Well we have been getting out and about a bit now. Was out looking at a property estate on Tuesday about 45km outside of Manila. Have been also looking at apartments in a new complex out by the harbour (the good area of town), just out from the city centre and next to the Mall of Asia (Philippines biggest Mall).
We are not looking to buy but this now gives us a benchmark for when we are looking for our bungalow on the beach. Basically you are looking at about $65,000 for a fully furnished 1-bedroom high-rise apartment with outdoor pool, games area, private cinema and courtesy air-conditioned bus service to downtown and the airport.
The estate house outside of Manila is about $50,000 for a three-bedroom two-story place. OOooohhh and three bedrooms here is about the same size a one and a half aussie bedrooms so quite small houses really.
On the way to visit the estate our driver was pulled over by the local traffic police. He was after his bribe eerrrr I mean on the spot fine. The go here is that you pay the police man the bribe eeerrr I mean on the spot and he puts it in his pocket for lunch money.
Anyway Guy pulled out the flash card she has from her Police Chief friend (the one who organized our speedy transition through the airport) and presented it to the local police man. Needless to say we were allowed to go free with no bribe eerrr on the spot fine being paid. To all the Ducati boys and girls, recon this would work on the old Pacific Highway with the boys in blue????
We also ventured to the Green Hills Mall, which was advertised on the plane as the place to buy Pearls in Manila. Basically it is a market / mall that is divided into sections (Pearls & jewelry, Cloths & Shoes & Handbags, Mobile phones & accessories, Cameras & computer stuff). Makes it so easy to find what you want. Must say the Pearls were impressive and no we didn’t buy any.
They also have a Paddies Market section but it was closed.
I loved the camera section saw a very nice “Pearl colored” Panasonic GF1 going cheap….. And no I didn’t buy it…..
Also in the mobile phone section you can buy any phone you want unlocked and for half of the price you pay in Aus. The only phones that still commanded a high price were the iPhones. 16G unlocked was about $800 Aus.
And if after you have all your Pearls, cameras, phones, cloths, shoes, handbags and jewelry and your feeling a little vulnerable for your safety your can get Pepper spray for $5.00 a can or a SIG 9mm auto with all the licenses to carry it unrestricted for $1,200 aus. And no I didn’t buy one……..
Well back at the Mall again today at our favourite cafe. We love it as they don’t mind you sitting here for hours with your laptops plugged into their power. And they serve a nice Mango Iced Tea. OOohh and they have a 5 star toilet (it has a seat and loo paper). Very handy for me in my delicate state at the moment. All the standard Mall toilets have no seats and no paper. They are clean though.
I’m still getting over my gastro. Last antibiotic pill tonight. So we shall see. I also wanted to stock up on antibiotics as I realized I only had one course with me. In AUS it requires a visit to the doc to get a prescription for the pills (which were about $30?). Here you walk into a chemist and walk out with the pills. Got a pack of pills (3 pills for 1 course) for $12. So have cheap spares now.
Guy now has a sore throat and a cough so we might delay our departure to the provinces for a few days. Will decide tomorrow, Friday. It is rather nice that we can come and go as we please with no deadlines.
Visited the provinces down south on Wednesday with Beth and family (they took the day off work) for a local towns patron saint’s feast (locals cook up a feast and share it with all who visit). Spent most of the day with a friend of Guy’s who we will spend a few days with on the way south. No running water (well water with hand pump in the house), no air con, no flushing loo…… Typical province living. Was a reality check for me but good as it has made me rethink what we will take with us when we do head down south. I only really needed a 1/3 of what I brought over with me. Learning how to live simply very fast.
Also visited a local market and bought some Jack fruit, Green Indian Mango (Tastes like a sweet apple), Buko Pie (young coconut meat) and pineapple. And all came with a free tasting first. All very sweet and refreshing.
Will let you all know when we head south once we recover from our current welcome to the Philippines teething challenges.
Guy (with a cough) & Trevor (to scared to cough for fear of a rear end explosion….)