Friday, June 06, 2008

Philippines: Great food, abundance of homosexuals and lots of burping!

Manila form the sky

My headline is not meant to offend but to give people my perception of what I thought was unusual about the country. I apologize if I offend people with my perception. Now into the topic.

The city from the sea

My perception of Manila was it will be run down with poor infrastructure. To my surprise Makati, in Manila, boots some world class commercial centers with great, up scale leisure areas. The Filipino food is amazing, and I can have it over and over, even though it is very smelly and I won’t try cooking it at home again. I am surprised that the Filipino cuisine is not famous!
The offical Center Point of the Philippines

The shopping was great, but finding my cloths size was not always easy. In Makati several mall are attached to one another through skywalks making it an endless shopping experience. Funnily, there are police and metal detectors at the entrance of each mall, every skywalk and hotels, but they hardly do anything and you can pass it with a nuclear bomb the size of horse and they would not ask you anything. Interestingly, all of Makati is owned by one family!!
A church in the old city

On the historic side, sadly most monuments or the old city has been destroyed during World War II. However, you can get a glimpse of how great and massive the old city was. Some Spanish and American monuments still stand and testament to this great city. Other attraction include walking around the 0 kilometer post, all distances in the Philippines are measured from this point, is a must as there are lots of attractions around it, like the main parade area, the flag commemorate the independence of the Philippines, status with their founding fathers, their heroes, massive gardens, the lovers lane and the Ocean Park.

The founding fathers.

The eye opener for me was that burping is common and not forbidden in public or at work. So you can be having a massage, eating dinner or in the hotel talking to the staff and suddenly you hear a burp and no one would pay any attention. I was disgusted, although I do burp but not in these kind of situations.

The original hero, Lapu Lapu who killed the Magellan.

As for the homosexuals, the Philippines even tops San Francisco, they are everywhere and I guess its more common to see them because it’s acceptable. I was even told they have their own lingo too. In the Philippines it seemed that there is something wrong if half an hours passes by and you don’t see a gay person! This is not like Thailand, with some transvestites and transsexuals, the Filipinos gays are being them themselves, without the costumes and all the flare. This seemed unusual.

The National hero, in his last moments

Overall, the Philippines is a great place travel and even better for English speakers, since the whole country speaks it, however, if the roads out of Manila were paved between cities and town, it would be worth while spending at least 2 months looking around this beautiful country. Otherwise you would be spending most of your time in a bumpy car rid or a boat instead of sight seeing.


S!lent.Sp!r!t said...

U have a unique way of showing off your trips and I have to say, alot of your pictures are just amazing.

ColOman said...

Dear Silent Spirt,

Thanks for you kind words. Hope my showing off dont go over board :)

SK said...

They are some pretty good pics from a pretty good place.

ColOman, I am currently residing in Oman and have developed an interest in photography, can you guide me in finding places in Oman, as well as some beginner tips. I have a car so traveling is not that big of an issue as long as it is on Fridays.



ColOman said...


IF you have a 4WD and you like trekking then you are set. You need to buy a book, found in most book stores, about exploring Oman using your 4WD.

As for photogrpahy, check out

and if you still want my help, I am more than willing to meet.

Anonymous said...

I like trekking, but don't own a 4WD yet, may be in the next 3-4 years :D, thanks for the book tip, I've tried very hard to look for decent books on photography in Oman but the only ones that I could find were either at Borders or Turtles, any other bookstore(s) that you can suggest?

Thanks for the offer to meet me, I am looking forward to it.

ColOman said...


As per my interview, I picked up photography and never studied it or read books on it, not even the manual. From a technical point, I have nearly zero understanding of a camera, which could be inspiring, so if you still want meet sure thing, but I don’t think I can add much value. Most of the tips were in the interview. I am being honest to avoid any disappointment.

Anonymous said...


I think I didn't make myself clear, what I meant was "Photography in Oman," sights and sounds, places to visit, etc, although I like reading books, I am not at all interested in manuals and tutorials.

You are absolutely right in your interview.

I have taken some test shots with a Nikon D40X, you can see them on

Thanks for your help.

P.S. If you are the same Hani Macki from Salaam Insurance, please forward me your email address (I am from Al-Fanniah Advertising), I've tried hard to contact the people at your office but couldn't get through, maybe my timing of calls is not matching the timing of Salaam Insurance. I have some samples that I wanted to give them so that we can proceed with the printing.

ColOman said...

Yah thats me, small world :)

hey there is no way no one is picking up the phone, call me. Khaild has my number.

I see him daily.