I had the occasion to travel to Manila, Philippines recently for job training and was really surprised at what I saw and experienced. Before arriving at Philippines, most people told me how unsafe that place is and be careful when I was there. It was totally untrue. I stayed at Alabang and was walking out on the streets at night and find it pretty safe. I’m sure there are slumps and dark areas in certain areas/places, but why would you get near that in the first place?
Manila is a big metropolitan, don’t ever underestimate that!
The Jeepney is certainly the most interesting vehicle I’ve ever seen so far. You should really ride one if you get the chance. It’s funny how you pay once you get into a Jeepney. You get into it, grab a seat and pass the money to the person who is next to you so that they can keep passing it on until it reach the driver. It would be really awkward for someone to walk in a jeepney to get to the driver and pay him!
Good food, nice people who speaks good American English, peaceful culture and overall a nice place to visit. In case you didn’t know, there are also lots of Japs and Koreans traveling and doing business in Philippines.
My only regrets was that my travel and working schedule was a bit tight this time and I found out too late there were all these interesting places to visit such as Makati, Pasay, Angeles City and these historical places and monuments left behind by the Spanish, Americans and Japs which I haven’t got the chances to visit yet. Words of advice? Goto Makati (higher cost though) and always plan before you travel.
And btw, the famous filipino boxer Manny Pacquiao match against Joshua Clottey is such a big thing in Philipines that there’s a saying that every pinoy will be at their home watching the match and the streets will be empty and the national crime rate will be 0% (even crooks want to see the action)!