I think the board below sums up the country
Manila is on the island of Luzon. There are 16 cities in Metro Manila! It feels like the Wild West, and looked like the city scene in the Blade Runner movie - lawless, insane, dirty, very confusing .... and exciting?
The gap between rich and poor is very noticeable and I think there are about 3 million homeless living in the Metro area. It's chronically overcrowded and suffers appalling traffic jams with extreme pollution.
As the taxis from each city seemed limited to taking you to the edge of their city, you needed to know your route and travel method before you venture out ...... even with the help of a lovely local girl, it took me 3 days to get out of there...... piccies later!
For me, the travelling was a nightmare and the prospect of returning to Manila for onward travel was daunting, so we stayed a few more days at Subic Bay in Olangopo - North and West of Manila
Back to Manila for a flight down South to Davao in Mindanao. Duterte was the mayor at that time. It's
very easy to be judgemental about him, but some of the locals 'love' him. I'm not going to go on about Duterte and the continued plight of the Moro muslims and their subjugation and annexation, but I do recommend reading up on the amazing history of these islands.
Even though I had good company, it was quite claustrophobic in Davao. Underpaid armed guards in every doorway - even in small stores like the ubiquitous 7/11, and there was a bomb explosion in a mall a few hundred metres away. So, I thought it was time to move on and go island hopping to Bacolod city and Iloilo. on the way back to Manila. Nothing very remarkable there, so up and onwards to finally arrive at ....