Monday, March 17, 2008

Last day in the Philippines - Recap of Boracay and Manila

So here I am in the hotel lobby of the Mubuhay Manor...just knocked off some Chow King noodles and some sesame dessert thing. Let me just say that the fast food workers here are so pleasant. The say hello and goodbye and sir and m’am...seriously, all of us Americans can take a page out of the Filipinos and act a little more polite.

Yesterday the crew (Matt, Portia, Benny, Deng, Martin, Derrick, Rachel, and Paul) went to Corregidor Island, an old World War II post for the Americans and the Phlippines. We learned all about the battles and how the Japanese took the island in 5 months when they anticipated 50 days and that delay cost them the opportunity to take Australia, which would have really tilted the war in the Jap’s favor. The island was filled with bombed-out American buildings. The Japanese had a bomb-field day here on Corregidor. There is also a gian tunnel where the tour guide company puts on a light show. I only think all of this is significant because many US VIPs have visted here, including President Clinton.

Last week, from Monday through Friday we were in Boracay. The week was filled with water-sports: snorkeling, para-sailing, island-hopping, jet skiing, and just lazily hanging out at the pool and/or the beach. Para-sailing was awesome! I had never done this before - and it was funny to me since I have been going to Ocean City, Maryland for my entire life where I could have done it at anytime. But let me tell you, it’s was so worth the wait. We went in tandem - me and Martin - and we got about 400 feet in the air, high enough where we could see to the other side of the island. We were in the air for about 20 minutes - totally worth the 2000 pesos!

The snorkeling was also very good, even though the waves were rough and the visibility was limited at times. There were so many cool fish and sea-life, including a purple starfish! The one thing that was annoying were all the vendors selling the same old things (sunglasses, watches, necklaces and all the water activities). It got a little annoying.

OK - will have to finish later - gotta pack my stuff and head to Bangkok for a short 3 day stay, and then to Phuket to hang out with Mark Leo and Rod for 5 days!


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