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      07-27-2010, 10:08 PM   #1

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Trip to Philippines & Borneo (200+ pics)

I posted these on the Honda forum I used to be a member of. Since I'm now an M owner, figure I'd share some of these with you guys. Hope you enjoy. This is my latest trip, the prior ones are linked below (each with TONS of pictures and commentary).

I'm posting up my pictures from another business trip to Manila, Philippines. Quick recap...I work for Vonage Holdings as a marketing analyst/vendor manager. We outsource several of our inbound sales call centers to the Philippines. I go every now and then to check up on the sites.

I'm mainly in the metro Manila area (Makati City and Quezon City). During my off days, I'll wander around to other areas. This time I even took a 1 week vacation to Borneo. I enjoy doing commentary on each picture, so I'll talk more within the post. I didn't take as many pics this time because I was quite busy. I also didn't want to take repeat type pictures from my other linked posts below. Also very little clicky pow this time. Sorry guys.

Hope you all enjoy as much as I did taking them/commenting.

Below are links to my previous picture posts if anyone missed them.

Trip in 2006 Can't seem to find pics, sorry.

Trip sometime in 2008:

Another trip in 2009 - Also went to Bohol (175 pics):

This trip was a total of exactly 30 days. Without a visa, you're only allowed a stay of 21 days. Luckily on the 21st day, I left the country on vacation and came back. Lucky because I would have been fined quite a bit of money. This is a view from the airplane somewhere in Canada. I'm assuming this is where the Rocky Mountains continue northward into Canada. Pic came out pretty nice.

In Narita, Japan. I always like walking around the airport and looking for cool things to buy as gifts. I'm a terrible gift finder, so although there were probably tons of stuff, I didn't buy anything.

The day I landed (Thursday or so), there was a Super-Typhoon hitting the main island of Luzon. This turned out to be one of the worst ever. Worst flooding in 42 years with hundreds dead and hundreds of thousands displaced from their homes. The funny thing (if it can be funny) is I didn't know any of this was happening. I was safe in my hotel. If it wasn't for the news and Facebook, I would never know it was this bad.

My friend's camera phone took this. This is where I buy my DVDs in Makati Cinema Square.

Our call centers were very impacted as about 65% of our entire Philippine staff could not make it to work. Makati City was not really affected, but I did snap a quick pic of Ayala Avenue starting to flood.

Here's the intersection that I could see from my hotel room. I was in the Shangri La hotel for this stay. It was pretty nice.

The guy on the left is the operations manager of the Quezon City site, and the guy on the right is our client services manager. He's basically the point of contact between Vonage and the Manila sites. They're cool guys.

Quick snapshot of the call center floor. Not too many people here since it was still early in the shift. I'm technically not really supposed to be taking pics here anyway.

The next weekend I was finally able to do some exploring. I headed first to the Manila Zoo. This place is a zoo....but it's one of the most ghetto zoos you will ever go to. Here's the taxi on the way there.

Washing kid on the sidewalk.

I had to pay more. That's racist, y0!

I had to leave my firearms at home this time.

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      07-27-2010, 10:08 PM   #2

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Crazy looking tree.

Finger guns!


I will name you Chomps.

This thing looked pretty cool. I don't remember what type of bird it was, but it had some crazy talons.

This thing was actually pretty cute. I also don't know what this was. Looks like a mix between an owl and some sort of hawk.

Here's me lookin like a dork holding a baby alligator.

The zoo people got excited that an American was there, so they were following me around putting birds on me. Those little critters had some sharp claws.

Bridge crossing a part of the zoo. There were alligators in the water here and the wood planks were not very good.

Decided to leave the place and wander the streets. I was told the area wasn't really too safe, but oh well. I love exploring. Plus I had my tripod and was ready to bash the head of anyone who wanted to rob me haha.

Not really sure what this means.

Kids playing basketball.

This fruit is called rambutan. It's really good. You just use your hands and break apart the outside stringy stuff. Inside is something that looks like a lychee. Tastes almost the same too. Good stuff.

Decided to finally take a tricycle. Check out the welds.

Took the tricycle to the Robinson's Mall. This store was one of my favorites. I bought a lot of stuff here. Cheap clothes. I must have got about 10 shirts and 3 pants for $40 USD. The style is similar to H&M. Funny thing is everything I buy has to be extra-large. I'm a thin guy too, but everyone in the Philippines is very small.

This called dinoiguan (I probably spelled that all wrong). It's basically pork bits in blood. It's really good and one of my favorite foods here.

Back out into the streets.

Look at this monstrosity. You know what happens when a power line goes bad? Just throw up another one. A few years later and this is what you get.

Local high school in Malate.

Would you like some carrots? Potatoes? How bout a foot?

Want to get some keys cut? This kid can help. Seriously.

Took a ride in a jeepney.

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      07-27-2010, 10:09 PM   #3

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At a traffic light, this little girl came up to the back to ask for some spare change. I wish I had some actually. I hate carrying change because I can never count them quick enough when buying something. I just throw them all on the table in my hotel. I coulda given her a handful.

Took a walk back towards my hotel and passed through Greenbelt 5. It's one of the new additions of the mall here. Last time I was here, Greenbelt 5 was not complete yet. On the upper level here was Chilis and California Pizza Kitchen. My coworker and I ate here often because he wasn't too keen on eating the local foods. Wuss white people hehe.

Funny shirt I saw in a store. If you look, there's like no shoulder part. It just slopes down from the neck. There are little window things where I guess your nipples would be? Who knows.

Front of the same store.

Funny shirt for kids.

I've seen a few threads here where people collect these things. There were tons of stores where the entire place was PACKED with little things like this. They were really cheap too. I don't collect them, so I wasn't really interested in them. Here's a pic or two of the bigger ones.

Outside Greenbelt 5

Now headed to another part of the mall. This was in Glorietta 1. All these numbers are just linked to each other. All the malls are somehow linked together, which was pretty cool. ZOMG, Paul van dyk! Unfortunately, I didn't get to see him.

Some little car shop.

Wish we had these in the states. Twister fries...sorta like curly fries.

View on the call center floor from another site.

Random pic I took that came out neat.

We ate here a lot. The restaurant was called Nuvo. It's in the tourist part of the shopping area and it was quite expensive. About NYC prices.

Waitress at Chilis who was pretty cute.

Every week or so, my hotel would have a new food theme. This time was Mongolian food.

1000 peso bill. Worth ~$20 USD.

My absolute favorite food. It's called sizzling sisig. It's basically pork parts and whatnot with a raw egg cracked on top. It sort of cooks itself on the sizzling platter and you eat it. It's SOOOO good.

Red Horse. This thing is about 3 times as strong as a regular least!

Another weird beer I tried. This thing tasted nothing like beer.

Girl I was hanging out with.

Another girl. She was hot...and tiny. She was maybe 85lbs soaking wet.

Well, here's an abrupt change in scenery. I was able to take a 1 week vacation during my stay. We were debating on where to go. We wanted to avoid the typhoons that were still coming our way, plus we wanted to avoid the areas that were destroyed by recent earthquakes. We decided on going to Kota Kinablu.

Kota Kinablu is a small city on Borneo. It's in the "state" of Sabah, and it's located in Malaysia. Did you know that Borneo is the 3rd largest island in the world? I did not. It has 3 countries on it: Malaysia, Indonesia, and Brunei. We originally wanted to go to Brunei, but we learned that since it was an Islamic country, the consumption of alcohol was prohibited. Umm....yeah not going there.

I noticed that most of the people there were either Chinese or Australians. It was only 1 hour from Australia. The Malay people seemed to be mostly Muslim. Apologies for any inaccuracies as I don't know much about it, but I just assumed they were since almost all the women had the whole head covering thing going on.

This was the airport in Kota Kinablu.

The hotel (also the Shangri La) was beautiful. It was all open to the outside.

Walking towards the room, there was an area where black sparrows would roost. The guy told us that they were there for the past 15 years.

Here was the awesome view from our room at ~6am in the moring. Wouldn't you like waking up to that every day? See that little island on the left? I went there. More on that later.

Here was the breakfast buffet that was included in our room price. Great local foods and fruits, plus you can eat regular "safe" foods too.

Did some exploring at the rest of the resort.

Once I saw this sign, no way I was swimming in this area.

There were hundreds of these little crabs on the rocks. They moved incredibly fast.

Our room was on the left side on top here.

Who wants to ride the banana boat??

Here you can see part of the lobby area. If you look on the upper left, you'll see where the black sparrows are from the earlier picture.

My coworker smoked, and every package he bought had these crazy pictures on it. I didn't get a pic of the throat cancer one, but you could guess what it was of.

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      07-27-2010, 10:09 PM   #4

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So I saw some naked dude masturbating on one of the balconys. It was pretty disturbing.

This was pretty interesting. The tides changed quite a bit during the course of the day. These were little little shanty/squatter towns. You see how they are on wooden stilts? It's because the entire area fills with water every once in a while.

Ninja shot of some hot chick walking underneath my room.

When the tide receeds, you can see some sandbars that pop up.

Closeup with the zoom lens.

The next morning we decided to do some island hopping and parasailing. We went to that little island in one of the pictures above. It was called Sapi Island.

Another resort across the water.

People snorkeling at Sapi Island.

I forgot to mention that many people in Malaysia don't speak English as well as in Manila. Many of the signs aren't even in English. This was one of the rare ones that had both translations.

My coworker John.

There was this one girl (on the left) that was actually really good looking. Plus, her accent was CRAZY. I'm not sure what it was, but it was hot.

Cooking up something.

See, they're even covered up in the water.

So this is what was freaky. I don't know what this was. Water monitor? Komodo Dragon? Demon from hell? These things were in the wild and just walking around. One even jumped out of a tree about 2 feet from us and scared the crap out of us. There was another one that came out swimming from me about 20 feet away.

Dude with a beautiful L series lens taking pics of the lizard.

Cute girl that was covered with sand.

Took a short hike into the island. This was where the island "workers" lived.

This is the lizard that jumped out of the tree.

...on this trail.

Trying to be artistic with my DSLR. Came out okay, I guess.

Green rambutan?


Decided to go explore the main city of KK. Oh yeah, so all the cars here were right hand drive, and people drove on the left side of the street. It was my first time in a country like that. This Accord ahead of us was pretty cool looking.

Here's the shanty area under water.

Right hand drive, y0!

So the thing I noticed was ~75% of all cars were modified/suped up by their owners. This car was called a Proton. There were lots of them, including the taxi I was in.

I loved the little cars here. They were so tiny, I was sure I could push them over if I tried hard enough.

Tried to take a nice picture of this street, but a truck starting coming towards me, ruining the shot.

Local market.

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      07-27-2010, 10:10 PM   #5

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Coin purse made out of a real frog.

My coworker was looking to buy some wooden Bornean masks. They were ~25 Ringitt, or about $7 USD and change.

Guy trying to sell us some knockoff stuff.

Stray cats.

This thing was cool. I want one.

Local ricer haha.

Me and some Ray Bans. Fake? Maybe.

Back at the resort and had some beers and chilled by the ocean with a bunch of random other vacationers. Some might be blurry, sorry.

My dinner. Beef kabob and two pieces of lobster. So good.

Thus concludes my way-too-short vacation. In the airport waiting for the flight back to Manila. I liked the name of this eatery.

I really don't have too many pictures left. Just some from my Canon A620 point and shoot. I used this for the few times I didn't feel like lugging my DSLR around.

This was one of the desserts I had there. A bunch of fruit in green tea and vanilla ice cream.

Fried bananas.

This was the boat ride to Sapi Island.

It's the little one on the left.

This is where we left FAST. There was a monster storm approaching and it was already pouring like crazy. You can sort of see the storm coming here.

Literally 10 minutes later, both islands disappeared from view!

Well, that concludes this round of picture posting. I hope you enjoyed them all. Feel free to ask me any questions you have and I'll try my best to answer them.
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      07-27-2010, 10:33 PM   #6

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      07-27-2010, 10:43 PM   #7
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Awesome pics. No exotic cars? Not even any BMWs?
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      07-27-2010, 11:21 PM   #8
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awesome dude! makes me really want to go visit my family in the philippines. i haven't been there in years
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      07-27-2010, 11:37 PM   #9

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Just went to PI this year for the first time. Stayed in Fort and visited Makati. Then partied in Boracay! Unbelievable island with white sand beaches! Can't wait to go back!
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      07-27-2010, 11:45 PM   #10
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Nice pics!

Proton is the national car of Malaysia. They impose heavy taxes to imported cars, so it's economical for most people to drive a car made by Proton.
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      07-28-2010, 12:19 AM   #11

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Wicked thread...I thoroughly enjoyed that.

Can't wait to travel the world.

More food pics?
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      07-28-2010, 12:44 AM   #12

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nice man, loved the pics
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      07-28-2010, 01:05 AM   #13

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lol @ proton. I'm from Kota Kinabalu where u visited, recognized most of those places.
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      07-28-2010, 09:24 AM   #14
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Nice pictures man... looks like a good time
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      07-28-2010, 09:30 AM   #15
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Awesome pics!
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      07-28-2010, 10:26 AM   #16

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i hate you because i'm jealous. havent back to asia in a few years now.
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      07-28-2010, 10:47 AM   #17
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Thanks for sharing! Great photos and commentary, made my morning better
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      07-28-2010, 01:32 PM   #18
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Nice pictures, makes me want to visit.
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      07-28-2010, 05:27 PM   #19
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awesome pics and write-up..
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      07-28-2010, 05:51 PM   #20

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Cool trip, thanks for posting
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      07-28-2010, 05:58 PM   #21
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Looks like fun. Thanks for sharing.
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      07-28-2010, 06:54 PM   #22
Всем привет ;)
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Enjoyed it very very much. Thanks so much for sharing!
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