For any of those who don't know, I was raised in the Philippines for a few years of my life. I had been given the chance to re-unite with friends and family as well as experience the culture difference from Canada.
My journey began on June 14 at Toronto Pearson International airport. We flew with China Eastern Airlines from Toronto to Shanghai. I will be posting a review about the airlines in the near future. After the long 14 hours no turbulence flight we made it to Shanghai!!
We had a layover for about 4 hours around 8pm and it seemed like everything was close. The airport was quite interesting, with its AC on low, it definitely made the layover much longer. The good thing is the airport had two Starbucks and as a barista myself, I was very curious what they had to offer.
After ordering my usual Iced Coconut Caramel Macchiato we stopped by a mochi stand where they had the cutest design on them. I couldn't help but buy at least one.
4 hours later we arrived in Manila at 5am! Where I was met by my uncle who I haven't seen in 10 years. We roamed the streets of Manila to a city called Las Pinas where we resided for a couple hours till our next adventure to the Mall of Asia.
My mom and I took a 4 hour nap and decided to make most of Manila. We got ready and asked our relatives maid on how we can get to the 4th largest mall in the Philippines. The Mall of Asia. She recommended to take an express van from outside the gated community to our destination. We followed her instructions and took a tricycle (motorcycle attached to a small side car) to the end of the gated area towards the main bustling streets of Manila. We ended up paying 25 pesos for both my mom and I. I was feeling anxious to cross the street because you really couldn't without dying. It took us about 3-4 tries after sudden scares thinking we were going to get hit. BECAREFUL KIDS. Thankfully a police officer carrying a shotgun glanced and noticed we were what they called "balikbayan" or in English term, a tourist. He came and stopped the traffic to let us cross the road. Thanking the police officer countless times, we noticed a Hyundai Starex which is a 16-18 passenger van with the letters printed on the sides "UV Express" which believed to be the "bus" that would take us from the community to the Mall.
After arriving at the mall, we were quite taken back by how big it was. The Shoe Mart otherwise known as the SM department store was almost equivalent to Hudson's Bay in Canada or Macy's if you're from USA. except everything was so cheap!!! This is the part where I wished I had more room in my luggage.
3 hours passed by roaming around the mall and scoring some pretty good deals we were beginning to get hungry. The first restaurant that popped in my mind was Jollibee. A filipino fast food chain restautant serving rice with almost every meal! I ordered spaghetti which came with beef spring rolls and an order of fries. Man! that was amazing. Sad that they don't have Jollibee in Canada.
We decided to go back to Las Pinas after a long tiring but successful shopping spree.
Things I learned that day.