Yo, I’m the first to admit this blog may have grown a bit stale. No comments in two months tells me that you agree. Maybe people care less about the Gu of Seoul than I thought. Who knew? Anyway, tonight’s the shot in the arm you’ve been waiting for. I planned on a cliffhanger, but I’m aborting that. No tricks, no bullshit, just the most awesome photo blog I’ve ever posted. Next week, I’ll return to basics - getting blackout drunk on a weeknight and writing dick and fart jokes. On with the photoblog! Philippines 2011. If you need an intro, read last week’s post. As always, click on the pics to enlarge.
We’ll start where I started, in Cebu. All of these pictures are, of course, in chronological order. This is the Santo Nino Church in Cebu, the oldest in the Philippines. It’s definitely worth a visit when in Cebu, because, let’s face it, there’s nothing to do during the day in Cebu anyway. Out back is Magellan's Cross. This is the spot where Magellan first planted, um, his cross. This changed the history of the Philippines, as it was the birth of Catholicism here, as well as the beginning of the Spanish Colonial era. Because of this, the Phils is wholly different from every other Asian country, or any other non-Asian country for that matter.
Here’s the view from the roof of my Cebu hotel. Jollibee is a Filipino institution. This was the first one that I dined in, and in fact the home of my first meal on this trip. I had the Champ Burger at 3 a.m. or so. I would later learn the the Champ is exponentially better drunk than sober.
Me at Tops Lookout, on top of the mountain that overlooks Cebu City. It was a foggy day, so that was kind of a bummer. I rode a motorcycle taxi up here. Going back down on a bike is pretty damn white knuckle, as well as awesome.
I’m on a boat! My first boat of the trip, going from Cebu to Dumaguete, Negros by way of Bohol. Yes, there will be more gay sunset pics coming later.
A seemingly abandoned church in Dauin, a beach town a few miles south of Dumaguete. This was my favorite church that I saw throughout the trip.
An empty beach near Dauin. Everyone wants to find their own secluded tropical paradise, and I briefly did. Then, I realized that there was nowhere around to get a bite or a beer or to rent snorkel equipment, so I walked a mile or so north to a random resort.
Shot while hanging on the back of a jeepney, heading back to Dumaguete.
Dumaguete’s front yard.
Another shot of Dumaguete’s waterfront prominade. The locals really make it their own. Dumaguete, by the way, is an awesome town. It’s relaxed, largely tout and scammer free. It’s basically the opposite of Cebu or Manila. Also, it’s a college town. As a college town native, I felt right at home. If there’s a Lawrence of the Philippines, it’s definitely Dumaguete.
I just thought this sign was hilarious. I suppose some people want to buy prosciutto, book a flight, and dance on the same night, so why not do it under one roof?
Dumaguete traffic. These are tricycles. They will take you anywhere in town for nine cents.
I would have thought that was assumed...
Shot from inside a tricycle, near downtown Dumaguete.
My boat from Sipalay town to Sugar Beach, both on the west coast of Negros island.
Sugar Beach sunset.
The town fiesta. More good luck. The town next to Sugar Beach was having its annual fiesta on the day I got there.
The dance floor at the fiesta. This was all outside, the lights were set up with fences around it, For some reason, literally every other song played was Shakira’s Wakka Wakka. A Euro/South American chick who lives in Hollywood recorded a song about Africa, so why wouldn’t it be big in Asia? Strangely, the song that got the most people on the floor was the Wonder Girls’ “Nobody.”
This dog lived at my resort in Sipalay. Her name is Penny. Kinda reminds me of the other Penny.
Third sign down - Piko Language Academy. The Koreans are here in Iloilo City and they’re scamming English! I’d happily take a job here, if only there were any money in it.
Southeast Asia is a land of brutal heat and rain. No wonder huge malls are so prevalent. Bangkok, Kuala Lumpur, and Singapore are chock full of them. Still, nobody does malls like the Philippines. This isn’t even the largest mall in Iloilo, and it’s dwarfed by the monsters in Cebu and especially Manila. All of them are superior to Korean malls in every way. At this particular mall, I dined at KFC - on a Double Down. Yeah, that’s right, the Philippines offers Double Downs.
Things in the Philippines that don’t get old - Double Downs, San Miguel, Skee Ball, girls, dried mangos, fruit shakes, scuba diving, cover bands playing Phil Collins, $1 bottles of quality rum, college basketball on TV, cockfights on TV, and of course the flawless Boracay sunsets.
My last night in Boracay. I was sick (again! stupid Boracay!) and didn’t feel like going out, but I’d accidentally stood up a girl earlier that day and felt bad about it, so I thought I may run into her. I ended up being befriended by this British family, simply because this was the most social trip ever. The dude I’m next to seemed like a pretty solid cat, and he was my same age. He had a tricky past though - he told me he’d recently finished 15 years in prison for shooting someone in the face.
Sabang, Puerto Galera. I’d just finished scuba diving for the second time in 3 days after not going for 16 years. It’s pretty obvious how crazy clear the water is.
My deck in Sabang. This is where I spent the better part of two afternoons. Wifi, rum, mini fridge, mango shakes, books. Really, I could have spent my full 15 days at any one of the spots I visited other than Cebu.
My awesome room at the Hotel Intercontinental in Makati, the rich part of Metro Manila. Out of view is me sweet TV, though for some reason it didn’t get HD channels - the room’s only flaw.
My room from another angle. Definitely a good place to chill out after spending under $30 each night heretofore, and before heading back to Don’s floor.
View from the the lounge at the Intercon. Glorietta 5 is one of the 5 buildings comprising Glorietta Mall, which is one of the 3 or 4 massive malls in Makati. I spent a bunch of money here at the grocery store on snacks that are unavailable in Korea, such as exotic Cheetos, Peanut Butter M&Ms and, yes, mini Butterfingers.
In closing - beaches, mangoes, Skee Ball, girls, Double Downs, sunsets, Butterfingers, diving, rum, socializing, motorcycles, Journey. Maybe the best trip ever. Yet, I still didn’t achieve two of my primary goals - learning to ride a motorcycle and going to a cockfight. Looks like I have reasons to go back. Like I didn’t already.