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We arrived in Manila airport, always a treat lol and went outside to meet our taxi guy Roly who Dad’s friend had organized for us to be brought to Angeles city! Now we had read a bit about Angeles city in the guidebook and so we were aware of what kind of tourist it normally attracts and all that but I was still shocked when we arrived there at night and drove along near the walking street! There were so many working ladies everywhere we looked and so many older men (visiting for one reason and one reason only!), many of whom did not look you in the eye and many of whom gave me the creeps!

We arrived at Dad’s friends place and his girlfriend had cooked us a wonderful meal of salmon and delicious potato salad ? We got our own apartment and it was lovely to be able to make your own coffee and whatever else you fancied. The apartment complex was occupied solely by foreign older men with young, beautiful Filipino girlfriends. I wasn’t at all sure of what to make of it or how it made me feel. All of the girls seemed sincerely happy and were all super friendly and kind. It was rather lovely how they had all formed a community amongst themselves and passed much of their days chatting and supporting each other ? We had some erm interesting conversations lol! Out of respect to the girls and not really the guys (sorrynotsorry) I won’t say much more about the sights we encountered on the walking street! Just know there were sights lol!

We visited the SM mall which Phil kept referring to the S and M mall on account of where we were and bought a few bits. The trikes are a lot more expensive than on Palawan but here is one case I will let them off with ripping off the tourists on account of the type of tourist they normally get!

I got stared at a lot especially by little girls who would come up to me ? I don’t think they see many white women (wonder why lol!)

We all decided to go to the beach at Iba, Zambales, the place we stayed at wasn’t great but we did meet a lovely British couple who told us of a lovely restaurant called Palmera just up the street ? It really does pay to chat to other travelers for tips on places as well as for a good natter and a laugh lol! To get to Palmera, we strolled along the each and entered it at the back, it was a lovely walk and built up an appetite ? One day, we met a group of kids who all high fived us and tried out their English, we gave them some coins and they were over the moon ? We visited the town centre the next day and again it was odd seeing high security everywhere including an armed guard outside the McDonalds! Roley piked us all up to take us back to Angeles but we got stopped at the gate by an armed guard as we hadn’t given them our booking reference number! This was after we had checked out and handed back the keys! It can be a little intimidating in the Philippines! Anyways we escaped with no wheels shot at so it was all good in the end lol!

When we returned to Angeles, we took a Jeepney to Korea town as Dad needed to find a Dragon ornament to bring home for his partner ? Jeepneys are really cool, they are like big pick up trucks, decorated all fancy and cost only 7 pesos per trip (a good tip is to not ask the fare, just look at what the locals are paying and hand over the same amount ?) We searched high and low and eventually got lucky with a wooden dragon in Korea town. Korea town was like a different world from the area around the walking street and mall! It was like going back in time by 50 years! There were so many little hut houses.

We returned to Manila where Dad caught his flight home and we stayed a night waiting on our flight to Goa. India. It was an interesting night, there was a street party happening in the hut house community beneath us and we were invited in to a school celebration ceremony where we seen how they are taught English through games ?

Next blog will detail our trip to india, woohoo

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