Manila Quick Trip

Manila Travel Blog

 › entry 1 of 2 › view all entries
The Picasso Hotel, Manila

Manila Trip

The Flight

It was a sudden business trip and I could not secure bookings on Singapore Airlines fromJakartatoManila, hence, had to settle with midnight flight with PAL (Philippines Airlines). I must admit that once the plane took off and almost 30 minutes into the journey, most of my apprehensions about PAL were gone. The flight was very well managed and comfortable, inspite of a thick cloud cover. Food quality was also OK. A few irritating things were 1) The plane was Airbus 320 for a 4 hour flight, so a little cramped with narrow leg space 2) On flight entertainment was not personal, one screen for 3 rows and what is showed that night was not interesting 3) PAL doesn’t serve any whiskey or Vodka or a good quality wine on board, just some local Phil wines and beer.

Makati City cool morning
This apart, there was no other issue.

Immigration, Luggage and Peso

Landed at 6 AM. Immigration and luggage were easy, thoughManilaInternationalAirportorNinoyAquinoAirportis still very primitive. I was carrying some Indonesian Rupiyah as didn’t have much time to collect $. Tried to exchange IDR to Peso, but the rate offered was extremely low, hence decided to withdraw using my Visa Debit Card. I have learnt over the years that using your Visa Card to withdraw money from any local bank ATM is a better way to use local currency than bringing in dollars and exchanging at the counters. Reason- 1) You get the best exchange rates 2) The exchange fee is quite nominal.

Taxi, hotel and the first glimpse of Manila

Just got out of the airport door and took a voucher for the yellow taxis parked outside.

Look at the Jeepney
I was staying at the Picasso Boutique Hotel inMakatiCity. The taxi booking counter just gave me a booking slip and I was supposed to pay for the ride as per the meter. The ride to the hotel was interesting. People waking up from their sleep all over the city and running errands, some of them already in the ‘Jeepney’ queue. The landscape took a dramatic turn as we moved from airport in old city to the newly buildMakatiCity. While the old is dirty and not so developed,MakatiCityis nicely built with many tall buildings, hotels, corporate houses and well structured roads.

The check in at the hotel was not so cool. I had already informed of an early checkin and even paid 505 extra charge, but still my room was not ready and I had to wait for almost 90 minutes. They offered free breakfast as compensation, but I was still not so happy about it.

Closer look at the Jeepney

Jeepney

This are the oldUSjeeps left over by theUSarmy from World War II and now most of them, with a little re-furbishment and modification, are being run on the roads as Public Transport. Check out the pics for a glimpse of one. I did not ride one of them, but sounds very interesting.

The Night and the days and the City

After a grueling day at the office, the night took off with a few friends and of-course, the first spot we hit was the in-famous P-Bourgos road. I will call it a very un-professional mini version ofBangkokor Pattaya, but many people like it there. Let me not talk anymore about it here.

There are quite a few malls in theMakatiCityand they are quite big, offering almost all International and Local Brands in clothing and food.

Jeepney in action
I mostly ate at one of the Jollibee Restaurants, which is a local fast food chain and has many restaurant types and numbers, they have a Chinese called Chow King and Jollibee for burgers, fried chicken, fried Pork etc. Almost every 500 mtrs there is one, apart from the ususal KFC and McD. You can also find a 7eleven quite easily, but not so much asBangkok. You need to look for it and there are a few local versions too, but selling the same stuff, so no issue. Alcohol is sold at the 7 elevens, unlikeIndonesia, so that was a sort of relief.

I spend most of my time at Café Havana in Mall Green Belt II. The place is nice, there is live music, many girls, quite a few lady boys and open air. It was nice sitting there, enjoying our drinks and chatting away.

Lambanog

On day 2, one of my colleagues gifted me a nicely packaged local coconut wine called Lambanog.

Jollibee waiting card
I was a little skeptical, but the packaging was so attractive that it seemed authentic all the way. Have a look at my pics to check the bottle. The locals said that the drink is quite famous and quite potent. I checked the label and it was 40% alcohol, and it needs to be drunk neat.

The night was then spend in the laps of Lambanog, very tasty drink with a solid kick. Next morning I had to fly back. This is the best I could cover in this very short visit, but I would definitely like to return back and the famous and beautifulBoracayIslandsare on my must do list.

Join TravBuddy to leave comments, meet new friends and share travel tips!
The Picasso Hotel, Manila
The Picasso Hotel, Manila
Makati City cool morning
Makati City cool morning
Look at the Jeepney
Look at the Jeepney
Closer look at the Jeepney
Closer look at the Jeepney
Jeepney in action
Jeepney in action
Jollibee waiting card
Jollibee waiting card
Pork Meal at Jollibee
Pork Meal at Jollibee
Makati Stock Exchange
Makati Stock Exchange
Cafe Havana
Cafe Havana
Lambanog, the local coconut wine. …
Lambanog, the local coconut wine.…
Yes, it is packed in the coconut s…
Yes, it is packed in the coconut …
Sponsored Links
Manila
photo by: Deats