Tag Archives: manila

And we’re off…

It’s 7:36 am on our very last day in the Philippines.  In 16 hours, we’ll be high in the sky, en route to Paris via Dubai.  I’m not sure whether we should be overcome by emotion, but for the moment we’re feeling pretty mellow.  Also, I’m personally glad that we had some time to hang out in Manila.  It’s not that we had the chance to do anything touristy – in fact, outside of some excellent dinners, our stay here has been decidedly uneventful.  But it’s fitting, I think, to bid adieu to this city, as well as those we got close to in Mindanao…I can’t say that my heart went out to Cagayan de Oro…maybe a little bit more to Iligan…but I’d completely forgotten how much I love this crazy town.

So here we go…off to the land of warm baguettes, proper mustard and wine…of family and seasons and new beginnings.  Oh, and…ahem…new languages.  Yeah – wish me luck, will you?

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One week in The Pearl of the Orient

Arriving in Manila is always overwhelming.  It’s sensory overload…not sure whether I’m nervous, exhillerated, or exhausted.  Look up, because electric cables may be hanging down low enough to run into; look ahead, because there are a million people coming toward you at a constant rate, like standing in the ocean when the waves are decent, bobbing and weaving, trying to find a rhythm; look down, because there are gaps, rather than cracks, in the pavement, which is forever going up-a-step-down-a-step, and upon which one can find any number of things:  sleeping dogs, begging children, slimy messes of rained on dog shit, left-over street food.  Crossing busy streets is a veritable rush for me…should be an extreme sport.  At the moment the tail end of rainy season is in full force, as tropical storm Ramon is heading in our direction, thankfully downgraded from typhoon for now. We get decent afternoon rain and showers in the evening, but so far that’s as exciting as it’s gotten.

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Tourists again…part one

So, many of you know my BFF, J, who has spent most of her life somewhere mid-flight between Ninoy Aquino and Los Angeles International Airports…OK – a bit of an exaggeration, but the truth is that my deep love for this crazy country is embedded in my deeper love for that girl, who has been my best friend, my bosom bud, my pain-in-the-ass and my confidant since the ripe old age of ten-and-a-half years old.  When I made my way to this side of the globe the last time, we were super sexy 18-year olds, and J had already found the man she would marry 12 years later.  Knowing my BFF as only a BFF can know another, and – as any of my dearest girlfriends will telly you – bearing in mind that when it comes to my girls’ men I can be as fierce as a momma lion, I can say beyond the shadow of a doubt that I loved G from the moment I met him, and could think of no man who was more deserving of the second-most important woman in my life.

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