Author Archives: dcborn61

Philippines Day 10: Ayala Museum

We hadn’t been to a museum yet this trip, so we had to rectify that. Today we went to the Ayala Museum.

It combined art and history.

I especially appreciated the 61 dioramas that told the history of the Philippines, from pre-colonial times to the problems caused by the Spaniards, British and Americans.

Dinner was my first udon meal at Maragame Udon. I had a beef bowl that was delicious. Diner for the 4 of us was $21.

I’ll work on my impressions of Manila in a post tomorrow as we make our way home, via Portland, Oregon for a wedding that was important for us to attend.

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Philippines Day 9: The Fort

We were on our own today, Ben & Courtney went back to work.

Courtney had arranged a driver for us to take us to the oldest part of Manila. The Philippines had been colonized by the Spaniards back in the 1500’s. The history reminded us of our visits to Peru and Chile.

First stop was Fort Santiago.

We visited two churches, Manila Cathedral, destroyed in the war and rebuilt

and San Agustin Church which survived.

We went out on a pier in the harbor and got a view of the US Embassy.

After dinner, we walked through a night Market at Mercado Central. Such sights and smells.

One more day of sightseeing before we head back to the States.


Philippines Day 8: Such Sacrifice

Today we visited the Manila American Cemetery.

So much of the focus of Word War II attention is in Germany and Hitler. When we think of sacrifice, we think of Normandy. Well, we learned that there are over 16,000 Americans buried in this Manila cemetery, more than twice the number in Normandy. The battles we fought in the Pacific theater were bloody and the sacrifice enormous.

This cemetery was awe-inspiring. In addition to the graves, there were maps that explained the major battles.

There were seals of each state, here are the significant ones to me, Maryland and DC.

The main chapel was impressive.

I always like to visit the Jewish graves, and left stones in remembrance.

It was a sobering visit, one I’ll always remember.

There was one must-visit on this trip, the International School Manila. We wanted more than a What’s App view of the school. It’s a really nice facility, and the faculty and staff we met were so happy Ben & Courtney were back and couldn’t have been any kinder to us. We got to see Courtney’s classroom and Ben’s office.

We did visit a mall in the afternoon and needed dessert. This was the best option.

More sightseeing to come, as Ben & Courtney go back to work tomorrow.


Philippines Day 5: Bees, but not so busy

Half the day today was the above view. And that’s Ben, Courtney & Ellen looking out the infinity pool to the sea.

Ben arranged a car for us to visit the Bohol Bee Farm, an organic farm and resort about 15 minutes away.

We had lunch art the organic restaurant there. I figured I had to have something with honey, so this is the honey glazed chicken with red rice. So beautiful and tasty!

We took the tour of the farm, which was as much an ad for the products they make as anything else. But we did get to visit with the bees they keep. No stinging involved!

Back to our resort in the late afternoon, we went back to the pool and relaxed some more.

Easy day! And rewarded with a tremendous full moon.


Philippines Day 4: Crazy fun day

We took a tour of the Bohol island today with a driver. We did such fun things!

First was visiting the habitat of the tarsier marsupial. They are little (5 inches tall) monkey-like creatures. They are nocturnal, so we got to see them resting in trees.

Next we went to the Chocolate Hills, a series of over 1000 mounds created by coral piles that had been pushed up from the sea. To get up top, we rode ATVs!

  • Our guide was a very talented photographer, taking all sorts of trick shots.

For lunch, we took a boat ride down the Loboc River.

We visited our first church, the Baclayon Church. It was much nicer inside than it appeared.

We didn’t really have expectations going into the tour, but we saw so many varied and interesting things. It was a very memorable day.


Philippines Day 3: Bohol

A domestic flight in the Philippines was a little like a crowded bus ride, but a two hour flight got us to Bohol. We are staying at the South Palms Resort, a little paradise on the Bohol Sea.

We walked the beach and enjoyed the infinity pool.

Meals were at the resort, I had the freshest tilapia ever.

We hope to see the eclipse tomorrow, quite the moon now.

Tomorrow, we’re taking a tour of the island. But today, was relaxation.


Philippines Day 2: Jet lag? What jet lag?

Can honestly say I can’t remember the last time I slept this long?

I woke up a few times, but just kept rolling over.

We first went to the Powerplant Mall. We had breakfast at the Wildflower Bakery, one of Ben & Courtney’s favorite places.

The priority for the mall visit was Thomas Sabo, and Ellen got a few charms.

We took a grab over to another mall, Market! Market! It has a outside area with stalls and entertainment.

After some more shopping (I got an iPhone X case for $3!), we went grocery shopping in the store in the basement of the mall. We walked home), about a kilometer but in humidity and carrying heavy groceries.

After a brief test in the apartment, we walked to dinner at a Philippean restaurant, Lorenzo’s Way. The cuisine is a combination of Chinese and Spanish, with native adaptations. I had rosemary chicken, with great flavor to it.

During the walk home, we found a Philippines soccer jersey, so my souvenir shopping is done. We had to try Courtney’s favorite cupcakes.

So after crashing just after 8 last night, we all did better tonight. Tomorrow we are off to Bohol for a few days of a beach vacation.