Three Days in Manila

Trip Start Dec 28, 2011
Trip End Jan 30, 2012

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Where I stayed
Holiday Inn Manila Galleria Pasig
Read my review - 4/5 stars
What I did

Flag of Philippines  , Luzon,
Monday, January 2, 2012

Imagine taking a 30 hour flight with two connections going half way around the world, and still arriving on time right on the dot!  Pretty amazing I'd say..and enough to make me pretty happy.

Exited the plane and headed to immigration.  The two duty free's were there as i remembered, all priced in US dollars.  Prices were pretty good - Grey Goose at $33 bucks, however I passed on by remembering another duty free after customs.  That way I could be less burdened when going through the entry motions.

Immigration: no long lines, and once they saw my visa they were happy to put me right through...on to the luggage carousel and hardly any wait at all and my luggage was on its way.  A cart was even right handy.

Customs even easier, stamped my card and on my way.  First hiccup, the duty free is gone past customs! But apparently there is one in the visiting waiting area.  Stopped at the ATM to get some local currency and headed across the arrival area to the outside area where you can wait for arrivals.

My friend Jhebb was there waiting and we headed to duty free to get some supplies.  We found a flxed rate cab and were on our way to the hotel. 610 or about 10 bucks for a 30 minute ride.  (actually about 3 times the metered rate, but being after dark, best to be sure we are not taken for a real tour)

When we arrived at the hotel, service was excellent.  4 men carried the luggage in and the front desk folks were great.  I was staying at the holiday inn to take advantage of my points...but still they upgraded me to a suite.  The reviews on trip advisor of this hotel were kind of midrange, but I thought it was quite nice.

When they brought us up to the suite it was very nice...two huge rooms, nicely decorated in rich woodgrain, king bed and two of the best suites I had been in at any Holiday Inn.

By then it was around 11 pm, so after a 30 hour plane ride Jhebb and I just caught up and soon fell asleep.

Jhebb was pretty excited. His first time to stay at a hotel and first time for sure in a great suite.

Second day we got up and headed to the mall.  I find Manila malls interesting. North American chains mixed with filipino chain. The food court is almost exclusively filipino home cooked food, but the chain restaurents are there too, but they all have their own seating.

Our goal was to find a Smart Store (like Rogers or Sprint) to buy a wifi card.  The mall adjacent to the hotel had a store but they were all sold out.  After Breakfast at Johnny Rockets and lots of wandering we headed to the SM Mega Mall just down the road.  There, after lots and lots of seaching we found the SMART store and were able to make our purchase. 

We headed back to the hotel mall, and bought some San Miguel for the is New Years Eve after all.  A quick dinner at Macdonalds for some spaghetti and Fried chicken

MakMak arrived soon after and we went out to eat again, Jollibee this time.  Then we took a cab to Greenbelt Mall a ways a way - thats the party area.  We first went to a bar call Havana, and when the band came on they played loud latino music...Volareeee...wowowowo.....Closer to midnight we went countdown here...just lots and lots of fireworks at midnight...

At one point I was off to the washroom. For a bar that held one hundred people there was one washroom, two stalls, one female and one male  Quite the line ups you can imagine.  Felt somewhat stereotypical with the line up of overweight 50ish white guys and the other line up of 20ish attractive filipinas.

On the way back it was of course hard to find a taxi, but finally after agreeing to pay double rate we found a ride home. 

New Years Day, Jhebb was up early and gone for a family event, and after Breakfast, Makmak left for home. 

Whether it was the jet lag, the extra San Miguel or the late night, or all three, but I slept the rest of the day, only taking some time to pack up for my trip to Kalibo the next day.

My Review Of The Place I Stayed

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