The Philippines: Manila

I just returned from a trip to the Philippines a few days ago. As you know well, the mainstream media likes to keep the world on full volume at all times, amplifying all events to make readers feel like the world is in a state of chaos and that it is detrimental to keep up with the the current happenings being reported on. I suppose this is to maintain a readership, I don’t know. I’m finding more and more that perhaps my calling in life is to work against these downbeat portrayals of the world and human beings and to show people firsthand that Life is beautiful. Anyway, in contrast to what news reports would lead you to believe, life is going just fine and running as usual for most Fillipinos after typhoon Yolanda/Haiyan. I don’t mean to downplay the disaster that took place; there are indeed many people suffering in many islands of the archipelago and thousands of lives were taken, my intent is just to state that this is not a reality for most people living on the islands. I was there speaking at a world peace conference, and the people living in these islands are just as beautiful and resilient as they have always been. The world is not a place of desolation.

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warm hearts

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Rizal park, the people-watching heart of Manila.

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 Manila Bay

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“Phillip”

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HQ of Gen. Douglas MacArthur. The history of the Philippines is a history of cultural blending, both for better and for worse, and being both an American and a resident of Japan, the amount I learned here was immense, as both of these countries have played strong roles in the nation’s recent history. Americans are very-much respected, as they saved the islands from the Japanese, who had taken over the nation during WWII.

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Japanese presence.

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Bullet holes from Japanese fighter planes.

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old Filipino written script

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Japanese short sword (太刀) that was found on a wrecked Spanish ship that sunk ~500 years ago. Records show that samurai had been hired as guards.

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Spanish helmet found at the bottom of the ocean.

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Lobby of the Manila Hotel

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“you see? there are many paths to be taken, and they’re all equally valid!”

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Soldier with relief supplies.

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