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Full Circle

Day 89: Manila to Banaue

Manila, Philippines 
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Where Manila ends and the rice plains begin.
Michael Palin - Full CircleOn the BBC World Service this morning Alastair Cooke is talking about the design of the dollar bill, and the specific Christian symbols on it, including the all-seeing eye of God appearing in a blaze of light at the top of a Pyramid. I get out a dollar bill. Sure enough there is the Great Seal and the eye enclosed in the apex of a pyramid. I knew I'd seen it before. It's the eye framed in a triangle at the Caodaist cathedral.

The extent of American influence in the Philippines is quite unashamedly obvious. The fruit growing industry is run by them, they have only recently vacated two major military concentrations at Clark Air Base and Subic Bay and any Filipino musician worth his salt must be able to play a passable rendition of 'West Virginia'. The rugged crests of the Bataan Peninsula and Corregidor Island at the mouth of Manila Bay are reminders of what it cost the Americans to keep a presence in these islands. In the Second World War both places were the scenes of some of the fiercest battles America ever had to fight.
Banaue rice terraces, Philippines 
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Viewing terrace but no view. With the Ifugao people at the Eighth Wonder of the World.
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PALIN'S GUIDES

  • Series: Full Circle
  • Day: 89
  • Country/sea: Philippines
  • Place: Manila
  • Book page no: 131

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