Note: Brace yourself; this is going to be a long picture post hence I will be making 2 blog entries
Date: 3rd to 9th December, 2008
Trip: Makati City, Manila Philippines
It’s funny really how sometimes some things are just meant to be. Agree?
About 2 months ago I suggested to hubby that we explore Manila but of course he wasn’t too keen as it isn’t really a hot spot for tourist. Fast forward 2 months there I was in the midst of Manila’s hustle and bustle blending in really well with the locals (bless my tanned skin and long black hair, lol), since hubby recently accepted a new job position that requires him to travel there.
This Manila trip – so meant to be– OH YEAAA!
The journey to Manila took a good 7 hours. Was up by 4am as my flight was at an ungodly hour. Parents were kind enough to send me to the airport although I insisted on taking the cab. Took approx 3.5 hours to reach the Clarks Diosdado Macapagal International Airport. Once I got there, hopped onto a Philtranco bus that took 1.5 hours into Manila City.
Clarks itty bitty Airport
And after all that travelling I was finally there:
That’s the view I wake up to every morning, not too bad for the shopa/foodie-holic in me
And this is at 5.30 pm. It gets dark here after 5pm.
Makati City itself is gorgeous and clean but naturally it should be since its Manila’s important business district. Definitely exceeded my expectations. Yes I have them sometimes
One of the perks that came with our room was the use of Club Lounge where we got to enjoy free finger food, internet and drinks; by drinks I mean free flow alcohol from 6-8pm. So that we did almost everyday
It felt like we died and went straight to heaven. Ok ok I kid.
Love this picture of him
Now Manila is hardly known for its sight seeing so there was little to see but either way managed to squeeze some sites which we explored together with hubby’s colleague from Beijing (Another meant to be moment, will tell you why next week!).
This is the ruins of the Spanish colonial along the southern bank of the Pasig River, which was built by the Spaniards in the 16th century. Today it is the oldest district of the city of Manila where you can also find a lot of the poorer people here with the occasional kids running up to you begging for money. But nevertheless, the sight of beggars is far less compared to say China or India.
Because the Intramuros is so big, we decided to hop on the trishaw to explore more grounds. We pitied the guy who had to peddle his bicycle with two big fat loads in it, heh! At least we paid him decent money for it so all is good.
Inside the Intramurous vicinity you can find the most gorgeous church you’ll ever see. And because 99.9% of the population here is made up of Christians, there are even churches in malls and at every corner of the city.
Now, a lot of people don’t know this, (heck even I didn’t know before stepping foot into Manila) – the two things that I’m now convinced what Manila is famous for – Shopping and Food.
All the making of a good holiday, save for the attraction.
If you don’t believe the amount of malls they have, click here. It’s as though shopping is a part of their culture? Maybe, just maybe. This was also probably the best time to go to the malls coz of the massive Christmas sale.
Due to the bombing in Glorietta 3 times, yes thrice, security everywhere you go is extremely tight, even in malls and hotels. You’ll have to open your bag and go through the metal detectors – it’s a bit of a hassle but hey prevention is better than cure. And they also have adorable Labrador doggies at the hotel to sniff out your bag. Cute!
Back to the malls, wish we could have covered most of it but due to traffic and the pain of getting a cab, we covered these must-see malls instead:
A high end posh mall comprising of 5 buildings. Also has some of the best restaurants around. The only places I could afford to step in were Kiehl’s and the eateries.
These two malls are inter-connected together with several other malls, yes you read right, several other malls – so you can imagine how much walking I did in the past 1week here since it’s just opposite our hotel. The malls were so big that every time I went, there was always a new shop and spot to discover. Spent most of my time here alone while hubby worked his cute tush off.
One of the malls connected to Glorietta. Spent most of my time shopping for groceries here
Spoilt for choices where milk is concerned. Milk is good for you! Chocolate ones especially, nyam nyam.
Just near the Manila bay near the ocean lays is the 1st largest mall in Asia and the 3rd largest mall in the world. And to think we were there!! The size of this giant mall is overwhelming and exploring it 1 day definitely isn’t enough. Alas we were there for only 2 hours. Boo.
And look a Jeepney, take it if you dare
Market Market at Fort Bonifacio
A very inexpensive shopping complex popular with the locals close to the central business district of Makati. Here you can find a multi-storey mall complex with department stores and a huge flea market combined.
This is a must go for those who want to shop at a huge discount shopping centre. Reminds me of Bangkok’s chatucak market except it’s fully air-conditioned. Nice.
Located roughly 20 mins away from the hotel. Took a cab and covered this mall on my own. Again, it’s super huge and you see nothing but rows of shops. My poor feet were aching from all that walking, I kid you not. Too bad there aren’t big on foot massages here, bah.
Can you believe I paid only RM7 each for the tops?
Heart the dress, only less than RM30
I think the Filipinos are BIG on smelling good, like me, heh. Perfumes here are generally inexpensive and you’ll see various local brands in every store you walk into.
One for mommy, one for auntie and one for MIL
My finds from SM Mall
Naf Naf belt for RM21? Yes FREAKING WAY!
Ooo and got some nice undergarments for like dirt cheap, yes!
While my hubby slogged away at work, I figured I’d surprise him with this gift:
A Brad Pitt project – limited edition throughout the world yo. Figured I’d do some charity too as all net profits will go to saving the environment. So that was RM80 well spent! And when the bottle finishes, I’m going to keep it and auction it off on Ebay 10 years from now, heeeh.
Heh, love the shirt. Isn’t it cute?
And of all the things he could buy in Mall of Asia, he buys these:
Yup, toiletries. Men.
Okay although malls are in abundance with really cheap priced goods, we didn’t shop much because quality is definitely compromised but hey if you ain’t fussy then this is an ideal shopping haven. Plus there were tons of Christmas deals and offers that were super cheap! Too bad we’re fussy shoppers, well sort of.
Of course, what’s a holiday without partying with the locals’ right? Did some clubbing in Bed and their Ice Bar. Although the clubs in the posh area of GreenBelt were a tad small, it was still fun and best of all, cheap!
Then we went back to Bed Space for some drinks and shisha
Oh I need to mention that the Filipino boys aren’t too bad looking what with their mixed blood and all! That is until they open their mouth and out comes the annoying thick Filipino accent that I cannot stand. A shame! Did I mention it’s really annoying?
My hubby is still cuter though. Honest. *grins*
And for obvious reasons, Nicole from PCD is extremely famous here; everywhere you go you hear nothing but her music. She’s also the model for some shampoo ad, the billboard ads here are equivalent to 5 billboard ads you see in KL.
Besides that, the weather was extremely pleasant, cloudy and windy most times. Aaah, just how I like it.
Honestly, this trip was quite unexpected, a real nice surprise to end the year with.
And I definitely thanked my hubby when I got there, oh yes I did *wink*
Will blog about the food in the next entry, that one deserves an entry of its own and when you see the pictures and restaurants you’ll know why.
Manila I miss you! And more importantly, I miss my hubby. 3 more days to go…