Manila, Part 2

I arrived in Manila for the second time on January 23 and stayed at a subpar studio apartment that's worse than a hotel. The place reminded me of the closet that I lived at in Lower East Side, New York City, back in late 2015 to early 2016. Even though the apartment is about four times bigger than the closet and includes a bathroom, the vibe of the place wasn't right for me. However, I didn't want to stay at hostel for my birthday.

On the 24th, the day of my 40th birthday, I walked to Makati and captured over 200 abstract architecture reflection photographs. I was tired by the time I came back. The next day, I didn't do anything during the day except sleeping and getting some food. I ended up meeting Cha, a woman from, at dinner time. I took a Grab to the BGC (Bonifacio Global City) district of Manila and had some Filipino food at a restaurant with Cha. Cha was on her phone most of the time when we were eating, which I thought was rude. After dinner, I walked about an hour back home. The temperature was just right for a stroll, but the traffic and the roads were terrible.

Yesterday, I didn't do much except checking out of my place and went to the ferry terminal at 1 PM to catch the 4 PM ferry to Coron. The ticket, which I had to print out, stated that I need to be at the ferry terminal 3 to 4 hours ahead. Around 2 PM, I got an email saying the ferry will leave at 8 PM instead due to a technical issue. I thought it would be a long wait, but I was able to get on the ferry around 5 PM. The ferry company is called 2GO and the ferry ride is 13 hours to Coron from Manila. Once I saw my bunk bed, which was one of many beds that's packed like sardines, I realized that I wanted to switch to a better bed. And that I did. I ended up spending an additional 300 PHP, or about $6 USD, to sleep in a room with only 4 bunk beds. I also had to pay 50 PHP for a blanket. I feel 2GO is just trying to squeeze the passengers out of every peso they can. They even tried to make me pay for toilet paper using a toilet that didn't even flush! Anyway, the ferry arrived in Coron around 11 AM today. I will never ride an overnight ferry in the Philippines again!

I checked into the Ezekiel's Transient Hostel in Coron after walking 20 minutes from the port. I'm surprised the internet here is a lot faster than the one in Manila. I plan on getting a late lunch in downtown Coron and sign up for a tour tomorrow.

Many buildings like this in Manila...

...With the skyscrapers next to them

Walking towards Makati

"Some call it slums, some call it nice."

Sculptures at a park in Makati

One of many architecture reflection photos

Birthday dinner (missing photo of soup)

BGC district in Manila

Night walk

Going to the ferry terminal

An open market

My original bunk

Change to this room

On the deck of the ferry

Going to Coron


  1. I used to travel to the Philippines a lot for work. The hotel we stayed in was the Makati Shangrila which was one of the tallest buildings in Makati but I see from your pictures that's changed tremendously. The shanties are still there I see.

    1. Manila has tall buildings and small shanties very close to each other. A sign of a developing city.


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