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The architecture of the islands shows Spanish influence. Spanish brick churches built during the colonial era dominate the towns. The churches are large and different from traditional construction. It is difficult to imagine how the indigenous population in the seventeenth century was able to build them. Filipino families enjoy close kin bonds, and extended families living together are the norm. Seaports and government centers had a larger proportion of Spanish buildings with wide verandas and tiled roofs. Towns destroyed during the liberation campaign in World War II, especially in central and northern Luzon, were rebuilt using wood. Areas of Manila destroyed during World War II have been restored to their historical Spanish appearance. Newer buildings in Manila range from standard multistory offices to Western-style gated housing areas for the affluent, to tenements and shacks.

I had an opportunity to visit the Philippines and I only had a week to stay. I chose Boracay. I had the most wonderful and transformative experience there. Not only was it beyond beautiful with countless experiences to be had, the people were some of the friendliest I’ve experienced in my world travels. I have befriended some and keep contact even now. I’d like to thank Marcos for this glimpse at some of what the country has to offer and beautiful photos. I personally now consider the Philippines to be a home away from home and thank the people there for embracing me. Everything is better in the Philippines. ^_^

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