taken from Bayleaf Intramuros Hotel

Manila, Cebu and Orango island

Manila, Cebu and Orango island

マニラとセブのビジネス街、様々な層の居住地区、観光地… どんな境遇であれ、活き活きとたくましく生活してた印象。

Philippine, one of the country related to our business – we have finally reached there!
Manila and Cebu – business area, residence area for various groups, tourist site… people are vigorous, lively and powerful.


In Manila… Rizal Park, where people are gathering at night for the rest and cooling themselves until the morning. Young and old participating the election campaign around the streets. a man calls out to us in the front of Immigration Office, saying “Do you need help for visa renewal?”. Intramuros and Manila Hotel, the atmosphere of the Spanish Colonial Era, and a rare but beautiful view of the golf course around the stone wall there. Crowed train moves too slow. Young men naturally gives up their seat for the old and ladies in the bus. Teenage girls leading her kids by the hand. Taxi driver trying to overcharge us even if he puts his rosary on the rearview mirror – it was our fault, though. We knew he will cheat us, but no choice in the early morning since we are missing our flight. Thanks to his rosary, 4000 pesos turned out to be 380 pesos and at least he seemed he tried to rush to the terminal as much as he could anyway. It was just like we paid double for our experience! Regular taxi drivers were not like that, though – they use the meter automatically and just ask for the extra money for the (heavy) traffic jam and you should pay it.



In Cebu City… it seems that 2 hours delay and cancellation of Cebu Pacific Airline is ordinary situation. In the backstreet, children comes to us saying “we hungry” with their hand sign, “want to eat”. March for May Day around Fuente Osmena Circle. Bartender asking me “You have snow in Japan, right? Is it the season now?” In the bunker boat going to Olango island, a boy disguising his face like a thief goes back and forth carrying a 50kg rice bag with his head out of the boat. These boys also kindly help kids and a pregnant woman to get in the boat. Olango kids send us kisses and say “heeey!” with their big smile.

There are a lot of tower buildings in business area, and some of them are still under construction. It looks like the economy of Manila and Cebu City is growing and expanding, but most of the part of both city (residences, roads and facilities, etc.) remains untouched. I guess the gap between the rich and the poor of Manila and Cebu is much wider than that of Japan. Regardless, they looks more generous and happier than Japanese even if they don’t have a job.


あちこちで、どこか懐かしく感じた。戦後の日本のような。 地元のビール、サンミゲルが安い・・・コンビニで30ペソ程度、ホテルで飲んでも120ペソ!また来るよ!

Our experience this time is the only a bit of the Philippines – there are more than 7,000 islands in the country. The newspaper says a Canadian has been beheaded by Abu Sayyaf in Samal island.

Salamat, Filipinos!
should stop here even though i have more episodes… during walking around, I felt something familiar… looks like the scene in Japan after WW2. San Miguel, a famous local beer in the Philippines, is only 30 pesos at 7-11, 70 to 120 pesos at hotels! We will be back! Salamat, Filipinos!


Epilogue: I went Consulate-General of Philippine in Osaka for usual mission after we got back, and it is crowded with people sitting on the floor, chatting and waiting in line to vote. This is ordinary scene for me – but i feel like i’m still in Manila.



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