Philippines. Around 10 days ago I couldn't even imagine how it looks, smells, tastes, sounds like, how the people there behave, in which direction the trees grow, and so on, you get me. Now I'm back in Singapore from my short Philippines trip, and I have grown richer on new experiences, global friends, maybe a couple of hangovers and a dozen of evil moskito bites. We have only stayed in the district of Makati in Manila, but I surely had a hell of a good time there. My favourite part of Makati are probably the star constellations inspired street names, e.g. Jupiter, Constellation, Polaris, Stella, and the area in Makati called Bel-Air. I have proudly named myself The Fresh Princess of Bel-Air. You know who you're dealing with now.
Where to stay? We booked an apartment via Airbnb, which I can only strongly recommend! The host is French and incredibly chill, the apartment is on the top floor, it fits up to 4 people distributed to two bedrooms, a cat lives in there and the balcony is huge (oh and has got a jacuzzi, a bbq grill and an xbox connected to a projector... boom).
What to eat? There is this crazily good restaurant in Makati called Blackbird, which I'll tell you about later on. Many fast food chains are open 24h around Makati. Also, McDonalds delivery works until 4AM. Yes, we ordered from McDelivery. No, we're not ashamed. We were just being incredibly lazy on the couch.
How to get around? We took cabs, because we couldn't figure out the public transportation. At the airport, hail yellow cabs. In the city, you can use GrabTaxi if you want to feel safer and want to avoid flagging down random cabs on the street and then having to deal with sketchy cab drivers. Always make sure that the driver puts the meter on as soon as he starts driving, otherwise you can run into the risk of getting ripped off.
General Safety? If conversations circle around Manila, at some point you will hear about some crazy bad stories which happen in this city. However, Makati is where most of the banks and businesses are located at, so chances are big that you can find a corner that's not too sketchy. Just don't wear short skirts especially if you're blond, don't walk around alone at night especially if you're a girl, behave, be polite, and don't call for attention with your actions.