Life Instagram-ed #11 | Philippines Edition

Despite the long weekend, I was away from posting. That’s because a colleague took my laptop charger mistakenly and he is on leave till tomorrow. Yes, plans to kill him are in the making. Anyway, here is the last post of my Philippines trip, you can check out the first post (which was in parts) here and here. The second post can be checked out here.

The last post is basically the Instagram diary of my trip, hope you enjoy it. 🙂

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1. This is on Suwarnbhumi Airport, Bangkok from where I had my connecting flight. Ok, judge me all you want but I clicked this because I realized I haven’t taken a photograph since the beginning of my journey. But I was super tired at the airport (as I had watched back to back movies in the previous flight and did not sleep at all). Therefore, I clicked this because I did not have to move an inch from where I was sitting for this! 😛 I can’t believe how kick-ass this picture has come! 😀

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2. Hotel’s mini bar. These caramel pop corns were delicious but one could easily tell that the salt and sugar content was so high.

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3. Tomato soup. This was my dinner the day I did not go out. I told the room service to give me extra bread crumbs. I don’t know what they would have given me if I hadn’t said that. :/

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4. Easy guys, the waffles were not as good as they look. 🙂 But this drink that you see, the papaya smoothie, was beyond wonderful. I loved it so much that on most days, I had this instead of trying out different drinks. So much so that the guy on the papaya smoothie counter of the cafe started recognising me and made small talk with me a day asking me things like when am I going back to India. It was sweet. I wanted to be served by him on my last day but it did not happen somehow. :/

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5. This was the vegetarian pasta at Seattle’s Best Coffee in Greenbelt 3. It was fine but the best thing about it was that this was entirely vegetarian. Even the bread did not have eggs. That’s hard to find in my opinion in a country where the staple is not vegetarian. By the way, this picture reminds me of that incident of being followed by three guys, I was having this when the whole incident started.

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6. This is in Charles & Keith in Greenbelt 5. 😀 They were having a contest where if you share a picture of their store on Instagram, you get 10% off. I was here to buy my mom a wallet. I think this was the only thing formerly decided about my trip. 😛

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7. Oh, I liked this quite a lot. This was tofu in Soya garlic sauce and I ordered rice on the side. Although it’s weird as both the things are dry (I did not know that this dish would have negligible gravy), I quite enjoyed having this meal. This was in the restaurant ‘Recipes’ in Greenbelt 3.

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8. This was from Burger King in Glorietta Mall. I asked them if they have anything vegetarian and they told me that they would remove the chicken patty from the chicken burger but what I understood was that they would remove the chicken patty and put in a veggie patty. 😛 It was only when I opened my take-away back in the hotel room that I realized what has happened. 😛

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9. Spring rolls in Lorenzo’s Way in Greenbelt 5. This is from the goodbye dinner that I had with my client people. These spring rolls were not very good by the way.

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10. This is from the same dinner. This mango-guya (a local fruit) drink was super yummy. By the way, my client people were so thoughtful that they asked the waiter to bring the shrimps separately from the rice so that I could also taste the rice. This rice was yummy by the way.

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11. Again, from the goodbye dinner. 🙂

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12. The awesome shoes that I bought from SM Market. They were for PHP 300 (INR 390). Yay!! 😀

This was all from my side from the Philippines trip. I can do a haul post too but so far, I haven’t planned to do it (simply because it’s a hassle to click everything now :P), let me know if you really want me to do it. 🙂

Salamat Philippines

No, I haven’t gone crazy. The title does make sense because ‘Salamat’ is ‘Thank You’ in Filipino. 🙂 So, thank you Philippines for a lovely experience of my first international trip. And now after procrastinating things for forever, I am going to document my travel here. I have decided to do three posts for my stay in Philippines, the first one in the series is this and it will cover everything I experienced there. Are you wondering what will the other two posts be about then? 🙂 Well, I want to keep a little surprise element but I can tell that this first one would most likely be the most interesting for you guys. 😀 (Update: I realized that I am explaining things way too much so I’ll break this post into two parts).

I was in Makati which is the business hub of Philippines, adjacent to and quite a part of the capital city, Manila. As most of you know, I was on a business trip and so I had very little time to roam around. Manila, the capital city, has a lot of churches and parks to visit apart from the largest mall in Asia and an amusement park – Manila Ocean Park. I did not visit any place in Manila. 😛 Although Makati and Manila are like one big city, I did not get the time to visit Manila. Makati, again, has some churches, museums and an American cemetery and the biggest highlight is a chain of malls that are SHOPPING HEAVEN.These are basically 8 malls (yes, 8) , all connected to one another like one huge giant mall, the first 5 ones come under one chain called ‘Greenbelt’ and are very posh and high-end malls. The next two, i.e. ‘The Landmark’ and ‘SM Market’ are the kinds where you can do cheap shopping. One more, i.e. Glorietta mall is in the middle of these two price-wise, not exactly high-end but not exactly cheap. Now comes the best part of the trip. My hotel was right across the Greenbelt malls. Like, I only had to cross a road to go there. Literally. Whoever from the client booked my hotel, bless you.

Now let’s go over the trip day-wise, shall we?

[Day 1] I reached there on September 7 via a connecting flight from Bangkok and while I was told that the Bangkok Airport (Suwarnbhumi airport) is wow, I was super sleepy to really care (as I watched movies through my entire flight from Delhi to Bangkok) and I also needed to charge my phone to let the, ermmm, ‘stakeholders’ know that I am fine. 😛 But honestly, I don’t know why people who live in Delhi raved so much about this airport. It is good, indeed, but just as much as Delhi airport. Of course, with different brands, so that’s exciting.

Anyway, my flight reached the Philippines airport (Ninoy Aquino International Airport, I noticed the name while coming back to India 😛 ). It is such a sad airport because there is some construction work going on but still so sad. Ok, let’s all take a moment to praise the Delhi airport. Silence.

Then, I needed to purchase the global SIM and charge my phone so that I can make a call to the driver which my client was sending. Because of all this, the poor driver had to wait for so long. :/ By the way, he was such a cute old man.

So, he dropped me at my hotel, the New World Makati Hotel, it is an extremely nice hotel guys but the USP is mostly the fact that it is right across the 8 malls that I talked about (a big USP), everything else I guess you will get at every good hotel if you are willing to pay so much!

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View from my room window

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View part 2 😛 That’s Greenbelt 3 that you see.

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I hardly drink, but I made sure that I flaunt this to everyone I know 😛

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The room

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The customary hotel bathroom photo

I ordered some lunch in the hotel and took a bath while the lunch arrived. It was a big veggies pizza and it had so much cheese that it was nauseating! Anyway, I ate as much as I could and left for the first mall I wanted to cover – ‘The Landmark’. I haven’t mentioned that I had an agenda on this trip, to buy gifts for a lot of my cousins. I really loved Landmark. It is like a huge supermarket with so many floors catering to different things and you can buy stuff no matter what your budget is. I can’t explain how big it is. I really liked the fact that in their make-up and skin care section, they stock some really good brands also and not only the cheap ones. There is such a HUGE area of shoes and bags on the floor for women that you will get confused and overwhelmed. If you are considering bulk shopping, this is THE place to check out.

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Lunch

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Crossing the road for going to Landmark, can you see Ralph Lauren? 😉

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One of the things I was most excited about. Philippines has these ‘jeepneys’ like we have autos. They were used in military during World War, but now are used as a means of public transport. Please Google for better pictures, they look amazing.

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There were rows and rows of shoes in Landmark. I realize that these ones don’t look good quality but believe me there were really good ones too in abundance!

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Yes, the bags look kind of cheap but the topmost orange one is good and there were many good bags.

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I got myself these from Landmark.

[Day 2] It was my first day in the client’s office and the people were really sweet. I had lunch with them and it was a tough task for them to find vegetarian food for me. 🙂 When I came back to the hotel that day, I felt kind of lonely and low and I did not feel like going out. So, I just stayed in. After a while, I wanted to be out but the time was not right to go out all alone. So, I hanged out in this fake lagoon that the hotel has made next to its bar and lounge. It was very beautiful with all the lights, the bridge and the curio shops of the hotel. Super relaxing. I LOVED that about the hotel. The music in the bar also felt so good.

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[Day 3] On this day, I was in high spirits when I came back from office and I decided to explore the Greenbelt 3 mall. Like I mentioned, the Greenbelt chain is all high-end and posh but of course, there are some reasonable stores as well. On the ground floor, though, there are so many of the big international labels that you cannot not enter the stores. There was this one store with ballerina shoes available in all colors possible and since I had never heard the name of the brand, I just entered. 😛 The shoes were so damn pretty!

The biggest highlight for me in Greenbelt 3 was finding the Etude House store. It’s a cosmetics brand and I always longed to visit an Etude House store because it’s very Disney princess like but it is not in India. It was out of my mind when I was there. I was just roaming around when I saw the Etude House store. Such an amazing feeling! On top of it, I soon realized that this is not an exorbitantly priced brand. Loved that! 😀 By they way, when you enter their store, they greet you by saying ‘Good evening princess!’. That was a little creepy for me. 😛 Still, well thought. 😛

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It was a very small store, I have seen pictures of people in big Etude House stores and they are lovely.

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The skin care. I bought some face washes for few people.

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The billing counter

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The really cute skin care stuff. Look at those small hand cream tubes. I got one of them for a friend.

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Those two paper bags were mine. 🙂

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Look at those toys! It’s a books and stationery store in the mall. I think it was called Power Books? I loved roaming in this huge store. Who doesn’t love books & stationery stores?

One really good thing about the Greenbelt 3 mall is that there is a HUGE variety of restaurants here and mostly all of them offer open seating. I decided to try the vegetarian pasta at ‘Seattle’s Best Coffee’. It is a chain like Cafe Coffee Day. 🙂 I was totally enjoying sitting in their open area and eating my food slowly but these 3 boys appeared and started to kind of flirt in a scary way, so I literally stuffed my food and grabbed my stuff to run away. They actually followed me for a while but thankfully, this mall was extremely near to my hotel. 🙂

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To be continued from day 4 onwards. 🙂