A few more pictures from our time in Manila and the surrounding area.
We visited Fort Santiago in Manila. It is a citadel built by Spanish conquistadors during the time when the Philippines was under the rule of Spain. Jose Rizal was held captive there, so part of the structure has been turned into a shrine.
It was neat to see, but there was a group of high school students visiting the same time we were, and there were so many people inside that I had to leave and wait outside in the gardens. Claustrophobia, it’s a problem.
We stopped in to check out the Manila Cathedral as well. It was quite close to Fort Santiago, and in a nice area so worth checking out if you are looking for some interesting and historic places to visit in Manila.
We also took the 2 hour drive out to Taygaytay volcano, but sadly it was very cloudy that day, so it was hard to see. We considered taking a boat ride across the crater lake to see the volcano up close, but it was really cold and windy, we were dressed inappropriately (for a change) and a 2 hour boat ride sounded kind of miserable.
Instead we drove down to a beach on the coast where you could rent little rafts to hang out on for the day. There were restaurants all along the beach, but they didn’t cook anything there, instead they would bring freshly caught seafood and veggies out to your raft, and cook it for you there on a little fire pit.
On the drive back we were stopped in traffic (traffic is really bad there and it took us forever to get back) and I was looking out the window and saw what looked like a net with big black blobs on it.
Upon closer inspection, it was the most massive spider web I’ve ever seen, covered in enormous spiders. I’m not even really that scared of spiders, but it was terrifying, like something out of a horror movie.
Another thing that I noticed while we were cruising around in the countryside was that the grocery stands on the side of the road all had raw chickens and massive sides of beef hanging from them.
There were little fans to keep the flies away, but it was so different from the way I’ve seen meat displayed and sold in any other country. It was very common though, so obviously it isn’t that dangerous, if it made everybody sick they wouldn’t do it anymore, right?
We were only in Manila for two days, and we wanted to see as much as possible, so we slept on the plane for Indonesia (after a 13 hour wait at the airport!) and just arrived ready to get going when we landed.
We did pretty well, considering we hadn’t been to bed the night before, but by supper time on our first day there we were basically walking zombies.
There were a few places I wanted to see that we weren’t able to get to because of our very short timeline (we really wanted to go to Palawan, and go diving!) but the Philippines has so many beautiful places to visit that two days in Manila is probably all I’ll ever get.