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Old 07-12-2014, 09:08 AM
 
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At how much of the city bears a resemblance to San Juan, Puerto Rico, my hometown. Granted, it's much less chaotic in San Juan, but from the way the buildings and houses are built along the main roads, how the main roads are set up, how the sky looks, how the houses look, just almost everything it reminded me a lot of Río Piedras, San José, Bayamón, etc. Now I'm really interested in visiting. My wife isn't too enthusiastic about visiting anywhere in Asia, but she LOVED Puerto Rico. I wonder if she would be open to visiting the Philippines since it already looks "familiar" to both of us?

By the way, what's with the English signs everywhere in Manila?

 
Old 07-12-2014, 09:12 AM
 
Location: Macao
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Quote:
Originally Posted by theunbrainwashed View Post
At how much of the city bears a resemblance to San Juan, Puerto Rico, my hometown. Granted, it's much less chaotic in San Juan, but from the way the buildings and houses are built along the main roads, how the main roads are set up, how the sky looks, how the houses look, just almost everything it reminded me a lot of Río Piedras, San José, Bayamón, etc. Now I'm really interested in visiting. My wife isn't too enthusiastic about visiting anywhere in Asia, but she LOVED Puerto Rico. I wonder if she would be open to visiting the Philippines since it already looks "familiar" to both of us?

By the way, what's with the English signs everywhere in Manila?
Tons of English throughout the Philippines. Partially perhaps due to the fact that the national language of Tagalog is basically Manila's regional language enforced on the entire nation. If you go to other cities like Cebu, they won't speak Tagalog at all, but they'll be very familiar with it.

ANyways, in general, there is a lot of English in the Philippines. It also goes back to traditionally it was the United States that setup the Education System in the Philippines, and there has been a long-standing policy that education was in English in the Philippines. (I heard recently that might have changed though).

Regarding the San Juan resemblances. Doesn't surprise me! The Philippines is made up of 7000 islands, and often has a very island-like look and feel with the clouds, the rain, the sky colors and such.

It also had a few centuries of Spanish rule which created many Spanish-like styles of housing. Even the newer stuff, sometimes has a very Southern Florida or Californian look to me, sometimes. Some of it. It's also very very varied as well with it's own very Filipino stuff as well though.
 
Old 07-12-2014, 09:28 AM
 
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Not surprised.. Manila is like a piece of Latin America in Asia (actually the Philippines as a whole, except maybe the southern part). The overall ambiance is very similar to any Latin American country particularly the Caribbean, due to culture, architecture, religion, food, language which are all heavily influenced by the Spanish.

The English signs are common since Philippines used to be an American colony just like Puerto Rico (although it's still is a US territory), so English is like a 2nd language for most Filipinos. Due to the shared history, there are many similarities between the two countries, also by the fact that they are both in the tropics with gorgeous beaches.

Overall for starters in Asia particularly for Westerners, I would definitely recommend the Philippines since it's not too different and perhaps the most westernised (culturally) in Asia.
 
Old 07-12-2014, 11:54 AM
 
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A couple differences:

San Juan seems to have a lot more colonial architecture. In Manila, most of that was destroyed during WW2.

San Juan has a nice beach. Even though Manila is on the water, the nearest decent beach is more than an hour away. I'm sure there's a "beach" within Metro Manila but you don't wanna go there.

If you do visit:

-Don't come July through October because it's rainy season

-April and May are too hot, but these are also fun months because it's "summer" in the Philippines and lots of fiestas happen. As long as you're close to a beach, you're good.

-November to March are the best because it's not rainy and not too hot (relatively speaking). Manila and the Philippines is general look best around Christmas season.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Tiger Beer View Post
Even the newer stuff, sometimes has a very Southern Florida or Californian look to me, sometimes. Some of it.
I've noticed this as well. You see a lot of these types
http://4.bp.blogspot.com/-iH8C3StBnm...a+pampanga.JPG

Last edited by Smtchll; 07-12-2014 at 12:06 PM..
 
Old 07-12-2014, 08:19 PM
 
318 posts, read 408,228 times
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https://www.google.com.au/search?q=m...w=1071&bih=572

I thought it was photos like this that shocked you...
 
Old 07-12-2014, 08:42 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Pavement Pounder View Post
https://www.google.com.au/search?q=m...w=1071&bih=572

I thought it was photos like this that shocked you...
Not really, because that's what I expected from pretty much most countries south of China
 
Old 07-13-2014, 12:57 AM
 
3,644 posts, read 9,008,917 times
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most of Manila looks like this, which I don't think looks like San Juan. Correct me if I'm wrong

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SE_1MQ9ui7o
 
Old 07-13-2014, 04:16 AM
 
96 posts, read 180,091 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Pavement Pounder View Post
https://www.google.com.au/search?q=m...w=1071&bih=572

I thought it was photos like this that shocked you...
No longer true. Although there are still SOME around the Metro.

I think there is a better way describing Metro Manila rather than associating it with enormous illegal settlers. Many things have changed.
 
Old 07-13-2014, 09:47 PM
 
110 posts, read 106,791 times
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I suggest you visit the following when you come to the Philippines.

1.Intramuros, the old Walled City of Manila - Spanish architectures...churches..cobbled street...forts..houses
2.Vigan City up to the northern Ilocos Philippines...Calle Crisologo is a world heritage site where Spanish houses...are still preserved...you can go and continue your tour of Ilocandia(Ilocos provinces) where you can feel much of its Latin culture...see old and preserved Spanish houses..churches and experiences Filipino and Latin mix cultures...you can sign up for tours to the ares from Metro Manila.
3. Cebu, course where you can experience the pleasure and richness of both nature and culture...beaches are superb...you can do diving and swim with the whale sharks...alongside with tours of the city...it is the oldest city in the country...established during the Spanish period.
5. Batangas- Taal and Tiaong - Villa Escudero. Taal where you can also visit numerous Spanish ancestral houses, church and the famous Taal Volcano (Tagaytay City)...and onto Quezon the famous Villa Escudero, a former Fil-Spanish plantation turned to museum and resort...visit their collection of Spanish and religious santos and memorabilias and dine beside the man-made falls.

So much to offer...
I had good and memorable experiences to these sites
 
Old 07-13-2014, 09:54 PM
 
110 posts, read 106,791 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 62914 View Post
No longer true. Although there are still SOME around the Metro.

I think there is a better way describing Metro Manila rather than associating it with enormous illegal settlers. Many things have changed.
I have been to Metro Manila this month and yes you are correct so much has changed...
An area which was previously squatter homes..now a building complex is buing built.
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