucky that Michael & I didn’t have anyone between/side of us, so I was able to stretch out and so was Michael. And, the Peso to Dollar exchange (currently) is in the dollar favor, so you get quite a bit (food & gift wise). Our hotel (Aruga) wasn’t too bad priced, but we also had the ‘Frequent Stay’ program (for Michael’s work). Definitely recommend this place, but ask for a room in the center (to avoid listening to traffic) or higher up (beyond 7th floor).
- Where would I recommend going? That is tough, since this is only my first trip, so we were in Manila (& Makati) – (Filipino friends/followers here please comment)! 🙂 But I can say, definitely walk around the areas. YES, there were lots of security guards (armed & unarmed) in several areas, but we didn’t experience any issues. As long as you feel safe & are aware (don’t go out at night). And the hotels can recommend places.
- Would you rent a car? NO, at least not IN the city (trust me, even for the pedestrians you will be playing FROGGER with your life). HA HA They don’t obey the traffic lights (if it weren’t for the few security guards stopping traffic) you’d never get past. There are Jeepney’s (which is their public transportation) – left over army jeeps that they’ve modified to use and some times you will see people HANGING on the sides as well as the top of the roof. Funny, but scary. (Look at some of my photos you can see). And here’s the perfect YouTube video…
- I didn’t post any food photos or did I eat Filipino food? Sorry, I forgot to take photos, but while we are in the city Ellis and I noticed there are NOT any Filipino restaurants. They will have some menu items, but most seem to be Americanized. But we found a few places (also when at the Beach). I tried the Adobo (of course it is a Mexican origin dish) but didn’t care for it because WAY too much soy sauce and the Lechon (excellent pork). Oh and the chicken here is REAL chicken (so when you get the chicken strips they are THIN pieces) meaning, it’s not processed, plumped stuff. And definitely get the regional fresh fruit – LOVED the mango, pineapples and bananas. Oh and NO, don’t drink the water – at least not in the non-city regions. Chris made that mistake at the beach and he spent most of the time in his room… 🙁
- Best part of the trip. The PEOPLE. Friendly and helpful. Yes, there are some that ‘have an attitude’ (duh) but overall everyone is so polite, (you will constantly get greeted with Hello Sir, Hello Mam). And yes, they thought I was Filipino (which I mentioned before) because even Chris asked “why do they keep asking YOU what we want & giving you the bill” (while we were out together and at restaurants) – because they thought I was the local! 🙂 Guess I need to learn the dialect (for the next visit)! Sherry F. I need you to teach me some stuff…
Thank you all again for letting me share – now off to get ready for the 3 hour flight to Singapore.