Our Sucky Welcome To Manila
We are finding airports to be real burdensome now. With 3 giant suitcases & 2 carryon's it was hard, but now we’ve added a pram to the bundle and it’s almost impossible. Mia is wheeling a big suitcase, Josh has the other 4 on the trolley and I’m pushing a stroller. I mean at least Caius is contained! But something has to be done! We decided in KK as soon as we hit the Philippines it’s time for a cull. Easier said then done for me.
I’m a long time hoarder. Not to the extreme that I need my own reality show or a cry for help, but I hate letting things go. Not only that I like to make money so if I am going to get rid of something it’s going to be sold.
Anyway after finally getting all baggage through the airport and into the van we had organized to collect us in Clark we were off. Now unfortunately when we booked our tickets on Air Asia to Clark (Manila) we did not realize that it was not Manila Manila. Clark is actually more than a 2-hour car ride from Manila and in the traffic we faced at peak hour Friday night, it was easily 3 hours! As you can guess with a flight leaving Clark for Hong Kong at 7am we will most likely endeavour a trip to Clark the night before instead of at 3am.
Global Shuttles were very courteous and for $140 one way they should have had gold hubcaps! The kids were hungry and tired on the road and it was nearly 730pm when we made it to the apartment. What a sucky welcome to the Philippines. But then, then we get to the apartment…
Our Little Slice Of Heaven In Manila
The Owner is there to meet us and the shuttle guy brings our bags up to the 6th floor. She is super sweet and the apartment is lovely. A small and cozy 2 bedroom she has decorated very tastefully. Sure the aircon is old and extremely loud, but the pedestal fan is actually sufficient. The bed is small and a little hard, but there is nothing else to complain about. The kitchen has lovely new appliances and chopping boards. The TV has cable, the wifi works all the time, no problems, the hot water is hot and the pressure is great. There is a mobile phone for landline calls and a folder filled with places that deliver!
There are books covered in contact, little soaps and dishwashing liquid, a eating guide and a Lonely Planet. All these little things just make a new home instantly likeable and as our first time staying in AirBnB place we are happy.
The Owner lives upstairs, which is a good sign that the neighbourhood is great. And get this the first day we ask her how to get to the mall, she and her husband say they like to take us and they drive us there with many tips on where to buy what, how to get back, etc. As you can see I would highly recommend this place!
On the ground floor there is a laundromat, kids indoor playground, mini-mart and gym. Outside there are several pools and other towers with sky lounges, etc. Josh grabs the kid’s 2-minute noodles from the minimart and we send them to bed.
View our apartment choice in our accomodation photos.
Or if you prefer a hotel, check prices here.
Can't Resist Those Damn Cheap Asia Flight Sales
The next day Tiger infiltrates my Facebook with a 1-peso offer to go to Boracay. That’s $0.02 Josh and I can’t refuse. We talk about it all day and when I go back the Tuesday 14th offer is gone and only tomorrow, Sunday is on offer. We still decide it’s too good to miss and even though we just got to Manila we book flights for $151 return for 4 people to Boracay (that cost being taxes and a return flight).
Christian Churches In Manila
Sunday we take a $1.30 taxi (yes, cheap taxis again!) to St Francis Square. It’s a huge market style shopping centre and half of it belongs to the CCF Church. 3000 Filipino’s in the one service we were a part of at 10am. They have a service every 2 hours and in total over 20,000 people attend Church on that day. The Sunday school for kids was a giant maze, but when we finally found which class the kids went to they loved it! The service was great and the songs were Hillsong. There was not one spare seat in the house, if there was an usher would fill it very quickly. What an experience.
The Philippines is the largest Christian nation in Asia. Everywhere you look there is Christian influences. Billboards with pastors & scriptures. Jeepneys called God is Love, Blessing, Esther, Jesus Rocks. Even the taxi's have Christian names and slogans. After being in Muslim countries the last 3 months it is quite refreshing to feel a little more at home. The other day I say a billboard outside some villas with a scripture about how God gives you the right answers. :)
Heading To Paradise
Back home we managed to fit everything into 3 carryons and realise how much stuff we can actually live without. One had Josh’s clothes, and mine, as well as the toiletries. One had the kid’s clothes and toys. And the last was filled with nappies & food. So simple and so much easier then our giant cases!
Our taxi to the airport was like something from Amazing Race, he was extremely fast and we were there in no time. Thank goodness because once we left and walked into the building we were at the wrong terminal and had to take another taxi to the right terminal.
SEAir ran the flight and the queue was not as efficient as Air Asia. They also weighed all our carryon and had a conversation amongst themselves about the weight. Considering we paid for 4 seats, I knew whatever they weighed would not be over the limit and we were sent on our way.
Josh had a massage while we waited for the plan, 15 minutes for $2, he said it was one of the better ones he has had. The lady at checkin had told me it was a full flight, maybe she didn’t understand me, or maybe she thinks this is a full flight (see photo).
As you can see we had plenty of opportunity to stretch out. We met some lovely American/Canadian youth who teache English in Beijing. They were with us for the whole “getting to Boracay adventure”.