Finally starting to write some posts from the notes that I took while visiting the Philippines. I'll start where I arrived, Cebu.

Cebu is a province of the Philippines located in the Central Visayas region and consists of a main island and 167 surrounding islands, its capital is Cebu City the oldest and first capital of the Philippines.

After a 24 hour journey a lot went through my mind on a delirious journey from Macyan-Cebu Airport to the hotel that I was staying. Mostly about NASCAR which seemed to be how the drivers got anywhere, mercy was not given or asked for on these roads. I figured that if I survived the journey to the hotel then I could walk everywhere else that I wanted to go. My travelling campanion informed me that if I was to do this I would likely meet an untimely death either from heat exhaustion or from being mugged. 

In all seriousness though, Cebu is a city of immense contrasts. The shopping malls are fillled with lots of big brand western stores where the rich shop but less than block from there is the poorest of people that wouldn’t be allowed in the mall. Much to my shock, to get into the malls you had to be screened by armed security. The signs outside the shopping malls politely reminded you that guns are not allowed inside. The temperature in the city reaches 30 degrees by 10:30am and when you walk outside the air conditioned hotel it literally feels like walking into an oven. This, I think is the hottest country that I have ever visited, although Australia might be hotter, I had the sense to go there when it was winter.

I experienced many tourist sites that I have photographs of (below) but also saw many places where there was abject poverty, it was hard not to be moved by some of the things I saw. I can't imagine how people get by on a daily basis and if there is any chance of escape from it. I am immensely grateful that I am not in that situation. 

Below are some photographs of the Cebu Taoist Temple. Built in 1972 by the prominent Cebuano Chinese community. The Cebu Taoist Temple stands 980 feet tall (above sea level) and is renowned for its elaborate multi-layered architecture. The colourful temple overlooks a portion of Cebu.

The Heritage of Cebu Monument is a tableau of sculptures made of concrete, bronze, brass and steel showing scenes about events and structures related to the history of Cebu. The construction of the monument began in July 1997 and it was finished in December 2000.

The Yap-Sandiego Ancestral House is located in the Parian District in Cebu, Philippines. It is just a few steps away from the Heritage of Cebu Monument and meters away from Colon Street, the oldest street in the Philippines. Considered to be one of the oldest residential houses in the Philippines, the house was built sometime between 1675 and 1700. It was originally owned by a Chinese merchant named Don Juan Yap and his wife, Doña Maria Florido.

The next few images are taken in and around Colon Street, mostly street shots of things I found interesting. The smell of the dried fish in the first photograph has yet to leave my clothes...after several washes ;-)