Chuck Hillig's Travel Blog

Well, I'm going to be doing a lot of traveling over the next 6-7 months so I thought that I'd better re-activate my travel blog. The last time I posted anything here was way back in 2006 when I was traveling through SE Asia. Feel free to read my entries back then about my earlier adventures through India,Thailand, Cambodia, Vietnam, Laos, the Philippines and Hong Kong. This time (at least for the next six weeks), I'll be traveling through Greece and Turkey.

Friday, June 02, 2006

"The Thrilla in Manila..."

On Thursday, I took an early flight from Singapore northeast to Manila. The night before, though, we went to Raffles Hotel, the home of the "Singapore Sling." Gino had to hang around in town to attend some meetings before he was scheduled to fly back to Hong Kong in the late afternoon. My flight took over three hours and was uneventful. I got a good price on the ticket but, as expected, I had to pay for everything extra that I wanted....even bottled water. I took the time to scan the latest Lonely Planet edition on the region. Amazingly, there are over 7000 islands in the Philippines. The currency here is the Peso, and you can exchange one US dollar for about 52.8 pesos. Since there is a lot of traffic and air pollution in the city, a lot of the local residents head for the waterfront in the evening to enjoy the sunset and to eat at the hundreds of tables put up along the quay wall by the mini-restaurants, bars and music venues that extend along a strip here (about 70' wide) for well over a mile. Every few hundred feet or so was another small stage with a live performer or band belting out some familiar western song. As you might suspect, it was very crowded with couples, families, groups of teenagers, etc. and the atmosphere was very festive and even celebratory. Offshore, small multi-decked ships, serving dinner and drinks to the tourists, cruised back and forth along the waterfront.
Today (Friday) I was invited to have lunch with some friends of Gino who own and operate Holy Cow Animation studios. Gino had arranged our cyber-meeting a few days ago, and so they knew that I was coming to Manila. They even sent a driver over to the hotel to pick me up, and I was very delighted to be treated by Marlyn and her husband to some typical Philippine food. Really quite good. In the afternoon, I booked a flight to Borocay, (a resort area an hour by air south of here), for Monday and "Plan-A" is to kick back on the beach for several days. I'll fly back to Manila early Thursday morning and then catch a mid-afternoon flight over to Hong Kong. More later...


Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hi Chuck ,Michael & I have been following your adventures since returning from Cambodia.I'm glad to see you are in the Philippines so many people miss this great country out, also I was in Borocay in 1992 it was very beautiful, I hope it's not change too much.
Bye for now Sue

5:15 PM  

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