April 15, 2012 (Sunday)
Mr. Sun was up and about so early, providing yet again a warm and cheerful day for everyone. I put on SPF 100 sun block cream to my already chocolate-brown skin – didn’t want to have it darkened to black chocolate LOL. My partner did the same – he spread SPF 50 all over his face and limbs. Well, you might assume that since he is already white he wanted to have higher sun protection to maintain being fair, but this crazy dude wanted to have a tanned or brown skin.
After eating our midday meal consisting of roasted chicken and bibim myeon, we ventured outside and went sightseeing to the heart of the Philippines – Manila City.
BB only took jeepneys and taxi rides so far in his stay here, so it was my idea to give him experience in trying other mode of public transportation. From Chino Roces, we boarded an air-conditioned bus going to the nearest Light Rail Transit (LRT) station. When we got seated, his first question was, “Will we pay when we get off the bus?” In answer, I explained to him the Filipino style of riding a bus. A conductor will go to passengers and collect their bus fares. From Pasong Tamo to our destination, one ticket costs 12 pesos.
He happily told me that the bus was nice and cool. He was pleased to note that we could even watch an English movie in a TV inside the bus. This fellow mentioned that his first impressions of Filipino buses were hot, crowded, and uncomfortable. I was glad that our bus ride proved him wrong.
We descent then walked to Gil Puyat LRT station. He commented that the train system was similar to that of Korea, especially the ticket pass. However, the Korean trains were faster. Of course.
Then we climbed off at U.N station, and from there we walked our way to Rizal Park. With the sun directly above our heads and heating everything under it, we explored the famous park in Manila. Since the weather was extremely hot, only few people braved the scorching heat and spent their Sunday at Luneta. We took interesting photos there, though with a hurry since it was incredibly hot.
After a few (but felt long) minutes, we arrived to the popular spot in the tourist attraction site. A tourist wouldn’t feel like he’d been to Philippines if he didn’t have a photo-opp with the great Jose Rizal. I took photos of Mr. Tourist with Mr. One peso model, and I was happy to note that they look good together (laughs). BB found these photos really good so as of the moment, he is busy uploading one as his profile picture in Facebook.
Again by foot, we reached our next item in our itinerary – Intramuros. As what I kept on saying in case the readers would forget, t’was damn HOT and soon we were parched. We bought refreshments at the nearest convenience store that we saw – Mini Stop.
From there, we reached the Palacio de Gobernador and Manila Cathedral (minor basilica). We didn’t get the chance to enter the church since it was under reconstruction and would only be available to public next year. A bit disappointed, I led him to another church within the vicinity – San Agustin Church. It was funny since there was a wedding being held when we arrived. I then explained to my companion the direct relationship of women getting married and old churches. (laughs)
“But I wanted to see the walls!” BB exclaimed, so I guided him to my university which was near to the famous “walls”. But then again, our throats were dry so we gave in to thirst and bought ourselves slushee. Delighted with the cold drink and grateful for the absence of brain freeze, we then climbed the slope going up the walls. We saw the cannons and I took photos of him with them.
To give him a really good (relative) experience in public transpo, I hailed a pedicab and together we rode to our next stop – Fort Santiago. BB is tall so he was uncomfy since the pedicab could not accommodate his sitting height, leaving him with his head bent along the ride.
Finally, we arrived at the Fort and we walked around and learned the life of the Philippines’ national hero. We have lots of photos taken there.
Thirst was getting on us again, so we bought Pocari Sweat and a bottle of water. We sat under a parasol in a shady part of the Fort’s café, and spent a good time resting there. After feeling rested, BB suggested it was time to call it a day. I nodded and gave him my agreement. We flagged down a cab and went to his home.
Throughout the tour, we enjoyed the experience even those bad ones. However, as BB put it, “My home is still the best”. I agreed. No place can beat the comfort a home can offer. This is where we can completely relax and distress ourselves without spending money.
As I was writing this entry, we were resting from the day’s trip. Later, a pizza “party” is expected. I so can’t wait.