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Published: March 19th 2008
Next in my itinerary of travel or adventure (whatever you call it) is Angeles City. It's just an hour's drive from Manila. I left my hotel in Ermita early in the morning after taking a free breakfast of corned beef and scrambled eggs. I did not take the taxi waiting outside the hotel. "Are you going to the airport?" asked the driver. Although I was headed for Angeles City, I did not tell him that. If I rode in his taxi, I would have paid much in taxi fare. The reason was that driver works solely for the hotel to drive guests to the airport or to other destinations in the city. And you have to shell a hefty fare should you decide to ride in his taxi. Now I am learning. Right now, I am trying to save so I am beginning to be tight-fisted whenever I open my wallet for anything. Well, the other taxi driver that I called to take me to a bus terminal for provincial buses going to Angeles City only charged a reasonable fare. I told the bus driver I was bound for Angeles City and he cut me a bus ticket with a fare
of 119 pesos. "You'll get down at Dau," he informed me. True enough, at the Mabalacat Bus terminal, it was where I got down on my way to city proper. A helpful tricycle driver conducted an impromptu informal tour guide of the city for me. I was looking for a cheaper hotel, different from the one that I stayed in in Manila where I was paying 2,300 pesos a day. We canvassed two luxury hotels but the room charge was way up. I settled for a simple-looking lodge close to a luxury hotel. I checked the room and I felt it was livable. It was only 1,000 pesos a night.
Angeles city is supposed to be the city of friendship according to a billboard with the enlarged photo of its mayor, but I would also call it the city of concrete, because almost everything - the streets, the sidewalks, the street corners - is all concrete. The roads are narrow and the walls of houses are made up of thick concrete with pointed steel fences at the top. You wonder why. Maybe it's for added security as the city is a tourist belt, and therefore temptations to rob and steal other people' possessions are immense. But that should not be the case. It always pay to show your trust to others so that you'll get a service based on trust and friendship. That's why the city government emphasized that the city be called the city of friendship, and not of anything else.
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