Monday, July 10, 2017

The Glamorous Life Manila Style Chapter 2

Last Monday, after 5 days of jet-lagged rehearsals, press events and performances, we were released from Queen of Angels convent for THREE entire days. During a run of a show, it is typical to get only one entire day off, but we had 2 performances cancelled here in Manila. While I love performing this show, I was thrilled to have the extra time off to breathe unfiltered air and explore the city.

My colleague, Ashley Masula, found a fantastic tour guide and away six of us went on Monday.  The first observation I have for you - you're not alone. I thought I was the only one dying to get outside. Nope! The first stop was Rizal Park and as each one of us stepped out of the van into the hot, muggy air, most of us took a deep breath and sighed, "ah, fresh air".  I know, I know, your idea of fresh air is not a tropical urban environment. But after 5 days of filtered air systems, authentic air felt great!

One of the many impressive statues in Rizal Park.

Don't forget, we're in a developing country. 

Come on, I'm hungry!

Fort Santiago, from the Spanish colonial period.

Looks trendy now, but as recently as WWII,
this dungeon was used for crimes against humanity.

Lunch was the best - a stop at a seafood center, the type where you pick out your fresh seafood on one side and head to a restaurant on the other side (we went to Seazar's Seafood), tell them how you want it prepared and have a feast. We had grouper, mussels, shrimp, crab, calamari, seaweed (tasted a bit like a pickle to me), spinach, vegetables (we're always trying to find good vegetables) and fresh coconut water. I was too busy eating to take photos of the food. Trust me when I tell you it was fantastic. AND...$16.00 per person.

We did not eat this gorgeous lobster.
We DID have fun with Arthur.

Some of the choices.
Decisions, decisions.

Fresh coconuts!!!

We also visited a Jeepney "factory" and the world's only bamboo organ.

Super-styling Jeepney.

No video allowed during the organ performance.
Let's just say a few beats were dropped in Amazing Grace.
Still, a very mellow sound.

I am so lucky to have wonderful colleagues and traveling companions.
One of the perks of being over 40 is the many people you meet in life. This perk worked out beautifully for me Monday evening, as I was taken out on the town by a friend of a friend, Arnel Banas. Arnel and our mutual friend, Andre Acosta, (who lives 5 minutes from me in the States), had plotted and planned to make sure I would enjoy a marvelous Filipino dinner. Which I did.

Andre insisted that I have a mango shake.

Just SOME of the food. See the beautiful setting?
This restaurant, as you can see, sits out in Manila Bay.

One must eat dessert in Manila. Or two.
Cafe Adriatico, again insisted upon by Andre.
Good choice!

To wrap up this post, just a few more photos.

Filipinos love to take photos.
This display is set up outside of MOA - Mall of Asia!

Halo-halo, another delicious dessert.
Think parfait with flan, sweet gel pieces, syrup and ice cream.

Um...yeah, I had another mango shake or two.

The biggest rice basket I've ever seen in my life!

I'm leaving Manila this evening. I have been touched by the graciousness and ease of the Filipino people. While this country, like so many countries, has serious problems, the people are its finest asset.

Salamat Manila!

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