Where to begin . . . do you want to hear about the version of Manila where there is more sadness, poverty, pollution, and traffic than almost any other place in the world that I have ever visited? Or do you want to hear about the Manila where the privileged elites live behind walled compounds with private mercenaries guarding them and spend their days working in high-rise office towers and their afternoons shopping at Prada? Amazing world we live in. I cannot wait to get to Palawan this weekend, an island paradise where rich and poor all share the same realities of daily life. Manila has beaten the pants out of my high spirits. But I digress.
Here are some random snaps and some thoughts for each:
|Motorcycle and sidecar drivers are everywhere and cost a few pennies a ride. You take your life in your own hands when you use one.|
|The view from the mountains of Rizal, 30 kilometers outside Manila, shrouded in the morning fog was striking.|
|Shooters love this stuff, look at Mike and Joel (our local second cameraman) concentrating!|
|Meat markets are typically Southeast Asian open-air affairs. Yes, I have my cipro and tamiflu handy.|
|Tourism cops guard us at all times. Crime is rampant, and to make matters worse, the Abu Sayyaf operate in the remote areas. These guys are no help in a typhoon.|
|Dried and salted squid, charcoal-toasted, are all the rage. I am opening a stand when I get home—it's the next big thing.|