Monday, August 25, 2014

Cavite, Philipines- Suckling pig for dinner and crazy nights of fun!

Philippines is the funnest and happiest place I have been to in Asia! If you are sad, go to the Philippines they make you happy! On my way to Taiwan I had to go through the Philippines by plane, and I ain't gonna make it a stop over: I didn't come half way around the world to sit in an airport, so I booked a three day stop in Manilla. I heard that Manilla is the land of Karaoke, cock fighting, motor cycle bars, beaches, and whatever you want! I posted  on couch surfing at the airport in Singapore that I was getting to the Philippines in a few hours and was looking for a host to show me around, try some food, sing a little Karaoke, visit the slums, go to the beach, and if there is time, watch some chickens kick the crap out each other! I got a response from my new and good friend Jino who lives in Cavite! Jino is a great chef by trade, and wanted to show me around his city, along with his entourage. Upon leaving the airport I took a taxi to the bus stop he told me to get to. Jino and his friend Justin were awaiting for my arrival, and the first thing we did was went to the Filipino post office to mail some things, and I sent some keys I forgot to give back to Miko in Jakarta under the mailing name Justin Bieber so he would remember me.
These kids were hanging out just outside the airport

After Jino took care of his business, we headed to the mall: possibly the only people who like to shop more then Americans are the Filipinos! The first meal, turned out to be the theme for the next three days! Jino introduced me to lichen (suckling pig roasted by spit over the fire). It was so good, I ate so quickly I accidentally swallowed the bone (at this point Jino wasn't sure if I was insane since I showed up to his country for no apparent reason, and now was eating pig bones smiling). After I finished the sweet, sweet tasting pig, we went to Jino's townhouse where he lives with his younger brother. Jino and his brother lived here alone because his parents had to live closer to the city. When we got there I went to bed, as I was tired because I had to wake up in Singapore at 4am to catch my flight to Manilla, and hadn't gone to bed the night before until 2am, as I was drinking Singapore Slings from the highest rooftop in Singapore with Anthony.
My first meal

Taking there dogs to the mall

This dance kinnect game on the Xbox was everywhere!

I woke up at about 6pm, and chef Jino cooked up some more Filipino food with rice, and I met his brother and his friends. After stuffing my face for the second time (I assured Jino, not everyone in Canada likes their food as much as me) we headed to the biggest mall in Asia (Mall of Asia). That night I showed Justin how to jump off a building attached to a rope for the first time, had some beers, and then some more. Jino's brother showed up to the club with a bunch of friends, one of which was having his 19th birthday, so I thought it appropriate to buy a bottle of Tequila. Being the only foreigner in the club, the bouncers were extremely friendly and the drinks kept coming. Jino's brother and his friend were professional dancers, so between the six of us when we would get on to the dance floor a lot of people would get up and dance. By the end of the night I broke the table (I think it was set up but can't remember, but we had to pay, which I didn't care about by this point), danced the night away with my new best friends!
What me and Justin jumped off, no one else had done it, and the operator didn't speak English, so it was quite scary because I didn't know what to expect, it was really high, and lots of people were watching

Birthday boy

How they transport money

The next day I saw more of the Philippines, and we took a motor bike with 6 of us (seriously check out the picture) and then a boat, and then hiked up and saw a volcano and crater lake (it was the first time Jino and his friends had done something like this).
Are ride down to the Volcano, 6 people fit in there including me

The national sport played everywhere, including here at the base of the volcano

Crater Lake

The final day, I wanted to buy a whole pig to roast on the fire and eat it, but Jino said that it would feed 200 people, not 10, even though I had a big appetite. We were touring the slums at this point, and I decided I had met about 200 people in the Philippines so far who would appreciate a Lichen as much as me, so Dino called up his uncle in the slums and told him some crazy white guy was bringing a whole pig, rice and Coca Cola tonight for everyone, and to setup some tables and Banana leaves. The uncle said "is he serious" and Dino said "he is at the ATM right now taking out money!" So the uncle said "he would take care of it"!

Kids hanging out in the streets

If everyone was as happy and as curious as these kids the world would be even more amazing!

Remember way way back in the day when kids used to play outside where you live?

Just practice, there chickens were not allowed to kill each other

Me and Jino and the Entourage headed over to the pig place (skip ahead if pigs in pens, or being slaughtered does not appeal to your weak stomach otherwise read on and don't feel bad if you smile :p). We picked a pig, and Jino said I should watch it get slaughtered to make sure I don't get scammed, and also for the experience. I still remember the pig screaming, and this butcher guy who reminded me of the Asian version of the butcher from the Gangs of New York, do what he had to (which was one of the most horrific things I have seen and can't get the scream of the pig out of my head:

We then went to a pool where we chilled and sang some more Karaoke, and waited for the evening, and toured some more slums (I love doing this because people are so friendly and you really get to see different ways of life)

When night came we went with a taxi, and threw the pig in the trunk. There was a child who was begging for money outside of 7-11. Jino whistled at him, and the kid and his two friends ran up to the Taxi. Jino explained to them in Filipino what we were doing, and the three kids jumped into the taxi with us, to go and eat like kings! The kids thought it was chicken as they didn't even know what a pig was! Dino's uncle cut up the pig, and the kids ate first, followed by the women, and finally the men! Jino's brother and friend did some break dancing, we played some basketball, some more friends came, and ended the night back at the Mall of Asia night club. The next morning I sadly had to go to the airport to fly out to Taiwan!

the local mayor/ community police officer, escorted me around

Finally after an hour of watching the kids enjoy the pig, we eat!

The kid with the lakers jersey is the one who came in the taxi, I don't think he knew what to think of everything

The best meal of my life!

If you are going to Asia, make Philippines your longest and funnest stop. Imagine a country full of islands with volcanoes, jungles, and beautiful beaches! The food is great, you can sing the day away and play as much basketball as you can handle! No problems, just good times, and you can speak with the locals because most people speak English which makes it an amazing, remarkable, and memorable experience if you can communicate with everyone! You must go, seriously, don't hesitate, just make it happen you will love it!
The final night back outside the club where it all started

This sign is so true

Saturday, August 23, 2014

Singapore- What your life is like in the future

My first night in Singapore, stayed in a hostel, and these were my three roommates for the next few days. Had a great night out, went to this bridge where there were probably about 1000 people hanging out having drinks. Ended up at what is ranked one of the top 5 clubs in the world- It was nice, but my opinion after experiencing it, its not a huge deal, at the end of a day the people make a place, which it actually did in this case! It was cool that the two guys on the right were both into making electronic music, and the German on the far right was responsible for booking world famous DJ's and often had to travel the world going shows for work! What a good life! He really introduced me to electric music that night, and it is sweet dancing to it, because you can do no wrong, and it just makes everything positive!

Singapore: Amazing, inspiring, cutting edge architecture, so many people in such a small place, so many cultures, and so much going on!!! But it doesn't seem nearly as busy as other places close by in Asia due to the height of their buildings and exceptional design of the city. The only first world country in the area, English speaking, and placed on an island about 60 km squared, connected by bridge to Malaysia, and surrounded by the Pacific Ocean to the south with the Philippines and Indonesia in the far distance.

Imagine a place where buildings you dreamed of as a kid, or that you seen playing Halo or watching Avatar existed in real life- This is Singapore: Three highrises connected by what I would call a space ship landing platform on top where you can go swimming, check out a garden, go for your morning run, or relax and have a cocktail:

From the inside, they have big theater shows and a Casino, like a Las Vegas in Asia

A view over the side from the top- Imagine playing a soccer game on the ocean!

Imagine a mall with a canal, where boats come through...............

Food courts where you can get everything from turtle soup to Pig feet for about $10:
This guy worked like a boss, there was a line up for his food about 20 people strong

Singapore has a lot of young people living there from around the world, with a lot of them working in the financial sector. I have a friend named Anthony who I had met in Guatemala hiking up a volcano a few years ago, and then again in New York City. He is from Singapore and had gotten sponsored by his government to go study in London/ New York for his degree, in exchange for coming back after and working for the government running the countries water system which he does now. 
Anthony gave me a world class VIP tour of his country
One of the crazy attractions, these tree like structures were built and these plants are growing all over them, at night they light up and you can walk from future tree to future tree. Again one of those things a kid would think of and designed by a world class architect

The two dome shaped things are indoor botanical gardens

A view from a large field where people were flying these huge toy airplanes, that were so loud and big it was scary sometimes when they would come near your head. I see a ferries wheel, a indoor jungle, and a crazy bridge, what do you see?

 Me and Jake from London spent an afternoon biking around the outside of Singapore along the ocean. It said no swimming but I went anyways, I hope the cameras in the forest didn't catch me (seriously this place is like big brother).

Overall Singapore is one of those places that everyone would enjoy due to the high energy of the people and the inspirational architecture, and perfect weather. Its very safe, as the penalties for crime are high, such as the death penalty for having drugs on you. Spend three days here to see the place, or come work here to experience it and never be bored again! The airport is huge and is a hub for this part of the world. Make sure you stop over here on your way to where ever you are going! Feel free to comment on my blog and let me know what you think :)
What old Singapore looked like (not that long ago, it got built up in a large part due to American influence, before this, it was like everywhere else in the region)

The subway
Singaporeans work a lot. My friend often would have to work from morning until night if his worked asked, and they don't pay overtime..... imagine that, not for me. That was one cultural difference I noticed about Singapore, they work a lot more then the average Canadian or European. 
One of my upcoming destinations to visit my good friend Alston who I grew up with