Joe's Trip to Manila

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It only looked like a nuclear winter.

I depart from LAX after a 12 hour flight delay due to the fires burning around Los Angeles slowing air traffic control. This is sunset on Sunday, October 26.

The trip will take 26 hours total and carry me 9500 miles to Taipei, then Singapore before reaching my destination in Manila.

Want to see more?

Scary planes.

We flew Sea Air (called Scare Air by the locals) from Manila to Boracay. Each passenger and their luggage was weighed before boarding so that the planes maximum load and weight distribution could be calculated. The co-pilot did the safety announcements before the one hour flight to Boracay.

See the entire trip.

Beautiful beaches.

OK, so you don't drink the water, but the ice is OK and drinks would be pointless without it. The beaches here are beautiful...powdery white sand and clear, warm water as calm as a lake. There are no vehicles on the island save for a few little trucks used by construction workers and the police. And no Starbucks!

See what's so special about Boracay!

The view from here.

The trip back from the boat "dock" to the Caticlan airport is a five minute trip via any transportation available. In this case, a tricycle...a small motorbike with a sidecar attached.

You should check out the airport.

Los Angeles traffic is for amateurs.

The trip from Manila to Baguio is about five hours by car on a combination of highways and two-lane roads that are shared by cars, tractors, motorbikes and water buffalo drawn carts (to name just a few).

Take the trip.

A mile-high city.

Baguio is in the mountains to the north of Manila. It sits on a ridge of a mountain range and enjoys the benefits of a more temperate climate than Manila and the breezes that blow all its air pollution away to the valleys below.

Take a look at this bustling little metropolis.

Roadside attractions.

The return trip from Baguio started very early in the morning on a day where everyone seemed to be burning rice husks by the side of the road.

Join me in a prayer.

The air that you breath...

Yes, that's the air you can also see. There is no real way to describe Manila. It is a city that seems to function on chaos from traffic to politics. It is shantytowns and modern buildings, endless traffic, and friendly and courteous people. It is a city (actually, many cities) of contradiction.

Tour Manila.


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©2003 Joseph Hoffman