Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays, speaking of Holidays I've returned from my vacation and will resume regular updates of the blog.
I've just returned from a pleasant holiday at a wonderful place which I'd like to recommend. Guided by a close friend who knew the language and the area, I gained an intimate and ground-level experience of the country beyond the "mega malls" and standard tourist attractions.
It's a country deeply religious, values gun rights and the free market, whose people take great pride in their country but are born wary of government (largely due to its corruption, rarely highlighted internationally). A country who's government values security and it's military and has great relations with the US. A country where there is no shortage of hard work, enterprise and creative expression. Though I will caution that what you imagine on paper might be different to what you experience on the ground.
The country is the Philippines.
There are two glaring realities in the Philippines. The first being pollution, the air is visible and uncomfortable due to the chaotic traffic and street litter. The other notable is poverty, whilst their are well-off folks who live in communities not dissimilar to the richest estates in the West. Poverty is inescapable in the country where it's not uncommon to see orphan pre-teens weaving through traffic begging.
Seeing this site is about American punditry, you might be wondering how well represented it is in this part of Asia. It's surprisingly good. I found several books in the many secondhand bookstores; from Ann Coulter to Al Franken, Rush and Hannity, to Joe Scarborough and Hugh Hewitt. Its an interesting exercise imagining the APF pundits transplanted to the Philippines and how they would tailor (if at all) their rhetoric to appeal to circumstances on the ground.
The Philippines is a wonderful place and worth consideration for your next expedition.