Wednesday, August 21, 2019

Manila American Cemetery

After the Venice Grand Canal mall, I decided to stop by the Manila American Cemetery and Memorial since it was across the street from the mall. What I didn't realize is just how big it is (152 acres) and that it only has one entrance. Despite it being across the street from the mall, it was 1.2 miles to the memorial. While that doesn't sound too bad, keep in mind that the "feels like" temperature was over 100 degrees Fahrenheit most of the time I was in the Philippines (including on this day).

I had never been to a war memorial before, so, I wasn't prepared for the list of rules, dress code, and checking of my ID. Luckily, they accepted my Illinois driver's license (since my passport was in the hotel safe), and what I was wearing met the dress code.

There are 17,058 people buried at the Manila American Cemetery.

The Tablets of the Missing memorial contains 36,286 names.

The state seals are carved in the floor of the memorial.

You can view all my “Philippines Trip 2019” posts by clicking here.

Monday, August 19, 2019

Venice Grand Canal mall

My second full weekend in the Philippines, I decided to venture out on my own. My first stop was the Venice Grand Canal mall in Taguig City.

I shared my gondola with a lovely couple who were also tourists.

You can view all my “Philippines Trip 2019” posts by clicking here.

Tuesday, August 13, 2019

Meeting Damen

While I was in the Philippines, I got to meet Damen in person for the first time. Damen and I have been online friends since around 2000. I never thought I'd get the chance to meet him since he lives in the Philippines. I met him while I went out with one of the training classes for a night of Karaoke at Rufo's in Alabang (I will post those photos once I receive them).

You can view all my “Philippines Trip 2019” posts by clicking here.

Friday, August 9, 2019

Dessert Museum

These photos were taken at the Dessert Museum at the Mall of Asia in Manila. The Dessert Museum isn't really a museum. It is a series of dessert-themed rooms where you can take photos and taste a series of desserts.

You can view all my “Philippines Trip 2019” posts by clicking here.

Thursday, August 8, 2019


My first full weekend in the Philippines we went to Manila. When I arrived in the Philippines, it was in the middle of the night, so, it was the first time I got to see the Philippines outside of Alabang. Alabang and Manila feel like completely different countries, which made the ride to Manila quite an experience.

Something that struck me about the Philippines is that they approach poverty with much more empathy than the United States and many other countries. In the United States, we tend to be ashamed of poverty and try to hide it away so it doesn't make more affluent people uncomfortable; whereas, in the Philippines, you will see shanties next to some of the most gorgeous malls you've ever seen. I cannot help but wonder if we approached poverty the same way in the United States, if Americans as a whole would be more charitable. Perhaps part of the reason Filipinos are so generous is they do not pretend poverty doesn't exist if it doesn't personally affect them.

We started our visit to Manila at Rizal Park.

Next, we made our way to Intramuros, the Walled City.

You can view all my “Philippines Trip 2019” posts by clicking here.