Wednesday, March 5, 2008

Chinese New Year in the Philippines

Here is a pictorial summary of my trip in the Philippines during Chinese New Year 2008.

Instead of buses, the main form of public transport is the Jeepney. These are modified jeeps left over by US troops from WWII.

Fried frog stuffed with pork. Very tasty.

Various pictures of Dragon parades to celebrate the new year.

And here's a couple videos from the New Year's Celebrations:

One of the many dragon parades in Chinatown, Manila

Some of the many fireworks that were everywhere during our trip. The video does not do justice to how loud or dangerous they actually were. My roommates face does.

Some pics of a couple of the forts in Manila:

Each fort had a sign that said something similar to this: Built in 1540 by the Spanish.... burnt down and rebuilt various times for the next 400 years.... Destroyed for good in the Battle of Manila, 1945.

Cheese flavored ice cream- not as bad as it sounds

At a KTV with some Filipino friends we made. All Filipinos are really good singers. I am not.

Malapascua Island, Cebu, Philippines

Late night dance club on the beach. Good times until you try and go home and realize your shoes have been stolen.

Some random shots from around Malapascua Island:

And to finish off the trip, we traveled to southern Cebu to visit Kawasan Falls.

Reasons why the Philippines is better than Taiwan.
- The KTVs have a decent selection of American songs in the Philippines. How do Taiwanese people expect me to participate if I can't drunkenly belt out "Livin' on a Prayer" or "Take Me Home Tonight?"

- The Filipino accent is very pleasing. That is, if you can find a Filipino person that speaks decent English. (There aren't as many as you are lead to believe.)

- The excitement of being in a third world country. Taiwan is nice, but the biggest rush I feel all day is narrowly avoiding getting sideswiped by a bus while driving my scooter to work.

Reasons I was happy to be back in Taiwan:

- The food in the Philippines was terrible. To be fair, and with only a few exceptions, Taiwanese food is pretty awful. But at least I don't have to resort to eating fast food all the time.

- Everybody is not out to get you. In the Philippines, you had to yell at the taxi drivers just to get them to turn on the meter. And any girl that approached you was most likely a prostitute.

- Taiwanese people (and by people, I mean girls) dress very trendy. It's not something I thought I would ever care about, or miss, until I wasn't surrounded by it.


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