A series of not so (un)fortunate events (1)
Philippines Travel Blog› entry 1 of 1 › view all entries
This travel is unlike those I have written so far. Our visit to the Philippines was mainly to see our families and folks, so I would not be able to provide many pictures, although my story about it would be interesting to some who's been following my travel journal.
To avoid busy travel for Christmas season that year, my wife and I decided to offset our travel to the Philippines at least a month earlier from Christmas season. It was around the first week of November 2006 when my wife went ahead of me. I followed her after three weeks, which technically was within the same month. As usual, I took a direct flight from Vancouver to Manila. It was one of those unbearably long flights as Philippine Airlines 747 aircraft had to cross the Pacific 10 hours or maybe even more.
It was Friday morning when we landed in Manila. With a connecting flight still to catch going to Legazpi City, I rushed towards Cebu Pacific counter to have my flight and e-ticket verified, but only to be told that the flight I was going next was cancelled. Explaining reasonably how appalled I was about it since I confirmed the flight less than 24 hours ago, the counter employee looked very apologetic listening to me intently.
"Sir, I could arrange a seat for you with PAL (a competitor airline) going to Cebu. They will have a short stop over in Legazpi. Only thing, though, is you may have to rush to Gate (x) at this time!" he explained with his face beaming with anticipation that I agree.
Getting a quick glimpse at domestic Security Screening area and at my wristwatch, I then factored-in the situation, and answered him with ease this time, "You know what? Put me in to your next available flight tomorrow!"
With hundreds of passengers lined up over at Security Screening and a 30-minute window, I didn't think for a second that I could beat that!
Next thing I knew, at around nine o'clock in the morning, I was in a shuttle service going to a hotel in the upscale city of Makati. They provided me a one-night stay and a whole day meal, as my next flight was scheduled the next morning. This was, of course, a standard and appropriate gesture by any airline faced with the same situation.
After settling inside my suite, I phoned my wife who - with my in-laws, were about to leave the house to pick me at Legazpi Domestic Airport. The whole excitement was replaced with dismay, but the situation was understood after a short while.
I went to bed, then woke up and showered, proceeded to restaurant downstairs to have lunch. That was around three in the afternoon. After that, I left and explored Makati's Greenbelt area. The afternoon sun was out and the weather was generally balmy. Greenbelt, as some would know, is located in Manila's corporate and financial district. So it is not unusual to find all things somebody would find in other major cities. Fine restaurants, top-of-the-line shopping malls, best bars, a good amount of foreigners - except that, it's much more crowded.
I'm a boring person when it comes to shopping, but the price of men's business suit was one-third compare to what I would buy back in Canada. I purchased three set of suits for myself and a bottle of Christian Dior fragrance for my waiting and expecting wife.
I remember attempting to call my friend Bow (a former office colleague) at his office in the close by Ortigas Centre. We did not meet. And so I ended up going to a bar by myself. I had good time chatting with some interesting kababayans that I met that early evening. TO BE CONTINUED.