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Subject: "my trip to the phillipines." Previous topic | Next topic
kdsmithjr Silver Member Charter MemberSun 11-Apr-10 09:16 PM
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"my trip to the phillipines."
Sun 11-Apr-10 09:19 PM by kdsmithjr

Ithaca, US
          

well, folks. I did it. I was in the phillipines from march 14 to march 21st and it was an awesome trip. I want to return to live there! the people i was with or met were just incredible and i felt more comfortable there than i do in my own country (USA). As a person of color (i am a black american) I have never experienced such openness and genuine acceptance and nowhere even a hint of disdain because of the color of my skin.

I sort of took the counsel given here about driving. I had planned to stay in manila my first two days there, just to get acclimated and deal with any possible jet lag (the flight from jfk is 22 hrs and 45 mins--china airlines rocks!!). Because i grew up in NYC and was keenly aware that having an automobile can be more of a liability than an asset, I stayed in a 'condotel' in makati city (sort of akin to midtown manhattan's relatioship to metro nyc) for my first two days. Then, on the morning of the third day there, I took a taxi back to NAIA (manila international) and rented a car for the remainder of my week that. That morning, with new rental in hand, I was bound for Baguio City. One of the workers in the car rental place, hearing i had been there for two days and been around manila, offered to drive me and my rental north, to the northern edge of manila, on the main road to Baguio for 500 pesos (about $10 and mostly to cover the cost of him gettting back to work at NAIA). He and I and Jasmin (a filipina I'd been chatting with on the net for nearly a year and who love photography and who stayed with me during the week there) snaked our way thru mid afternoon manila traffic and, beginning about 2:30 pm or so, Jas and I were on the way to Baguio (no, she doesn't know how to drive).

That 4 hour or so drive was a quick education in driving in the "phils." Contrary to common advice given, it is do-able to an american driver but...(this is a big but) people who are anal retentive about driving rules or who can't pass muster as a NYC cab driver (i was in college in the 70's) or who don't consider themselves "aggressive" behind the wheel should heed the common warning and use a driver instead. The warning you see on TV during commercials with stunt driving that say "do not try this. professional drivers shown" absolutely apply in the Phils! The Phillipines is physically the size of New York State and Pennsylvania combined. Here those state have about 30-35 million residents. There are 92 million filipinos living in the Phillipines. Translation? There are people everywhere; even 'rural' areas between towns have lots of traffic and pedestrians and mopeds and motorized tricycles/moped-sidecars all over.Once you get into the 'groove' of how you need to conduct yourself behind the wheel, driving in the phils is no different than driving in NYC (sort of).

It gets dark there earlier than it does in my home (Ithaca, ny), so my intro to driving there included driving on serpentile narrow roads winding thru the mountains, climbing the 5,000 ft from manila's sealevel to Baguio's 900 to 1500 meter level--in pitch darkness. My accomodations in Baguio were very reasonable and the people were great. The phils is very different, yet very much the same as the USA. The malls there could easily be transplated to anyplace in the USA and they are just as packed as ours. The scenery was incredible, the weather perfect and jas and i were taken around baguio for 4 hours for about 500 pesos. I spent time at the botanic gardens, checked out the presidental retreat (kinda like their "camp david") and i spent a good two hours shooting at the phillipine military academy--the "west point" of asia.
After two days in baguio we get back in the car and pointed ourselves back towards manila. we actually went through manila on the way to a town south of there called Tagaytay and the famous Taal lake. A "caldera" is a geologic formation that is, essentially, a water-filled crater of an "extinct" volcano; essentially a "lake" formed in the crater of an old volcano. Taal Lake is a caldera, but it is unique because in the middle of Taal Lake there is another, smaller volcano, also "dead", whose smaller crater is also a caldera; essentially you have a scenario where there is a caldera within another caldera! The bigger caldera, i.e., Taal Lake had a connection to the sea hundreds of years ago, but that was cut off in an ancient eruption. As a result, though, Taal Lake was one of the world's fresh water sardines and one of only two species of fresh water "true" sea snakes (all deadly elapids--related to kraits and cobra and coral snakes). My room there for two nights was perched high atop the rim of Taal Lake's caldera wall and i took a motorized outrigger boat to the smaller volcano and rode a horse up to the rim of the smaller volcano and it's caldera.
Having Jasmin along was great; she speaks english well--as do many filipinos--and she could clue me into some cultural norms...and she taught me to eat "filipino style."
I've attached a few shots.











K. D. Smith, Jr.
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Replies to this topic
Subject Author Message Date ID
Reply message RE: my trip to the phillipines.
James23p Moderator Awarded for his wide variety of skills, a true generalist both in film and digital photography
12th Apr 2010
1
Reply message RE: my trip to the phillipines.
kdsmithjr Silver Member
12th Apr 2010
2
     Reply message RE: my trip to the phillipines.
yuriboiblu
16th May 2010
3
          Reply message RE: my trip to the phillipines.
kdsmithjr Silver Member
17th May 2010
4
          Reply message RE: my trip to the phillipines.
kdsmithjr Silver Member
17th May 2010
5
          Reply message RE: my trip to the phillipines.
kdsmithjr Silver Member
17th May 2010
6
               Reply message RE: my trip to the phillipines.
gqtuazon Silver Member
25th May 2010
7
                    Reply message RE: my trip to the phillipines.
kdsmithjr Silver Member
19th Jul 2010
8

James23p Moderator Awarded for his wide variety of skills, a true generalist both in film and digital photography Nikonian since 25th Apr 2004Mon 12-Apr-10 05:20 AM
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#1. "RE: my trip to the phillipines."
In response to Reply # 0
Tue 13-Apr-10 02:08 PM by James23p

Memphis, US
          

I was stationed in the Philippines in the 80's and to this day long to return to that lovely the country!

Nice shots Jim

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I will use film until the last roll and last lab are gone. Go Navy

  

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kdsmithjr Silver Member Charter MemberMon 12-Apr-10 05:12 PM
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#2. "RE: my trip to the phillipines."
In response to Reply # 1


Ithaca, US
          

I'd never been there before my trip. I loved it and I would leave right now to go back again. One of the best weeks of my life.

K. D. Smith, Jr.
My gallery: http://www.nikonians-images.org/galleries/showgallery.php/cat/500/ppuser/1334

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yuriboiblu Basic MemberSun 16-May-10 10:32 PM
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#3. "RE: my trip to the phillipines."
In response to Reply # 2


Calgary, CA
          

james and kdsmith ... we are so happy that you've enjoyed your stay in the Phils. Yes, we want you to come back and you're very welcome. MORE ISLANDS TO VISIT!


Yuriboiblu

  

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kdsmithjr Silver Member Charter MemberMon 17-May-10 01:34 AM
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#4. "RE: my trip to the phillipines."
In response to Reply # 3


Ithaca, US
          

actually, funny you should say that. i've decided to retire there. and they actually have a very interesting program to encourage 'expats' to retire there. jamin's excited too; she's trying to think of places i might like to buy a place in which to live.

















K. D. Smith, Jr.
My gallery: http://www.nikonians-images.org/galleries/showgallery.php/cat/500/ppuser/1334

Visit my Nikonians gallery.

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kdsmithjr Silver Member Charter MemberMon 17-May-10 02:42 AM
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#5. "RE: my trip to the phillipines."
In response to Reply # 3


Ithaca, US
          

And now that I kinda know my way around and have no fear of driving there and jasmin and her family are anxious for us all to meet, I should get to do some nice people shots to augement stuff like this.


























K. D. Smith, Jr.
My gallery: http://www.nikonians-images.org/galleries/showgallery.php/cat/500/ppuser/1334

Visit my Nikonians gallery.

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Visit my Nikonians gallery.

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kdsmithjr Silver Member Charter MemberMon 17-May-10 03:20 AM
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#6. "RE: my trip to the phillipines."
In response to Reply # 3
Mon 17-May-10 03:25 AM by kdsmithjr

Ithaca, US
          

i'll see if i can find a few more general shots to post that i took in a week. btw, jasmin never even touched a cam like a d300 before. But after about 5 mins of tinkering, she was shooting like a pro.





















K. D. Smith, Jr.
My gallery: http://www.nikonians-images.org/galleries/showgallery.php/cat/500/ppuser/1334

Visit my Nikonians gallery.

Visit my Nikonians gallery.

Visit my Nikonians gallery.

Attachment #1, (jpg file)
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Attachment #4, (jpg file)
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gqtuazon Silver Member Nikonian since 18th Nov 2009Tue 25-May-10 02:51 PM
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#7. "RE: my trip to the phillipines."
In response to Reply # 6
Tue 25-May-10 02:59 PM by gqtuazon

FPO, US
          

Hi Keith,

I'm glad you've enjoyed your visit. Nice landscape pictures. I plan on retiring there within 3 years myself in Pampanga near Clark AB just to stay away from the traffic of Manila. You should be use to the horns of the vehicles by now when you drive. I would just hire someone to drive you around so that you don't have to worry about parking. Labor is really cheap there.

Cheers,

Glenn

  

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kdsmithjr Silver Member Charter MemberMon 19-Jul-10 10:33 PM
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#8. "RE: my trip to the phillipines."
In response to Reply # 7


Ithaca, US
          

I actually drove myself and I had no problems. Of course, I drove a taxi cab in NYC for too summmer so.....

K. D. Smith, Jr.
My gallery: http://www.nikonians-images.org/galleries/showgallery.php/cat/500/ppuser/1334

Visit my Nikonians gallery.

Visit my Nikonians gallery.

Visit my Nikonians gallery.

  

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