It's been a pretty busy week, so I've had almost no time for reading blogs, never mind posting anything of my own. I just got to Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia last night but I figured I should get this post up first.
My colleagues and I traveled from Singapore to Manila on Wednesday, and it's hard to come up with a pair of cities more at opposite ends of the spectrum. While Singapore is modern, clean and orderly to the point of being almost bland, Manila is anything but. Manila is a cacophony of sound and motion. It's also a study of have and have-not.
I snapped off this shot of the fountain in front of our hotel while waiting for our driver. In the background left, there's a Hard Rock Cafe and a California Pizza Kitchen. This area caters to the tourists and business travelers, as well as the "haves" of Manila.
On Friday, we had to go to a meeting well outside of Manila. It turned out that the location was a resort at the former Clark Air Base, a former US Air Force facility. I snapped off this shot out the window of our car on the way out. This particular traffic scene doesn't give the full story of the absolute chaos that is the traffic in the Philippines. Most of the vehicles you see here are "Jeepneys", which became popular here as a result of the American presence following World War II. The locals would take cast-off American Jeeps and modify them for public transport. They're typically decorated in garish colors and chrome, but the ones shown here from Angeles City aren't quite up to the standards of Manila.
I suppose I should mention the Abu Sayyaf leader who was taken out last week in the Philippines. It was in heavy rotation in the news here, and the coverage suggests, to me at least, that the Philippine government is deadly serious about wiping out Abu Sayyaf and Jemaah Islamiyah in the southern parts of the country.