Manila – Philippines

My exchange semester ended in mid-January 2017 and a backpacking journey for around two and a half months through Southeast Asia started. This is how I stated. I had a 55 + 10 liters backpack on my back and another small backpack with my valuables in front. Way too much as I figured shortly after. In each country I left a couple of items in hostels for others who would might want them. In Thailand I even send another small package home to make place for a few clothes I bought on the way. I will definitely do a “What I pack?” blog post for my next journey. As all the travel bloggers, youtubers and others tell you, you definitely do not need as much as you think!

Happy me ready for my longest journey so far!

The first stop brought me to the Philippines with a friend of mine from my master program in Germany. She was on exchange in Australia and we decided to meet in the middle. We booked for thirteen days on the Philippines without further planes. We booked the first two nights for Manila and wanted to plan further that night when we arrived. Sadly, we had the bad timing with typhoons in the south islands so we couldn’t do the island hopping we had in mind firstly. Instead we decided to stay on the biggest island Luzon. In Manila we just had a day to explore. As everyone told me in advance Manila is a city with lot of criminality, poverty and dirt. This is what we experienced as well. It is all in really bad shape and really dirty. We had no really bad situation, but even our hostel was in an area with a protected gate and security. The hostel employees gave us the advice to drive everywhere by taxi which we should order ourselves and not enter cars we did not order before. We decided to follow this advice and therefore at a save stay.

As said before Manila is a dirty city and with lot of poor people. Here you have a picture of kids digging in the dirt that shocked me. I wasn’t able to photograph all of the bad surroundings because I felt weird pulling out phone or camera when there where people too close.

One of the dirtiest and poorest cities I’ve seen so far… These kids were looking for valuables in this river full of trash…

The picture above was taken on the way from the metro to a Chinese cemetery. The cemetery was like a ghost town and we did not meet many people walking through this huge place.

First sightseen spot outside of China a Chinese Cemetery =D
Lots of beautiful “homes” for the dead.
Not only buddhist graves are placed on this cementery.
Even the streets are with Chinese signs. We got told that Manila had a big Chinese population in the past that flew from the communist country.
Intramuros Wall and ancient part in the city.
View from the wall to the city.
San Augustin Church, I wasn’t aware that due to colonialism most of the Philippinos are Christians.

As you see, not all parts of Manila are dirty and some are nice and it is worth to have a look at, still we kept our plan to just stay for this one day and take the bus the morning after.

Thank you very much for your time and interest. I hope you are enjoying my blog. Feel free to follow and leave me feedback. I am thankful for every advice and happy to answer questions. You can also follow me on Instagram or Facebook for photography and stories or FindPenguins where I track my journey to get a general overview. I am happy to see you back soon.

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