Arrival // PH 1
The Philippines! I had heard so many stories from my grandparents and mother, I was excited for my turn to experience it all, especially since I haven't been in eighteen years!!!
Over winter break, I traveled to the Philippines for two weeks for a large family reunion. Now this reunion has been in the works for quite some time. All of the hype was finally coming to an end and we were embarking on our trip.
We had a tentative plan laid out for the next two weeks, traipsing (eh, sort of) across the country to different locations in an attempt to maximize our time.
Autumn quarter came to a close as I finished my last final. I had a day or so to get myself together (aka procrastinate on packing) then my mom flew in the next night. She was only there for a a few hours and then it was back to the airport for our journey.
What does one do to prepare for a fifteen hour trip? Go to Oddfellows for brunch of course!
My mom and I arrived right around 8:30 am to only be told that brunch didn't start for another half an hour. We had our orders ready to go and passed the time by talking to our eccentric waiter who happened to be Filipino.
Tip: If you're looking to go to Oddfellows for brunch, go right at 9 am because there is NO ONE there.
We patiently awaited for our eggs Benedict and brioche french toast and discussed our expectations for the trip. One thing we knew was that we'd have some FUNNY stories when we came back to the states.
After scarfing that meal down, it was time to drive to SeaTac and hop on our plane! My mom and I did laps around the airport terminal and people watched. Prime people watching I must say.
The first leg was from Seattle to Incheon, South Korea and eleven hours. I was sort of dreading the flight length, but it turned out alright. I'd say that our breaking point came at about eight hours and we kept telling ourselves "ONLY 3 TO GOOOOO".
The meals were also excellent. Maybe I was tired, but one of my favorite meals was a dish called the bibimbap bowl.
Also random was the time changes. Time changes and zones are not random, but throughout the whole flight I swear I saw four sunsets. On that note, the views I did see were incredible! Part of the flight was over Russia and wow these mountains were something else.
Once we landed, I was simultaneously relieved to be on solid ground once again and also quite nervous that we'd miss our connecting flight. We had a bit under two hours in Korea which seemed fine until we realized that we had to do an international transfer. We scurried back and forth between different locations and made it back into the main terminal with about 30 minutes to spare. The cherry on top though was when we asked a worker at the gate if this was the plane to Manila. He said it had been changed to another gate on the opposite side, so we ran (literally ran) over there to be told we had initially gone to the right gate. THANKS DUDE!
The second leg was only four hours, but I was so tired I slept for most of it. We arrived in Manila around midnight and went to the Diamond Hotel for a well-deserved nights rest.
Of course we had only a few hours of sleep when we woke up at 6 am because we were hungry. My mom and I ate an ensaimada, a tasty Filipino brioche bread topped with cheese and sugar, to tie us over before we met up with the rest of the family for breakfast. Gina and my aunt were in the room next to ours so we had them show us the beautiful hotel.
This hotel overlooked Manila Bay!
Breakfast did not disappoint, I opted for garlic rice, a fried egg, and longinissa, staples of the filipino breakfast.
But after a short stay at the Diamond, we were off again heading to Tagaytay for the next part of the trip.