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The Plunge... I think I would have more regrets NOT doing this trip, than I will by taking this plunge! Ready, set, GO...

Manila!

PHILIPPINES | Wednesday, 11 November 2009 | Views [1144]

When we arrived, the plan was to wait for a friend I met in Honolulu to pick us up at the airport, so when we went to kill time, we found this gala reception for a beauty pageant (Miss Earth 2009)- IN the airport!!! We were peeping into the area, and the security guy invited us in, so we watched a band, and beauty queens doing variety shows and dances!!!! It was sooo hilarious. All American songs, and choreographed dances with flashy costumes and lots of bare skin. IN the airport. Free food and drinks (but we didn’t eat or drink annything).

Strictly a spectator sport at the airport pagent, but I did have to kinda dance a little and smile a LOT, because the culture of music and dance was just so fun and infectious. Everyone was smiling and having fun. In an airport. Americans could take a hint with their $10 lattes and "Orange Alert" threat levels. We need a disco at the airport =) And pretty girls all dolled up. And old crooners with their guitars with cowboy fringed guitar straps who serenade the girls (Miss Spain started to CRY during the serenade, and had to get up and walk off, surrounded by Miss Cuba and Miss Indonesia!) I swear, its true, b/c I could not make this stuff up. Truly.

We are staying in a *TRUE* “Filipino Mansion” in a gated community where the Vice President of the Philippines lives! Complete with 2 drivers, and several helpers. Crazy!

I just got here, but already, I can say, I LOVE THE PHILIPPINES!!!!!

Day 2:

No matter how much people have told me how crazy the roads are, it didn't sink in until I saw it myself. People drive in 2 lanes at once. Or they create new lanes and give about 2 inches of space between vehicles. Mopeds zip and drive through narrow lanes in between cars, usually carrying 2, sometimes 3 people. The record so far is 4. 2 parents with their 2 young kids. Hesitate behind the wheel for a moment, and a stream of cars will cut you off. Our driver, Norwin is a fearless road gladiator.

People come up to the car and try to sell you things, like feather dusters, toys, cigarettes, and flowers. The sad thing is I saw a 4 or 5 year old street hawker. In crazy traffic. Sad. His other 2 companions couldn't have been older than 7 years old. When I saw 20 people run a red light in a big pack of cars and vans and mopeds, I asked what a person has to do to get pulled over?!

Seriously, I am amazed at anyone with the patience and balls to drive on these streets!

Tags: airport miss earth gala, hawaiian air flight

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