John Nye and I just gave a joint presentation at the University of the Philippines in Quezon City. The title was “Will Elites Permit Reform?” although neither of us talked about that exactly. John presented a big picture view of economic growth and the development of limited governments in the West over the past half-millennium, while I talked about land reforms in the Philippines during the first two decades of American rule. The audience was great, with a lot of very good questions, including one from a graduate student who pushed me on the ambiguousness of our results — he generously called them only “slightly” ambiguous — and another from a fellow at the law school who quite brilliantly suggested that we look at local government tax deeds. I’ll get into the details of the suggestion whenever I get around to actually talking about the paper itself, and explain why it was such a good one, but that’ll wait for later.
Right now I just want to know if anybody has advice on an interesting half-day trip from Manila. I’ve been to Batangas and Tagaytay, but that’s it for places within a three hour drive. Tomorrow’s my free day, and I’d like to get out of the metropolis and see someplace I never have before. Any suggestions?