Saturday, April 27, 2019

The Thrilla in Manila (an unavoidable title)

I finally made it to Manila for a stay that could be counted in more than mere hours. “Avoid Manila, it’s ugly.” “Get out of Manila, it’s dangerous!” Phooey! I fuckin’ loved Manila.

Under the advice of a Philly friend, I stopped by a spot known for its flavored beer and waited for my next Couchsurfing host to get done with his work. It was a nice spot, if a bit pricey, and I made some friends (and wrote a poem).

My host was a decent dude who was, I think it’s fair to say, ‘enthusiastic’ about Japan. He was located a bit south of Manila, in Muntinlupa, a place I’d specifically searched in the hopes that I would be able to meet up with a couple people from Vietnam who wanted to hike up the volcano. Alas, after a late rendezvous, I was in no shape to hike a volcano, and had to call off that particular expedition.

Tuesday, April 23, 2019

The Spanish Fly

Please excuse the chronological hiccup.

Waiting in line to check my bag for the flight from Manila to El Nido (technically Puerto Princesa), an older woman (60s or 70s) kept standing much too close to me. I would inch forward and, when she noticed, she would inch forward as well. While this invasion of personal space was annoying, it wasn’t the end of the world - what really made the whole thing truly annoying for me was that she, oblivious to her surroundings, would turn to talk to her husband and, in the process, hit me in the back with her bag. I stayed silent and did my best to rearrange my position in line without making a fuss, but it was a constant struggle of dodging her unwitting attacks.

I, being who I am, never brought it up and wouldn’t be making this post had the incident been limited to the hour or so we stood in line.

Thursday, April 11, 2019

Angeles City! Angeles City!

(Title to be read with "Spatula City" from UHF in mind.)

A city! Hallelujah! Someplace I could pound some pavement and see buildings with more than one room. Someplace that had a library! Call me an angel, 'cause I was in heaven.

In Coron, I remembered that Couchsurfing existed. I had gotten used to meeting up with people in hostels or staying with friends and hadn't really been traveling "solo" since, well, Thailand. My host in (well, near) Angeles City was fantastic and really helped point me in some good directions and had me try some great food. Oh, and he had a pool, which was a great way to cool off.

Tuesday, April 9, 2019

Hittin' the Dusty Trail (Manila 2 and the Islands)

As is my usual, I'm a few weeks removed from the events contained herein, so expect that type of post. That said, I wrote up a piece for a contest that's a little more timely. Also, of course, my poems (on the other blog) usually capture my feelings a bit more "in the moment" than these posts.

Getting back to the rumble of Manila made my heart swell. I found a nice little capsule hotel on a block where I ended up spending $4 - $1 for a shave, $1 for dinner, and $2 for beer. I would have stayed there for a few nights, but I was in a rush - I was meeting a girl I had met in Georgetown (Penang), Malaysia in El Nido.