Philippines is the funnest and happiest place I have been to in Asia! If you are sad, go to the Philippines they make you happy! On my way to Taiwan I had to go through the Philippines by plane, and I ain't gonna make it a stop over: I didn't come half way around the world to sit in an airport, so I booked a three day stop in Manilla. I heard that Manilla is the land of Karaoke, cock fighting, motor cycle bars, beaches, and whatever you want! I posted on couch surfing at the airport in Singapore that I was getting to the Philippines in a few hours and was looking for a host to show me around, try some food, sing a little Karaoke, visit the slums, go to the beach, and if there is time, watch some chickens kick the crap out each other! I got a response from my new and good friend Jino who lives in Cavite! Jino is a great chef by trade, and wanted to show me around his city, along with his entourage. Upon leaving the airport I took a taxi to the bus stop he told me to get to. Jino and his friend Justin were awaiting for my arrival, and the first thing we did was went to the Filipino post office to mail some things, and I sent some keys I forgot to give back to Miko in Jakarta under the mailing name Justin Bieber so he would remember me.
|These kids were hanging out just outside the airport|
After Jino took care of his business, we headed to the mall: possibly the only people who like to shop more then Americans are the Filipinos! The first meal, turned out to be the theme for the next three days! Jino introduced me to lichen (suckling pig roasted by spit over the fire). It was so good, I ate so quickly I accidentally swallowed the bone (at this point Jino wasn't sure if I was insane since I showed up to his country for no apparent reason, and now was eating pig bones smiling). After I finished the sweet, sweet tasting pig, we went to Jino's townhouse where he lives with his younger brother. Jino and his brother lived here alone because his parents had to live closer to the city. When we got there I went to bed, as I was tired because I had to wake up in Singapore at 4am to catch my flight to Manilla, and hadn't gone to bed the night before until 2am, as I was drinking Singapore Slings from the highest rooftop in Singapore with Anthony.
|My first meal|
|Taking there dogs to the mall|
|This dance kinnect game on the Xbox was everywhere!|
I woke up at about 6pm, and chef Jino cooked up some more Filipino food with rice, and I met his brother and his friends. After stuffing my face for the second time (I assured Jino, not everyone in Canada likes their food as much as me) we headed to the biggest mall in Asia (Mall of Asia). That night I showed Justin how to jump off a building attached to a rope for the first time, had some beers, and then some more. Jino's brother showed up to the club with a bunch of friends, one of which was having his 19th birthday, so I thought it appropriate to buy a bottle of Tequila. Being the only foreigner in the club, the bouncers were extremely friendly and the drinks kept coming. Jino's brother and his friend were professional dancers, so between the six of us when we would get on to the dance floor a lot of people would get up and dance. By the end of the night I broke the table (I think it was set up but can't remember, but we had to pay, which I didn't care about by this point), danced the night away with my new best friends!
|What me and Justin jumped off, no one else had done it, and the operator didn't speak English, so it was quite scary because I didn't know what to expect, it was really high, and lots of people were watching|
|How they transport money|
The next day I saw more of the Philippines, and we took a motor bike with 6 of us (seriously check out the picture) and then a boat, and then hiked up and saw a volcano and crater lake (it was the first time Jino and his friends had done something like this).
|Are ride down to the Volcano, 6 people fit in there including me|
|The national sport played everywhere, including here at the base of the volcano|
The final day, I wanted to buy a whole pig to roast on the fire and eat it, but Jino said that it would feed 200 people, not 10, even though I had a big appetite. We were touring the slums at this point, and I decided I had met about 200 people in the Philippines so far who would appreciate a Lichen as much as me, so Dino called up his uncle in the slums and told him some crazy white guy was bringing a whole pig, rice and Coca Cola tonight for everyone, and to setup some tables and Banana leaves. The uncle said "is he serious" and Dino said "he is at the ATM right now taking out money!" So the uncle said "he would take care of it"!
|Kids hanging out in the streets|
|If everyone was as happy and as curious as these kids the world would be even more amazing!|
|Remember way way back in the day when kids used to play outside where you live?|
|Just practice, there chickens were not allowed to kill each other|
Me and Jino and the Entourage headed over to the pig place (skip ahead if pigs in pens, or being slaughtered does not appeal to your weak stomach otherwise read on and don't feel bad if you smile :p). We picked a pig, and Jino said I should watch it get slaughtered to make sure I don't get scammed, and also for the experience. I still remember the pig screaming, and this butcher guy who reminded me of the Asian version of the butcher from the Gangs of New York, do what he had to (which was one of the most horrific things I have seen and can't get the scream of the pig out of my head:
We then went to a pool where we chilled and sang some more Karaoke, and waited for the evening, and toured some more slums (I love doing this because people are so friendly and you really get to see different ways of life)
When night came we went with a taxi, and threw the pig in the trunk. There was a child who was begging for money outside of 7-11. Jino whistled at him, and the kid and his two friends ran up to the Taxi. Jino explained to them in Filipino what we were doing, and the three kids jumped into the taxi with us, to go and eat like kings! The kids thought it was chicken as they didn't even know what a pig was! Dino's uncle cut up the pig, and the kids ate first, followed by the women, and finally the men! Jino's brother and friend did some break dancing, we played some basketball, some more friends came, and ended the night back at the Mall of Asia night club. The next morning I sadly had to go to the airport to fly out to Taiwan!
|the local mayor/ community police officer, escorted me around|
|Finally after an hour of watching the kids enjoy the pig, we eat!|
|The kid with the lakers jersey is the one who came in the taxi, I don't think he knew what to think of everything|
|The best meal of my life!|
If you are going to Asia, make Philippines your longest and funnest stop. Imagine a country full of islands with volcanoes, jungles, and beautiful beaches! The food is great, you can sing the day away and play as much basketball as you can handle! No problems, just good times, and you can speak with the locals because most people speak English which makes it an amazing, remarkable, and memorable experience if you can communicate with everyone! You must go, seriously, don't hesitate, just make it happen you will love it!
|The final night back outside the club where it all started|
|This sign is so true|