We finally made it to Puerto Princesa, Palawan. One of my maternal grandmothers live there with her husband and their young children – so we were very lucky, as we had a very knowledgeable local to show us around 🙂
They take eco-tourism very seriously in Palawan, so there are lots of bicycles and pedicab bikes available for hire. This is at the Baywalk. It’s a bit like an Ai Wei Wei installation… 🙂
We’re only here 4 days but what can we say, Manila is full on. Here is the view from our balcony from WakWak in Greenhills. Not many hills and only a little green…
Except for the exclusive golf course to the right for the lucky few. Everywhere else, as far as the eye can see, are built-up.
Craig (my partner) wanted to see something historical and somehow came across a walking tour online called “Walk this Way“. It was being run by an artist called Carlos Celdran at Fort Santiago in Old Manila. I didn’t really know what to expect, as I didn’t know the artist (only what Craig and I read together online); nor much about Fort Santiago- despite the fact that my father’s family used to live in and had businesses (which all had fallen into disrepair and sold over the decades) in a nearby place called Ermita (some 2 kms away). So being the clueless Filipino coupled to the even more clueless foreigner, I tagged along.
It was a very powerful show, despite the simple production values (one man with a few props) and we learnt something about Philippine history too. I’d say this tour is definitely a better way to see Manila, and worth the effort to go to, even if you are short on time. It gave humanity and context to what seemed like a chaotic city on steroids.
Part of the show was a ride on a Kalesa (a horse drawn carriage) through Old Manila, with the Kalesa driver (in costume) acting as a guide as well. It was a really fun way to get around – to be out in the fresh air, with the feint scent of the horses and hearing the musical clip-clopping of their shoes. I’m not really sure if I’ve ridden in one before or not. My mom told me in passing once, that my maternal great great grand-father composed a song about Kalesas before I was born (I never had a chance to meet him). So I’ve always had a soft spot for one because of that. Also I was born in the Year of the Horse 🙂
Sylvia La Torre, a famous Filipino singer, singing “Kalesa”
Not much of a holiday yet, but very stimulating all the same.
So we are flying to the Philippines in several hours and staying for 3 weeks! A cousin of our Creative Director is getting married and we thought we’d throw some island hopping in, while we were at it 🙂 The Philippines is an amazing holiday destination, what with over 7000 beautiful islands to explore and go to. Some of the places we are thinking of, aside from Manila and Cebu (where the wedding will be) are Bohol and Palawan.
Palawan is getting cult status these days for being one of the most beautiful islands in the world (Conde Nast, Huffington Post etc) so we are quite excited. Packing luggage on the other hand, is another thing all together…
Hopefully it’s a good flight. See you in the Philippines! Woof! x Suki