We arrived in Manila and after a short one hour taxi ride, with a driver who had only a vague idea of where our hotel was located. After directing him to the hotel using the small map in our guide book and the driver asking a few more people (seemingly he didn't think we knew where to go). We found Ivor and Phil at the hotel and the first port of call was beers at the bar. We followed this by some chicken sticks at the Oar House over the road.
Phil and Ivor not happy with my Selfie Stick
We sampled some chicken ass and intestines. Surprisingly, not too bad, although I don’t think we had it again on the trip. We left Manila the next morning to board our flight to Boracay so apart from a few drinks that evening we didn't see much but would be returning on the way home so it would have to wait.
Returning to Manila
We arrived back in Manila two weeks later and checked into our fancy pants hotel. Way too fancy for us. It even had a hot shower. We popped out for a quick dinner at a near by and very popular Mexican joint before spending the evening at the hotel, making the most of the facilities and roof top bar. Check out wasn't until noon the next day and we made the most of it.
That afternoon we planned to go to the old Spanish area and explore the old colonial buildings and history, however, we'd seen there was to be a huge parade for the Black Nazarene, with around 13 million people expected to attend. The traffic in Manila is chockers regardless of any parade so we decided it was best avoided. And exploring the small area with millions of others didn't sound that fun. Instead we visited the Ayala museum in Makati, the area we were staying in. Much of the exhibits were donated by the Ayala family, a Spanish Filipino business family and one of the wealthiest in the world, including over 1000 pieces of gold ornaments and jewelry.
My favourite part of the museum was a chronological display of dioramas (miniature scenes) that took you through the history of the Philippines to present day. Probably one of the best historical exhibitions I've been to that has so clearly communicated events.
Here is a pic of one of the Diorama that I took because the hut was not dissimilar to those we stayed at in present day.
After a massage that afternoon we caught the end of sunset on the roof bar, grabbed a quick dinner and feeling relaxed, at least I was (James never travels well) we left for the airport and our flight back to Sydney.