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I ate so much food in the Philippines in my month traveling around the country it's a wonder I still fit in my pants when I got to back to Thailand. With Chinese, Mexican, Spanish, and American influences, Filipino cuisine is richer and meatier than much of the food I ate around the rest of Asia and a far cry from Thai food and Vietnamese fare. The Filipino dishes I ate were were so rich, in fact, that one of my final meals in the country was a much-desired salad. I was lucky enough to spend my first and last few...

When I first arrived in Manila it was raining. Horrible rain that didn't stop for four days. I could hardly leave the apartment. Before leaving the Philippines for good (or at least for the time being), I came back for a few more days to again see my friend Jackie. She and her friend Manny took me around to see some of the city. We spent a good day going around Chinatown and seeing some churches, the National Museum, a park. I'm glad I have some wonderful friends to show me around because I'm not sure it's the kind of...