I would return to Manila tomorrow… If only I could

I would return to Manila tomorrow… If only I could

ImageI need to save up for a return trip, try to start my own online business and continue writing in hopes of selling my books.

ImageWith any luck at all, I can return by next summer…or the summer of 2015 at the latest.

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I hope to make this a permanent move this time and hope to have  enough money coming in from blogging and book selling to stay there!

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Revisiting Manila

Revisiting Manila

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 Even though I am back in the states now, I am always looking at the photos that I took in Manila and only dreaming that sometime within the next two years I will be able to return.

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The photos above were taken from my hotel room in Ermita. A few blocks from Roxas Blvd and a few blocks from Makati.

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One of the things that I would do different next time is to rely less on TAXi’s as they can be very expensive on ones budget.  Next time I will rely more on Public Transportation. The Jeepneys and the Elevated Train System.

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My next trip I will bring a TABLET PC with me so I can blog everyday while I am there!

The Jeepney – basic cheap transportation

ImageWhen it comes to the Jeepney in the Philippines..it is BASIC, CHEAP Transportation in the larger cities, and there are RURAL Jeepneys  that take you from town to town in the rural areas.   A Jeepney runs between 8.5 and 20 pesos in Manila…depending on your destination.   The good thing about the JEEPNEY in that there is ALWAYS room for one more!  When it fills up inside they can hang onto the luggage racks on the roof!  😀

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Hybrid Solar Powered Flashlight with Emergency Battery Backup - Black (2 pack)

Hybrid Solar Powered Flashlight with Emergency Battery Backup – Black (2 pack)

Kaito KA550 Portable Solar / Hand Crank AM/FM, Shortwave & NOAA Weather Emergency Radio with Automatic Weather Alert & Cell Phone Charger

Kaito KA550 Portable Solar / Hand Crank AM/FM, Shortwave & NOAA Weather Emergency Radio with Automatic Weather Alert & Cell Phone Charger

🙂

Solar Powered Battery Charger Charges 4 D, C, AA and AAA Batteries

Solar Powered Battery Charger Charges 4 D, C, AA and AAA Batteries

Mercury Drug stores in Manila

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My impression of Mercury Drug Stores in Manila

I loved Mercury Drug stores because it reminded me of Walgreens and CVS Pharmacies back in the states. There is ample security as there are always one or two security guards in the store. They sell a wide assortment of products I would go in the store to buy a 1-liter bottle of C2 green tea or apple juice for 20 pesos (about 50-cents US). 

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Most of the shampoos and conditioners come in small sample sized (or what we would call travel size here in the states). The prices are much lower on the sample size and travel size products so they are easily in reach of the Filipino consumer.

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Driving in the Philippines

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If you are an American, driving in the Philippines should be easy. They drive on the same side of the street as Americans.  If you are driving inside Metro Manila, be prepared for rush hour traffic jams. In some locations near Cubao/Quezon City rush hour traffic can last all day. I would love to drive outside of Metro Manila the next time that I am in the Philippines. Places where there is little or no traffic and see the beautiful tropical scenery and mountains!

My boarding house in Manila

ImageI want to thank my landlords Rose and Sonny for letting me stay at their boarding house on Natividad Ave in Santa Cruz, Manila.  I learned a lot about Manila during my stay there and I learned how to take MASS TRANSIT.  I took Jeepneys (Jeeps built into a small bus), Tricycles (motorcycles with side car), elevated trains (MRT/LRT) as well as the occasional Calesa in Intramuros! I got to see first hand the markets in Santa Cruz and the vendors selling all types of electronics!  I wish I would have had more time to stay and perhaps, mor importantly, more money!

Security precautions when traveling in manila

SECURITY PRECAUTIONS when traveling in Manila  

ImageWhen traveling in Metro Manila. Use the same security precautions that you would use when traveling in any large city.  I keep  my wallet in my FRONT POCKET when traveling in Manila or any other large city.  If you are traveling by TAXI, be sure the doors are all LOCKED and write down the drivers license plate number which is usually displayed on the rear passenger window. Carry only enough cash with you that you will need for the day. Don’t open up your wallet and show thousands of dollars (or even thousands of Philippine pesos) or you could be targeted.  Manila is no more dangerous than any other large city Keep safe while you travel.  I have lived in the Philippines for seven months in 2012 and I lived in various locations in Metro Manila for three months.  I traveled by taxi, elevated train (LRT/MRT) as well as the Philippine National radio (PNR) and never encountered any problems.  I walked the streets of Santa Cruz, Quiapo, Intramuros and Malate on numerous occasions but always in the daytime. I stayed in my room at night, only because my night vision is not very good.   Keep safe and secure when traveling in Manila!