One of the things that I miss the most about the Philippines is that everything was interesting. It took me back to a time when looking out the window of the backseat of a car was a viable entertainment option. Wherever we went, be it the crawling pace of the rain covered city or the speeding, winding roads along the tropical hills, everything was interesting. Not pretty, not vibrant, not even infusing any particularly good feelings. It was just always stimulating to thought, giving you, the outsider, something worth examining. The titanic billboard for Coca-Cola has you concocting sociological theories. The rural unfamiliarities have you picking and prying at who you claim to be. The pile of electrical wires, hanging precariously overhead, has you wondering what big ideas are to blame for the shape of things.
Act three of our trip to the Philippines had the most to see. It's a story that starts off with lots of gleaming tourist attractions, funnels down into a complacent sense of family, and ends as all good stories do: A conclusive finale where the characters are changed and exit stage left. Curtains drop.