On our way to the Philippines, we had a six hour stopover at Doha airport, which is a boring thing. After smelling every perfume at the Duty free, we watched the planes...
A bit more waiting at Hongkong airport.
On our first morning, waking up in Manila, watching out the hotel window. It was so warm!
Manila, zoomed in a bit.
A residential tower in Manila. Not one of the very fancy ones though.
The entrance portal of Fort Santiago in Manila's historical Intra Muros district. This is where the Spanish imprisoned national hero Jose Rizal.
Detail of the portal
A lot of the remains of Fort Santiagois looks like this - old walls, that have to be held by a metal frame, and inbetween tropical plants over and over! Behind, the cathedral of Intramuros peeks in.
The proud Philippino flag in front of Fort Santiago says "Screw you, Spaniards!"
Another national hero: Chieftain Lapu Lapu killed Magellan in 1521 and repulsed his men stopping the first attempt of a European invasion.
The memorial of Jose Rizal in Rizal Park, Manila. This is pretty much where Rizal was executed in 1896.
Dr Jose Rizal once more, guarded by soldiers.
The Philippino Department of Labor and Employment in Intramuros, Manila.
There are some nice gardens in Intramuros, with amazing flowers!
Yep, on the greens around Intramusros (here's the wall from the inside) there's a nice large golf course. And behind, the fabulous 5-star Manila Hotel where we would spend our last night in the Philippines - in about 4weeks from now =)
More nice flowers in Manila's gardens.
Flower no 3.
Lovely garden in Intramuros.
Flower no 4.
A street in the college-part of Intramuros. One of the Philippines most successful exports-nurses-come from here (and other schools od course).
The cool sign of the Manila Bulletin.
A truck loaded with the Manila Bulletin.
The fish spa in Manila ocean park.
That's how the spa fishies look.
Past sunset at Manila bay.
Very early in the morning when we arrived in Banaue after a night bus ride with the coldest aircon ever. It was wet and foggy... not sure if we should go further into the mountains...
Part of Banaue, the central city of this district of the Ifugao province.
Sabrina and our guide Mark in a jeepney. Despite the weather, we decided to believe Mark that the sun would come out later, and took a jeepney up the bumpy rocky path into the Mountains.
Our jeepney on the saddle above Batad village - completely in the clouds.
After about 40mins walk down into the valley, below the clouds, we signed in at Batad tourist information - and indeed, above Batad, the sun had burned hole in the clouds! To the right, Jun, carrying Sabrina's backpack.
The first look down into Batad village, surrounded by rice terraces!
Batad village. On most of the terraces the rice hasn't been planted yet at this time of the year.
Batad elementary school (with the obligatory basketball court) welcomes tourists.
On the way to our hostel in Batad.
Batad rice terraces
Looking back towards our hostel - one of the houses high on the slope.
This is how you hike in the rice terraces: on the terrace, there's obviously a muddy rice field - so there's only the narrow the wall to walk on.
A freshly planted rice terrace.
The mountain has been shaped like this by the Ifugao people over many many generations - the terraces are said to be 2000 years old.
Tappia waterfalls close to Batad. Apparently people swim here - but it wasn't that warm. Above, awesome jungle, probably full of crazy animals! Terrible snakes and spiders! Plenty of monkeys! Monitor lizards! (you cannot see any of those but you have to imagine them.)
Sabrina with the Tappia waterfalls.
The next day, walking to the village Cambulo.
The first sight of Cambulo.