Monday, March 31, 2008


This word greeted me as I walked out from the Manila International Airport, "Mabuhay" means welcome in Tagalog. There was a big crowd at the custom clearance booths, majority were Philippinos while others were the faces of the Chinese, Japanese, Europeans etc…. that’s why we called international airport. Next I went to the baggage area to locate my luggage which took quite a while, the crowd is building by now, I spotted my luggage and went straight to the “nothing to declare” lane, walk through a zebra crossing, down a small tunnel and reached an open waiting area.

This is my third trip to Manila, so I’m quite familiar with the settings but for those first timers, it can be quite disoriented at first. I’m supposed to wait for my colleague at the waiting area labeled “ABC”, the weather is very humid and I understand it is summer in Philippines and now is one of the months where the temperature can climb up to 35 or 36 degrees in the day. The day will get bright by 5.00am and the sun goes down at about 6.30pm. I waited for about 15 minutes and my colleague was there in a big four wheel drive. The journey to the hotel (Vivere,Alabang) took around an hour. I sat lazily at the back seat, enjoying the view and people watching.

90% of the vehicles on the road are big four wheel drives and MPVs, could hardly see sedan cars, reason is the road condition even the expressway are in bad condition, quality is poor and most of the roads are damaged due to floods, so they need higher end cars to ensure the ride is not too bumpy and the drive more bearable. I went out for a simple dinner, I checked in, took a warm nice bath, hopped onto bed, checked on the cable TV and knocked down by 11pm, tomorrow will be a very long day…………….

"ABC" waiting area and crowd

Those waiting for their loved ones, more like "Pudu Raya" bus station eh?

31st floor panaromic view from the hotel (where I took breakfast every morning)

Hotel lobby

Golf course - a place where we took lunch

Room service, dinner in the room... I met with an accident, will blog about it later..

On the way to work, crossing a bridge....

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