I went to the Phillipines a couple of weeks ago. And while most of the trip was work related I did get to see a little of Manila.
Even though I was there the first week of November, the city was nearly fully decked out for the holidays. Never having been to Manila before, I have no idea if what I saw was just the beginning. Maybe it gets even more festive as the calendar counts down to the end of the year.
The stores were decorated inside and out. In daylight it was slightly less impressive. This was a store outside my hotel.
Even our office building was in the spirit. This full sized Santa greeted us as we arrived each evening around 9:00PM local time to match our schedules with the offices in North America.
Mall entrances were especially festive.
There are many, many malls in Manila. I don’t even know the name of the one next to my hotel. I gave up trying to find my way around. I simply wandered from floor to floor and hallway to hallway.
My sister is a talented violin player. I was excited to see a store named for the famous violin maker. However, knowing that Stradivarius violins sell for millions, I was curious what they would sell in a Stradivarius store.
Nope, not at all what I thought it was.
Speaking of things I misunderstood. The below image was the only indicator on a door to the restroom. You tell me, the Men’s Room or the Ladies Room?
Fortunately, I guessed correctly. (It helped that the other door had someone in a skirt.)
The Philippines is more than 86% Catholic. The people running the shops at the mall understand their audience. Not sure if his Holiness signed a marketing deal or if he was just an innocent bystander.
Something that was totally unexpected (as opposed to a cardboard cutout of the leader of the Catholic Church) was this sign.
I saw several of them in many stores. It’s an sign I would love to see more of here in America.
McDonalds, of course has a big presence in Manila. And it was not surprising to see it decked out for Christmas.
What was surprising was how different the menu was from McDonalds in the USA. In addition to McSpaghetti, they also served fried chicken.
By the time I left the mall and headed back to my hotel it was dark. And the store fronts were much more impressive.
Manila was a beautiful city. I just wish I had time to do a photo essay of it.
Rodney M Bliss is an author, columnist and IT Consultant. His blog updates every weekday. He lives in Pleasant Grove, UT with his lovely wife, thirteen children and grandchildren.
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