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    Manila City Intriguing Beautiful and Exciting



    After an awe inspiring morning at Greenhills Shopping center, we decided to go over to Quiapo to visit the church of the Black Nazarene, before lunching at Jollibee. Upon entering the church of the black Nazarene we marvelled at the ornate fittings that include the remarkable statue of Jesus who, dressed in fine robes, bears a wooden cross on his shoulder with apparent ease. I found this depiction to be quite inspirational, as it symbolizes the fact that Jesus overcame death on the cross, and toys with the wooden frame, on which his conspirators had hung him.

    After lunch, my friends and I journeyed over to Intramuros, visited City Hall and crossed to the square opposite in order to admire the Andres Bonifacio Shrine. We strolled casually across the square, taking random pictures along the way, as we headed towards the river.

    By the time my companions and I reached the river it was getting late in the afternoon, and I noticed that as the sun quickly descends beneath the western skyline, it casts it's rays through the smog laden clouds that are cloaking the City, presenting an aura of mystery and intrigue.

    Pasig RiverThe iron bridge over the Pasig river provides me with a vantage point to capture this scene that could be part of a Sci-Fi movie. The tepid breeze coming from the river below is filled with the stench of rotting garbage mingled with the smell of diesel fumes and polluted air.

    Behind me, there is a cacophony of horns, sirens and whistles coming from the eight lanes of pre-peak hour traffic, incessantly rumbling on it's way amongst the swirling clouds of dust and exhaust fumes. The skyline is dark and ominous, with the shapes of high rise buildings being vaguely visible through the clouds, adding a grotesque quality to the Beauty of this twilight Scene.

    My companions, there faces covered with kerchiefs, are signaling to me to hurry across the bridge and get away from the sickening odors that are threatening our senses.

    I am totally enthralled by the magic of this sight that is right before my eyes. I feel as though I am in another world and taking part in it's production, the noises the smells and the scenic background fill me with excitement.

    As I continue on my way across the bridge, I realize that this is Manila, surely the most exciting City on earth. The climate, the scenery, the activity, it's all here begging to be explored by the welcome visitor.

    My companions and I threaded our way through the many stalls and peddlers that adorn the footpaths, some intruding onto the very edge of the carriage way, seemingly unperturbed by the many vehicles speeding past. There are people every where, browsing, peddling, begging, and at times I feel as though the boardwalk is carrying more traffic than the roadway.

    We look for a taxi as we walk but to no avail, eventually we come to a SM store and, after being subjected to a frisk by the security guards at the door, we enter to enjoy the air conditioned comfort of the interior. The store is packed with people who, like us, have come in to escape the outdoor humidity and polluted air.

    After exploring the various floors and purchasing many clothing items, which are extremely cheap, we headed for Jollibee to get a cool drink and a bite to eat. "Good evening Sir, good evening Ma'am, thank you for dining at Jollibee" staff members called to us, as we departed.

    During the rush hour in Manila, finding transport is a real problem, mind you there is plenty of it, but it is so heavily patronized that it is almost impossible to sight a vacant cab or jeepney, let alone board one. Finally, more by good luck than good management we managed to engage a vacant cab.

    During the slow ride back to our lodgings, I reflected on the Excitement that had risen within me, I so much looked forward to tomorrow so that I could again experience at first hand, the pulse of this great city, Manila.

    La Hunter