Desi Girl Traveler in The Philippines: Lost in Shoe Heaven (Other Adventures and Chic-Boys?)

Sue Castellino , 22 Sep 2011
Philippines
Philippines

This year has been all about travel for me, first the US and now the beautiful Philippines. My reason to travel this time is not for a holiday but rather to help my folks make the big move. Yes they are becoming Filipinos for the next few years, and why not? This country is amazing, it’s a great mix between the organizational skills and culture of the U.S and the warmth and chaos of India. I’m currently in Alabang, south of Manilla, and from what I can tell of this city, it’s filled with massive houses (I’ve been house hunting) and loads of malls. Here are a few of the things apart from house hunting that have been keeping me busy.
Psst! You have have to scroll all the way down to see what a chic boy is!

A Shopaholic’s Dream

Shoe Heaven
Shoe Heaven

If like me you dream of shoes and have a closet just for your high heels, then the Philippines is where you NEED to come. Not only are the designs incredible, as well as the quality but the price is astonishing. The Piso and the Rupee are about the same value, so when you see the price in Pisos it’s the same in Rupees. I went absolutely nuts, and yes, I now have about 69 pairs, I think I need a few more though, I just can’t help myself! Do check out the Mall of Asia, it’s huge and I mean HUGE. You’ll need a good 2/3 days to see it all, so leave the boys and husbands behind!

Kid Friendly Malls
Kid Friendly Malls

For the shopaholic mothers, malls here have tons of things to keep your kids occupied for when you need to shop. I love the big soft toy looking bikes, you put in a Piso and you can ride around with your kid. Cute. My favourite has to be the mini train that runs through out the mall, the kids and you will have a blast, plus you need a break after all that mall walking (now an official exercise).

Bring on the Calories

Yummy Food
Yummy Food

It’s no surprise to anyone about what a big foodie I am, and when I saw these chips being made, I made a bee-line for it. They take a whole potato and put it on a skewer and then pass it through a swirl grater/cutter. Then DEEP fry it to perfection, after that they add on the flavour of your choice, I chose bacon and cheese, soo YUMMMMM. There are a lot of traditional filipino dishes which I recommend. Yet, for those who don’t like to experiment, you’ll find all your favourite American restaurants (even outback steakhouse). BTW… How cute/odd are the pink salted Quail eggs?

Hitch a Ride

Jeepny
Jeepny

These have to be the coolest looking public transport vehicles (PTV).. EVER. They are called Jeepny or Jeepnies, some are more pimped out than others, yet they all want to cram in as many bodies as they possibly can. The other little PTVs are called tricycles, part scooter part baby carriage and a whole lotta fun! If you thought rickshaws were bad you need to see these little guys go. Although they can only hold about 4 people (max), they say they can handle 6, maybe 6 tiny people, but 6 potato eating folks like me is doubtful.

Tricycles
Tricycles

What’s up with the whitening?!?!?!

Whitening Products
Whitening Products

I really thought we in India were whiteness cream crazy, but at least we have products that don’t have some sort of whitening enhancement. It took me a good 15mins to find a a body wash that didn’t have some sort of whitening in it. From soaps to body wash to lotions, it’s really astounding the amount of focus on being fair. I think Filipino women have amazing skin, they are are a lovely shade of toast, why would they want to be white! Go figure huh? I think they need a Brown is Beautiful Campaign here and fast, this is very unhealthy.

The Gambler in Me

Scratch Cards
Scratch Cards

I thought you only get these in the US but you get these scratch cards here too. They are 20 Pisos and 50 Pisos a card, depending on which on you want. Being a little excited I got 5 (20p each) worth P100. Unfortunately I only won on one card (got 50 Pisos), didn’t even break even. You know this won’t stop me though, it’s such a thrill to scratch and see if you’ve won! If you like to gamble, then try your luck on these. It’s just for fun (and honestly you can’t win or loose big on these.)

Quirky Bags

Quirky Bags
Quirky Bags

These bags I thought were super cute, especially if you want a gift for a teenager who wants to be different. I mean this is one great way to get a teen to wear a shirt huh? There are a lot of fun quirky products available here, Filipinos like to stand out and not fit into a cookie cutter image. That’s why there are so many interesting accessories in their shops.

Finally the… Chic-Boy

Chic Boy
Chic Boy

What? You’re mind is in the gutter, you were thinking of the lady boys huh?! This is an extremely funny named restaurant, and the logo.. a chicken and pig hugging. STRANGE. Must go try out their food, I’m sure it’ll taste good and if it isn’t at least I can add it to my list of thing I’ve done – eaten at chic-boy!

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