Wine appreciation night

Manila Travel Blog

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Me, Sam, Isobel, Julia, Heli, Mark, Rich and Hannes playing Uno

People i met here, who contributed to and improved my trip: Juliana (Russia), Benjie (Philippines), Rich (Philippines), Isobel (Canada), Mark (New Zealand), Sam (England), Chris (England), Hannes (Sweden), Heli (Finland), Emily (England)

We decided to spend a couple more days in Manila for one simple reason, Saturday night was wine appreciation night at Friendly's Guesthouse. The owner Benjie supplies not only as much free wine as everyone can drink, but also some great snacks to keep everyone going. To get into the spirit of things, on Friday he was opening some bottles (as with most nights may i add) and also cooked up some hotdogs. A number of us had gathered on the balcony and decided to play a game of cards.

Benjie and me
We found a brand new set of UNO cards and 8 of us began our UNO crusade! As the game progressed we decided that to make it interesting, the loser could buy the 7 other players a round of drinks and when we called it a night as the sun was once again beginning to rise, everbody was rather merry!

Saturday daytime was spent recharging our batteries, before we gathered on the balcony around 7pm. As the first glasses of wine neared an end, the UNO cards once more made an appearance. Within no time, it was decided that the loser of each game would have to finish their drink and soon the atmosphere was becoming a little raucous. The more wine that was consumed, the more rules that were introduced... down a glass if you pick a white card, loser of a round drinks, loser of a series etc etc.

Me, Julia, Mark and Chris pitting our wits at scrabble
By midnight when i learned that my beloved Leeds United football club had once again been relegated, it seemed an appropiate time for everyone to raise a glass in the direction of Leeds and finish their drinks. What better way to help numb the pain.

Around 4am as the night was fizzling out, Rich and I decided we wanted to check out a casino to see it how the wannabe pro's do it. Almost all the games were different from European casinos, so we stood out and watched what was going on. Disappointingly there was no UNO table, so after a while we had a go at something resembling black jack. We were down a bit, up a bit, down a bit, up a bit, so we decided to leave whilst whilst we were evens. We got home around 6am to the start of another beautifully sunny morning.

Chinese cemetery

On Sunday Julia and I had a detox day and decided to go to Rizal Park in the afternoon. Unfortunately it started raining so we began to make our way home. As we did, we bought some pirated DVDs for a bargain 7 peso each - thats 7p or 15 cent! We tried them out when we got home and watched 'The Last King of Scotland', which i'd really recommend, before pitting our wits at scrabble.

On Monday Julia, Chris, Emily and I took a trip out to the Chinese cemetry, which was quite an experience. It is actually more like a city for the dead, with each mausoleum equiped with 'necessities' such as toilet, tv, kitchen, chairs, marble fittings etc. No wonder on a sunday the families often come and visit and spend several hours, cooking up a storm and mourning the dead.

Chinese cemetery
We saw one masoleum with a tree in the centre, growing through the centre of the roof - a good luck symbol we were told, a street dedicated to babies, who traditionally are not buried with the parents as its thought of as bad luck, other mausoleums that cost 5,000,000 peso ($100,000) and a street called millionaires row. It made for a pretty interesting morning and a chance to see how other people regard death.

We spent the afternoon in the huge Robinsons shopping plaza, where  i managed to chew into a discreetly hidden chili in my lunch and thought my head was going to explode. With steam still venting from my ears we headed back to the hostel and had a rematch at scrabble before it was time to catch the evening 'sleeper' bus to Donsol. What they forgot to mention before boarding, is that they would programme the air con volume to 'even polar bears need thermals'. So not only did i get no sleep, but my head felt like a block of ice when we arrived at 6am the following morning!

Deats says:
That sounds really special, if im back in the Phils at that time of year, hopefully i could witness that for myself. Cheers for the tip :)
Posted on: Sep 12, 2007
ellechic says:
Just liek LYC, I recommend you visit a cementery on Nov 1. Unlike U.S. tradition of dressing up during Halloween night on OCt 31st, the cementery is the place to be on Nov 1sta nd 2nd as relatives flock to the cementery and becomes the party place for 2 nights with tons of food and drinks. When I was growing up in the Philippines, I would "grave-hop" during those nights visiting relatives' graves and friends' who are themselves there to visit their relatives!
Posted on: Sep 11, 2007
wanderlass says:
I come to the cemetery every November 1 to visit my relatives who passed away. :)
Posted on: Jun 14, 2007
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Me, Sam, Isobel, Julia, Heli, Mark…
Me, Sam, Isobel, Julia, Heli, Mar…
Benjie and me
Benjie and me
Me, Julia, Mark and Chris pitting …
Me, Julia, Mark and Chris pitting…
Chinese cemetery
Chinese cemetery
Chinese cemetery
Chinese cemetery
Sam and Roy
Sam and Roy
Chinese cemetery
Chinese cemetery
Chinese cemetery
Chinese cemetery
Section for babies at the Chinese …
Section for babies at the Chinese…
Tree growing inside a tomb in the …
Tree growing inside a tomb in the…
Chinese cemetery
Chinese cemetery
Millionaires row in the Chinese ce…
Millionaires row in the Chinese c…
Chinese cemetery
Chinese cemetery
Manila
photo by: Deats