After a great albeit long first day here in the Philippines, I woke up this morning to the cawing of roosters. For some reason there are three pet roosters at this store down the street. I also woke up to 3 mysterious bug bites on my left hand that are itchy as hell.
I made my way out of my suite past the pool and through the lobby. Everyone who works here greets me with a “Hello Sir” and I am officially known as Mr. Todd. Even the security guard who has a shotgun slung over his shoulder gives me the same friendly greeting every time I walk in or out of the hotel.
Yes, the Filipino people are very friendly!
I once again headed over to Phillies bar for breakfast. As I sat at the counter overlooking the sidewalk I was constantly hassled by touts trying to sell their wares – dvds, belts, sunglasses, pills, shirts and stunguns. Yes, stunguns. Guess there must be a demand for them here?
After breakfast I walked over to the SM Clark Mall because I needed to buy some clothes. I had tried in vain yesterday to find some sort of street vendor selling those cheap $1-$2 tshirts I had heard about and I was quickly running out of clothes. So, I bit the bullet and headed to the mall instead.
Along the way it was hard not to feel for the poor people here. Everywhere you turn there are kids walking the street begging for money.Of course my empathy quickly changes when said kids swarm around and reach their hands into my pockets. It happened to me three times today. I had read about this before I headed on my trip so I’m super vigilant protecting myself but still it is a little unnerving (don’t worry Mom, they’re harmless and I feel perfectly safe here).
I arrived at the mall a little before opening so I waited outside with about 50 other people. At 10am everyone swarmed forward to the one door that was open. There’s only one door open because on the other side of the door are two security guards checking you and your bags as you enter.
Security is a huge thing here. There are security guards stationed outside every hotel and alot of the shops. Alot of them carry guns as well which, of course, coming from Canada is a mind blowing thing to see.
Once inside the mall the world is transformed from a makeshift shanty town outside to a huge, sleek shopping mall.
With the exceptions of the security guards it looked like any other mall in North America. Chain stores everywhere, a huge selection of eateries including, of all things – Kenny Roger’s Roasters. Yup, Kenny is alive and well here in Angeles City!
I walked past the ice rink, ferris wheel and gigantic Imax theater. After passing countless clothing stores I was starting to realize that finding cheap tshirts here in the mall was probably not going to happen. I decided to forgo the shirt buying and look a little harder outside of the mall for a deal.
I did, however, pick up some swim trunks for about $7. Normally I’m a medium size for pretty much everything I wear but here in the Philippines, not so much. Yeah, here I’m not just a large, but an extra large! I guess the sizing makes sense though since Asian people tend to be smaller in stature.Oh, and I also picked up a new pal for my trip whom I have dubbed Herbie…
After my shopping excursion I stopped by the huge restaurant fast food chain Jollibees. The Filipino people love this place. You can get burgers and hot dogs here but what they’re really known for is their fried chicken and spaghetti. Yeah, I know, I thought it was a weird combination too.
Oh. My. God!
Best spaghetti I’ve ever had! It’s made with a sweeter sauce and has little pieces of hot dog in it. You can get a dish of spaghetti with a pop for 50 pesos (about $1.25) and you can have it with a piece of chicken too for only 95 pesos ($2).
I went back to the hostel around noon for a nap. Of course, said nap was rudely interrupted by a karaoke birthday party happening at a house across the street from the hotel.
A group of about 10 women were hanging out in the front yard of the house belting out very offkey renditions of song after song.
After a couple of hours of listening to this I just decided I would get the hell out of there for awhile.
I just walked around for a bit looking for shirts but to no avail. I did stop by one of the little food kiosks outside the mall for some dumpling with fried noodles. A nice yummy snack.
When I returned to the hotel the karaoke party was still in full swing but I was so tired anyway that I soon fell asleep.
I didn’t wake up again until about 11pm. Guess my lack of sleep and time zone changes was starting to catch up with me. Not really a big deal here in Angeles as the night time is when everything happens anyway.
I sat in bed debating whether to go out or just call it a day. Party Todd won out.
And that’s where that photo at the top of this blog comes in. I don’t know what I can really say here… hmm… I guess I’ll just say that Party Todd really won out!
And that is all I have to say about that…