Thursday, June 10, 2010

The Philippines, Part 3: Around Manila.

It's the weekennnnnnnd.........BABY!

Sheila and I got off to a late start on Saturday. And since Elaine wasn't going to be ready until later that evening, Sheila and I decided to go on ahead to the Mall of Asia ourselves. The Mall of Asia in Manila is the biggest mall in southeast Asia. It's pretty big. Prettay.....Prettay.....Prettay big.

Once we arrived at the mall we had to pass through a security check point where they inspected the car for bombs. That was a bit disconcerting. I mean, is car bombing in Manila that prevalent to warrant such security? It's not just in the malls, either, there's security guards in local McDonald's restaurants as well. It was the first time during my travels in Southeast Asia that I felt a bit uneasy. But it wasn't the civilians that had me feeling uneasy, it was the security and their massive guns that they were touting around.

Sheila and I also enjoyed a lovely stroll along the promenade. It was really a pretty day for pictures, which Sheila took plenty of. I think Sheila may take more pictures than my mother even does. Wow. Now that's a feat. However, due to the heat and humidity, we found ourselves seeking air-conditioning and quickly walked back inside the mall.

On our way to pick up Elaine, Sheila stopped speaking English and began speaking in Tagalog only, just to mess with me. This continued until Elaine joined us.
"Adam! Big brothaaahh!" said Elaine, as she entered the car.

It was great to see Elaine again.

We enjoyed our evening walking around Rizal Park. The park had all the essentials: green grass, people flying kites, gardens, Filipino hero memorials, and a 3-dimensional map of the Philippines. Surprisingly, on our way back to the car I found myself standing in front of the Department of Hittin' The Trail. I had to take a photo of that.

For dinner we ate at an interesting restaurant. You order your food at the local market across the street, then you carry it back and have the restaurant prepare it. Man, the food was so delicious. I couldn't imagine how much our meal would have cost back in the States. But the seafood here is really inexpensive. Again, the food was amazing. Take a look below:




Enjoying the food and the company of one another, we totally lost track of time as we promised Sheila's brothers Tei and JanJan that we'd attend their bands' performances. Each of them sing for their own band. We all buckled up as Sheila turned into Ms. Speed Demon in order to get us there on time.

There wasn't one westerner at the gig. I loved it. After I was introduced to everyone, I sat down, had a beer and enjoyed the music. Elaine and I spent a lot of time talking and bonding as Sheila was being Ms. Paparazzi, taking pictures of everything and everyone. Man, that woman loves to take pictures.

Tei's band went first. He seemed very comfortable speaking in front of people, but maybe that was the alcohol. Also, before his band began to play he gave me a shout out.

"First, I would like to thank Adam, from the US, for attending tonight..."

I stood up and gave him a friendly point in his direction. I appreciated the shout out.

Now let's rock!

Afterwards as we were about to leave, the 3 of us decided to play a silly game in which we couldn't speak to one another - not one peep. We couldn't even make a noise if we laughed. So silly. People were looking at Elaine and I like we were crazy as we were standing in the middle of the street communicating with hand gestures, trying to make each other laugh.

After the jam session, the 3 of us went to Sheila's apartment and got some sleep as we had another big day ahead of us.

Next Stop: Taal Volcano, Tagaytay

-Adam

1 comment:

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