23 September 2009

good boys

PREDA Foundation gives about 50 boys a place to stay. The facility is called boys home. The boys got in conflict with the law and the PREDA staff saved them from getting imprisoned or got them free out of jail in Manila, where many minor children are imprisoned even for very little crime. Most of the boys have a bad family background or are former street kids. I for myself like the boys I got to know yet so much. They are between 12 and 20 years old and most of them are into HipHop style and music. That is the reason why they (try to ^^) act really cool and handsome :-)!
Have a look :D:


So, as you already know by reading the posts before we stay the most of our time in Olongapo at PREDA Foundation. It's a few minutes ride with a blue jeepney from downtown Olongapo up a hill out of town.
The city is set on the Subic Bay, where you can see a lot of ships anchoring. Most of them are Japanese ships used to export goods to other asian countries (Japan probably ^^). You cannot really know about the water in the bay wether it is poluted by the ships or not, but when you look at all the garbage swiming in the water you might think it is ;-)!

Olongapo City

Subic was a military base of the American forces during all the wars this country has been through. Espacially dunring the second world war there were a lot of American soldiers stationed here to fight against the Japanese forces. For a few years now the Americans are gone, but they left their traces in the city, the people and the society.

Subic Bay with beacon

PREDA now cares for one of these traces not only the Americans can be blamed for: sex tourism, exploitation and abuse of minor children, misstreated human rights and a lot more grievances in society. PREDA runs many programs and activities to help abused children and to fight for the rights of children and their standing in society. Just have a look at www.preda.org/german for more information!

PREDA main house entrance

22 September 2009

manila_makati & centre complex

Mall mall mall mall mall mall.
The financial centre of Manila is set in a district called Makati. All the important institutions and many international banks and companies have their own buildings here. Besides them you can find a lot of famous hotels there surrounded by large malls. There you can go easily by tram, too. We went there on Saturday and tried to get on the rooftop of one of the higher buildings... we couldn't make it. But we visited a few malls or better, just one huge mall. In fact it's like you go in one mall and you don't have to come out to got to the next one. The result is that the streets are completely empty especially during the weekend. They are all connected to a huge complex of malls. The one we went in was named Glorietta and there was Glorietta1, Glorietta2, Glorietta3 and Glorietta4. Next to them was the Greenbelt Mall and next to it just came other malls and so on... The malls were crowded and chaotic just like a big labyrinth.



Vacant cultural centre
The last trip made during our visit in Manila was a walk to a place of which we thought it might be a kind of a cultural center, because on the map you see that there are for example the theatre and a convention center. In fact the place was nearly abandoned and the theatre was kind of a entertainment park with a rollercoaster and plastic dinosaurs.


manila_chinese cemetary

City of dead.
The next day we went to the Chinese cemetary by tram. The tram lines in Manila are the more comfortable way to move in the city. They are air conditioned and fast, but you got to be checked by the security to enter it ;-). It was raining all the time and so I got only a few pictures.
By the way, the weather changed during our visit of Manila. The first two days we had rain most of the time, the third day the weather changed into more clear and the sun came out, too. Wether the weather is good or not the humidity is incredibly tough all the time like in a tropic house... UFF... SWEAT!
A Chinese cemetary is just different from a Chinese garden. It's like a tiny city in the real city, but no one lives there. Maybe some Chinese undead scuffle around the tombs, but we didn't see any :P. Impressions below.

Main Road in the cemetary

Imprisoned dead

There are christian Chinese, too ^^

Heavy rain, the umbrella broke ;-)


The one day we went to the old part of Manila. We came along the Rizal Park. Rizal is the national hero of the Filipinos, he was the first man, who called himself a citizen of the Philippines, the first real Filipino. In the Park there was a Chinese garden, too, where we met a man named Paul. He works as a guide for tourists there, but we didn't want him to show us Intramuros (which comes from the Spanish words intra=inside and muros=walls), because we didn't want to pay him ;-).
But Paul was a really nice guy, who showed us the right direction to walk and added some information about Manila and its' sights and the Philippines for free. For example he told us, there isn't only a Great Wall in China, but there is one in Manila, too. We saw this wall later... it wasn't that big ;)...
Below some impressions of the old town of Manila.

Rizal Park 

Old fort or jail (?) part of the old city wall

City wall

Intramuros housing


back in olongapo

Hey guys!
We retruned yesterday in the evening from our trip to the rice terraces. It was a awesome but stressful journey. It was very stressful to go to Banaue, the bigger village to go to when you want to see rice terraces. The bus-tour took us all in all about 18 hours! But it was worth it, definitly! The countryside of the highlands of the Philippines is a MUST SEE ^^. I'm going to write about the trip more later  in this blog, first I want to catch up some stories about our experiences in Manila and here at PREDA in Olongapo. So, watch out!!!
Below a little sneak preview.

17 September 2009

trip to the rice-terraces

Today my mum and me are going to go to Banaue, a small village in the North of the country, in Luzon. There you can find many rice-terraces, which are nice to visit.
We will be there till Sunday, maybe Monday (it's a holiday here). I hope that I can shoot some good photos and that the weather will be fine. There will be more posts about Manila and my activities here at PREDA, when I'll be back.

manila _ noisy, stinky, dirty… amazing

Market in a street in the inner city
These are the words to describe the capital of the Philippines from my point of view. Manila is noisy, because of the ridiculous amount of vehicles filling the streets with noise and exhaust fumes. In the streets you can see regular cars, taxis (cabs), jeepneys (you can see so many of these small public busses), tricycles (non-motorized) and bigger busses and trucks. It is interesting to see how all the drivers manage to avoid accidents, I must say that this is impressive to see how there is so much city traffic going without any formal organisation. For example nobody cares about traffic control signals (there are only a few anyway) or pedestrians.
Another thing to mention is the permanent honking in the streets. Here it's the normal way to honk because of everything, not only to warn somebody or to blame another driver, it's just the way to talk through your car.
The second word is stinky! It's really stinky in the inner city. The streets are poluted by ale exhaust fumes. Beside that there is a lot, really a lot of dirt all around. Everything is rusted and broken, the kind of housing for the main part of the population is from our european view just humiliating. The word dirty I mentioned before... and it's not only the streets, houses and cars, which are dirty, many people are dirty, too. It's kind of funny to see that the people, even the poor ones, are mostly clean all the time. How they manage to wash themselves enough is a miracle to me. I for myself am stinky most of the time, because I'm swedding a lot ;)! So, I stink more than the poors, but it's ok :).
To see a city like Manila was really exciting and amazing, even if my foretold words don't sound like that. All in all it was amazing ;). My mum described the city as chaotic and that's true, really! Our friend Viola was just speechless :D!
Riverside near China Town
Wanna swim?
Rizal Park
Chinese Cementary
Convention Center (or something like that^^)

16 September 2009


Sunset in the Subic Bay

YES! I'm finally in the philippines! Sorry that I didn't write such a long time and thanks to all the followers, who are going to read the upcoming posts (and the others, too)!

View from PREDA-house over Subic Bay

After arriving on 11th September and after spending the first weekend in Manila, the capital of the Philippines, my mother and I arrived here at PREDA Foundation (http://www.preda.org/). The internet here isn't working all the time, that's the one reason why I didn't write anything about our experiences up to now. The other is that I'm pretty busy here, there's some action everyday at PREDA and I like to join some of the activities. Another reason is that the change of climate from Germany to the Philippines is really straining to me. I'm all in a sweat mostt of the time ^^.
So, watch out, I'm posting again!!! "Salamat" 

11 September 2009


Well, it's 01:55am now and I'm sitting the huuuge hall of the Dubai International Airport writing this! I'm pretty excited that my journey has started, so I'm not tired at all, but I'll try to get somme sleep during the next flight to Manila, boarding-time 03:00am ;-)!

For some my fitness I already walked along all 260 Gates here in the airport. Also I counted nine of those rich arabian men in the white clothes (you know what I'm talking about :)).

Pourly I can't see anything of the city Dubai at all, except all the computer-simulated illustrations and big advertisments. The architecture of the airport is a little artificial and hectic in my opinion. My mum would say that, too ;-). In return  for this the building is just BIG, so that you can't really judge the style of architecure at all, because you can't see all of it in one view.

Ok, that's all I wanted to tell:
Greetings from Dubai!

Watch out for more ...

09 September 2009


It's really rainy and stormy in the philippines at the moment. They say this happens once a year and I really hope that the weather is going to be better when I'll be there. At the moment the streets are flooded and you get wet knee-high when crossing the street.
The original rainforest in the philipines is very decimated and you can find just a small remainder on the island Palawan and in the inaccessible areas, which are dominated by rebels.
However huge areas are covered by compact forest in the ambience of Olongapo City as you can see below:


06 September 2009

mango tree

Hey! My mum planted a mango tree in the philippines. Good grow :D! 
Below two more pictures from the other side of the planet. First one gives a nice impression of the landscape there, the second photo shows a new building of a native tribes' house:

05 September 2009

subic bay

Here is another impression (photo shot by my mum again), which let my anticipation grow even more! The picture was taken on a beach in the Subic Bay, where Olongapo City and the head office of PREDA (more information in an upcoming post) is situated by.



Größere Kartenansicht


Größere Kartenansicht

Olongapo City

Größere Kartenansicht

Hong Kong

Größere Kartenansicht

... post in progress ...


Ok, this has nothing to do with the regular topic of this blog, but I just want to try adding youtube-videos here. Besides it's great funky music and my favourite video at the moment!

Watch out!

02 September 2009


Well, since I've got my travelplan by STA Travel, I finally know all the facts about when it's time to say good by :). So, I'm going to tell you something about the dates of the trip, illustration sponsored by flickr & co. :-):

Landungsbrücken (in love ^^)

In general the journey starts in Hamburg (the greatest city in the world for sure :D) and my final destination is Manila, Philippines, with a stopover of four hours in Dubai. Here I won't be able to visit the city pourly, because I got to spend my time in the airport of Dubai. Besides it's night during my stop there, so I will try to get some sleep in the Emirates without missing the next flight ;-).

Dubai International Airport


On my way back it's the plan to have a four days enduring city-trip in HongKong. I don't know what to do there exactly up to now. Let's see... climbing skyscraperrs, eating nasty stuff, robbing a bank... maybe :D.

  HongKong Skyline

Last but not least, the last flight will bring me back to Hamburg  hopefully (with a stopover in Dubai again), where the trip will finally end where it started. Below a short version of the travelplan by the airline, Emirates:
Outward flight
Thursday, 10. September 
15:25 Hamburg - - - - > 23:40 Dubai

Friday, 11. September
03:45 Dubai - - - - > 16:35 Manila

Return flight
Sunday, 27. September
08:00 Manila - - - - > 10:00 HongKong

Wednesday, 30. September
00:35 HongKong - - - - > 04:35 Dubai

Wednesday, 30. September
09:00 Dubai - - - - > 13:45 Hamburg



There was a heava earthquake in Indonesia yesterday. Ok, this is far away from the Philippines and doesn't regard my trip at all, but just not too far away and not too uninteresting to mention it here:
A powerful earthquake has struck off the Indonesian island of Java, killing at least 32 people, officials say.
Scores more were wounded and it is feared the death toll will rise as many homes have reportedly been buried under a landslide triggered by the quake.
More than 700 houses were badly damaged by the magnitude 7.0 quake, a social affairs ministry official told AP.
The quake struck around 1500 (0800 GMT). Its epicentre was offshore, 115km (70 miles) south-west of Tasikmalaya.
Medical teams have been dispatched to the city, where damaged properties included the mayor's home and a mosque.
The tremors were felt in the capital, Jakarta, 200km to the north, where hundreds fled into the streets from offices and shops.
A local tsunami alert was issued but revoked shortly afterwards. http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/asia-pacific/8233344.stm

My mum told me on the phone (I talk to her via Skype) that she saw signs of bygone tornados in the Philippines, too. On her trip to "Mount Tabulao" she saw destroyed villages. Something I forgot to tell about the weather is that it's rainy in the philippines, too. There are heavy rains often, but they are refreshing and give a little chilling.


So, I recently recieved some new photos and more information from my mum about this for me total unknown place I'm going to visit (more information about the country, the people and the activities of PREDA still to come).

First something my mum told me about the local weather: HOT! It's usuallys about minimum 30°C in Olongapo City even when the weather is cloudy! But that's not the problem, in fact that's what I'm looking for ;-). The other thing about the climate in the philippines is that it's really high humidity locally and you get sweddy by moving your little toe. It takes a little time (in case of my mum a week ;-)) to get used to it.

Traveling within the country seems to be pretty adventorous. You can go by "Jeepney", which is a small bus and is compared to our public transportation really cheep like most of the things you need to live. The disadvantage of going by Jeepney is that they mostly have an old motor and are generally pretty rousted. Because of this the Jeepney are very noisy. Another opportunity of public transportation is to go by "Tricycle", which is a three-tyred motorcycle, mostly old and noisy, too ;-).

In addition to these facts about the weather and the circumstances of traveling comes the fact that people aren't that organised like Europeans. It's more that you try to deal with things than avoiding them ;-). This special mentality reminds me of the people in Paraguay, who were really lazy and non-organised as well. I'm looking forward to get to know the exciting and different metality of the philipinos.

Below two more impressions my mum sent me from her thrilling journy to "Mount Tabulao" :D.


... more to come ...

01 September 2009


... and there goes my travelling-blog about my trip to the Philippines and HongKong.

I'm going to write the blog in english. This will be pretty exhausting for me within the first posts. But I think I need to practice my english in writing as well as in speaking, which I'm going to do during my abidence in the Philippines and my stopover in HongKong and by wrtiting this blog of course.

It's September 1st now and my departure is in just nine days now. Pretty much the perfect time to start of my blog and officially starting my pleasent anticipation supported by impressions like these I got via mail from my mum, who has already duly arrived in Manila and accordingly in Olongapo City (more information about the circumstances of my trip to come) in the Philippines:

... more to come ...