|This is the Phillipines which we visited as our next trip from Korea. We flew into Clarke Air Base which is about an hour and a half from the Manilla. This a pretty typical street scene in one of the towns between the air base and Manilla. In these towns the typical transportation was a 90cc two cycle motorcyke with side car attached. They were quite inexpensive. There are many slides from the Phillipines as I took mostly pictues. After I go through the slides I can look through the pictures, but I am not sure how much I will remember now. What to do? However, there will be lots of explanations from the tape without slides, so perhaps there is hope that the pictures can be added later. One of the interesting phenomena in Manilla was Jeepneys. After WWII the U.S. had a million or two jeeps that they didn't want to ship back to the U.S. as it would be too expensive and not good for the U.S. economy (they wanted people to buy new cars rather than old jeeps). So they were sold off cheap in the Phillipines amongst other places. They then became the standard taxi in the Phillipines and were decorated in bright colors and extended into little buses with canopy tops. Eventually there was such a demand for the jeep vehicles that new jeeps were built to fit in with the rest. A whole new industry of independent little buses for the local population. Each jeepney would be marked with the route they were driving and if you saw one that was on the route you wanted, you would hold up your hand with the number of fingers for the number of people in your group. If the jeepney had enough seats for your party, he would pull over and you would crawl in (they often setaed about ten). The fare would be really cheap, perhaps three cents if you were going half way across Manilla. When you wanted to get off, you would signal to the driver and he would pull over to let you off. Sort of taxis and sort of buses, but very cool! Also, the jeepneys had seats only with no standing (there wasn't room) which was nice as most of the buses in other developing countries had only a few seats (one next to the windows) with lots of standing space, but we liked sitting.||=0=|
|One thing that bothered my about Manilla was its dual nature. There was one section which appealed to Western tourists which had a classic Hilton hotel appearance and could have been a section of beach from Miami. However, just a half mile beyond that section would be a very ramshackle section where the people lived with tin metal shacks. That is where the jeepneys would run. In the nice tourist section there would be cabs (like Toyota Corollas and regular buses that were pretty expensive (at least by our standards from Korea where buses only cost ten cents). In the Phillipines the people tended to wear much brighter colors and be much less modest (but then it was often hot and never cold), so that made sense. We also took a train trip out of Manilla. I was surprised by the train station which was in much the style of Grand Central in NYC with high open ceiling, large central area, etc.. However, the bathrooms had western toilets which were used as if they were the traditional Asian pits with no toilet seats and people standing ont the edges of the toilet and squatting. The trains themselves had classic train cars with good springs but no shock absorbers so that at the end of the cars you would get such big bounces that you would be lifted off your seat by two or three inches (wooden with no padding). We had fun pretending we were riding horses with the children in the area. From the train we saw many little houses which were just grass huts. They seemed very flimsy to us, but then we considered that they never had cold winters and so a house which just kept the rain off was fine. We also saw long stretches of very green rice fields with water buffalos of all sizes working the fields. We particularly liked the expression of the young water buffaloes as they looked up and this is Barbara emulating their expression.||=0=|
|We then arrived in Bagio which is a very beautiful area and often visited by the airmen from Clark Air Base. As we were walking along one path we saw this water buffalo that looked harmless as he was tied up. However, as we passed by on the trail we observed that the rope was quite long and that the water buffalo wasn't really restrained at all, but was friendly enough and didn't bother us. On the nature trail there were some really beautiful flowers and such as seen below (Barbara noticed the flowers and finer details). There is also a complete lifecycle of the ferns with brown dead ferns, fiddleheads (new ferns) and mature ferns.||=0=|
|Along the nature trail there were also some animals for a sort of petting zoo. Above is picture of a horse that we were happy to see grazing as he looked pretty hungry. There is also a picture of a flower that spoke to Barbara.||=0=|
|While this is a classical Brian view of a verdant mist covered mountain in the distance beyond the trees. It was all most beautiful. Below are another two views of the trail (one needs to be scanned again when I am not doing them numerically).||=0=|
|This picture has a dew laden spider web in the lower section.||=0=|
|And here are pine needles with dew on the tips. We visited the trail about 9AM when it was still misty and with soft beautiful colors. Hopefully this page will be split into two when I got through and scan in the pictures we took.||=0=|
This page was last updated on October 1, 2005.