Manila


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Manila was a very pleasant surprise. Despite what you might hear about it, the city is a hidden gem with contrasts of colonial history and urban modernity. There are areas comparable to old Central American cities as well as areas on par with the nicer parts of Los Angeles! Manila has done well to grow and maintain its affluent areas, successfully attracting many large multinational companies with an expat workforce, as well as the largest shopping mall in Asia (aptly named Mall of Asia). Though on the downside, traffic remains a severe hindrance.

I visited here in January 2013 and the weather was nice. I had the chance to see most parts of the city and surrounding areas, attend some shows, sample the unique cuisine, and catch a part of favorite national pastime — singing karaoke!

(hover to see photo captions, click to enlarge)

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