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CouchSurfing Manila presents CouchSurfing Manila Summer Scramble 2011

Couchsurfing Manila's one of the most awaited annual event, the CS Summer Manila Scramble 2011 happened in Ninoy Aquino Wildlife Park in Quezon City. At first I thought this Amazing-Race-like event will just be held within the park but I was wrong it was done all over Manila!

Twelve teams each consisting of four people and a total of 48 people walked, ran and commuted to different historical places in Manila to get clues and answers. The team that is first to finish to reach the last place by using the clues given in a paper is the winner.

Trust me but all were dead serious running and finding answers of their clues though most of them just met for the first time through that event. That's how I realized, "OMG! I'm in a real race!" We took, LRTs trains, jeepnes, buses, trikes and really lots, lot of walking and running. I have to admit the clues were really well thought of that it is not something one can guess in a matter of seconds and it is also time-bound.

We went to this beautiful small church in Paco and at that time there is a wedding being held. The place is pretty private and if you want to have one that is intimate and not want to have much of gate-crashers to appear, this is perfect for you. One thing that I am curious about is the surrounding is surrounded by parks and ruined graves. Don't be afraid because these are all empty. And this even made me more curious!We
also went inside the National Museum and met this girl backpacking solo from UK with a world map tattooed at her back. She was an instant celebrity because everyone wants to get a photo of her. I mean her back because of the tattoo so every time someone asks a photo of her she asks if she will show up in her front smiling or just her back!

The teams were composed of well-balanced locals and tourists of Couchsurfing Manila. I am very amazed seeing the San Sebastian Church - the only All-steel church in Asia which is in Recto. This church is rumored together with the Statue of Liberty of New York, Eiffel Tower in Paris and Jones Bridge in Quiapo were only designed by one person though historical information says a little bit different. Hmmm sounds new to me! Let me research that findings out sometime and will create separate post about it.

We went to as far as in Marikina and seen former First Lady Imelda Marcos' 1,500 pairs of shoes in Museo ng Sapatos Lungsod ng Marikina. Not only the shoes that shocked me but the photos of her and her husband then Pres. Ferdinand Marcos in an event of the world's known dignitaries! I don't think no other presidents of the Philippines have met as much as these Marcoses famous personalities such as Prince
Charles and famous USA presidents.

Out of 12 teams we finished number 9th and we were damn proud about it because we were expecting to be the last team. We had no idea the race will be this hard, we did not know each other at all and a thousand unexplainable reasons. But when the race ends and all of us were in the last stop in Intramuros it was all worth the run, I have met nice people and added them on Facebook and got references on my Couchsurfing profile.

Couchsurfing is like a Facebook for travelers that makes these people meet and know each others culture. Couchsurfing in Manila is one of the most active groups worldwide as seen in their group forums and activities promoting heritage, travel and tourism.

We went to different historical sites around Old Manila. See the photos below:

The Group

Small rounded church near Paco perfect for weddings because atmosphere  is very private

 British girl who has world map tattoo.

Inside the National Museum 

                                          San Sebastian Church - only All-steel church in Asia

Yours truly in a pensive mood inside the orphanage

The jolly tricycle driver 

 Marikina Shoe Museum where you'll see the 1,500+ pairs of shoes of Imelda Marcos

Asilo De San Vicente de Pavl Orphanage - In one of blackboards written. The group donated some stuff here.

CS Summer Manila Scramble 2011 is a yearly big event for CouchSurfing Manila - Couchsurfing members of Manil,a Philippines. This website is dedicated for travelers. A social networking site for people who travel and want to experience the local life "hands-on" where one can host a traveler inside his/her house or vice-versa or just be available for a coffee or a drink to people who wanted to get to know locals in places they visit. Safety as always is about a combination of good judgement and decision.

 Some of the photos are credited to the owners: Bea Banzuela and Eddie Cueto

Hi there :) My name is Maria Rona Beltran, the founder of this travel blotg and shop - Travel Maria you are reading right now. I want to stay connected to you to a lot of other ways so I am sharing you other social media accounts.  See y'all online soon:)

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