Thursday, August 9, 2018

Manila Trip 2018 - Day 6 (Final Day)

We spent most of the day packing up our things. We just finished off the food we had left inside the fridge for breakfast. After making sure that nothing had been left behind, we made our way downstairs with our luggage to check out. There was a bit of a misunderstanding because they requested us to deposit 4000 php as security on the first day, which would be returned when we checked out. However, the receipt they gave us only said 2000 php. Of course, my mother and I were pretty sure that we gave 4000 php, we just failed to check the receipt. My mother was about ready to explode on the woman behind the front desk at this point because she was actually the same employee who made the request when we first checked in. Fortunately, she just asked us to sign a paper acknowledging that we received our 4000 php back and there was no need for us to make much of a protest. Pretty sure the hotel would just settle things amicably rather than risk having us go public with it via social media and ruin their reputation anyway.

We then opted to just stay in the lobby for a while to wait.

A relative would be picking us up in her car for lunch. By about 12:00, the car arrived and after loading our luggage into the back of the car, we were off to the Power Plant Mall for lunch. It was just a short drive away.

I figured that since this was our last day, it was a good time for some last-minute shopping. We met another relative inside the power plant (both of them were women about 20 years or so older than me, by the way).

Anyway, while they were choosing a restaurant at the ground floor of the mall, I excused myself to go to the restroom. After that, I took a little detour up to the top floor and the Fully-Booked store over there. I browsed around the manga section for a bit to see if there was anything I wanted to buy -- nope.

Next, I went over to the art supplies section and bought three packs of 4x6" watercolor paper from Tokyo Finds and some black paper (these would be great for colored pencils and pastels).

At this point, I also took Nagi's last picture in Manila for a while.
See you again, Manila!

I rejoined my mother and relatives for lunch -- which was nice, except I forgot the name of the restaurant. Anyway, they had a mixture of different Asian food ranging from Thai to Indian and Chinese.

After a little bit of chit-chat, they wanted to see some of my watercolor paintings and they each asked for one -- and I was like, yeah, why not? Interestingly, they choose the ones that I rendered with Sakura Koi and not the Kuretake Gansai Tambi ones.

So with lunch done, we walked back to the carpark to go to our next destination. Dali's son came to pick her up at this point and we parted ways there. "Nene," the one who came with us to the mall would be accompanying us all the way to the airport. Fortunately, our flight was still at 11:40 PM, we had the rest of the day ahead. It was about 1:30 PM.

We had no idea where to go next so we let Nene decide. She asked us if we wanted to visit the house of our other relatives living here and we agreed. It took about 45 minutes to get there, but unfortunately, they were out of the house. Thus, we went on our way. She took us to a nearby SM Mall where our relatives were waiting. It was a mall that we'd never been to before. This place was on the outskirts of Manila, actually. Outside of the main city.

The mall was a bit smaller than most Manila malls, but it was quite passable. We walked around inside for a bit and finally met up with our relatives -- including her husband, children and grandchildren. It was a sort of mini-reunion. We found a place to sit inside of Pizza Hut and they ordered extra-large pizzas for everyone. My mother and I just ate a slice each because we were still full.

We spent quite some time chatting and reminiscing about our other relatives in Iloilo and all across the Philippines. I just mostly listened and let my mother do all the talking. I'm really not good with this type of stuff. In any case, they were really nice people and I definitely didn't feel uncomfortable nor left out.

After that, it was about time to get to the airport. It was around 6:40 PM when we parted ways with everyone and Nene drove us off to the airport, NAIA Terminal 3.

On the way there, she shared her own stories and heartaches with us -- especially about her singing career and her parents.

She dropped us off at the entrance to the airport and recommended that we see the Casino that was connected to terminal 3. 

After checking in our heavy luggage, we considered the thought, but ultimately decided against it because of how bulky our handcarry luggage was. Fortunately, terminal 3 has a mini-mall on the second floor with its own food court and several shops. We walked around the shops for a bit and then decided to eat a little bit for dinner. It was about 8:30 PM at this point. There were several restaurants there, including some high end ones. In the end, we opted for something simple at Wendy's.

I noticed there were several Caucasians in the restaurant as well -- and I noticed they acclimated to the "Filipino way" pretty quickly... and by that, I mean leaving their trash right on their table without even bothering to fix things up a bit for the waiter. Hah! Looks like we Filipinos aren't the only ones who act like lazy slobs when given the chance.

Heh, with that aside, we went straight to the waiting area after that and awaited our flight home. It took about 4 anime episodes on my phone before boarding time.

And that concludes our 6-day Manila trip for 2018.

Final Thoughts

Over-all, I'd say that this was the most fulfilling of any of our trips to Manila. Over the course of our trip, I'd heard the many colorful stories of people from all walks of life who have etched out a living in this massively diverse city. 

We were never really at a loss as to what to do in Manila and a part of it is because we were pretty familiar with the city at this point and which places we wanted to visit there. My only regret is that I never got to try ice skating while over there -- although we do have our own skating rink in Festive Walk Mall that opened fairly recently. A video of the Skating Rink shows that it's probably about the size of half a basketball court or less though... that's kinda pathetic.

Personally, I think Manila is a place that I could get used to living in pretty quickly. The city is so big that almost everyone on the street is a stranger -- unlike Iloilo City, which is so small that you're bound to run into someone you know if you hang out in the malls and other densely populated areas for a while. Being in such a massive city with so many people going about the daily rat race of life within the massive network of roads, skyways, and buildings that characterize Manila sort of serves as a reminder of just how insignificant we really all are in the grand scheme of things. I realize that most people see this as a negative, but for someone like me, an antisocial individual who doesn't quite value self-importance the way others seem to, I find it comforting -- reassuring even. 

I think I wouldn't dislike such an existence; being someone totally content to be nothing in a world where every other person is aiming to be something. 

With that said, this has been our 6-day trip to Manila and this is lordcloudx out. See you again in future travels to come.

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