Oct 21, 2016 – Manila’s Bonifacio High Street (BCG) and Dinner at the Seafood Market

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See more photos here: https://flic.kr/s/aHskNBneLY

Ranah was feeling under the weather today, so she slept all day while Franki and I explored more of Manila.

We had breakfast at The Cabin, a fusion of Filipino and western fare. I can never pass up on an omelette for breakfast, especially when it is accompanied by fresh watermelon juice!

Lhen drove Franki and I t0 another neighbourhood called “Fort Bonifacio”. It is the nicest area of Manila and actually felt like an American city centre with lots of high-end name brand shops. We walked around Bonifacio High Street and checked out another small market with fresh produce and local foods.

Franki and I spent a long time in a bookstore where we shared frozen yogurt. I was surprised to find that bookstores in the Philippines like to individually wrap books in plastic, making it more difficult to get a taste of what the book is about. We also found an outdoors sports shop similar to Atmosphere that I spent a lot of time in.

The standards of living varies wildly in Manila. The rich are very well off while the poor are quite destitute, living in slums. The average wage in Manila is about $500/month which is very low. Taxis and food is relatively cheap.

Franki and I learned that in order to get a taxi you need to jump in, tell them where you’re going, and ask them to turn the meter on. This way the driver won’t dismiss you if you aren’t going to a location they are not inclined to drive to and you will be charged appropriately.

On a side note, Manila has some of the worst traffic in the world! Franki and I left to visit a seafood market for dinner at 5:30 pm and arrived an hour later… it was only 5 km away. There is a crazy amount of traffic from cars, buses, motor bikes, bicycles, Jeepneys, and tricycles. No one stays within the painted lines on the road, instead drivers choose where they want to go.  Taxis don’t have seatbelts in the back seats and it is common for all car windows to be completely tinted in all vehicles.

Once Franki and I arrived at the seafood market, we were bombarded by hawkers trying to entice us to buy seafood and vegetables. It was a little uncomfortable so we decided to find a restaurant to eat in. We choose one that was quite fancy and noticed that several groups were celebrating birthdays there. The waitress mentioned that we actually needed to buy the seafood from the market across the street so the restaurant could cook it. What a great business model! Because we were a bit intimidated, the waitress came outside and helped us select half a pound of squid and half a pound of prawns. Everything was super fresh. The squid was prepared with an adobo sauce. Essentially, the squid is fried in squid ink and with soy sauce, vinegar, and garlic. The prawns were sautéed in an Indonesian sweet chili sauce topped with green onions. Additionally, I received an entire coconut when I ordered coconut milk!

 

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