Dave’s Diary – The Philippines

I woke up at 6 am in the morning and was ready by about 6:45 am. We had a 10:00 pm flight on the day so I was telling Omara to hurry because we had a 7:15 train to catch…. Oh boy… I was there waiting on Omara and then when it was time to leave, we were rushing… However, I had 2 heavy things carrying plus my hands were cold until they were numb, seriously…. Omara was ok because she had on a glove…. She was in front of me and rushing. I was a little slower because my hands were cold, and my luggage were heavier… Plus I had to be constantly wiping unsightly snot from my nose… catch a train in AsiaThis happens any time the place is extremely cold and I decide to do any form of exercise. My nose was running like a river… I even saw a Japanese lady looking on me with scorn….

Omara went through the train thing with her card quickly but I got stuck, because the machine didn’t read my train card the first time…. plus my hands were numb so I couldn’t feel if my hands were in my pocket or not…. It was a most uncomfortable situation… Definitely in the top 5 worst things that ever happened to me while travelling or going to travel to another country… But it doesn’t stop there…… It of course ended up that Omara caught the train but I missed it…. However I didn’t know that she caught the train…. So I jumped on the very next train I saw and thought Omara was on it…. only to see Omara calling me on my phone …. I answered and told her I was on the very next train….. She said it was the wrong train and I should get of at a particular stop and rush to the other side of the station…. I managed to do that after bumping a few persons out of my way…… The train that I would got on was 2 trains in 1…. Meaning that the train would eventually stop at a point then half (Carts 1-4) would go to the air port and the other half (Carts 5-8) would head to a place name Wakayama. I thought I was in cart 2 (to airport) when I got on the train but only to look at the top of the door and see cart 6 (to wakayama )…. OhhLord…. And the train would be splitting soon…

Hmmmm … I had to bore through to cart 5 then get off the train then run to cart 4….. Oh boy what a relief….. It was the very next stop that the train was splitting……. I eventually got to the airport and met up back with Omara and also Sauna who was there…..Omara was now telling sauna that I moved too slow, that is why I missed the train???? Yes when I was ready from like 6:45 and waiting on her…..If I left her maybe it would have worked out better for me… Anyway, I then got my luggage and headed for the checking counter…… We then took Thai air and I was seated behind Omara and Sauna…. There was also this Half Filipino Half Japanese girl seated beside me…. I was speaking to her for most of the journey….. She is only 17 and she speaks fluent English, Japanese and tagalog(The main language of the Philippines). On my other side, was a Filipino woman who told me to be careful in Manila, Philippines and if anyone is asking if I need help, I should tell them NOOO!! Im ok…. She also said the taxi drivers will pretend as if they don’t understand English, and either take you all over the place and over charge you or drive very slow and make the journey longer… They do this only to foreigners…..

After the plane landed, which was a rough landing by the way, I thought we were going to take a taxi to a HOTEL …. Oh no…. The girls queried about the local bus system, and we took a bus to an area name LRT then took a train to an area name Abad Santos.Jamaican in Asia I had to be struggling with my heavy suitcase, up and downseveral stair cases while doing all of this…… Any way, as soon as we got toAbad Santos, there were taxi men rushing us like crazy…. but most of these men didn’t really drive a car. They drove what is known in the Philippines as a tricycle…… I initially refused to go into the contraption but after being convinced by the girl, I took a chance…… It was an interesting experience, however, the area was a very very run down, ghetto looking, dirty water on the road, old buildings and poor people begging everywhere, area… And It was no hotel that we would be staying in, but an hostel…..


3 other foreigners were in the same room with us … we were on bunk beds…. This was not what I envisioned to be a vacation at all… BUT!!!! It was very very cheap…. The taxi from the airport would normally cost around US $15-20 … And we managed to pay only US $1 …. However, it was a bit inconvenient with heavy luggage…..

The hostel that we stayed in is known as Red Carabao (you can click on it to see the link)….. After we settled in a bit, we went to the mall to eat ( And the food was absolutely wonderful, a welcome change from the usual Japanese dishes) then I got a manicure and pedicure for the first time in my life…

Here is a clip of the Mall and a talking bird in the Hostel where we stayed….

After we came back from the mall.. I sat and chatted with an American guy named Alex who has been travelling all over the world… He once did a 7 week drive from England to Mongolia… Including several other countries in between… He also travelled to Antarctica before.

Contributed by Dave Collymore: Visit his blog at: http://davecollyjap.blogspot.jp/

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