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Perfect Simplicity

Vanilla Manilla

PHILIPPINES | Monday, 5 May 2014 | Views [398]

Manilla is a strange place. Admittedly, I only ventured outside the city once to a place called Tagatay, which had amazing views and an even more amazing zip-line you could ride to take full advantage of the views. What a rush. Perhaps if I had ventured out I would have got a better feel for the Philippines, but my time and energy were limited.

But back to Manilla.

It. is. so. American.

I felt like I was in an Asian city that had fused Amercan culture into its spinal cord, but still retained some of its Asian features. Asian, but not. American, but not. American accents but not quite. The Spanish influence was evident in the use of the peso. It was also really Christian, which surprised me, the city was littered with churches. I would come back to Manilla purely to shop and wine and dine because it seemed like the shopping and dining capital of Asia.  The shopping centres were connecting labyrinths that you could easily get lost in if you became disoriented, which I did, I felt like I needed a compass just to navigate my way through.

The Old City in Manilla was interesting, we walked along an old stone wall that had canons poking out of it, the canons were pointed towards a golf course, it would have been great to get a glimpse back in time to see what it had looked like before it was completely modernised.  The church of San Agustin was also beautiful, decorated in paintings of Mary, Jesus and the Saints, old stone, old arches, and beautifully simple.

But I still left Manilla a bit confused and unable to put my thumb down on exactly what kind of city it was, it was a tad dare I say... vanilla...

Tags: american culture, manilla, restaurants, shopping

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