Bagabag to Old Manila, Philippines

I’ve been back in the states for a few days now, but have a few more pictures to post from my travels. I’ll explain a little what you’ll see in the slideshow that shows the contrast of life in the Philippines. These pictures were taken mostly from the car on the trip from Bagabag back to Manila and then in Old Manila. Outside of Manila the country is largely rural, but metro Manila is huge, over 10 million people makes it the 6th most populous city in the world (NYC is #15).

The first pictures are of rice drying. Since the road provides a nice sunny flat space, there’s often rice there, it doesn’t seem to bother them if it’s actually in the road and cars must drive around it. We also passed several funerals. They are frequently on Saturdays when everyone is available to attend. The barricades in the road are often found near schools. I’m not sure that causing both directions of traffic to share one lane and weave around them is the most effective way to slow traffic down, but that’s what they do. I’m convinced the mountain pass is the world’s birds nest fern capitol. I’m not sure if they grown them and sell them or what, but they are plentiful. The rice fields traditionally were plowed using caribou, but now you often see motorized plows which can also be hitched to a cart and driven to town.

Molly is enjoying her merienda (snack) at Jolibee, the common fast food restaurant that’s even found in the small towns. Its menu includes the every popular rice, fried chicken and spaghetti along with the French fries and other more typical fast food. I would never have expected fried chicken and spaghetti to be such favorites.

Rice is still planted by hand; it looks like back breaking work, not to mention hot. And, the popular sport is basketball; you’ll see a court of some sort in every town and school.

In Old Manila we saw parts of the Spanish settlement: Fort Santiago, Manila Cathedral, Casa Manila, and San Agustin Church. This is a popular location for weddings, and we saw several. I really like the old Spanish architecture.

Finally, are the most familiar sights in Manila: billboards and traffic. Did I mention that lines on the road are taken merely as suggestions? Cars make as many lanes as they possibly can without leaving any space between them. It’s amazing there aren’t more accidents, but you have to stay alert to drive this way and usually no one is moving very fast.

e-mail Jan now
~ view website