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Manila Chinese Cemetery houses

Philippines: Manila Chinese Cemetery – what it’s like inside

Date: May 14th 2014

After my Corregidor island tour, I took a break the following day to do some shopping in Manila. Today, I chose to spend my afternoon checking out Manila’s Chinese Cemetery. My ‘first’ Pinay friend Aimee told me about the cemetery and she suggested I check it out. That was back in 2011. Well, three years later, here I am.

Getting to the Chinese Cemetery wasn’t as easy. I mean, if you get to Abad Santos station, you will see the cemetery right away… but it’s finding the right entrance that’s the challenge. I got down at Abad Santos but when I couldn’t find an entrance nearby, I asked the staff at the LRT and they told I had to go to R. Papa, the very next station! Annoyed, I took the train to R.Papa.

Manila Chinese cemetery North Gate
I walked out of R. Papa station, by the road… and all I saw were the closed gates at the north entrance. Ugh.
Boundary wall Chinese cemetery Manila
I wondered how the heck I could get in. There was no one I could ask either.

Annoyed, I walked back and found myself walking through a barangay(?).

Manila barangay fiesta decorations Philippines
I just kept walking around assuming there would be an entrance to the cemetery somewhere behind
Stage barangay event Manila
But I couldn’t go much further because the road was blocked with this stage set up
Kids barangay Manila Philippines
So I walked back

I walked back to R. Papa where a bunch of tricycle taxi drivers accosted me asking where I want to go. I didn’t feel like wasting time anymore so I just hopped into one, bargained it down to 30 pesos and asked the guy to take me to the right entrance of the Manila Chinese Cemetery.

Manila Chinese Cemetery south gate entrance
The tricycle rode all the way back to Abad Santos station and then passed it to take a left. Another left turn and voila: I was at the right entrance!

The security guard at the entrance asked me where I was from and I replied saying I’m not from media, just a tourist. There is no entrance fee or anything, so one can just walk in. But as soon as I went in, a older guy approached me and asked me if I wanted a guide. He said he would show me around the cemetery in a bike and tell me all about the people buried here. How much? ₱800 (₹1100/$17/€14) he said. I said no. I even asked him if he was an official guide here.

I walked further inside… and another “guide” approached me. He offered to take me around for just ₱400. At this point I was doubting these “guides”. So I just said no to the second guy as well. Then this second fellow went and urinated beside a grave house.

Man peeing Manila Chinese Cemetery
I’m not kidding. That’s the guy, in red, peeing outside someone’s grave.
Manila Chinese Cemetery houses
Oh, by the way, these are not houses… but graves

Continue reading “Philippines: Manila Chinese Cemetery – what it’s like inside” »

Topside barracks Corregidor island panorama

Philippines: Corregidor Island tour

Date: May 12th 2014

I got up early and took a taxi to the Cultural Center of Philippines building. Today I was going to go to Corregidor island, used by US forces as a defense base and a key island in the Philippine battles against the Japanese in World War II.

Cultural Center of Philippines building Manila
This is the CCP building, close to Manila Bay
CCP complex road Manila
I got down behind the CCP building and walked towards the right
Sun cruise terminal Manila Philippines
Eventually you come across signs pointing to the Sun Cruises office. Although the ferry leaves at 8am, you are asked to ‘check in’ by 7am or so.

If you want to do a tour of Corregidor island, you really don’t have much choice besides going via Sun Cruises. They have a monopoly over the ferry service to Corregidor island and tours conducted there. I paid ₱2200 (Rs.3000/$48/€38) for the day tour. I couldn’t find anything less from any other tour provider. You can get the fact sheet about the island here.

Sun Cruise cyclists Correigidor ferry
Sun Cruises offer cycle tours to Corregidor island too
Manila city from sea
We left the dock
Inside Sun Cruise ferry Correigidor tour
I took this photo before departure, but it was pretty full by the time we left
Cycles ferry view Manila city
The view of Manila skyline from sea
Corregidor island Bataan Philippines
30 minutes later, I could see Corregidor island in the distance

During WW2, Corregidor island was seized by Japanese forces and used it to house American and Filipino POWs. Continue reading “Philippines: Corregidor Island tour” »

Koi fish feeding pond Solenad Laguna

Philippines Bargain shopping in Manila; Paseo de Santa Rosa & Solenad

Date: May 10th 2014

Being really hot during the day, I decided to step out only at around 2pm.

Cheese flavour KFC rice meal
I began my outing by having a KFC lunch. The outlet I sat at had cheddar cheese coated KFC. It was bleh! It’s basically the same artificial coating you find on cheese balls crisps but now on KFC. The meal cost ₱99.
Ladies train MRT Manila
I then went to Ayala to withdraw some money from Citibank branch there

After withdrawing some money, I walked around the area (very posh, mind you). Lots of malls and office buildings.

Asian Institute of Management Manila
Asian Institute of Management — it’s one of the top-ranked B-schools in Asia
Comic Sale Central Greenbelt mall Manila
I entered Greenbelt 5 mall, which is just one of many malls under the Greenbelt name in the area
Greenbelt mall Makati Manila
This is Greenbelt 3, the posh mall with all the really high-end brands
Naruto t-shirts Robinsons Manila
I spent some time at the SM department store picking up some t-shirts for my younger brother. SM has official merchandise from popular anime like Naruto, One Piece and other cartoons. Pretty cheap too, t-shirts can be found ranging from ₱99 all the way up to ₱399.

After that, I went to Carriedo (LRT station) where SM has a clearance mall

SM Clearance mall Carriedo Manila
I had seen this building from taking the LRT, figured I would check it out

I found some great bargains inside. Besides a bunch of in-store brands by SM, they had a few name brands and foreign brands in short supply (maybe export rejects). None the less, I found H&M cargo shorts for ₱400. Definitely export-reject-worthy Rip Curl swimming shorts for ₱200. And then some bermuda shorts for like ₱100 each. Not everything was cheap, but then again, coming from India, I wasn’t planning on buying many clothes from Philippines anyway.

One thing I found funny was just how many sales persons are there to sell you socks. Like, super-aggressive when it comes to shoving socks in your face. Think perfume sales people offering a spray to get you talking to them — but a lot more of them selling packs of socks! High margin socks I presume? 😀

Carriedo street market Manila
Outside, Carriedo is home to a rather large street market

Continue reading “Philippines Bargain shopping in Manila; Paseo de Santa Rosa & Solenad” »

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