We just returned from a trip to Manila, to file my annual report with the Bureau Of Immigration.
While we were in Manila, we stayed at the Swagman Hotel in Ermita. Their location is easy walking distance from the U.S. Embassy, and a short taxi ride from Intermurals. The Swagman will pick you up at the airport for free, and bring you back there for your return flight. I find the workers to be very friendly and helpful, but the building is rather old. Sometimes, when taking a shower, the water keeps changing tempurature, and the towels are rather old and dingy looking. My favorite part of staying at the Swagman is their Outback Bar/Restaurant. They have good Australian and Philipino foods, ranging from real steaks to crispy pata. What I like the least about this location are the many street hawkers outside the door! It seems like everytime I walk outside, someone is trying to sell me a cheap immitation rolex, belt made in Italy (street in Marikina), or expired viagra. Also watch out for the guys with regular cars, claiming to be taxi drivers. Their prices are much higher than what you will pay with a meter.
One day I went out to Pizza Hut, and I saw this child bathing in a tub along the sidewalk. While I wouldn’t find this surprising in Samar, I was surprised to see that in a major city. Here is a picture: