My First Cruise

Manila Travel Blog

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say a prayer and hope for the best

....well, not exactly a luxury cruise.  I met 3 lovely ladies from the states who were also teaching English in Taiwan.  Together,  we boarded a rickety old wooden boat for a 2 night journey to Manila.  When you enter this boat, you have to step over the chickens, pigs and various livestock that litter the bottom deck.  When we entered the 2nd deck, it looked like the sleeping quarters in Auschwitz.  There were about 60 wooden bunk beds, barely large enough to fit half your body on, let alone your baggage.  It was on this 3X5 ft wooden plank that I would live, horizontally, for the next 30 hours.  There was so little room to move that you had really no choice but to lie in your bunk.

after a week of antibiotics...
  But in the morning it was really quite beautiful to look out onto the open sea, with its large swells, crystal blue waters and flying fish.  These fish don't just jump a few feet.  They actually propell themselves out of the water, then like a hovercraft, fly about a few inches above the water for 20-30 meters before diving back underwater.  We were also graced by the presence of a rather large gathering of dolphins, who swam and frolicked with us for about 30 minutes.  That was a real treat in a day that otherwise was highlighted by our complimentary breakfast of baby fish and rice.  Its times like these that were made for Tanduay Rum, the drink of champions in the Philippines.   After a few shots of rum and calamanci, all of a sudden, the wooden boat wasn't so bad.  We actually managed to have a good time, aided further by the entertaining view of 50 Filippinas sending text messages faster than you can say 'Load Na'.
  Seemed to have been a successful trip, until I awoke the 2nd morning just before landfall, only to notice a gruesome black wound on my leg....  But first things first.  When you arrive in Manila, you need to worry first about survival, and that's getting away from the docks and out to a hotel.

Once I found a hotel, well, actually a room in a building with no name, located in a typical Manila neighborhood, then it was time to give my wound some attention.  What the hell happened anyway?  My leg was black and my foot swollen.  I went to the clinic and the 'doctor' there seemed more interested in my family name, marital status and resemblence to Brad Pitt (her words) than in providing any treatment or meaningful advice.  This visit to the clinic was of little use other than pure entertainment.  No matter where you go or who you speak with in the Philippines, its always interesting.  So, I was forced to self-diagnose and self medicate.  I've managed to learn quite a bit about healthcare while travelling.  Its seems that you are never really 100% healthy while travelling thru Asia.  There is always some wound or bite that pops up, or some strange stomach ailment that is keeping you close to the 'cumfort room'....

I actually enjoyed my 2 days in Manila.  Most people I come across have terrible things to say about it, but the old Spanish Fortress of Intramuros is quite interesting, and Manila itself, once you get away from the traveller areas, actually has very friendly people and lots of culture.  And speaking of culture, how 'bout them Lady Boys.  Talk about entertainment....  For those of you who don't know, transvestites and transexuals are quite popular in the Philippines.  Sometimes its not so easy to distinguish between He and She, especially when She is wearing a choker covering her (his) adam's apple. 

I should have spent my time resting my leg in bed, rather than trapsing around Manila for 2 days and being entertained by Lady Boys (not really).  My leg got rather swollen, but I had bought a ticket to Dumaguete on the island of Negros, so off to the airport I went...

vodkaphix says:
ahh, ouch, your poor leg, was it ok after?
Posted on: Jun 01, 2009
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say a prayer and hope for the best
say a prayer and hope for the best
after a week of antibiotics...
after a week of antibiotics...
photo by: Deats