Oh man oh man where do I start? So we arrived in the Philippines a couple days ago and there was immediate shock. The airport in Manila looked like it was built in 1950 and never upgraded. There was not so much as a single computer anywhere throughout the terminals, even at customer service. The signs announcing arrivals/departures were still those old ones with the letters you have to physically change yourself. I expected the airport to be bigger, just because Manila is the capital of the Philippines and does at least some international business, but nope — a whooping like dozen gates or so between two terminals, that is it.
Going out into the city was another shock. We met up with our driver and climbed into a van with a cooler full of beer. Not a bad way to start — then however, we got out on the road. I tell you folks, I have never seen anything like; no other country compares, not Mexico not Costa Rica, nowhere! The roads are a cluster-fuck of old vans, smoke-spewing buses, motorcycles that barely run, all driving crazy like. People swing from lane to lane non-stop, will even pass on the shoulder, and there are no rules like in the States it is purely first come first serve.
It is a wonder more accidents do not happen. And when I inquired with our driver, he said people in PI drive crazy, so you just have to driver crazier! And what a fucking crazy ride it was. We were passing people in the on-coming lane, sometimes coming so close I thought we were about to have a head-on accident. And as if all that is not bad enough, you have people constantly crossing the street and even — believe it or not — standing in the middle of the street trying to sell bottled water or fresh fruit. Unbelievable shit, unbelievable!
As for the condition of the city, Manila is a shit-hole. Even the locals here in Subic realize Manila is the wastebucket of this beautiful country. Crime is out of control. The buildings — if you can call them buildings — are sometimes just slapped together pieces of sheet metal. Clothes are strung up every which way out to dry. But they are drying in smoke that just pours off the road from all these old and shitty cars tearing up the street. People everywhere walk with handkerchiefs across their mouths to try and breathe in less of it. Along the coast there is a few tall nice-ass hotels for traveling business people, but at the entrance to each is a guard armed with a mother fucking assault rifle! An assault rifle for God’s sake! They built a tollway a few years ago on the outskirts of Manila, for people heading to San Fernando, a city we had to pass through to get to Subic Bay. They have so few highways here that it was called Route 3! And at each of the booths where you have to stop and pay to get on the tollway there are also guards armed with assault rifles! Like seriously I can understand them outside of hotels, but at a tollbooth? Oh, and don’t even get me started on the banks. All the banks have two armed guards at the front doors, again with assault rifles! We were lucky enough to witness a money pickup in action. The armored truck looked like those military vehicles that have eight wheels and can drive through water as well. It was like a fucking submarine on wheels actually! And there were an additional four guards armed with assault rifles covering it while the money was being brought out by more guards. Ridiculous and crazy crazy shit!
Once we got out of Manila and started cruising down the toll things got better. There were still all kinds of busted up trucks, old buses, and other dirty and trashed vehicles on the road, with an occasional one every few miles that had broken down or gotten a flat. However, the country was absolutely down-right gorgeous. We passed all sorts of rice and sugar cane fields in addition to lots of lovely mountains. Got a few good pics, they have been posted.
Arriving in Subic we realized the city is almost as run-down as Manila, but some tourists come here, so there are a few nice resorts and a lot less crime. Still kids begging for money everywhere though — and those fucks won’t take food if you offer it, they only want money. There are all kinds of small shops and stands selling everything from food to hand-carved souvenirs to cellphones even. It was crazy.
And walking into the resort for the first time, I had no clue what to expect. We stepped into an open room (there is no AC in all of the Philippines, except for the fanciest of places — which would be the resorts — but even then it is only the guest rooms that have it, the downstairs is open to the weather) with a few pool tables surrounded by lots of tables and a long bar. Immediately the few ladies there just stared at us, shocked to see young and cute guys. However one of Tom’s employees, Little, was helping us with our luggage and we just went right upstairs.
After chilling in the AC in our room for a short period, getting everything unpacked and setup, we went back downstairs to start drinking some beer and play a few rounds of pool. And everyone was talking about us in Filipino… err, excuse me, Tagalog. They would occasionally make a joke about us “babies” as they put it, but you could see every single one of them wanted our nuts.
Before long one of the girls behind the bar tells me that this other girl — as she points to her, the girl gets all shy and hides her face as she turns around — likes me and it is her birthday, so she wondered if she could get a kiss on the check from me. I obliged and she got all happy.
There is also an attached nightclub/disco that is also owned by Tom and frequented by some of the locals and occasionally some of the people off the Navy ships. It’s called Rock Lobster. And one by one a girl would come out of the club, see us and smile or say something, then go back in. It would only be a minute or two later before another different girl would come out of the bar to check us out. I tell you we felt like celebrities! They were all hitting on us. ‘Course I want nothing to do with a girl for hire.
Soon two of the dancers had talked me and Jared into playing our next round of pool with them, as partners. The one that instigated became my partner and went for any excuse to kiss me or to get me to kiss her. Next thing you know she is getting me Jack & Cokes, trying to get me drunk. And when I was finally ready for bed (I still had not slept in like 48 hrs), she asked if I wanted her to go and change or even to come upstairs. I said no of course. Meanwhile, Jared stayed down and playing another round with the girls. According to him, my girl kept asking if he thought I would mind if she went up into my room, to surprise me. He told her I was so tired it probably would not fly, and didn’t let her head up to the room, and boy I am glad he did. Bitch was ready to rape me.
I’ll get to more later, Jared has been waiting to use the computer for a whole minute now. Somehow this entry got really long. Until next time… peace out!
grew and evolved into the HoliDaze, a full-fledged travel site covering over fifty countries all around the world. Our actual travel writing can be found on the main site: theHoliDaze.com. Or jump straight to the newest articles on the Philippines.This post was imported from my old Shibuya Daze Blogger, a drunken, laughable blog intended only for friends that eventually