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Already been gone  a week and I feel like I know Manila well enough to give it a fond farewell.

I find Manila to be that quieter, slightly distant third brother to cities like Cairo and Mumbai. It’s a huge metropolitan city, but grayer and more calm. Even the nightlife gives off some sort of harried vibe to it, like “been there done that, enjoy what you can.” Therefore, it’s a more relaxed city (as relaxed as you can be with a population of a little over 11 million), who doesn’t throw everything in your face like other large cities, or NYC for that matter.

As for the rest of the Philippines, this is the treat: the Philippines does nature well. It’s exquisite, from the rice terraces of Banaue/Batad to the volcano within a volcano of Tagaytay. Although I have yet to see the 9 other countries, I am impressed by the amount of nature the Philippines has kept intact. So if you go here, take those day trips out from the cities into calmer environments; this is the Philippines you were meant to see.

That said, we’re about packed up and ready to board our flight to Hanoi, Vietnam. See you when I see you.

We ran out of money so we sent Annah to steal a tricycle and take tourists around for a quick peso.

– At time of posting in Manila, Philippines, it was 89.6 °F – Humidity: 79% | Wind Speed: 6km/hr | Cloud Cover: few clouds