How the hell did i end up here! Cos awesome travbuddies live here!!!!
Manila Travel Blog› entry 270 of 658 › view all entries
People i met here who contributed to, and improved my trip: Josh, Ted, Jay (Philippines)
For the duration of the 2 hour flight from Hong Kong, i was simply buzzing to be heading back to the Philippines. I kept smiling for no reason and i think the passenger sat next to me was beginning to question my sanity. But i just couldn't control my emotions, as i new what lay ahead of me could turn out to be one of those weeks to remember! Travbuddies, Whalesharks and Wine Appreciation night... could i take all these stimuli and still come out of it a semi sane creature?
Arriving into Manila airport at 9.30pm, i was a little dubious about whether i wanted to leave the airport in search of a taxi, but after been quoted 400 pesos and up, i decided i'd take the chance.
Within half an hour of arriving at Friendly's Guesthouse i'd already made friends with a group of people who were heading out to the funky little Penguin Bar to watch a live band, and the selling point was that the owner Benjie was there! Once at the bar, Benjie greeted me with a big hug, whispered something in the barmans ear and told me the first drink was on him. 2 minutes later i was presented with a pint of lager that had some naughty little shot in the bottom of it and all i can say about it is: 'that it will put hairs on your chest!'
The night continued at a similar frantic pace, as the band banged out some quality tunes that had the whole joint rocking.
Saturday morning i showered away the cobwebs before heading to Robinsons shopping mall, where i had an arrangement to meet up with fellow travbuddy Josh. We'd communicated through the site on numerous occasions before, but i always find it a little nerve racking to meet up with people for the first time like this. But i needn't have worried and within minutes we were deep in conversation and heading towards a great little restaurant that Josh new.
I had no idea that Josh had the rest of the day off and half expected he would have to head back to work, so i was delighted to find that he only had a half day and had scored a couple of complimentary tickets to go and see the travelling Davao crocodile show. A short taxi ride and we were soon there, witnessing some pretty crazy antics. This included a tight rope walker, walking across a pond full of saltwater crocodiles, now thats something you wouldn't get me doing for love nor money! Slightly more to my liking was the chance to interact with the animals and hold some snakes, a baby crocodile and play with a chimp. Also on display was an alpaca, a hornbill, an eagle and a very cute baby tiger.
My night kicked off around 7pm as wine appreciation night got into full swing and i enjoyed Benjies generosity by sinking a few glasses of red. It was great to catch up with him again and i was impressed with the hostel, which he had renovated since last year. It was sociable as ever, only now it had twice as many guests to accomodate! I was a little sad to be leaving the party early, but there were more important places to go to!
Just after 9pm I met Josh in a bar in Malate and after wolfing some chicken and chips down, it was time to meet travbuddy number 2, Ted, who had been patiently waiting in his car to give us a lift to the Mall of Asia.
The 3 of us chatted, ate and drank until the early hours of the morning and it was only when we realised that the whole bar had closed up that we took the hint and decided that they wanted to close! It had been a fantastic evening with the central topic been that of the 'Butanding' or 'Whalesharks', which i was going to see later in the week. Ted's eyes began to glimmer at the mention of these gentle giants and i thought he was going to choke on his beer when i told him that he could snorkel with them, as he thought that he had to dive.
The following day was much more laid back as i chilled at the hostel and only ventured out to Robinsons for some lunch. It seemed most of the Filipino travbuddys were tied up for the evening, so i'd settled on an early night, when all of a sudden i got a message from Jay saying that he was more than willing to meet up for the night, which suited me just fine! By 8pm i was meeting my 3rd travbuddy in 2 days and after a very nasty early insult from Jay, when he called me Australian, we were getting along just great. After enjoying Dinner together, we were joined by Ted once more, who couldn't pass up on the idea of a bucket of San Miguel and some more talk of the Whalesharks! It was again a really great evening and it was sad that we had to call it off around 1am, as both the guys had work in the morning and should have been tucked up much earlier!
Although i was completely psyched to be heading to Donsol the following day, i did so with a tinge of regret that i couldn't hang out with these 3 guys a lot longer.