20 August 2010

MANILA Mania!

While The Philippines is geographically so close to Sabah (2 hours flight), it is in fact so close to me personally too. Thanks to the influx of them in Sabah, I literally grew up surrounded with Filipinos and I have had the best of friends from the Philippines. My early encounter with beautiful girls at puberty was dominated by Tagalog girls I had almost believed that Sabah was cursed with errr, not so pretty girls. Hehe.
No no. You don't know her. She is my ex-Filippino girlfriend before I changed my name to the current one. If you may ask, my previous name was Jericho Rosales.

So…. When the opportunity of coming to their ‘nest’ came in the form of a free ticket in Air Asia’s Zero Fare, I was more than excited.
If you don’t already know, Air Asia flights wouldn’t take you right to the centre of Manila as you probably expected it to. Instead, it’d bring you to Diosdado Macapagal International Airport located in another city called Clark.
You have the choice of taking a taxi or a bus to Manila from Clark. Since I didn’t see the need of spending too much money on a taxi, I went for the bus. Just bear in mind that the bus (collaborated with Air Asia) would take you to 2 stops in Manila. One is in Pasay Terminal and another one is SM Mega Mall. Most passengers would go to SM Mega Mall and the fare is 300 pesos (350 pesos to Pasay Terminal). That equals to around RM20.
Accompanying me this time was Miss Lizzie, a lovely Sarawakian lady from Kuching that I befriended back in my campus years. Oh well, having travelled alone for most of these years, it surely needed a little bit self-adjustment to have somebody’s head to consider in just about every decision that I wanted to make. But of course, TOLERENCE is the keyword. IN fact I enjoyed being in her company very very much after quite awhile.
The bus would take you to a 2 hours ride on a smooth highway across beautiful countryside, sprawling farms and eye-catching villages before reaching the outskirts of Manila.
Oh well, the bus was actually not bad at all and it wasn’t long before I fell asleep in its comfort.
You know you’ve reached Manila when you see people selling stuffs through the windows of passing cars. Apparently, traffic jams that we hate so much here in Malaysia are a blessing to them. No traffic jam, no business. No business, no money. No money, no makanMorale of the story? Do not hate traffic jam. :-P 
So, it was almost dark when we arrived at the bus stop right in front of the SM Mega Mall (Gotta state MEGA MALL clearly because SM is a brand or something. You’d see SM Malls all over Manila – this one is SM MEGA Mall).
Saying NO to a herd of taxi drivers who were eager to have us on board, we dragged our bags to the other side of the building to get a metered taxi and almost passed out when we saw the line.
HOLY SHIT! The lines to buy a 4D in KK wouldn’t even get this long. FYI, many of the taxis in Manila wouldn’t want to put their meter on for 1001 shit of reasons. Traffic jam is definitely one of them. You have the choice of taking the metered taxi just as most of the locals do but…..
.
...be prepared to break your legs. Do not attempt to jump the queue because somebody would be there to throw you to the back of the line if you do it.
Well, thanks to the abundance of taxis in Manila, the line actually moves quite fast. Somehow, it felt so long when you’re very next one to take the turn.
Just as it is in any major cities all over Asia, a taxi ride would bring you to see for yourself the beauty of the city in the form of – traffic jam! Moving tortoise-ly slow, I couldn’t help but thinking how heaven it could be if I could ride on a taxi bike to mobilize from one place to another just as I did when I was in Vietnam.

Broooom broooom brooooooooooooooom and I’m already there. Here, broooom brooooom brooooooooooom and I’m still here (inside the taxi). Errrrrk.
So…….. It was true that the hostel that we were going to stay in was not easy to find the taxi had actually almost given up. A little bit use of instinct had led us to a shopping mall called A.Venue.
Apparently, the building that we were looking for is located just 'round the corner from it.
Named Our Melting Point, it is actually a residential apartment located on the 18th floor of A. Venue Suites building.
The owner must have come up with a brilliant idea of turning into it into a B&B right in the heart of Makati City. Brilliant as it was, good reviews and overwhelming ratings had shot it up to top the ranking of best budget hostels in Manila.
Not quite bad for a hostel that is less than two months old. The receptionist was so nice by welcoming us with a glass of orange juice. It was so good to my mouth I had to brace against the idea of asking for another glass. For those who know me personally, they know how muka tebal I can be sometimes. :-P
I was impossible not to like this collection of pictures that were pasted on one small section of wall here. It just looks so......... B&B. So so familiar to me. Hehe.
Next time when you come here, a picture of us should already be there.
I liked the room almost instantly although it was smaller than I had expected. The down point is probably the inexistence of lockers so there really was no space for you to store your used clothes and other belongings in.
I especially took the liking to the drape curtain provided for each of the beds. At least I could sleep peacefully without feeling naked. The idea of having somebody scrutinizing the size of my man tits when I was dead asleep was just so unbearable.
He he.
 
The toilet was immaculately clean although I wished they could have put up more racks on the wall for visitors to put their shower stuffs on.
After a quick shower (did we?), we were out on the street looking for something to abate the hunger that was beginning to pinch so hard in our stomachs. But first, I had to change my RMs into Pesos.
A little bit of personal encounter here, although Malaysian Ringgit is well-accepted at most money changers in Manila, it is quite advisable that you change your MYRs into USDs when you were still in Malaysia and only change your USDs into PHPs when you’re in Manila. Believe me, I saved at least a few hundred pesos by doing just that. Somehow, our Malaysian Ringgit is quite too low against Pesos there. [RM1 = 13 Pesos]
SO……. With thousands of pesos so ready to be spent in my pocket (ehems!), I was ready to rock Manila. Of course, having had not eaten any shit since in KK, we had nothing else in our heads but FOOD.

Contrary to most Malaysian might believe that food in Manila is down to earth cheap, I am afraid it is actually not. In fact I was quite surprised to find out that the standard prices for food here are – oh well, just about the average here in Malaysia.
But then, there really is no average when it comes to food prices in Manila. They are so diverse you can expect food prices at a restaurant to be totally different from the restaurant next door.
Manila is full of pork-eating people. I can assure you of it. It is not a Muslim country so it would be quite difficult to find a restaurant with halal food. Menus at most restaurants are dominated by PORK. Everywhere is pork. This one here is one of the very few restaurants with halal food that I found in Makati. 
My advice for you, if you’re not Muslim and your favorite food is pork than it is advisable that you go to Manila with somebody who can eat pork as well. Otherwise, you’ll miss eating this.
Or this.

Oh and this one here that they call Sinigang is highly infectious I actually found myself craving for it in all the days that I stayed in Manila. It still comes to my thought every now and then even until today. SHH…T.
Those are the foods that you might not encounter in Malaysia and they are all pork or at least cooked with pork. Good thing about restaurants at least in the Makati area that I found out was that you can always ask for more rice FOC.
I would say that Filippino cuisines have nothing to be fancied about though. Most of them are plain simple but surprisingly tasty. I’d say, the beauty lies in its simplicity.

Makati Avenue bears the reputation to have some of the most ‘happening’ streets in Manila.
Some of the streets would glow in shining and blinking lights comes night– so much inviting for those who might have the inner kinky sides and boiling urgencies to be fulfilled inside them.  LOL!
For all the Alejandros, you have Lady Gagas in da house!
Some of the entertainments were just so weird to my imagination. They'll ask you to sit down and watch midgets doing wrestling inside a ring. Even the door keeper is a midget. If you think the live visual of ladies punching on each other can give you a hard on and this is definitely the right place for you.
And what is a shop like this doing right in the centre of a place like Makati Avenue? Somehow it looked to bear the word “REPENT”, killing any further thought of getting kinky in Makati Avenue at least for the night. Hehe.

But seriously, it wasn’t really in my agenda. No no. Errr, I think. :-P I would spare whatever there is in there for some other visit. Guys, when was it again? After Christmas? LOL
Ohh, and be careful with what they call ‘Animals’ in Makati. It might refer to something else. o.O
We actually wasted NOT A SINGLE NIGHT in Manila by hitting into this place on our very first night there. Located just down the road from Avenue shopping mall, we were so lucky to have found this hidden little gem almost by accident.
Being one of the countries with the most firearm owners in the world, you'd expect to see something like this at the entrance to many shops and night clubs in Manila.  
You know, a real traveler would come to a country to experience the culture there. And the best way of experiencing the local culture is by going to where the locals hang out at. This place is definitely one of them.
Ohh and I gotta warn you, DO NOT STAY IN MANILA FOR TOO LONG or it'll make you go alcoholic within a matter of months. Beers here are crazily cheap.
Just imagine, you can easily get 3 bottles of San Miguel LIGHT at a good place like this complete with live band performances so ready to make your night go gaga. And how much is that in RM? RM6? RM7? HOHOHOHO. I found my heaven.
Oh oh oh and I don’t even want to describe how good live band performances can be here in Manila. Where do you think all the super-talented groups that dominate the contracts to play at our night clubs in Malaysia come from? Who do they hire to play at the likes of Hard Rock Café in KL and our local Sheninegan in KK? Iraqis?
One word to describe : Goosebumps. Manila is definitely full of talents I felt so humbled watching them peform.
Oh well, we could get 3 bottles of San Miguel for about RM12 in Sabah but all we had to watch was the taukeh screaming his lung out to his workers.
San Miguel Light has become one of my favorite beers ever since I took my first sip of it about 3 years ago. For one thing, it is said to be LOW in calory so it goes well with the efforts that I've been trying to do to live a healthy life over the years. Aaaaaaaaaaaha!  
It has been gaining too much of a popularity among the Sabahan alcoholics people that quite in many times I found myself frustrated because it tends to run out of stock quite so regularly.

SO………. When I found out about the price, my bladder was pumping so ready to work extra for me at least for the next few days in my stay in Manila. I was so excited I felt so ready to swallow all the bottles. Seriously, to that extent.
And Lizzie was in as much excitement as I was I had to declare her my travelling partner-cum-drinking buddy. Gone were the pathetic days when I had to drink alone in the dark. Errr, at least on this trip to Manila. Hehe.
Ohh and I gotta tell you how the locals drink. Spell this world out loud: C.R.A.Z.Y. That is the word! They drink like crazy!! So much so that I actually got drunk by just looking at their tables being refilled continuously with buckets and buckets and buckets of beer. I was so impressed I actually tried to detect if they had any hoses up their pants.
And Manila people seem to love partying as much as they do for screaming. Seriously, they scream like every 5 minutes for no apparent reason. They just love to scream. I think that must be one of their secrets behind their superiority in singing.
And you know you’re in Manila when you see the roads are still heavy with traffic and the cars are still honking to each other when it is way past midnight.
So…. 6 bottles were good enough for a very first day.
We went to sleep while the nightlife countinued on the streets of Makati Avenue.  Manila for sure is a sleepless city.
We had a long list of places to go to the next day.
The excitement was giving me a hard-on.

8 comments:

aud said...

Hahahahaha..this post should come with a 18SX rating! Ya, food can be a problem cos there's pork everywhere. Beer is really piss-cheap kan.

JIPP said...

Hehe. At least I didn't put any 18SX pics. :-D Yupp, agree with u about pork being everywhere. And Beer, oh yeah. Heaven. :-)

chegu carol said...

ko sudah try sisig kah jipp? it was our fav when we were there. bah cant wait to hear more of manila from ur side of stories.

JIPP said...

ada Carol. Will post about it later. ;-)

Kelvin said...

This post makes me wanna go manila ^^

JIPP said...

HAHA. I know, u naughty boy! :-P

FM Radio Streaming said...

Yes..That Post inspired to go manila

JIPP said...

Then you should go.. :-P

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