Manila – Glazed or Filled?

April 17, 2009 7 Comments »


 View snapshots of the softball tournament

Manila offered something that was totally unexpected; a western diet. When I left NYC last August to head to Vietnam, I left behind McDonalds, Chipotle, Starbucks, Burger King, Dunkin Donuts, and Dairy Queen. None of this exists in Ho Chi Minh City which is probably why I have lost weight since living in Vietnam! However when I arrived in Manila, there it all was again and I felt like my gluttony sin was awakened from a deep winter sleep ready to be bad again.

Bethany making a play from outfield

Bethany making a play from outfield

I actually went to Manila for my oldest niece’s softball tournament. It was my chance to explore a new country and to see my family, so I split my time equally between travel in the Northern Philippines and relaxing with family. AFter my trekking adventure, I arrived in Manilla looking forward to a few creature comforts such as a hot shower and some sinful food.

I didn’t spend any time sight seeing in Manilla, instead I did non-touristy things and watched lots of great softball. As I spent time in the city I kept seeing the same things over and over in Manila; malls and donuts. It seemed that on every street Filipinos were strolling into malls. In fact, I learned that 2nd largest mall in the world is actually in Manila – 4.2 million sq. feet of shoppable area. This was one of many many malls in Manila. Of course, our hotel was connected to a large mall, so there was no shortage of shopping. I’m convinced that people go to the mall there to simply have a place to go to get out of the oppressive heat; and they go there to eat donuts. These malls possesses every western donut chain that I knew; Dunkin Donuts, Mister Donut and Krispy Kreme to name a few. All I needed was some Duff beer and I was in Homer Simpson heaven.
Megan and Cyndi pick up our daily dozen of donuts

Megan and Cyndi pick up our daily dozen of donuts

I have never seen people so crazed about donuts. In addition to these western chains, there were a bunch of Asian chains too. Unfortunately every day I tried one. They even sold donuts at the ball park during the tournament. Screw the hotdogs and cracker jacks, bring on Mister Donut for the 7th inning stretch.

My time in Manila wasn’t about touring or vacationing; it was about family time. It was a great 4 days to spend with my sister, brother-in-law and nieces. And it was a great time to eat donuts, drink Starbucks, feast on a Big Mac and have Dairy Queen ice cream before heading back to untouched Vietnam!

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