Category: Philippines

Hobbit House Manila-5 2

The Friday Photo: Hobbit House

This is Hobbit House, Manila, a regular on lists of the world’s weirdest restaurants. It seems, at first blush, like an absolutely horrible concept: a Hobbit-themed bar staffed almost entirely by little people. But...

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Farewell to Manila

There is such a thing, when playing hide and seek, as being too clever for one’s own good. In which category I would have to place depositing oneself in the deep end of a...

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The Museum of Doctor Rizal

Manila is not a spiritual city. It’s one of those big, dirty, urban sprawls, expanding organically, growing without control, the beating heart of an archipelago, maybe, but a cancered one at that. 12 million?...

Ek biki inflatable waterpark, Santa Rosa, Philippines 9

The Inflatable Waterpark

This technicolour dream palace is indisputably special. Possibly a little “special needs” too. What is it? You may well ask. For this, my friend, is an inflatable waterpark. Occupying 5000 square metres of apple-green...

Bright white explosion as a firework goes off in the night sky. 1

Working Girl

MJ’s been working bars since she was fifteen. Standard shifts. 6pm to 6am. She was an Avon Lady before that, but this pays better. She’s seventeen, now, she says, almost eighteen, and works in,...

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Full-Contact Management

We have Doc McGhee, the rock ‘n’ roll svengali who kept Motley Crue, Jon Bon Jovi and Kiss on the road, to thank for the term full-contact management. That’s punching people… Now, I’ve been...

Imperial Japanese Navy ship Akutsishima 6

Full Fathom Five…

There is a sepulchral magic to a shipwreck. Viewed from underwater, with russet filigrees of sea ferns flourishing on the fractured edges of a shell hole in the side, lettuce corals unfurling from a...

Learning to Dive 5

Learning to Dive

We are still in Coron. That’s Coron Town, the meandering if unbeautiful little port of Busuanga Island, not Coron, the island, across the way. As is the thing to do in the Calamians, we’ve...

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Kirche Kuche Kinder

Every so often, while eavesdropping — or, perhaps, a more polite term is, err, “people-watching” — one comes across conversations that one, quite literally, couldn’t make up. Ever since we met Klaus in Marinduque,...