A Great Filippino Welcome

May 20, 2013 by

www.jamesandshilo.comOur plane landed at 4am Manila-time Monday morning (2pm the day before, Calgary-time).  I would fly Philippine Airlines again in a heartbeat. Their service was very good.

It took us over an hour to clear customs and collect our luggage (those jumbo jets hold a TON of luggage!) and we were checked in at our hotel, unpacking by 6am.

No jet lag, thankfully we just slid into the time change with ease. We did take a homeopathic remedy called No Jet Lag which is highly recommended and it must work great because we’re feeling great! I have a new appreciation for some of our friends’ recent trips to Australia/India/Thailand. Those international overseas flights are LONG! James and I were both ready to get off the plane 3 hours in… and we still had 10 hours on the flight to go. Thank goodness for the new Isagenix sleep spray! We caught some great zzzz’s enroute.

We had a brief nap yesterday morning and then took the shuttle from the hotel to the Mall of Asia which we can see from our hotel room. It is along the same lines as West Edmonton Mall but about 2-3 times as big. 400+ stores, 160+ restaurant, movie theatre & IMAX, ice skating rink, concert arena, Bingo hall, bowling center etc. Almost every major North American brand is here, so it felt like we’d never left Canada in some respects!

The people here are wonderfully polite. Crazy driving – even I wouldn’t drive here. Much closer to the driving stories I have heard from friends who have traveled to India. 6 lanes of traffic all vying for a spot in the space of 2 lanes. They have some really crazy looking vehicles here – will send pics if I can get a good one. So far they’ve all been a blur!

The Filipino people are short so James and I both tower over most everyone. Very polite. Everyone calls me “Ma’am” and calls James “Sir”. The hotel staff goes above and beyond at every and any request, almost falling over eachother to be helpful.

So far, in our brief exposure to it, Manila feels quite similar to Mexico in a lot of respects. Billboards, buildings – they all have that semi-tropical, 2nd world country, living on an ocean wear n’ tear. We have relaxed and settled in even faster than I thought we would. I can see the Manila Bay from my hotel window – it’s nice to be able to see the water.

I’ll take some pics later today.

Hugs to everyone.