I would like to be able to report more on Manila or my trip of the Philippines, but during my 10 days there, I came down with a horrible flu and decided that taking an overnight bus to the middle of nowhere is probably not the best idea.
Instead, I spent my time in Manila sleeping, drinking Starbucks coffee and eating Japanese food. People had warned me about Manila before - the poverty, the dirty, the traffic - and I didn't take it seriously, because I'm a city girl and that's all the stuff I love (well not so much the poverty). I ended up taking no pictures in Manila because it turned out to be the way people had described it to me... a permanent war zone where you don't dare getting your phone out even in the best areas of town. Yet, I found myself having a perverse fascination with the city for exactly that reason.
In all of this, I found my way back to health, awesome people and a little bit of peace in a homestay-style hostel near the Chinese cemetery of Manila - usually not being catholic, the Chinese were not allowed be buried in the regular cemeteries, and being Chinese, they were pretty well off compared to the locals. This makes the Chinese cemetery the most peaceful and safe area of Manila. Before I went, I heard a joke that the dead here live with amenities that millions of people in Manila have to do without... such as aircon, windows and doors and bricks that are not crumbling.