Manila - markets, malls and lit-up jellyfish

This has to be one of the more unusual places in which I have ever typed a blog post - on a bus, a deluxe bus at that, going to Baguio - a mountain city on the island of Luzon, Philippines.

Things have been a little unusual from the first day since I arrived in Manila. I didn’t know what to expect from this city, but I certainly didn’t imagine that it would be so incredibly, almost futuristically developed. The development contrasted with the ‘poor Manila’ the people on the streets, the shanty houses, becomes even more apparent and somewhat surreal. I don’t think that I’ve seen this kind of contrast anywhere I’ve been before, not even in India.

Then there are the shopping malls - something of an obsession for quite a few South East Asian countries. I got a taste of this obsession in Indonesia and after a few days of exploring the malls, I really wanted to escape, into another dimension, into the ‘real’ world.

That’s where I find myself now - needing to run away from the even bigger, shinier malls of Manila. After having done what I was pretty keen to do in the city - that is meet up with some wonderful, friendly and insanely hospitable people, who I am lucky enough to have occasionally read my blog, I feel like I’ve got to move on. I have to leave as quickly as possible, before I spend all my money on gadgets and food (there’s some amazing food here). I think I’ll be able to appreciate Manila much more once I get back from somewhere remote, “uncivilized”, but for now I won’t be missing it much.

There is one change to the blog, which I find pretty exciting and would like to talk about before I go. I have installed the “lightbox” plugin. This means that you can click any of the clickable images and see them much larger with the background dimmed (similar to my website), my hope is that this will provide a better viewing experience, particularly when I post a series of images here, in that case you can just navigate them one after another by using the arrow keys or pressing the "next" or "previous" buttons which appear when you bring the mouse cursor to the side of an image. You can try the feature out on the photos in this post.