My Filipino Tour: Angeles City

After a long eight hours of slow, stop and go travel on the bus we arrived in Angeles City around 10pm and in the middle of a huge festival. The Mint Hotel said the street in front of the hotel, a main city street, was closed off and they would send a driver. About an hour later he arrived and it took another hour to get back to the hotel. The traffic was insane.

While we waited P insisted I tried ballut, which is a hard boiled fertilized duck or chicken egg. I have seen it eaten on television shows before and new exactly what it was. For me it's a mental picture of little half formed fetus which gets me queasy. But I tried it. The egg is full of warm broth which is tasty and the egg itself is decent too. Luckily mine did not have any little bones or peak. I ate it. Not sure I would again.

 After getting checked into the room we wondered out in the crowd to check out the festival. It was a madhouse. Wall to wall people walking and sitting with drinks and food. Several sound stages were set up about half block, each playing different music. When you wasn't directly in front of a speaker the sounds all blurred together. We managed to find a seat and ordered grilled chicken intestines and hearts, hot dogs (which are huge favorite in the country), and a pitcher of the national beer San Miguel.

Around 4am I woke up and could still hear the music blasting. I peaked outside the window to find more than a few people still carrying on the party. About 7am, I woke up again and looked outside the window. Almost everything was torn down and the street was open once again. I was impressed.

P is from one of the suburbs of Angeles. She claimed there isn't many sites to see and not much to do in the city. I think she was right. We walked around to find a place to eat lunch and stumbled about "Walking Street". It's the area where where lots of strip clubs and bars which cater to bar girls (prostitutes) can be found. Even before noon people can be seen hustling, trying to get you inside the doors. I saw lots of old men, mainly Aussies, which very young Filipina girls.The majority of the city's tourism seems to be based off these bar girls. It's accepted and tolerated but not really discussed. And being white skinned and walking around with a Filipina woman, who for the record is close to my age, I felt a lot of strange looks upon me the entire time in the city. Maybe I just imagined it because the situation there is rather sad. It's a poor country overall. And lots of young women with little skills thinking the only way out is to get an older Westerner with money. Or just any older man with money to take them away.

We ate light and walked around some more. Did a little shopping at the grocery. Went back to the hotel to relax. Neither of us got much sleep due to the festival. That night we ate the Shanghai China restuarant across the street. Pretty good food. We had lumpia, crab-corn chowder, and pork adobo. Walking around the busy streets with full bellies, we both decided to call it an early night. Back to the hotel we went.

The next day, P needed to run home. I stayed at the hotel and chilled out. When she returned, we decided to go to the SM Clark Mall to waste time in the afternoon. So we hopped one of many colorful jeeepney's (an elongated jeep used for transportation) and took the short ride. 

The mall was very busy. Then it occurred to me that malls in the Philippines are different. It's a place for family and friends to go spend time together. The bigger groceries, pharmacies, and hardware stores are at the mall so one needs to come here more often. Plus in a country with near 90 degree humid heat year round, it's a good place to get under the air conditioning and get cooled off. Little known fact - three of the largest malls in the world are located in this country.

We walked around talking and joking around. We decided to eat lunch at a buffet so I could try many different Filipino foods. Most of what I sampled was delicious. With full bellies once again, we walked around some more until we had had enough and caught a jeepney back to the hotel.

That night we ate late at a pizza place called Yellow Cab. It was decent, not spectacular pizza. Also had pistachio ice cream for dessert, which was very good.

The next morning I woke up with one last day before heading back to the US. We had breakfast and checked out of the Mint Hotel. Which is a decent hotel for a good price. It seems to be more of family oriented and business hotel than one where a good percentage of the clients are bringing in bar girls.

Off to the bus terminal we headed as P decided to join me on my last day Manila. Thankfully, this bus ride was under two hours.

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