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Sure I had been warned about the taxi ride from the airport. To be honest I didn\’t think it was that bad. I must get over the fact that I had a quiet feeling of respect for how close these drivers could drive to one another with no apparent accidents. It stood out to me that there were drivers of brand new BMWs etc also driving 4inches away from the next vehicle. Yup, this was my kinda race track. By the way if you are travelling in the front seat here are two tips for first time travellers to the Philippines and the squeamish; 1. Don\’t get in the left hand side, sure you may like to drive but so far I haven\’t found a Filipino willing to hand over their taxi to a novice. Yes, they\’re left hand drive vehicles. 2. Have friends in the back seat you can turn and talk to. This is great fun. First you don\’t have to look where you are going so you can relax and enjoy the ride. Second, you can see the fear in their eyes because they can see where you are going. šŸ˜‰ \"panoV2\" Woke up this morning. Checked out the scenery. Time to face the day šŸ™‚ This is the view from my 14th floor room at the Renaissance Hotel in Makati City, Manila. Security here is on a different scale here. The government tourist taxi we took from the airport to the hotel was inspected before it could go on the hotel grounds including running a mirror under the chassis to check for attachments. Now you may be used to beagles at the airport but I was surprised to see a dog at the hotel door. I thought it was just a barrier presence but no our bags were sniffed at the hotel by a sniffer dog. We then had to go through metal detection to get into the Hotel. Amazing eh!? Last night I was home at 10:30pm after a dinner out at a traditional Philippine restaurant just around the corner. It was a great choice by Patrick Dye from which the 11 of us could nourish ourselves. My entree of goats cheese deep fried like little spring rolls with salsa was a pleasant surprise and having a plate of about 12 of them equaled a good feed. Then I had a Philippine chicken and rice dish which was mmmmmmmm with pleasant smokey BBQ and vinegar style sauces. My drinks for the evening were a glass of Calamansi juice which I was surprised by its sweetness then followed by a local Pilsner beer. Little warning here. Don\’t order the soup unless you have hollow legs or a minimum of two friends. Great bowls of soup were delivered to any unwary diner. All of this little repast was for 594pesos. That\’s about AUD$16.50. The goats cheese was about 145pesos, chicken and rice about 245pesos, a Calamansi drink 75pesos and the Beer for 85pesos. They then add on 5% service charge, plus VAT (like GST) then a local tax šŸ™‚ Back home I reckon that would have cost about $40 of the same calibre of meal in relaxing setting. And you would have received only 4 spring-rolls for your entree šŸ™‚ Now time to face the day – so far here you wake to the sound of the local birds; taxius onmassus honkus