Hello Everybody! It's Kirbie's Boyfriend again.
Its that time again. Time to go visit the Philippines once more! You're getting such a fast forward and brief highlights of these various locations. I wish I could do the place justice in making sure its an interesting place that would make you want to visit the place. If the prices don't make you want to experience it, these fun observations should pique your attention! On to the picks.
This first location is in Marikina, it was hit by the flooding pretty hard as its located about 50 to 100 meters away from the waterfront. My relatives don't have a pool, but this little present by nature made this little enclosure into a great place to find water bugs, mosquitos nest, floating rats and all sorts of creatures that love hanging out in stagnant murky water.
During the flood and the time until the water receded, the community had to use some sort of transportation to go about their days. These boats helped make sure the neighborhood could get out of their homes and off to work or anything they needed to do without getting wet.
Luckily I can read and understand the langauge to capture these funny moments. I was wondering what a cash machine was doing in such an area that didn't need you to pull out so much cash. It turns out this machine is appropriately named for its function. ATM : Automatic Tubig Machine, this is where some tagalog is required. Tubig is water translated from tagalog,
Here's another machine that you might not be familiar with on first glance, it's the recycling "truck."
I didn't know that Mercedes makes a Jeepney vehicle, but as you can see from this Jeepney's grill Mercedes "obviously" makes them.
On this particular trip we decided for an indoor establishment that had air conditioning as most locales were outdoors or did not include a "cool" place to eat. Before you pass judgment, Chowking in the Philippines felt a lot different than the normal US versions. As per all establishments the service is excellent, even for a fast food place. From the greeter to the person taking the orders and the person bringing your food to your table, yes even the fast food establishments they bring your food to you rather than just calling your number.
Beef Noodle Soup – lots of garlic, smells really good, but tastes like garlic soup rather than beef noodle that I'm used to. Even with this first taste, I did try it again at a later time and it was delicious and less garlic-y.
Fried Tofu – This isn't for vegetarians as it has bits of fish mixed with soy sauce and lemon, garlic and onions.
Vegetables – a simple platter of Cancon similar to spinach with a side of bagaong sauce to add your some flavor and sodium.
Lariat – rice with fried chicken, chicharon chips and a purple shoupao with chocolate filling for dessert
Fish – Fried Bangos with rice
Dessert – Boku Pandan – ube ice cream topping this halo-halo with pandan jelly, ice and sugar with not so sweet condensed milk. Coconut bits in the eyes and sprinkled with oats topped this tasty dessert.
It was sometime in the afternoon and we had a fun drive back to the hotel. To cut some time out of our travel time we jumped into the bus lane… only for buses unless you're in a hurry or are in the Philippines where rules are just suggestions. Here we are in the bus lane, honking at the bus to hurry up in our "express" lane.
On a separate day we decided to do some actual touring and we ended up visiting Corregidor, the last bastion of US and Filipino defense during WWII and where General Douglas McArthur states his famous words " I shall return." Here are some quick highlights from the visit.
What you'll find in most historical sites that pertain to World War II are guns and things that were destroyed. Here are a guns and broken things.
This is the old light house that is pretty much just a tourist spot, there is a newer tower that is surrounded by an electric fence that acts as the new light house. I climbed to the top of this old tower and its as sturdy as when the Spanish colonials built, except for the reinforced iron rods added to the building later. Also the electrical system probably wasn't installed until much later either.
Here we have the Malinta Tunnel, bomb shelter, hospital and storage space. It was where the first president of the Philippines Common Wealth Manuel Quezon took his oath during WWII. Today, it is a light show with historical vocal re-enactments and accompanied with old black and white footage. Taking pictures in the tunnels is pretty useless as its pretty much just dark. Can you believe a tunnel into a mountain is dark inside? Here are some images of the darkness.
In the middle of the tour, you get a chance to take a lunch on the best restaurant on the island as this is the only restaurant on the island. Its got a nice outdoor patio area that overlooks the "South Pier" on the "South Beach" where tourists arrive.
As we entered we were given this no alcoholic drink, a Pandan drink. It has a sugar water flavor with a chocolate after taste and jelly on the bottom.
The setup was all you can eat buffet, but it was advisable to not get too stuffed as the tour would continue after the meal. I for one wanted to see how much better I would be treated if I just vomited during the tour so I ate my fill, especially a lot of the desserts.
The buffet consisted of many of the Favorite Filipino foods:
Chopsuey Vegetable – basically a mixture of stir fried vegetables
Pancit – I was surprised this version tasted less than satisfactory. It was a little overcooked in the microwave or something because the noodles were hard, I can't blame them too much the whole facility was pretty old.
Pork Menudo – I can't get enough of this. It was delicious, not that the other food wasn't, but this was exceptional.
Maha Blanka – Corn starch and actual corn inside this dessert that had the texture of a cheese cake. It was sweet with some cheese to make a complimentary flavor of salty and sweet.
Boku Pandan – I was told this was the traditional way to make Boku Pandan. Coconut and grass jelly mixed with condensed milke and pandan jello.
To wrap up the tour we visited the statue of General McArthur saying "I shall return," along side the North pier he stated this. As you can see the pier has seen better days and this garbage you see lapping up the shore is the same exact rubbish floating in the water since the days of WWII. Yes, the garbage is older than me, why else would I document this?
I hope you enjoyed this installment of images and my observations. Thanks and let us know what you think about the food or if this makes you want to visit the country!
– Kirbie's BF