Sunday, July 22, 2018

Manila Trip 2018 - Day 1

Unlike my previous trips this year, this one was purely a leisure trip. We were at Manila from July 3-8. My mother and I had booked this flight earlier in the year all the way back in February in order to take advantage of the low-prices on the ticket fare.

You know, it's worth noting that people in Manila speak Tagalog, while we Ilonggos speak a different language altogether called "Hiligaynon." There are some words shared in-between the two languages, but otherwise, they are actually completely different. Still, most Filipinos, know how to converse in Tagalog because the national language, "Filipino" is actually just glorified Tagalog and it's taught as a mandatory subject in school from Primary to Tertiary levels. Furthermore, Tagalog is used in national television including all local TV shows, soap operas, and Filipino movies. Anyway, many ilonggos, usually from generations before Millennials actually have a hard time actually speaking in Tagalog with a conversational accent. Of course, I'm an adaptable early Milennial, so this doesn't include me :D.

We decided to leave the car at home and just take a taxi to the airport. We had about two hours before the flight when we checked in at the airport. We had a light breakfast at a restaurant in the waiting area. My mother knew the attendant who checked us into our flight so she put us at the very front seats so it'd be nice and comfy.

The flight was pretty uneventful except for our seatmate who was snoring quite loudly -- or at least loud enough to annoy my mother.

After securing our luggage of three trolley type hard plastic cases, we used GRAB to book a ride to our hotel, Prince Plaza II Condotel in Makati. We were delighted to know that the hotel was really just a 2-3 minute walk away from the main Greenbelt Mall area. Of course, it was a bit annoying because we arrived at around 12:40 and front desk told us that check in would be at 2 PM. We left our luggage in their care and decide to go and grab lunch.

I lived in Manila for two whole months during the bar exams and while I can't say I'm very familiar with the roads since I took the MRT 90% of the time, I did know my way around the malls in Makati. Anyway, my mother wanted to eat at the Glorietta food court, so we walked all the way over there passing through an overpass lined with shops called "The Link" and a department store called "The Landmark," which links up directly to Glorietta.

Anyway, after a passable lunch at the food court, we took a short walk around Glorietta to find an ATM machine and then went straight back to our hotel to check into our room... which came with a few complications.
Not bad at all.
There were delays for some reason and front desk kept us in the lobby until 4 PM. At this point, my mother was visibly annoyed at this development. Fortunately, the room was pretty nice. It was clean parquet flooring with a throw rug, ample space, two beds, one dresser table, one dining table, a safe, a closet, 42" TV, strong wifi with a private router for our room, decently soundproofed walls, and surprisingly, it also had a cupboard and a kitchen counter with a sink and  a stove -- not that we ever planned to do any cooking while we were here. Also, I noticed that there was a Subway fastfood restaurant just next to the lobby of the hotel. 

There was also a pool which we planned to check out the next day. 

We were both a bit tired from the plane trip and all the delays so we slept a bit until 6 PM. 
I took Nagi with me, of course.
Later, we looked for some acrylic paints for a co-teacher of my mother's over at National Bookstore. There was one at Greenbelt mall, which is the high end mall, and another at Glorietta, which is the more mid-range, everybody's mall.

Unfortunately, after visiting booth shops, they only had one of the four types of paints he requested. I asked them what type of watercolor paints they had and the clerk showed me a Winsor&Newton pocket field sketch set. I was tempted to buy it, but checking online revealed that it was a student grade set. I already had plans to buy a Bento Picasso student grade set and a more expensive St. Petersburg White Nights set during the trip, so I declined.

After that, my mother wanted to shop for some provisions, so we went over to SM Ayala, which is connected directly to Glorietta. There was a mini food court next to the supermarket as well, so we had dinner there -- and it was surprisingly good.. After that, it was time to head back to the hotel and get rested up for tomorrow. The malls were already closed though, so we couldn't go through them anymore to get to our hotel. We had to walk around The Landmark building and then get our bearings from there. Fortunately, it was pretty easy to find our way back to the hotel because it was directly underneath the series of overpasses that connect the different Ayala, Makati area malls together.

It was still a bit early, so I had time to do a little bit of watercolor painting before bed. That concludes day 1. See ya next time for day 2.

This was a request from my mother. The silhouette is hers.

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