We arrived exactly 24 hours after leaving our house and were greeted by a taxi driver who was convinced we had the wrong hotel written down. Why do you want to go to Monumento? So convinced was he, that he decided to take us to a different, more ‘touristy’ area of the enormous city of Manila! We finally arrived at our destination two hours later and completely frazzled! By midnight we were settled in our room only to be awakened by the fire alarm. Stupidly we just ignored it… thinking it was just a false alarm or a test, there was no panic with the hotel staff. However I opened the hotel door just to check and was faced with billows of smoke coming down the corridor. I grabbed my camera bag and screamed at my husband to get out. After running down four flights of stairs I realised he wasn’t with me; typical… he had gone to put the fire out! I ran back up and dragged him down and was met outside with eight fire engines trying to dodge their way through the infamous Manila traffic.

(And that was just day one of the most amazing week ever.)

Exhibition starts: Thursday 22 March 2012  Claremont House, Bark St. Bolton by Cat Powell