[Day 4] Day 4 was quite similar to day 3, only difference was that I had pre-decided where I would go once back from work. I came back and headed to Greenbelt 5 (next to Greenbelt 3). I had decided on it because I wanted to buy my mom a Charles & Keith wallet and did not want to keep that thing for the last. Charles & Keith is there in Greenbelt 5. The USP of this mall is that it is not all international chains. It has a very large number of distinctive Philippines-specific designer boutiques. Very expensive stuff, but very ogle-worthy. At some of the stores, I literally couldn’t take my eyes off.
I decided to have dinner in one of Greenbelt 3’s open space restaurants – ‘Recipes’. I had a Tofu in Garlic Sauce with rice, and it was one of my favorite foods there. Simply because it was spicy. 😛 Although, I am sure lot of people won’t like it as it was very dry.
[Day 5] It was this day on which I had the first half reserved for sightseeing (as I was coordinating the time with my client’s night shift) but somehow, I wasn’t really excited about it. I was planning to visit the Manila Ocean Park but I did not feel very excited so I just slept through the half day and went to office in the second half. Yeah, no tourist-y sightseeing!! 😦 However, I explored the residential streets near my office area.
On being back in the evening, I wanted to check the SM market which was praised a lot by my driver. So, here’s the thing with SM Market. I grabbed the best deals here but it is, again, SUPER HUGE. So, when you enter, you are greeted with the same old international brands and some local ones as well. Two floors above is the highlight of SM market, the shoe city. It is an amazingly big area with bags and shoes but it is not all budget (as is the belief). Make sure that you cover this entire floor because this floor has hidden gems. You find amazingly nice shoes and bags for pocket-friendly prices. Also, the SM market directions don’t mention it but this floor has a lot of budget-friendly nightwear and lingerie. Basically, keep calm and scan the entire floor. Since I had got really late in the SM market, I did not want to stay out for longer and carried my dinner from Burger King as take out. Did you just say that I am a vegetarian? Well, yes, the sales guy said they would remove the chicken and I understood that he is saying that he will remove the chicken and put in a vegetable cutlet. 😛 Hats off to my absurdity! 😛
[Day 6] There were still some people for whom I was yet to buy gifts. So, I had planned the Friday evening to be a quick, well-managed walk through all my favorite areas of the malls. But the office people told me that they would like to have a goodbye dinner with me. 🙂 How very sweet! 🙂 So, I quickly rushed through my shopping agenda and then had an amazing dinner with them. 🙂 We ate at the Lorenzo’s way in Greenbelt 5. My vegetarian dish was average and I also tried a bit of their rice which was good. The dessert and the mango-guya (local fruit) drink were amazing!
Of course, afterwards, I had one more task 😛 as I couldn’t find anything good for my dad, so just wandered aimlessly in Greenbelt 3 revisiting my favorite places there. 🙂 Still unable to find anything, I postponed the task for Bangkok airport.
[Day 7] Had a peaceful flight back home and met really nice and interesting people on board. 🙂 Now coming to things that I regretted on my trip. One is that I wish I had done some tourist-like sightseeing. Yes, the cities Manila and Makati in Philippines are more of a shopping heaven but there are other things to be seen. And, of course, if you are visiting any of the islands, then soaking up the natural beauty becomes the major attraction. Well, the islands were never on my agenda because you have to go there through flights, I did not want to extend my trip. Second regret is that I wish I had shopped some more for myself. 😛 I really did not buy much for myself and as I checked out a whole of stuff, I kind of want them now. 😛
Finally, thankfully for you guys, this post is finishing but not without my Philippines travel suggestions:
- If you are going to cover both cities as well as some of the islands, plan for a longer vacation. Frankly, the USP of the cities (Makati and Manila) is the shopping and the USP of the islands is their natural beauty. So, you can decide based on your preferences.
- Things to do in both Makati and Manila are very easy to classify. There are 5 types of things here to check out (apart from observing the day to day life and the food): 1) Churches, 2) Museums, 3) Parks, 4)Shopping, 5)Adventure Sports/Amusement Parks. The good thing is that you can easily skip on the parks (right?) and I am guessing that you wouldn’t be very keen on visiting each and every museum (but that depends).
- If in Makati, definitely do attend the Salcedo Saturday Market. It happens in the parking of the Salcedo park and has such a great variety of foods on display. It is worth visiting even for vegetarians because there are hundreds of varieties of fruits.
- For designer shopping, head over to the Greenbelt chain of malls. For budget shopping, do not forget to cover The Landmark and SM market in their entirety. 😛 You would require a lot of time for that though. 😛 Apparently, there’s another affordable mall called Market!Market! I did not visit that.
- There are 3 convenience stores everywhere: 1)Convenience 7, 2) Ministop and 3)Rustan’s. I think the third one is the best.
- Try booking a connecting flight via Singapore because their airport is fabulous and Charles & Keith is even cheaper there. 😛
That’s finally it!! If you read till here, please let me know in the comments. It sure would make me happy! 😀 And do stay tuned for the rest of the two posts of the Philippines trip. 😉
[Update: With this, I complete 100 posts on Life of Srish 🙂 ]