Manila, My Manila
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4 AM: Simbang Gabi
11 AM: Mental Reminder: Manila Driving Can Be Hazardous to Your Health
11:30 AM: Visited SM Mall of Asia - check!
12 Noon : to SM Mall of Asia to experience being Foreign to Foreign Currency Changing
Los Angeles to Vancouver to Seoul to Manila!
‘Cause no matter how far away you roam,
If you want to be happy in a million ways,
For the holidays,
You can’t beat home, sweet home." - Home for the Holidays, Perry Como
Arriving in the Philippines during the Holiday season is not - I repeat - is not advisable to the weak hearted.
Here are 10 Reasons Why
10. the long lines for Immigration clearance - which took me a good 1 hour
9. the baggage carousel and having a bag that looks the same as 1,245 other bags
8. being in the NAIA at 1 am, at 30 degrees, in long sleeves and sweating it out like a pig
7. being picked up at 1:30 am, with my Paparazzi waiting for more than 2 hrs - what patience!
6. staying alert at 4 am Simbang Gabi and trying to sleep from 6 am, but only at 9am was able to feel the need to visit dreamland
5. at the very moment that I decided to sleep - electricity also decided to take a vacation. Welcome to Manila.
4. Driving in Manila, and trying not to use the horn for anything and trying to be forgiving for drivers trying to get to your lane for no reason at all
3. getting to Banco de Oro to exchange my US Dollars to know that at least 80% of my $ 100 - Benjamins cant be accepted (either because it had a crease, a crack, a tear, or Franklin just wasn't smiling :)
2. Finally, leaving SM Mall of Asia, astounded with the 3rd biggest mall in the world, and spending my first pesos on Batjay's book (warning: book is also hazardous to your health; laughter can be contagious; book is better read with someone or else you'd be accused of deep insanity)
and last but not the least, missing Manila can cause overbinging, with the thought of eating everything you've been craving for more than a year - all in one seating
What's good about it is that; after 15 hours, Mitzi and I were reunited (yes, her Seoul to Manila flight was cancelled and moved the next day) and ready for the first of our 20 days in paradise.