February 17, 2018. I took my LO with me to the Philippines. We endured the midnight flight from Perth via Singapore Airlines to Manila. It took us a total of 11 hours flight with the airport waiting, layover in Singapore and finally Metro Manila……. after 8 years of being away as a single OFW and now a chubby Mumma with her toddler in tow and a suitcase ( take note: only 1 suitcase for the 2 week trip even though Singapore Airlines are very generous in providing luggage allowance of 30 kg for each passenger, I decided to go light and fuss free).
Our aircraft landed at 1.00 in the afternoon and the humidity struck us as soon as we stepped out of NAIA Terminal 3. Whew, I can feel the sweat trickling as we walked in my cousin’s car to drive us to Astoria Plaza in Ortigas. ( I booked a 2 night stay just to give me and my daughter a recovery time and also not to get overwhelmed by the Metro Manila traffic . ( I am originally from Novaliches QC and the distance from our house to the airport plus the congestion on Saturdays will equate to a disastrous , tired and cranky tot and mum combined). my parents joined us in the afternoon and we had a yummy afternoon snack of Buddy’s Pancit Lucban and Pinoy Barbecue. Yum!!!
Also, Astoria Plaza is across the First Preschool I worked at. ( Lincolnshire International Preschool circa 2003-2004 at Goldloop towers random trivia there)
the yellow and green building is Goldloop towers)
We went to Sm Megamall and yes, the Pinoy culture of shopping malls , window shopping has evolved. I am amazed at the brands that the Philippine Malls are carrying and I must say that they have a lot there compared to what we have here in Australia. However, since I had been away so long. I find it tiring to go level after level of shops. I kinda miss the Kmart , Target and Big W feels. One level, everything is there. Groceries as well, the cashier and bagger boy tandem in Manila is equivalent to a single cashier also bagger person here or self check out if you prefer. I don’t see the need of a cashier, checker, bagger lady necessary in SM department stores. They don’t make the check outs any faster to be honest. Although, the initiative of no plastic bags is a good thing to see in the shops and takeaway restaurants in Manila.
Our first Sunday was spent by attending the afternoon church service at Christ Commission Fellowship at Frontrera Verde in Ortigas. ( again a massive church but I really admire their ministry in changing the spiritual lives of the Filipinos).
(google image photo)
On Monday, we checked out of Astoria and took a Grab XL car back to Novaliches. I am so glad that Grab and Uber are now in the Philippines and make the travel around the Metro more convenient and comfortable. I never had a bad experience with Grab and Uber in the Philippines and I hope that when I get back these services are still around.
Novaliches , aside from the traffic congestion in Sauyo, I am glad that Sm Malls had built one near our house. sooo easy and I just need to take a tricycle and voila! Errands and simple shopping needs are done ! Our old subdivision has changed too, lots of renovated houses , but really annoying to see that they built their houses so big and got themselves those big cars like Montero, Ford Rangers, and similar 4×4 suv types but no driveway so hello double parked cars on the streets. making a narrow subdivision street narrower. Deep breaths… I am only home for 2 weeks and I’d try to focus on good stuff. Like Jollibee!
It was also a series of meetups with classmates from high school and college. Friends from church and most of all family members. Even though I had to skip a few due to timing and traffic. I am sure they will understand. ( some didn’t unfortunately and had some nerves to be mad and say bad things about me. Seriously!!! I better ask them next time for a return ticket if they really want an exclusive) .
We did not go for an out of town trips during this short visit but I am really glad that I made this short trip back to Manila. This trip made me realise how we are blessed to be living in Australia right now but I am forever grateful to my mother land, the Philippines. It is not the best country to raise a family or be in a laid back style of life but I admire and respect the resilience of every Filipino who chose to be in the country . I hope and pray that someday, our country will also progress when it comes to discipline, cleanliness , economy,education , social integrity and an efficient government system.
So on the 2nd of March , I booked another staycation place for me and my family as the last leg of our vacation. We chose One Pacific Place in Makati, just because of it’s proximity to the airport. I prefer not to be stressed on our flight day back to Perth and also a simple treat for my family to have a change of ambiance and enjoy a comfortable serviced apartment accommodation. after all, my family deserves a treat for looking after me and my daughter. I hope that next time they can also come and visit us here in Perth.
thank you Manila for the wonderful humidity, extra calories and kilograms gained over the 2 weeks stay. It was worth it!!!!