Monday, July 29, 2013

La Manila

Actually i felt heavy-hearted to leave the family in KL / Melaka behind. Felt so much love from the farewell party the night before and a heartfelt gratitude to Shamin for temaning me until the KLIA. Big hugs!

Ok so, ive pass that flight thingy, 3 hours of beautiful scenery, birds's eye view of Malaysian soil got carved out most of it, long winding brown colored rivers flowing to the sea (most probably Borneo), the beautiful dark green blue sea, the soft candy cotton white clouds, literally the plane right inside the clouds for a bit but good thing no turbulance, the Philippines dark-greenery lushes land, the Ninoy Auino Int' Airport. After went through immigration, came out at the arrival hall, by default 2nd floor. Couldn't find any Cafes, tried to go up on 3rd floor ended up at Departure hall, saw a Singaporean friend's ready to take off back to Singapore, took a photo of him & send to him as a proof "I saw you leaving Manila! while me coming in." Replied later that night "Why didn't you shout at me?" It was a thick glass. I don't want to be detained and strip search on my 1st day.... there's a local canteen but no cafe or wifi. Tried Groundfloor but its twilight zone, went back to Arrival hall 2nd floor,...the wifi at the airport SUCK big time. Not functional at all. Wanted to reply Joe's message but problem solved when register with the local telco Globe 1k Pesos. Called Joe, after that took the wrong cab and got ripped off 2,350 Pesos + tips which became 2650 = rm197. Get to the hostel, choose room, shower, internet, tell everyone i'm safe, shutdown.

1st day (29/7/2013). Wake up slowly, birds chirping, motorcycles passing by (insert GNR's welcome to the Jungle). The area here look a bit like kampung, a lot of trees around, looking outside the window wondering "is it safe out there?" Chris the caretaker of the Isis hostel made a simple western breakfast. Heard Joe's going to Ateneo's Manila University to meet API fellowship representative/office people. I agreed to go as well, I ask Chris how to get there and brave myself and took 3 different transportations to reach destination. 1st Trike (Tricycle - 25Pesos) like the German motorcycle with the passengers sit is like a pod. Very rough ride (good for blood circulations) till "Philcoa". Take Jeepney (8pesos) to U.P(University of the Philippines), stop somewhere in U.P. using instinct (totally forgot to ask Chris where to stop, there's no sign anywhere, the Jeep just stop and go so for people who just came here, its a bit difficult, have to ask the passenger next to you. Take another Jeepney(8pesos) to Katipunan or Loyola Heights, also get off the Jeep by instincts after seen a shopping signboards with the sign Loyola.

Ask around for the Ateneo university, spot on, just across the road,cross the road, called Joe, Joe's haven't enough money because bank close so he cancelled his trip here. Called Ms.Issa (Api representative) she talk to the guard, guards let me in, met Ms.Issa, show the Api's office, bring to Ms.Syl from ICP that's my host. Ms.Shyl surprised because she only email me this morning to set appointment when to meet and here i am. Look into my contract,grant,etc. Have to fill out form 7 because of changes in the flight ticket to Japan. And have to comeback again on Thursday. (Can't bear the thoughts of travelling here again, must have too much effort and energy to get here U_U')

Phone running out of juice and i forgot to buy the universal converter at the airport for the charger, great. Frantically searching for hardware store from one end of Katipunan to the other, feet aching like shit, felt like crying, stop in couple of marts and buy junkfood for later, ended up in another mart and felt like cry of joy and hope when the supermarket employees said hardware is upstairs (Literally there are no hardware stores from one end of Katipunan to the other, even some supermart sells only food, food, and food, and there's plenty of fast food around here,PLENTY). Ended up bought 1 universal converter and another the long multiple Malaysian sockets with Philippines err prong.... 

On the way back from Katipunan, get to sit infront of passenger sit of Jeepney, wohoo~! Instinctively get down at U.P. again but different side from the 1st trip, and ask an auntie, she said can take another Jeepney going to Philcoa. Jeep arrived and sit right behind the driver. Heard some kids getting down there too, so when they did, followed them but felt lost, totally not like the place i get down from the Tricycle earlier. A lot of walking about, up and down, up and down, turning around and instinctively cross the road and bloody found the spot where the Trikes drop me before. The Tricycle station look like a bunch of drone planes ready to take off from mother ship, after passengers get on, they move out 1 by 1 efficiently. Show the driver/rider the map back. Get to the hostel, crash at the lobby for quite awhile. Whole body felt like wrecked to bits, bra and panties soaked. Talk to Chris about going out for dinner. Rain a bit (find out similar word in Tagalog-Bahasa= Payung), we went out and i had my 1st Philippino meals. Chris said it's little fast food. She call KFC near the corner big fast food. But this small fast food (a la cart/nasi campur), is quite close to Malay food but less curry,gravy, herbs & chillis. Took a fried fish and also a local salad consists of lady fingers, egglant and Kangkung. Perfect~!

Tired as hellz. Tomorrow's trying to get to Greenbelt in Makati to meet Kate. Which is a bit far from here. So have to ask Chris again for basic direction. As for now, "Mangandang Gabi"

drawn thousand feet above the ground

 I really want to go down there, the water actually glowing from underneath the island