Monday, January 15, 2007

Manila: Stopover in Manila

To those asking about what one can do in Manila while in transit and waiting for their flight out, here is a suggestion: Go to the SM Mall of Asia!

Ton, my SSEAYP SG-mate from Thailand, was in Cebu the past few days for the 12th ASEAN Summit being part of their Ministry of Foreign Affairs. It was all work for him and he didn't get to see much, just Shangri-La Mactan, Cebu Midtown and the CICC as well as the sights along the way. To add to that, he only had three hours in Manila today from the time his PAL flight arrived in the NAIA Centennial Terminal 2 to the time his Thai Airways flight left the NAIA Terminal 1.

So Pam, my SG-mate from the Philippines, and I played it by ear and met up with him at Terminal 2. The vehicle from the Thai Embassy was there to bring their group to Terminal 1. So we joined them in the van.

We found out that they were having lunch at the SM Mall of Asia after they checked their luggage in. Good news, since at least we get to have lunch with Ton. So we waited outside until I received a phone call from Ton that they had left Terminal 1 from the VIP level of the arrival area which I had forseen since obviously, the vehicle had diplomatic plates. Haha! We had no choice but to take a taxi to SM Mall of Asia.

The trip was less than 20 minutes and we spent PHP75 for the taxi. If you are a passenger in transit and want to save on a cab since the airport taxi is costly, go to the departure area and sneak into one of the taxis that had just unloaded its passengers. Hehe!

We only had an hour to go around and eat lunch. So we rushed to find the first Filipino restaurant we saw. The name of the place was Bangus. Since Ton wanted pork, we ordered sisig, crispy pata, and chicken and pork adobo, as well as garlic rice. He enjoyed the sisig but found the adobo quite salty. Same reaction here, their adobo was quite salty. We got to walk around a bit after but not too far since we had to be in the van by 1 p.m. So much for my first visit to the SM Mall of Asia! Haha! Sad to say it was my first visit too. Haha!

Anyway, I haven't really traveled much these past few weeks. I regret not going out of town during the Christmas break since now, school, work, the Senate meetings on the proposed Heritage Bill, as well as meetings for the Ateneo Alumni Association have occupied most of my time. So in the meantime, I'll write about my trip to Taiwan, also in 2003.

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