Saturday, April 01, 2006

Accommodation Review - Sleazy Motels in the Philippines

Putting my wallet in the motel drawer, I discovered, to my amazement, dozens of glow-in-the-dark, fruit flavoured condoms. Hmm... looks like somebody had been doin' the naughty. I also couldn't put my finger on the strange pinkish-Japanese like design of our motel room. Tired as I was from the Manila-Cebu flight, I jumped into bed and started to flick through the cable ... and discovered to my amazement that several of the channels - along with your regular Cartoon Network and CNN channels - contained really, really ... hard core porno stuff!!! Whats going on here? It suddenly dawned on me why my wife was hestitant to check into this motel or any motels in the Philippines in general - they're designed specifically for people who want a quick fling - a lovers nest of sorts.

In a deeply religious country like the Philippines, motels represent everything thats not going right. Theres a strong stimga attached to the word "Motel" in the minds of many Pilippinos (you should see the look on my Pilippino friends faces when I told them where we were staying). Motels are usually associated with places where lovers escape to do the naughty.

Think twice about staying in a Motel in the Philippines. They're not only known to be sleazy, but they're from a different world all together.

Some Pilippino couples meet separately when they enter a motel, others wear sunglasses to disguise themselves. Exits and entrances are discreetly designed to allow people to leave with minimum visibility. So afraid of being recognised are they, that some couples will even go as far as jumping into a taxi, ducking their heads in and laying low for a couple of minutes before reemerging once again after the taxi has covered some round.

So, if you're here on a business trip, family trip...or whatever trip you have and you have an image to protect, its best not to check into a motel. However, dispite their sleezy connation with the locals are quite nice and affordable. Motels bill you by the hour, for example Hotel Sago have accommodation for 6 hours, 8 hours or 12 hour stays with varying rates.

Wednesday, March 29, 2006

A Brief History of the Philippines

History of the Philippines
Stilted houses, fishing villages, active volcanoes and fertile soils. These were the strange and exotic new sights that greeted Magellan and the five Spanish expedition ships that approached the island of Samar on March 16, 1521.

As was the islands custom, Magellan and his men were warmly welcomed by the islanders and the two Rajas, Kolambu and Siagu. For Ferdinand Magellan and his men, the sight of the island was a relief after having sailed around the world for 2 years. The expeditions progress to claim new land for Spain had indeed being slow, daunting and somewhat unsuccessful. Such was the stress and tension of the voyage that Magellans captains even attempted mutiny. The mutiny was unsuccessful, and the mutineers were marooned, executed or clapped in chains.

Since 982, foreign expedition had come to trade with the Philippines from as far away as China, India, Japan, Borneo, Java, Siam and Sumatra. The traders were warmly welcomed into the towns and ports along the coast of Luzon, Mindoro and Sulu. For centuries, a peaceful trade route existed between the Philippines and these islands... but the arrival of the Spanish expedition was about to change the history of this peaceful trade relations forever.

Shortly after landing his fleet on the island of Samar, Magellan erected a cross and proceeded to claim the new islands for Spain. He christianed the island as the "Archipelago of San Lazaro". And so began the dawn of a new era for the Spanish colony, and the beginning of the end of the Pilipino culture.