Friday 11th June:
Well the wet is starting even in Manila now (raining at the moment with thunder and lightning – 7:30pm). Although it is quite humid the cloudy sky and rain have cooled things down a bit. Much nicer than when we left three weeks ago.
Time to stock up on few items and send the latest email so off to the mall we go (and its air-con…).
Guy stocked on some munchies that keep us going as we travel (the ones we can’t get in the provinces). Drug kit has a new addition. I have a bit of the cough / chesty thing that Guy had previously. Beth (Guy’s sister) gave her some blue pills that worked a treat. So off to the drug store, show them the foil blister pack and out we go with twelve more of these bombshells. Ooohhh and I lashed out and got myself a good set of goggles and snorkel ready for our next beach adventure. No fins as they are just too cumbersome to carry right now.
All finished off with Guy’s Mum’s Pork Adobo with rice. Very very yummy.
Saturday 12th June:
Well today we checked in to the EDSA Shangri-La (5 Star) Hotel in Manila till Monday courtesy of Desiree. We can’t thank her enough for this huge bit of luxury that we are not accustomed to and way outside our traveling budget.
It is rather daunting (even a bit uncomfortable) to be waited on hand and foot. And where the price of 4 Cokes pays for a whole night’s accommodation at most of the places we have been staying at.
But hot water, a huge soft bed, flushing toilet and even a real cup of tea (no milk but creamer) are kind of nice and will be savored.
Desiree and Guy are having nails done today and then the full beauty treatment tomorrow before the wedding at 4:00pm. Oooohhhh and Guy also had a foot spa to fix that “traveling feet” (rough heels) she has developed.
Out to dinner tonight at Gloria Maris, a very popular Chinese restaurant that serves very good yumcha and Chinese banquet and the other specialty is called shabu-shabu (hot steam boat). The table has 2 hot plates in the centre, they put 2 woks divided into 2 halves where they place 4 different kinds of soup flavors in each half, and you order any kind of dumplings, tofu, meat, chicken, vegetable, noodles and you put these food into the soup once its boiling and cook it the way you like it.
They also provide 6 different kinds of sauces and add ons like garlic and shallots for your dip, which you make whichever way you like. Once the food is cooked you fish them out with the ladles provided and dip it in your sauce and eat away! Very tasty, very filling and we want more!
Ooohhh and we had to break out some “good” cloths for our stay. So we raided our stash that we brought from AUS (and last worn in AUS) only to find that they are now all quite loose. Mmmmmm we have lost some weight and it’s all-good.
Sunday 13th June:
Well today is the big wedding day. Didn’t know a soul there but still felt very welcome.
Guy had the beauty makeup and hair artists do a make over on her followed by Desiree and her sister, Grace. This took about 5 hours all up. And I must say I have a new wife. Desiree also organized both our outfits for the wedding. I am wearing the traditional Philippine suit called the Barong Tagalog and Guy is wearing a very nice orange cocktail dress. Pics will explain what these are better than words.
The wardrobe artist for the bride made 35 different types of gowns for the wedding party. They are all the same Magenta colour (the bride’s favorite colour) but different styles.
Wedding all good (26 in the wedding party including the bride & groom) and then to the reception in the hotel (180 guests). Food and drink was outstanding. Ate and drank too much but hey, it was a wedding. Ooohhh and finished up dancing with the bride.
It is just the normal run of the mill Filipino wedding……… Not.
Monday 14th June:
Well we are now headed down south with Desiree and her brother, Edwin, for the week after their gracious invitation to join them. But it meant a 5:30am start for Guy and I to catch the bus for a 9-hour trip. This early start was a shock to the system after our leisurely weeks.
But it was a great trip down (450km) where we got to see the plains, some more coastal regions (mud flats and rocks so not for us) and then the mountains (could build some mean MTB tracks here). Actually enjoyed it in the bus viewing the countryside.
And as the wet has started some of the rice paddies are now a brilliant green. Great to see after all the dry countryside we have been experiencing.
Desiree and Edwin flew down and picked us up when we arrived. Then a huge feast was prepared by Desiree with all the relo’s coming over and we ate and drank way too much (just like a good old aussie Barbie). A great time was had by all.
We are in the Bicol region (town of Pili) just outside of Naga. The volcano Mount Mayon is just in the distance and has the perfect cone, apparently (clouded in at the moment). We are staying at Desiree’s mum’s house where her mum spends the Australian winter (she’s from Melbourne so that explains it).
Tuesday 15th June:
On the way into town (Naga the local provincial capital) we visited the Wake Boarding Park that was built and used for the world champs last year. They built the whole facility including resort style accommodation just for the event.
You can now go stay there and enjoy all the facilities, which also include restaurants, two big pools and basic to luxury accommodation. There are two lakes. One for Wake Boarding and the other for water skiing and a mini “Wipeout” style fun park. Very impressive place.
Then visited a huge old church with a very impressive stained glass window and watched the guys doing renovations on one of the huge walls outside with only minimal bamboo scaffolding. No OH&S here………
More great food and more visitors this evening. On the bus back to Desiree’s house outside of Manila tomorrow.
Retirement is good.
Trevor & Guy