The suggestion for our inaugaral visit to Manila came about during a lunch gathering, and before we knew it everyone's booked on this pinoy trip. It wasn't until much later, when the rest of the population got to know about this, that the floodgates of horror stories and impending 'spoilers' were made clear to us.

First it seems that we have booked ourselves to experience the WETTEST month in Manila, the dangers and devastations of typhoons that never seem to bother us much before this now seems to be on everyone's radar.

If typhoon doesn't kill us, we were told that the rampant snatch thieves and pickpockets will ensure that we pee our pants enough to come crying back home. And of course, the popular tale of the frequent kidnapping of Chinese found new motivation to be spun over and over again as our visit approached.

Basically, "I just don't know that people actually go Manila for vacations," my friends commented.

Well I have to say that these horrowful tales are indeed over-rated and dramatised! Typhoons did not hit the city, but we did have to entertain the constant drizzle that became quite a permanent feature during our 4-day trip. And of course, our heightened sense of alert perhaps helped steered us out of trouble and danger (handphones and wallets were left locked in the luggage in the hotel room, carry your bagpack in front of you).

But still, it really wasn't as bad as you have heard! In fact, apart from some curious stares, our visitors' looks immediately earned us quite an investment of smiles and helpfulness that made the whole trip all the more memorable.

Manila is not your usual city getaway, but it was certainly an enjoyable one for us.

(shot entirely with a Canon IXUS 860IS)