Thursday, June 23

Philippines Weekend Getaway

Kung Fu Panda pose! :)

This past weekend, Leigh and I took a mini-vacation to the Philippines.  His sister, Marijean, her husband, Ian, and their 2 sons, Brayden and Kennnedy live in Manila, so it was a great chance for Leigh to see his family, me to meet them, and for us to explore Manila.

Soooo Ready for vacation
They were such great hosts, and there were MANY highlights of the trip! I captured a few pictures, please excuse our sweaty appearances - it was HOTT in Manila! 39 Celsius when we landed at midnight. (102 degrees Fahrenheit!)
Like any big city, I'd heard, Manila has its dangerous spots, but thankfully Ian works for the Canadian embassy and they've lived there for about a year, so they were able to give us a great tour of Manila. We got in late Friday night, took a swim at the pool in their backyard, and then crashed for the night.  Saturday Marijean, Ian, and Leigh and I took an adults day to go exploring.  First stop, was the fresh fruit food market, Salcedo. There were lots of yummy fruits you could buy, as well as tuna steaks, and other meats. Much different than the octopus, squid, and cuddle fish filled markets in our coastal city, Pohang.

After Salcedo, we went to a small indoor market, where Ian prepared us for the Philippino "Ladyboys." If you're like me and have no idea what a ladyboy is, it can be summed up by Aerosmith's song "Dude looks like a Lady".  At first glance, they look like a gorgeous Philippina woman, with long hair, perfect makeup, and a great figure, but then they say "hello mommy, hello sir" in a deep manly voice, or bust out in song, and you're stunned to realize that the beautiful woman, or so you thought, is actually a man.  :)

Next, we got our history on at the Manila American Cemetery and Memorial. This was such a great experience, sombering, because we're surrounded by thousands of graves of soldiers who lost their lives, but unexpectedly touching to feel the respect for America, even being so far away. I'm so glad we stopped there.  It was hard to capture pictures, but here's the link for the cemetery with some great photos. Link for the American Memorial and Cemetery

Ian and Marijean showed us around the city for the rest of the afternoon and evening. Manila really surprised me.  Granted, I didn't really know what to expect, but it's much more Westernized than most of the cities I've seen in Korea, it felt more like being in Seoul, but everyone spoke English.  The Philippines does have its own language, Tagalog, but English is also taught in school, and almost everyone we encountered spoke English.  But different, than the English I hear in Korea, it definitely has more of a Spanish influence. (Which makes sense, because they were colonized by the Spaniards, but then had American presence starting around the 1900s).
A few highlights from the evening :) 
Midget Wrestling...yes you read that correctly! :)
Taxi Motorcyle thing-a-ma-bob :)

Keep reading for Part 2! :)


  1. I was trying to find if there is a VICTORIA'S SECRET store in Seoul but instead I found your site. My son is also an ESL teacher there in South Korea. He has a Korean GF.My son requested me to send him toothpaste,etc. so I was thinking that I might as well send something for his Korean GF. I love reading your site. Reader from Washington,USA

  2. Gusto ko po punta sa Canada


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