August 15th, 2017
Trekking the Philippines vacationing:
Packing list in a Protege Monticello 21" Upright Carry-on:
My 3 weeks of clothes
3 T-shirts various cottons and colours
3 32 degree cool t-shirts (These are durable, lightweight and moisture-wickening for $6.99 at Costco)
4 various types of cargo shorts to one being my Scottevest lightweight travel shorts
A Eagle-creek pack-it system half cube (holds 5 briefs, 5 socks, & 5 underwear)
1 long sleeved dress shirt
2 short sleeved shirts
1 black cotton pants (for wedding we attended) and 1 khaki pants
1 black leather dress shoes
A plastic case (holds my travel multi-tools and other smaller things)
Travel sized 2-in-1 Axe Shampoo and deodorant to toothbrush and toothpaste
3 Tide Hand sink soap packets
Aboard the airplane, I managed to fit my two carry-on bags underneath the seat moving around alot during the 16 hours of flight to put movement into my legs.
Arriving in Manila - Arriving to waiting upon the arrival of another leads to multiple hours waiting. My dad we waiting upon was ill needed rest luckily a airport medical facility was nearby. He needed to lie down, sleep a moment and needed nourishment in him but K.F.C. was nearby and other restaurants. Short bus ride to the Coast Mall nearest the bus terminal from the airport was closed was the owner bankrupted but its main walkway had numerous stalls to vendor goods. Enjoying seeing traffic all around… Imagine having a balikbayan box my two uncles back in the states wanted us to bring up those stairs?!? Having constant large baggages (made me dream of just using a backpack) if worst that if we had that box won't help.. Constant shoppers to long lines at money changer to guard duty of bags plus 45 minutes wait time doesn't help turned to boredom leads to seeing a lot of goods helps.
Tagaytay till Wednesday - Air condition or open windowed buses "Are they the same?" "Quite so.." One is just more enclosed and the other more affordable and breezier. The drive from Manila to Tagaytay was cool (in the non-warm sense of the word) and “Did I mention the breeze…” Of course I did. Experiencing Andok’s Chicken kabobs during this trip and other unique flavours of different foods made the trip for myself entirely more special. Local restaurants within the Philippines I’ve notice were Andok's Chicken to KFC and Lechon Manok? For a few days here, I've experienced and enjoyed city market galore to tasting street food (vegetable lumpias, grilled calamari, and balut) to experiencing an affordable shopper’s delight. Seeing Taal volcano from a safe distance from another hotel balcony was great. First thing not to place in a future bucket list, a selfie with a horse but not riding one quite yet possibly another vacationing trip here I might. Awhile here one will experience of course within third world countries about numerous trikes and those great rides yet always extremely loud but gets the job done, distance wise. You hear 'em all day all night sometimes early mornings. My thoughts about the Philippines trikes: Affordable yes, "Could be worst.." Bumpy "Yes.." Hard seats "No kidding….." The place we spend most of our time was at Amora‘s Room for rent. Somewhat well but those few days sleeping on a hard surfaced bench causes sleeplessness nights, soft couch pillows equals minor relief but I had cool air coming in always. Finally sleeping then hearing glorious sounds of roosters even horses due to fact oddly enough next door is a horse ranch?
Still here became always a 2-4 hour max sleeper. Luckily my Scottevest travel clothing (all nylon and polyester meant easy washing to quick drying) helps in the long run as well those 32 degrees weatherproof shirt. Last trip, I had these Mio Fit energy liquid enhancers "Thank you $99 cent stores" for energy supplement, as well during those long bus rides, Honey Stinger energy chews. "REI Camping store in Huntington Beach, California works wonders, don't forget that" Tagaytay public markets are nice and large having vendors that sells food to electronics, “yes, yes, pirated movies,” and every single thing in the middle. Exploring to seeing simple rural living all around makes up for lost time. Why is it, everyone sees a new phone, they break into it? Mom's phone was unlocked, smart SIM cards are thicker than US ones got stuck broke casing. Easy fix though to remember unlocking US cellphones being constant bother takes 3 to 4 days 1500PHP or 500PHP to a working decent internet connection via gsmsandwich at a smaller street swap-meet. These 3 day Globe SIM card, oh well are best for texting to me in my honest opinion. Internet wise and speed, Smart or Globe, you're kidding me, right? Second trip around to the Philippines mentioned in another one of my Medium.com blogs: http://www.medium.com/ @ramonb_3rd of my Pampanga trip experiencing the quietness and rural living without wifi sometimes to me works wonders to become more explorative, take more pictures, take to different people, and eating and tasting different things. Experiencing always here those affordable Jeepney rides again, 8 PHP affordable wondrous as always... See most of Philippines by using them.
From one ride to another, we reached the Taal Vista hotel in which was PHP-100 per drink not mixed I'm saying the regular commercialized from America then towards Japan, Mexico and other parts of the world, Cokes to ice teas. From the hotel to seeing gambling ways here in Tagaytay via the Casino Filipino was good leads to good things, my mom played the piano that lead us to a free coffee and dinner.
Manila to Pampanga San Fernando to Orani
Man these nice air conditioned buses works wonders as some have movies on-board via of course, pirated, funny how scooters can get so close still avoiding hitting. On the way to our bus, our trike driver ties everything down especially our 26.5lbs bags x2 includes passenger weight is a sense of wonder. From Tagaytay to Manila requires a trike ride to two not one air conditioned buses equals 5 due to weather turned into 7 hours ride. Arriving at the SM Pampanga Mall, again to having a KFC Chicken burger 75 pesos less than $2US budgettering works. “SM malls, you ask me are they like those in America?” “No no not really.” They’re much larger here in the Philippines, most malls here are three stories of shopping galore goodness. Me it’s the air conditioning in malls does wonders for anyone visiting any of them, so in all senses of the words, go for it, do your shopping to watching movies in the theatres just like everywhere else, nothing wrong with that...” Again in Orani, wedding attending leads to of course new faces are all over. More restful days within our trip unfortunately have lead to… some discomfort. Diarrhoea downed me two years ago, my actual first trip to the Philippines. This time around, my Maxpedition pocket organizer had three emergency doses of Immodium AD in my UTG messenger bag. Next day hearing trikes activity is more frequent in Bagong Silahis area or Parang Parang of Orani, Philippines to crowded Manila but Bataan Transit and buses still do the rest. Local store shopping I’ve found out being really common energy drinks here are Cobra and Sting occasional Monster Energy. A restaurant called Babette’s Kitchenette is across from my other uncle’s and my family of Barros’s original home quite convenient. Shopping around the area of Orani, I’ve learned a few things: Philippines’ Cobra or Sting plastic bottled ones are 17 to 20 PHP. Their glass bottled ones are more expensive. Bacchus D canned is 38-PHP but 240ml than 100ml I had bought, locally at home in Korean Markets.
Another day another travel to Baguio — Monday instead nah yet again Tuesday leaving at 3am Riding early morning towards a 7 hour ride to Baguio up hilly winding roads feels like La Paz’s infamous Death Road in a sense heading up there takes 6 hours via a travel bus. Andrew Zimmern, again quote exploring different foods to “If it looks good, eat it..” Technically, I did and some prices I remembered to mention:
Toron (banana wrapped in lumpia flour wraps, deep fried goodness) to fried chicken intestines 4 PHP (0.08 USD, yes 8 cents)
40PHP budget meal (rice, beef stew (of course other choices), and vegetables.)
(0.80 USD, 80 cents)
Grilled baby chicks on a stick 15PHP.
Quoting another famous chef traveler “Skewered grilled chicken intestines yes please, grilled baby chicken on a stick, of course I want that..”
“Culture shock is an experience a person may have when one moves to a cultural environment which is different from one's own; it is also the personal disorientation a person may feel when experiencing an unfamiliar way of life due to immigration or a visit to a new country, a move between social environments, or simply transition to another type of life..”
Culture shock, I enjoy exploring taste buds to me is not all scary, just try it and don’t think about it. Exploring a cooler city for two nights works leads to internet speeds being dismal or slow all around beyond compare so using Facebook is best at air-conditioned internet cafés. Talking with locals leads to a learning curve, Baguio is the Filipino version of Salamanca, Spain in which most streets are roaming with students to younger sorts some even work and school same time. It's always frequented by locals in other regions wanted a cooler place to relax before heading home to warmer to “Could be worst..” hotter climates such as Metro Manila. Seeing still Baguio tomorrow and possible next day till Friday during that week of my stay. Baguio Public market has it perks of haggling galore, more edibles, souvenirs, and various amounts of keychains (seriously 14 for 100 pesos) to electronic goods upstairs. Being brief, last week of vacationing came and went during my birthday May 10th towards the 16 headed home.
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