Manila, too

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Monday, November 19th We decided to forego a day-trip out of Manila and instead continued exploring the city. Where Sunday’s walk took us through several poor parts of town, Monday we walked through some nicer areas on our way to the Manila American Cemetery. This cemetery and memorial paid tribute to the 16,000+ men who died and the 32,000+ men who went missing during WWII in this area. As we entered, the list of rules we were shown included guidelines not to sit or picnic on the grass and also not to practice driving there. It was a very peaceful place, in a relatively quiet part of the city.

After we were done visiting the memorial, we wandered to a nearby mall to see what their food court had to offer. Unfortunately, not only was it an outdoor style mall (we were seeking a/c!) but it was full of western style restaurant chains — a decent variety, but no Filipino food to be seen. We settled on a Japanese restaurant since we didn’t want anything too heavy after the heat.

My guide book mentioned a river ferry, which sounded like a nice way to see a bit more of the city, so after lunch, we hailed a taxi and went up to the Guadalupe lightrail station (the driver didn’t know what we were talking about when we mentioned the Guadalupe ferry station). In any case, the map showed that they were near one another, so we walked from the lightrail station, thorough a dense-with-jeepneys very poor area before getting to the ferry station. Upon arriving, it turned out that the ferry was closed “until further notice” so we wound up just walking along the river back toward our hotel. There was even a sidewalk for most of the way! After awhile, and with the assistance of my “OffMaps” offline gps iPhone app, we turned in from the river and wandered through some neighborhoods before getting back to Makati avenue.

We went to check out a rooftop bar (at the hotel I’ll be staying at when I’m back in Manila for one night), but the bar wasn’t yet open so we headed down the street. We passed on the strip club style places but found an open-to-the-street Cuban themed bar with shade, fans, and ice cold beer. Oh, and free wifi that, unlike the hotel’s, actually allowed me to post my last posterous update.

When it was late enough that the rooftop bar would be open, we paid up at the Cuban place (only to find that it must’ve been happy hour, as our beers were not the $2.50/ea we expected, but about 1/3 of that). As we got up to the rooftop bar, it started raining, but the seating area was covered. The rain didn’t last long, and it was really a great view so we ordered a pizza and hung out a while longer.

After a quick stop back at the hotel to wash off the sunscreen and sweat, we headed out for second dinner (noodles at a Chinese place). I was wiped out again and fell asleep by 9pm.

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