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Hello to all! Now back in the US after my awesome 3 week trip to the Philipines. Arrived in Manila and injoyed a 5 day stay there.We stayed at the Casablanca Hotel directly across from the large Robinson Mall which was a great location for quality shoping ,dining,and fun activities.The hotel had a small apartment type layout and was reasonably clean but no warm water or microwave available.Its a bit expensive but if you are just staying for one or two nights I can recommend the Golden Phoenix...as we stayed there one night before I retured to the USA.Visiting the Manila Aquatics center was great fun complete with a water show with Seals.This is a huge facility that has all things aquatic and more.Really enjoyed viewing the various fish tanks and actually walking through a huge fish tank.So many interesting things to see an do there.We also visited the Mall of Asia.If you want to shop till you drop or have a endless choice of restaurants this might be for you. Then went to Iloilo for four days.Stayed at the Injap Tower which I can highly recommend.Its directly across from the huge SM Mall.We also went to see a beautiful Mansion once belonging to a government official and now open to the public.You can view exotic artwork and shop for souvenirs.There is also a very nice coffee / snack shop on the property Left Iloilo by car and traveled about 5 hours to Boracay.This was really a nice ride to see the Phillipines country side.It is truly very beautiful with strong overtones of a tropical climate.Lots of greenery including banana and Palm trees everywhere.I think we passed through abought 8 towns along the way along the way..a couple of them fairly large.The roads are ok but where they are working on them you almost need a truck to pass through.When nearing Boracay we crossed over a large mountain and arrived on the other side to find a somewhat busy small town and a nice airport that can handle the large jets should you want to fly directly to Boracay.We put the car in storage and snagged a large boat to travel to the island which took just a few minutes.From there we took a taxi through the Boracay shopping district /mall / town to reach our mountain top hotel - Alta Vista.This is a 4 star hotel located about 8 minutes from Puka Beach.The view from our balcony was incredible.So it was 6 days of sun and fun at Boracay- swimming,snorkeling on the reefs,cliff jumping,boat rides and more.I was one of the only americans anywhere around.I would say around 85% Japanese staying at our hotel.I knew that Boracay had a infrastructure revamp last summer and its complete for the most partI think.But they are still doing quite a bit of work on the roads.Even if your traveling in your hotels shuttle van you could spend a lot of time in traffic.The beaches are clean and the ocean is the beautiful turquoise color.It was truly the best vacation resort I have ever been to. We got our car out of storage and returned to a province of Iloilo which I don't know the name of.We stayed there one night and the next day traveled about 3 hours to San Joaquim Iloilo.There we visited Garin Farm Resort which is a Christian Pilgrimage / journey.Its located on top of a mountain overlooking the ocean and has a very nice resterant along with accommodations if you want to stay overnight.- Loved it! And then returning to Iloilo City to just relax with my filipino partner...But sadly after drinking some toxic water I became very ill and had to spend 2.5 days in the Iloilo Mission Hospital - I will write a post on this very soon. I could close this synopsis with one of many pertinent subjects but I would just like to say that I was very impressed with what I saw and heard from the Filipino people.Overall they seem to be very down to earth and simple natured.Also It was refreshing to see friends openly showing their affection for each other.Anyway ,It was truly a pleasure to visit with them here in the Philipines