Manila, Philippines. We drove off from the airport. Let’s have lunch my brother said as we headed towards the Global City at Fort Bonifacio.
As we were driving, my brother tried his best to act as my tourist guide as we weaved through traffic. He started pointing things and telling me places and landmarks that would jog my memory of Manila. But I just couldn’t remember anything anymore. Suddenly I feel like in a very strange place. The surroundings are all new to me. Huge structures everywhere. Tons of businesses on both sides of the road. Giant billboard staring at my face and people I see are staring at their cellphones…I told myself, this is a one hell of a bustling metropolis!
What caught me by surprise is the increased of motorcycles on the road. My brother said that it’s a very cheap way to go around Manila, not to mention it’s the way to go to beat the traffic.
My brother treated me to a delicious late lunch at Kabisera Dencio’s somewhere at the Fort. I can’t really remember what we order, but I know it was all that I wanted for a long time. But I do remember I ordered a tall iced tea and quickly downed it with just a few gulp. I called the waiter and asked for a refill. He said I have to change my order to “Bottomless” to get a refill. I asked what’s Bottomless? He explained that Bottomless means unlimited refill but it’s more expensive. Ahh I said…”ok give me bottomless!”
We walk around the block after lunch while we catch up on things. I tried to absorb every information I can get from him as I looked around still trying to get my senses. He asked me if I want to shop. I said not really indicating that I was really tired. He finally said, “tell you what, why don’t we go home and let’s get you a full body massage. I know this nice Massage place where they give you the best Thai massage in town”. My eyes beamed with excitement.
Boys day out, sort of…
My brother was right, the massage was so refreshing. The masseuse just pounded on every inch of my body as if he would break every single bone. I wanted to sleep right there and then but we were only allowed for one hour.
Our next stop is a foot spa and a pedicure at SM Taytay. Never had one before. I hate someone digging into my toes. But what the heck, I said. To my surprise, it was actually not bad at all.
I finally felt relax but sleepy. I glance at my watch and it was early morning in California. I walk around SM for some time. while my brother was doing some errands.Not much has changed. I still see familiar brand of clothes and shoes. Sales ladies are still wearing their familiar blue and white uniforms.the store is still packed.
I end up going into this shop call “Spoofs”. This store humurously imitate famous name brands. A unique Filipino ingenuity and humor. I ended up buying two pairs. One that says “PH” instead of “HP” and another that say “Paranoid” with the famous Droid Logo (see photo).
I showed my loot to my brother and he laughed. It’s finally time to head back home. But not before we grab some “taho” on our way out.
I spent another day in Manila. We went to SM Mega Mall shopping around for some nice suite, shirts from Collezione and Bench polos. Got a bite of a Bavarian-filled donuts at Dunkin Donuts (which is no where to be found in California). I later met up with my other brothers, his wife and my nieces and had another sumptous dinner at Dad’s, an eat-all-you-can-but-you-pay-extra-if-you-don’t-eat-all restaurant.
Of course I can’t leave Manila without sampling my all time favorite street fishballs. Now it’s time to go home to Abra. (to be continued)
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