Day 58–Fri., Mar. 4, 2011–Manila, The Philippines

     Manila is the capital of the Philippines and one of the cities that make up the greater metropolitan area of Metro Manila.  We were awakened by Bruce telling us that we did not have to report for a temperature check, it would be done at the gangway.  Then Ray heard drums and we dressed and went on deck to hear a local high school band and a folk drum band.  The high school had twirlers!  At 9 AM it was 75 degrees and 71% humidity.  We have sailed 16,410 nautical miles.

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We then decided to go off and check out the stalls before breakfast.  They had girls to welcome us and that is a “jeepney” behind us.  It belongs to Chef Bernie on board.  It is a local form of transportation.  We took the shuttle bus into town.

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I have no pictures of town because we were told to carry very little and to wear no jewelry.  The shuttle drove through some wide streets and some very narrow ones.  One street had a lot of people sitting and laying on the sidewalk.  The streets were clean, we saw many people sweeping, but the town had a dingy look to it.  The shuttle dropped us off at the modern Robinson’s Place Shopping Mall.  It had just about every store you would find in the US.  It was crowded for a Friday.  The only part of it I didn’t like was the bargain area.  Of course we went in it and everyone was in our face asking us to buy.  It reminded me of a Souk or Jamaica.   Ray got a haircut for 200 Pesos or about $5.25.  It included a head and shoulder massage.  We found an Internet place that charged 1 peso a minute.  Each peso is worth about $.026, so it cost us about $1.48 for 57 minutes.  The mall was huge and very hard to follow their map.  We managed and got back to the ship around 2:30 or so.  We were tired.

     During dinner, Joel brought his wife and 4-year-old son around to introduce them to us.  There was no show tonight, just a movie, “Inception”.  How this won 4 Academy Awards is beyond us. Everyone started walking out and I soon followed.  Ray stayed a little longer and them came to the room.  It was very hard to follow.

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A journey of a thousand miles must begin with a single step.”  -Lao Tzu-

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