Initial Observations of the Philippines

We have been in the Philippines for almost a week now and have found it very different from the rest of Asia. The American and Spanish influence is still ubiquitous, in everything. Oliver has achieved celebrity status here in the Philippines – everyone wants to talk to him, girls want a Facebook photo with him. He’s taking it all in his stride! We have heard more than once we have Justin Bieber in our midst! 

Traffic is horrendous even in the provinces, what we thought we would be confined to Manila actually occurs everywhere, the streets are just narrower! Traffic in Manila is horrendous. Everyone tells you this, but you don’t realise how bad till you’ve sat in a taxi on a bridge for 4 hrs going no where! Luckily taxis here are cheap and the experience only cost us $8! Needless to say that afternoon of sightseeing was written off! 

The locals need reminding that driving safely is a prerequisite not a if you feel like it! Signs such as TRAFFIC DISCIPLINE AREA” and “Our good roads keep your mood good”. Signs are everywhere but for the most part are completely ignored 

Doggy bags are de riguer, it seems everyone asks for one after a meal even when there isn’t much food left
Every building requires an armed guard with an assault rifle and you will have the internals of your bag poked with a drum stick hundreds of times a day.  

 Fluro Pet bottles are a favourite form of decoration in cars, on houses, restaurants – anything that needs jazzing up really. In fact the more tizzy and gaudy the decoration the better!  


The whole of the Philippines is under construction, from the roads to shopping centres everything is still being built.  As typhoons and earthquakes happen all too often here, everything is in a constant state of rebuild.



 Easy listening music is compulsory for every resto and taxi, preferably sung in a melancholy out of tune way.  



Everybody eats constantly and often! And they have a penchant for fast food, even the smallest towns have fast food joints and they are packed at all times of the day.  


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