This blog entry about the events of Monday, January 03, 2005 was originally posted on January 09, 2005.

DAY 443:  After practically a non-stop barrage of trekking, rafting, visiting relatives, meeting celebrities, and hanging out with my cousin Spider-Man, the course of action called for a day of rest.  I spent this “day off” back in the comforts of civilization at my relatives’ in Greenhills, Manila.

I didn’t do absolutely nothing all day though — oh no, the duties of a daily on-line travel show never seem to end — I was behind on The Blog (as usual) and spent a good portion of the day sorting through pictures and writing entries, all while trying to connect to the internet with a cheap pre-paid ISP card ($2 for 20 hours!) that my uncle had.  While that sounds like a steal, it was a dial-up with only one access number that, not surprisingly, gave me a busy signal 99% of the time.  At one point, it took me an hour to connect.

Tito Mike and Tita Connie were at work, leaving me in the house with the busy signal, my Lola Nene, all the dogs that incessantly barked at me whenever I entered the living room, and the house servants.  While domestic help may seem like a luxury, house servants (and canines for that matter) seem to be essentials in every middle-class Filipino household, as they were present in every relatives’ house I’d had been to thus far.  How’s that for civilization?

“THE PHILIPPINES IS CIVILIZED,” I remember a Filipino-American student once say to our video art/film professor back in a college in New Jersey.  “They have malls and stuff.”

“Well I think malls make a country less civilized,” the young Bohemian artsy professor said.  He always let us in on his philosophies on life; one time he called one of our guest speakers “a bitch.”

Whether or not you agree with my former professor’s opinion on shopping malls, there is no avoiding the fact that metro Manila is full of them, more per square mile than in New Jersey I dare say.  That night, I took a break from my “day off” and went to the malls with my uncle — the fairly new one called The Podium (picture above) and the big famous SM MegaMall next door — to buy some supplies, do some research for The Blog, and have dinner.  There’s nothing especially exciting to say about the Filipino mall experience; it is essentially the same as the Western one, except that you are frisked and your bag is searched every time you enter the main door.

The end of the day was also not too thrilling — my apologies — as I just pulled my hair out in the Greenhills house trying to connect to the internet again, for more than an hour at nighttime, prime time.  Man, if there’s anything that makes a country uncivilized, it’s a dial-up internet connection.

Next entry: The Guy Behind The Guy Behind The Blog

Previous entry: Erik Falls On Mount Pinatubo

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Comments for “Civilization”

  • dial-up?  what’s that?  hahaha..

    Posted by .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address)  on  01/09  at  03:46 AM

  • I hear you on the dial up connection - internet speeds in China were so slow compared to home… not to mention all the sites they blocked.  Ah to be back home with high speed internet access smile  Unfortunately I can’t go to the mall because I spent too much on my vacation LOL

    Posted by Liz  on  01/09  at  04:36 AM

  • A friend of mine has dial-up at home, but obviously T1 or something at work - man, she gets frustrated all the time. And, I think I would just give up!!

    Posted by .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address)  on  01/09  at  01:26 PM

  • “I didn’t do absolutely nothing all day though”.... aggghh…. double/triple negatives, is that yes, no… crap.. the lessons I learned and tried to forget in English are beating.. their.. way.. out.. of.. the.. closet..  smile

    Seriously, I really wish I was able to get down to NYC for this party, I’m sure it would be a blast.. I’ve followed you since the beginning, posted sometimes, got a postcard (yeah!)..
    You’ll have to keep posting for a month after just talking about your thoughts post-trip!


    Posted by .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address)  on  01/09  at  07:57 PM

  • DARCY:  Really, I thought that one out before typing it.  Usually people say, “I did absolutely nothing all day;” I simply negated it.

    Posted by .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address)  on  01/10  at  06:57 AM

  • I wish I could come to, but even with JetsGo, NYC is just out of reach.

    Posted by .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address)  on  01/10  at  04:23 PM

  • TDOT - After the Day 503 trailer is released, you’d be foolish not to come…

    Posted by .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address)  on  01/10  at  04:54 PM

  • Would you “pitty” me whilst wearing excessive gold jewlery?

    Posted by .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address)  on  01/10  at  06:29 PM

  • nah unlike Mr. T i don’t wear any jewelry except a watch…

    Posted by .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address)  on  01/10  at  06:35 PM

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This blog post is one of over 500 travel dispatches from the trip blog, "The Global Trip 2004: Sixteen Months Around The World (Or Until Money Runs Out, Whichever Comes First)," originally hosted by It chronicled a trip around the world from October 2003 to March 2005, which encompassed travel through thirty-seven countries in North America, South America, Africa, Europe, and Asia. It was this blog that "started it all," where Erik evolved and honed his style of travel blogging — it starts to come into focus around the time he arrives in Africa.

Praised and recommended by USA Today,, and readers of BootsnAll and Lonely Planet's Thorn Tree, The Global Trip blog was selected by the editors of PC Magazine for the "Top 100 Sites You Didn't Know You Couldn't Live Without" (in the travel category) in 2005.

Next entry:
The Guy Behind The Guy Behind The Blog

Previous entry:
Erik Falls On Mount Pinatubo


Confused at some of the jargon that's developed with this blog and its readers over the years? Here's what they mean:

BFFN: acronym for "Best Friend For Now"; a friend made on the road, who will share travel experiences for the time being, only to part ways and lose touch with

The Big Trip: the original sixteen month around-the-world trip that started it all, spanning 37 countries in 5 continents over 503 days (October 2003–March 2005)

NIZ: acronym for "No Internet Zone"; a place where there is little to no Internet access, thus preventing dispatches from being posted.

SBR: acronym for "Silent Blog Reader"; a person who has regularly followed The Global Trip blog for years without ever commenting or making his/her presence known to the rest of the reading community. (Breaking this silence by commenting is encouraged.)

Stupid o'clock: any time of the early morning that you have to wake up to catch a train, bus, plane, or tour. Usually any time before 6 a.m. is automatically “stupid o’clock.”

The Trinidad Show: a nickname of The Global Trip blog, used particularly by travelers that have been written about, who are self-aware that they have become "characters" in a long-running story — like characters in the Jim Carrey movie, The Truman Show.

WHMMR: acronym for "Western Hemisphere Monday Morning Rush"; an unofficial deadline to get new content up by a Monday morning, in time for readers in the western hemisphere (i.e. the majority North American audience) heading back to their computers.

1981ers: people born after 1981. Originally, this was to designate groups of young backpackers fresh out of school, many of which were loud, boorish and/or annoying. However, time has passed and 1981ers have matured and have been quite pleasant to travel with. The term still refers to young annoying backpackers, regardless of year — I guess you could call them "1991ers" in 2013 — young, entitled millennials on the road these days, essentially.

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