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Travelogue and Gallery

Mines View Park – Baguio

A view from the top of Mines View Park.  Not sure how much can be seen from the photo, but the viewing deck allows you to see down into Benguet’s copper and gold mine.

The Mansion – Baguio

This is the shack where the President stays when holidaying in Baguio.

Lourdes Grotto – Baguio

The Lourdes Grotto in western Baguio – located on top of a hill. There are over 250 steps to climb from the bottom.  Thankfully my taxi driver drove me half way up (that’s as far as they’re allowed to go).  I hired him for 200 pesos an hour ($5aud) and he took me around a couple of sites.

The words above her head are Latin, “Tota Pulcha Es Maria” meaning “You Are All Beautiful, Mary”

Victory Liner Depot – Baguio

I used Victory Liner to go from Manila (Pasay) -> Subic Bay (Olongapo) -> Baguio -> Manila (Pasay).

Although the seats were comfortable, the trips took a long time, albeit with many stops, for both pickups/dropoffs and rest breaks.

Manila to Olongapo was about 4 hours, and cost around 240 pesos.

Olongapo to Baguio  took about 7 hours, and cost around 450 pesos.

Baguio to Manila took about 8 hours and cost around 450 pesos again.

A lot of travelling for under $30 AUD.

The Victory Liner depots are easy to navigate, there are always plenty of taxi’s around, and easy to get to.

Subic Bay

A view from the back of my hotel looking over Subic Bay.

Harrison St – Manila

Right next door to the Harrison Plaza Mall…

Manila Cathedral

The eight structure to rise on the site.

The first church built of nipa and bamboo was built in 1571.  It burned down in 1583, and a second cathedral was built of stone and mortar in 1591.  It was destroyed in 1599 and 1600 by earthquakes.

Third cathedral was built in 1614.  Destroyed by 1621 and 1645 earthquakes.  Fourth cathedral built from 1654 to 1681.  Damaged by typhoons and earthquakes, and subsequently demolished in 1751.

Fifth cathedral inaugurated in 1760.  Renovated in 1850 but destroyed by an earthquake in 1852.  Sixth cathedral constructed from 1854 to 1858.  Destroyed by earthquake in 1863.  Seventh cathedral inaugurated in 1879, then severely damaged by earthquake in 1880 when its belltower collapsed.  Totally destroyed in the 1945 Battle of Manila.

The present cathedral was built from 1953 to 1958.  Elevated to the rank of Minor Basilica by Pope John Paul II in 1981 and officially named Basilica of the Immaculate Conception.

Manila Ocean Park

A stingray at the Manila Ocean Park

Hotel Kimberley – Tagaytay

Not the cheapest hotel I’ve stayed in, but it was pretty nice!  Still only about $100AUD a night.

Good service, good rooms, but a little bit out of the way as far as location goes –

Taal Volcano

A view of Taal Volcano from the boat going across to Taal Lake.

The Road to Taal Lake

The road leading down to Taal Lake, flying along in a trike.  The driver had been in the tourist game for 15 years, and charges 400 pesos to take you down to the lake, wait around until you come back from the Volcano, then drop you back off at your hotel.

McDonalds – Philippine Style

McDonalds – 60 pesos ($1.50) – drink, chicken and some wrapped up rice.  And just so you know, that’s some gravy sauce in the photo – not the drink!