PHILIPPINES . JUNE 16-25, 2015

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Asia » Philippines
October 18th 2015
Published: October 21st 2015
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We took a red-eye flight to Manila. My Filipino friend acted as a personal tour guide for the rest of the day once we landed. We went to 168 Shopping Mall, Intramuros also called the Walled City, being the original grounds of Manila (the historical heart of the city). We took a tour cart (horse and buggy throughout the city). It reminded me a lot of the transportation I experienced on the Gili Islands. From the tour we learned there are seven main entrances along the wall. We came across old prisons, gardens, bullet holes in the wall, Spanish headquarters, San Augustine Church, and rode in a padjak (a bicycle with a carriage thing beside – another form of transport). We had lunch at a old colonial restaurant, walked to Rizal national park and saw the monument dedicated to national heroes. In the evening we caught the sunset at Manila’s Sunset Bay and shopped around in one of Asia’s largest malls called “The Mall of Asia.”

The next day we caught our flight to Boracay as our Filipino friend caught a flight back to a different island to visit family. That night we met a lot of new people as our hostel hosted a free spaghetti meal that evening.

During the week we enjoyed sleeping in, meeting new people, walking the beach, drinking fresh smoothies and juices (watermelon shakes in particular), relaxing and sun tanning on the beach, parasailing, deep water helmet diving, ATVing up mountain side to catch the sunset, exploring new beaches on the other side of the island, watching people make sand castles, trying out various restaurants and eating delicious food.

After ten days of beach, sun and making new friends, I was back in Manila in my hotel room repacking my bags for the long flight the following morning. I was headed home for the first time after being away for 20 months!!! The last time I was home was for my sister’s wedding for our break during that first October. I was excited to be home and reconnect with family and friends.

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