Wednesday, February 10, 2010

Touring Manila

We spent the day sightseeing. The Philippines is predominately Catholic. Our first stop was Quiapo church.

It is especially crowded on Friday's when devotees come to light a candle in supplication to the Black Nazarene, believed to be miraculous.

The inside of Quiapo Church. It is busy with people just stopping in to say a quick prayer. I think it is busier than our Church in Lincoln on a Sunday morning.

Just outside the Church is a street market with vendors selling everything from religious items to food and clothing.

DVD's - any movie or TV show you can think of they have it...and only a buck.

Mom and dad, the electrical wiring was like we saw in Vietnam.

This is one of the bike shops Joel went to with John the day before. It is across the street from Quiapo Church.

Joel bought a bottle of Coke and the lady opened it for him and poured it into the plastic bag you see in his hand. She wanted to keep the bottle to recycle which is okay but it wasn't very convenient to drink...

The watermelon is fantastic here. It also happens to be Joel's favorite fruit so we have been indulging frequently
It's always fun to see priest and nuns out and about

A little grocery store at the street market

Anyone for coconut juice
All aboard...We're off to China Town for lunch

Our motorcycle driver dropped us off in front of a place called Red Dragon and said it was good. Unfortunately the food was some of the worst we have had and the longest wait for an empty restaurant we have had since we can remember but we passed time with our fruit drinks and listening to Ethan try to pronounce words we ask him to say. He does pretty well with most but he makes us laugh at the ones he's not even close with. Evie loves asking him to say "Penelope".

Prior to the arrival of the Spanish conquistadors to the Philippine Islands, the district of Santa Cruz was partly a marshland, patches of greeneries, orchards and partly rice fields. A Spanish expedition in 1581 claimed the territory and awarded it to the Jesuits. The Jesuits built the first Roman Catholic Church in the area where the present Santa Cruz Parish stands on June 20, 1619.
Evie looking at some birds for sale at the market

Evie found a Mr. Doughnut kiosk in the middle of the street market - happy girl.

The "Jeepny's" (private taxi's) were really cool. Each one was different and some of them were really elaborate.

People were so friendly and helpful. We asked a motorcycle taxi for directions and two different people walking by stopped to help him look at our map.

Our driver is starting his string-pulled motor.

Joel riding on the outside of the taxi. He said it was sketchy and kept trying to keep his knees pulled in

Manila Cathedral was completed in 1951. The main Cathedral sits over five predecessors, the first of which was erected in 1581. Four of the previous constructions were destroyed by earthquakes and fires. The fifth was reduced to a bombed-out shell during the Liberation of Manila in 1945.

Our last stop before returning to the hotel for some rest was Fort Santiago. The fort was built during the Spanish colonial occupation, which lasted three centuries; Occupied by the British forces for two years in the 18th century and Occupied by American forces in 1898, when Spain surrendered the Philippines. It was destroyed in World War II and resurrected in 1950.

We enjoyed a chill evening after a long day. We saw the movie The Princess and the Frog. The movie for our whole family was only $10 and the movie theater was just off a mall food court and you could bring any food you wanted into the theater.

Can you believe it, a Dairy Queen! I got a blizzard and of course it was fantastic.

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