Monday, May 07, 2007

Manila Updates 2

If I were to list 4 things/events I shall remember most during the recent trip to Manila, my list will consists on the followings: -

1. 10 check-points upon exiting Manila via Ninoy Aquino International Airport
Yupp. There were 10 points!
i. Even to gain entry to the departure hall itself, we had to show our tickets and passports. Only visitors with label almost as big as 1/2 A4 paper pasted onto their chests were allowed. Even so, the hall was packed and hot.
ii. 2nd check was to scan our check-in baggages, hand-carry items, handbags or whatever you're bringing in. Of course, a body searh followed after.
iii. The 3rd one was to weight our check-in baggages and being reminded on what items could not be hand-carried.
iv. 4th, check-in at MAS counter.
v. 5th, showed our boarding-pass and passport to gain entry to the boarding area.
vi. 6th, have our pass and passport to be checked again and paid exit-fee of PHP500 and PHP250 for upgrading of their security control. (Divide that by 13.5 to convert to RM).
vii. 7th, we had our passport stamped.
viii. 8th, another security check. Again, hand-carried items were scanned. And followed by another body search. I mean, really really body search - your head, your chest, your stomach (she must have felt my flab btw), down your thights. No shoes, unbuckled talipinggang, put away metal items so forth and so on. After the 8th check-point, we grabbed some sandwich and a can of soda. To be frank, it felt to be in Miri Airport. Maybe they have other priorities than just to beautify the airports I guess. After filling in a bit, we adjourned to our gate, which was G2.
ix, x, xi. That time around, another 2 stops. of showing our passports and pass before showing our boarding passes for the final round to gain entry into the plane itself. All in all, it's 11 right. Alhamdulillah, the flight was fine except a minor turbulance as we approached KLIA.

inside NAIA - after 8th checkpoint.

2. Entry and Exit in Publicly Accessible Buildings
Yupp. They have special doors for entry and special doors for exit. In all places. At least those that I went to. From the upscale The Podium right up to The Greenhill where there was endless sales of the most original-fakes such as Coach handbags to Lacoste shirts, right up the fresh-water pearls and crytals. Most of the time, I had to open up my handbag and have the insides checked. The first night we were there, we entered via the wrong door i.e. the exit door. Heh, tercangak-cangak lah kami. After orientating ourselves for a moment, baru sedar kena masuk pintu sebelah. Time nak masuk tu terkejut when I saw a note: -
Please surrender fire-arm to the guards - at The Robinsons
You are welcome, your gun is not - at The Greenhills

Scary huh?

But after 2 days there, I concluded they are actually quite a friendly lot. Helpful where shopping is concerned. And they offer small talks also. Often, we were spoken to in Tagalog. They say, we look like local until we opened our mouth and started conversing in bahasa (or even English as their English is very American while us, broken!)

nightlife in Greenhill. makin malam makin ramai orang.

3. The Guards
Like in No.2, the guards were almost everywhere. In addition to guarding the entry and exit, they were also watching over the traffic and helped us and everyone else to catch a cab as it was getting late. Or even helped around in Food Courts, collecting trays and whatnots! They have my respect for that. No tips whatsoever. I guess they were just being helpful or trying their best to keep their jobs. I don't really know for sure. But they were sure helpful. Oh, when they got to know that we are muslims, some even gave us Salam. Some were not even muslims themselves.


4. Eateries
Tebby loves eating and souting around for food or even just to feast his eyes. Finding halal food is not an easy thing in Manila. They love pork! We had instant noodles for lunch for almost everyday. Dinner on Night1 was french fries, Night2 was Nasi, Charcoal Grill Squid, TomYam Gung, Holy 'something' (vege) and Sweet Sour Bawal. Blissss!! We had those at Banana Leaf. Night3, we had Nasi with Prawn in Salted-Egg and Sawi as vege. That was in Greenhill's Penang. They also have Roti Canai but God knows what made up the curry so, scraped off that idea. Night4 was the best-est. We had Singapore Chilli Crab, can't remember what we had for vege and Scallop Fried Rice. Best! We wore a long apron each (which I almost bring back to our hotel sbb tak perasan pakai benda tu) and were given a thing that looked like spana to me. Suffice to say, we really savoured over those sampaikan makcik meja sebelah tanya what we were having. Lam ya cha ya nun! Back to the eateries, they have a lootttttt in Manila. Judging from the numbers of eateries they have in SM Megamall and The Greenhills (and the number of patrons), I bet they eat out a lot. Maybe even worse than KLites. And even in one mall itself, there could be duplications like 2 or 3 KFCs, 2 Jollybee's, 2 McD's so forth and so on. And oh, the have Sbarro which sells Pizza with very thick crust and soooo-invitingggggg toppings (got ba alif ba ya as well so we just looked from their glass window). After drooling over photos of beef steaks and whatnots, we always got back to our room with a pack of pop-corn. What to do, kan.

they also serve other than crustacean..

yep, we were expected to eat using banana leaf as plate.
one of the dishES we had was this..
CHARCOAL GRILLED SQUID


5. In The Name of Islam

On the 2nd night we were there, we were a bit lost where eating is concerned. Then we met an Arab (a Palestinian to be exact) (Tebby terdengar Quran recitation from one of the cars so he went and looked and met that Arab). He showed us around. He looked at us up and down and then offered us some money! I must be so shabbily dressed. We politely said thanks but no thanks. He's married to a convert Philipino and has been staying there for 4 years. He speaks Tagalog as well.


6. Shopping - wot else!
I reserve this part for my last entry on Manila.

I went overboard, there's 6 already!



4 comments:

aida said...

euw, squid tu siap ngan kepala.. nampak fresh.. heheheheh

anyway, it sounds like fun going to manila.. (bila la nak pergi)

Kaklong said...

salam,

kecur tgk sotong panggang tu. mesti sedap aromanya panggang ngan arang ni

baguslah info2 ni, bolehlah rujuk sini nanti kalau ada rezeki ke filipina

saya alhamdulillah, dah ok.

ummi said...

aida ~ mmg sedap!! juicy.. siap ngan bau ala2 arang gitu, tu yang tambah kick tu. manila was fun and it was hot too, kalau nak ke sana kena pandai2 pilih bulan, kalau tak terbakar dibuatnya.

kaklong ~ alhamdulillah dah sihat ya. saya ni ntah bila nak menambah!

Umm_fi_Ard said...

blog entries describing food and travel are the yummiest!