I found out a couple days ago that I will be going to Manila for work for 3 weeks in August. My hotel and plane arrangements have been taken care of, so I don't need any advice about that. However, I will have 2 weekends to do sight seeing and shopping.
Being LDS, the temple is something I'd like to see as well as going to church there. Other than that, I have no idea what to do to occupy my non-working hours. My company operates call centers there that run from 3:00am to 12:00pm local time to coincide with calls to the US during the day, so I'll have a pretty varied hours to be out and about.
Hi, I'm Kat. I don't post here much, but I have been lurking for quite awhile. I do have some advice on this topic. My brother-in-law is Filipino (though he's been living in the states for about ten years) and my sister spent two years living there.
Actually, Filipinos really like Americans (so much so, that even if you were a white European, female they would probably come up to you and call you Joe!) Anyone who's white, according to my sister, is assumed to be American and is typically liked by the average citizen.
If you have to go to any private gatherings (parties or a dinner at home), try everything that they offer if you can. Know that almost all food comes cooked with meat of some sort. My sister had to tell people that she was vegetarian (and soon began to believe it herself) so that she could get out of eating some of the more disgusting things (fertilized, fermented duck eggs, whole fish with all the face and bones still in tact).
As far as things to do, my sister really liked Cebu City which is fairly close to Manila. I think there's pretty easy access by boat. All forms of transportation in and around Manila are going to give you a wild ride from what my sister and brother-in-law tell me. It's got what has been reported by several reputable sources as the worst traffic in the world. However, it will always be an adventure.
I know this hasn't been much help, just some silly little tidbits that I know off the top of my head.
Heh - You said hot (implying attractiveness, I think).
I responded with a weather comment.
Maybe its because I grew up around Pacific Islander women, but it doesn't really do anything for me.
I can't speak to why you think of them (us?) as being hotter than anyone else, but a number of people are attracted to the exotic and unusual. My ex's ex has something of a fetish for Asian women - mind you, he grew up in Macon, Georgia where the only Asian you ever saw was occasionally on the tv.
Filipino men, as a rule, tend to be short, dark haired and heavily tanned. Filipino women tend to follow along the same lines and, I suppose, if your tastes run that way, could be called attractive.
Trevor, that is so cool that you are Filipino (half Filipino? Not sure.) After living in the Philippines for just over a year, the country and the people hold a special place in my heart and always will.
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Trevor and Alexa - I'm aware of the travel concerns in the Mindanao area, but will be keeping strictly to the greater Manila metropolis.
Katdog - I'm aware of the food and would try baloot (sp?) if offered. Other than that, as long as it tastes good, I think I'll be ok. Thanks for the warning though.
beverly - you're landmark reminded me that I needed to post this here. I hadn't heard about the cemetary, but that sounds really cool. I love visiting cemetaries (not in a creepy way or anything)
((((pooka)))) - It's nice to be missed. I got a new job and my time at work is diminished. I have turned into more of a lurker.
As far as the hotness goes PSI, pooka is a severe hottie, so if she gets mistaken for filipino, you must be right. Also, my half chinese, half filipino sister in law is pretty hot too, if you are looking for further evidence.
I don't want this response to be a thread killer. Please feel free to continue to offer your suggestions.
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Bev, I'm an American. Genetically, I trace my roots to England and more recently from the Philipines.
I don't speak the language, I don't touch the native food except for family events and even then, only the stuff I think I can recognize and I have never been to the Philipines except once as a baby when my folks went for a visit.
Sorry to be more serious than your reply warrants, but it's a touchy subject for me - but growing up in Atlanta, the whole identity crisis took on new levels of trying to define who and what I am.
My dad's family doesn't understand, at least my aunts and uncles don't, but the second generation does.
Knock yourself out - it explains the tan and dark hair.
I have actually been mistaken for everything from Hispanic to non-descript Asian to Vietnamese?
Some lady stopped me on a street and asked me how someone was doing. I told her she must be mistaken because I didn't know anyone by that name - at which point she apologized and said I looked exactly like her Vietnamese refugee.
And this isn't even covering the number of times people have thought I was a co-worker or a brother's college roommate or something else.
Yeah, it's not fair to those of mixed heritage. When white mixes with Asian, Native-American, Latino, Indian, Middle-eastern, it is so hard to tell the difference. Even a person of just one of those heritages might get confused for another.
Filipinos are so mixed to begin with. Malaysian, Castillian, Chinese, Arab, American, to name a few. I wish Filipinos were easier to recognize on sight. Instead, I usually have to just catch the accent--I can *usually* tell. Not always.
As it is, I can't just shout out to a suspected Filipino "Magandang umaga!" for fear that they will look at me like I am crazy!
Edit: I suppose the mix certainly doesn't have to be "white" and something else. But living where I do, that is what I am most likely to encounter.
From everything that I've heard about the Philippines, the best travel advice I could offer you would be this: don't go. Beg off. Send a card instead.
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Perhaps this will make things a bit more clear. It talks more about the country in general, and mentions Mt. Pinatubo specifically, which is very near Manilla.
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