Boyfriend Visits the Philippines : Arrival and First Meal
I am not as familiar with all of you as you are of me, but I'm usually just driving Kirbie to these places to eat and eating her picks. As all of you already know, I'm Boyfriend and I recently went on vacation without Kirbie. For her sake and yours, I documented as much as I could. I went with my family and you may catch a glimpse of Boyfriend's mom, dad, grandpa, and other relatives but since they all look like Filipinos and these pictures are of the Philippines its going to be very difficult to figure out if any people in the images are actually my relatives. WE'RE ALL FILIPINOS in the pictures, except for the foreigners…
This was my second visit to the Philippines in my adult life, I drive a car I'm an adult. In comparison to my first time, it was a lot cooler considering its after Typhoon season… it was about an average of 80 to 90 degrees Fahrenheit throughout the day but the humidity and smog would make breathing quite unbearable sitting in traffic or just walking around. The evenings would cool down to a comfortable 78, I could walk around without wearing one of those portable fans. I didn't carry one, but it would have been nice to have a portable fan that actually blew cold air instead of the smog and warm humid air on you. Not to get too long winded, I've brought photos for you to enjoy and those which I wasn't aware of what I was capturing when I was taking the pictures.
Here is Manila from who knows what altitude, but its a safe bet that gray isn't from the glass. Welcome to a city smoggier than LA but kind of resembles it in someways. A hometown away from home, right?
As my uncle was explaining how traffic worked and how popular motorcycles had become I had to take a picture of these "popular motorcycles." Its a mo-ped or a motor bike not really a manly motorcycle we're used to in the states and the private security guard is on the beat chasing would be violators of… hmm… security doesn't really give chase, right? well maybe the police have the grown up version of these vehicles.
Considering traffic is really moving at a snails pace, 20 kph (around 12 mph) I don't know if buckling up is really an issue… well buckling up doesn't really help those mo-ped drivers…
Ah, traffic! If it weren't for the sweet air conditioning and the ridiculous driving I probably would have died of heat exhaustion/smog/decaying time on my body. I can only compare this type of driving as nascar racer inch for inch tight space grabbing, no space between vehicles is the norm and forget about the lines u can even be in the bus only lane which we were in for this photo. The rules are pretty much there for when someone actually cares to enforce them, thats right the guy in white on the side is a cop "enforcing" the traffic.
The Manila's finest, boys in white. Do you know how hot blue would be?
The Male Urinal!!!! This is right out in public next to the busiest traffic spots. When you can't hold it any longer, just get out of your car (you don't even need to pull over, just get out, no. really). I didn't get a chance to stand in one or use the facilities, but you may guess that wet area and the wet trail probably lets you know that some people just can't aim…. even at point blank…
Oh a Jeepney, made popular back from after World War II. These converted military jeeps became a mode of transportation similar to a bus, before they had buses? I don't know the whole history and I don't want to bore you, but each Jeepney has their own designated route and can only pick up and drop off passengers at certain points. This is one of the cheapest modes of travel, besides your feet… The positive side is the ride just runs you 7 pesos ( at the time 46 pesos = $1 US).
A nice looking neighborhood and there is the tricycle, another cheap mode of transportation but of course its man-powered… when your legs just can't make the trip, lets use someone else's…
Oh here is one those rules thing again. If traffic is really backed up one way, you can then decide to start using the oncoming traffic lanes if that side isn't busy… sorry i don't have pictures of when we go into one-way traffic lanes – the pictures are too blurry from laughing and hoping of not dying…
Pink usually represents government created, someone really loved pink… These are actually fake structures to hide the squatter buildings behind it….squatters are a problem, they build these shacks sometimes cardboard and tin and they drop the land value and what can you do, they've built a home. You can't just destroy the cardboard, you have to hide it so no one knows its there… behind pink structures…
Squatter building underneath the freeway and the guy in blue? Yes, SECURITY!
Finally, the food! what you've been waiting for…
Max's Restaurant – Makati District, off of Jupiter by Citadel Inn Hotel
We needed to eat at a place that sold familiar food and not just dive into the exotic which would surely ruin a trip and my underpants… An established food chain, Max's Restaurant is the more well known brands equivalent to KFC, but fancier in the Philippines. Max wasn't a Colonel, but he made some tasty chicken.
Unlike Kirbie, I'll put the menu after the actual food. You probably wanted to see the food rather than the actual menu anyway, right?
Here we have the Fresh Lumpiang Ubod, as the name states its fresh and just rolled. Its kind of like a spring roll without a fried shell, just a fresh wrap. It had too much garlic for my taste, for some reason a lot of the food here has tons of garlic.
The parents called this Lomi, its a seafood platter with vegetables.
Max's Fried Chicken, Regular Whole size. It basically reminded me of a thanksgiving turkey, a thin crispy skin layer and the inside was juicy and delicious
Crispy Pata, the Fried Pig. The inside meat was moist but not too mushy and the skin was definitely fit for my feet that it was so tough and chewy.
Pancit – who can eat anything Filipino and not include pancit? Kalamansi makes it taste even better than lemon.
Kare-Kare – peanut sauce with pork and tripe and green beans – its delicious unless you're allergic to peanuts…
Boku Pandan for dessert, green jello mixed with green pandan tapioca balls in nestle condensed milk topped with a vanilla scoop and rice crispies.
One of the things you will notice about the Philippines is the service. Its excellent from the start, from the guy helping you park your car to the security guard holding the door as you enter then the couple of people that greet you as you come in and the waiters are always humbling and treat you like you own the place. The service charge is already included in your check so tipping isn't really expected so you get great service from the start.
Our meal was for our party of seven and we basically had way too much to eat… luckily it was the driver's birthday so he took home the leftovers. The cost of such a filling meal? I don't know. My aunt took the check and was told it was impolite to ask. A tip for when you go out, bring your aunt that pays. My grandpa also dropped his senior discount on the check that dropped the bill by twenty percent, who rolls with a stand up crew? Its me!
Heres the menu