Roving about in Angeles City, Philippines
Almost every place here looks like it was carved right out of the surrounding jungle. Palm trees, aloe and quinine plants, water vines, and all other kinds of flora are visible in almost all directions. Perfume odors from the plants, wild bird calls, tropical flowers, and humid temperatures. A real "get-away" place. I was there.
My hotel was the Oasis, a shiny white, sprawling sort of place, with a beautiful veranda, nearby gorgeous blue swimming pool, and women galore. The place where all the "stews" stay, I was told, and that's why I chose it.
To eat, I chose the Maranao Grill in the hotel, and ordered paella. It's a dish of saffron rice, chicken, tomatoes, shrimp, onions, scallops, and a blend of other ingredients, best cooked over an open fire. I have eaten this dish in major Spanish cities like Miami, Orlando, Tampa, Madrid, and Seville. The Filipino chefs made it as mouth-watering as I found it in these other places. I washed it all down with a cold bottle of San Miguel beer.
Afterwards, I flagged down a jeepney (local taxis with gaudy decorations, open side-windows, resting on a WWII jeep frame). I wanted to tour Fields Avenue again and buy some souvenirs. We passed several niteclubs, bars, restaurants, and other kinds of entertainment places I recalled from past visits. The town had not changed.
Shopping overcame me, so I got off in front of a monkey pod store and bought some salad bowl sets for gifts. The wood is light in weight, blond colored, and holds up well after washing and oiling. It can be used to hold nuts, candy, and other snack items.
A few days of this, and I had to leave. So, I did a final stroll in the nearby jungle. Lush green all around, wild birds flitting, and smells of perfume in the air. I would return someday in the future. Good memories for now.
Published on 10/4/01