Manila, what's there to say?
This was my first time to the Philippines, I only went for a short weekend, I had to do a visa run from Taiwan because my student visa was expiring and my class wasn't finished yet and the only option was to leave Taiwan and re-enter. so I decided to go check out manila.
The flights to manila are usually very inexpensive, I got a 30 day landing visa, not sure how many times I can renew. Anyhow, when I landed at the airport I bought a sim card and 4gb internet and then went outside and called a grab taxi. my first impression was that manila felt like an asian version of Mexico. lots of big families around, lots of cars in all conditions and sizes and it just really had a latin/hispanic vibe to it.
I arrived late at night so I didn't have to deal with any traffic. I got an airbnb at a condo complex that overlooks the ocean but no beach nearby, just a shitty port. across the street from my condo was a history museum but I didn't get a chance to go.
I walked around the neighborhood because I always like to explore and find out what's around me so I know where to go for convenience. there's a lot of 7-11's here and every 7-11 you go into has a security guard at the door. for the most part there's security at almost every entrance to every place.
One thing I noticed when I got in and started walking around the neighborhood was the amount of homeless people sleeping on the streets and asking for money. the Philippines peso is very weak against USD and also weak against Thai baht. I got offered the ability to purchase a condo unit but wasn't really feeling living here.
Another thing I noticed was that the 4g internet connection is always dropping, I didn't get a chance to try a dedicated internet line, but everywhere I went, it seemed like people were primarily using cellular connections. my condo didn't have a dedicated line, just a wifi enabled sim card internet device.
I heard they had a skytrain and that it was really shitty and I wanted to go check it out myself. I kept hearing about theft on the skytrain and how crowded it could get. also there are separate cars for men and women in order to reduce the amount of "groping".
I checked it out and it was crowded, and I usually keep my hands by my pockets so I don't have to worry about theft... to be continued...