The Philippines

Tonight we are taking our friend Harvey to the airport for his trip to the Philippines.  He is going for is nephew’s wedding.  Doug spent five months working in Manila at the Asian Development Bank in 2002.  It was interesting work, but his employer wouldn’t let him fly back to Australia (it is a 9 hour flight to Sydney), so I went for a couple of weeks.  I had a nice time.

The first thing you notice when getting off the plane (at least in September) is the heat and the humidity–it weighs on you and it feels like you can’t get enough to breathe.  After a couple of hours in it you just get used to it.  While Doug worked I generally stayed in the hotel room doing work on my Ph.D., or I just went across the street to Starbucks.  Every shop is airconditioned, so it always feels nice walking in.

Doug made some nice friends there, including James and Meynard:

While I was there they took us to a place called the Thousand Steps that leads down to a lake.  In the middle of the lake is a volcano (I think that the lake is actually the volcano and the mini volcano is the shaft of the volcano).  It was so hot and the mist was so thick that I couldn’t see it. 

 

The Philippines used to be held by Spain, so there is lots of Spanish architecture.  One weekend we wandered around the old section of town and there is a fort that was fun to peek into.  Here are a couple of shots from the inside of the fort:

 

Here is a shot from the wall:

The nice thing about Manila is that it rained there almost every afternoon, then stopped.

We also went to the island of Boracay for 3 days and had a good time.  This was our hotel room:

And the view from the room:

The beach was very close:

Here’s James, Meynard, Doug and Conrad:

In the far back left corner you can see a bird.  This was tame and it loved to be fed fruit:

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