The last time I was in Manila, I was under 10 years old, with the parents, and have fond memories of how fun it was wading through completely flooded streets in the pouring tropical rain (parents have since compared memories and they did not enjoy it one iota!!).
So I returned with mixed feelings and expectations. As always I did a fair bit of research on areas to stay and narrowed it down to Makati; the more upmarket business district, then found of all crazy things, only in the Phillipines, a Tango dance studio, in a gated village, with two funky tango themed rooms, for a pretty good price, how could I not book?!!
So we arrive after midnight into the airport, and leave just after 2am, after the funniest queue management I’ve ever seen for customs, an ATM that would not give us any cash, and an hour spent trying to shout at the customs treasury lady to get enough to allow us to take a taxi to the tango house…anywhere else in the world where you get money exchanged by customs…?!!
To add to the fun I couldn’t find anywhere on the website the tango house email, so hadn’t been able to let them know we’d be arriving late, the taxi driver hadn’t heard of the village, so it was pot luck whether we’d end up back at the airport for the night…
Finally found the place, cute enough, and luckily grandma was asleep on the tango floor so let us into the house and room, not too shabby, and gran cooked a reasonable breakfast (not in tango shoes thankfully).
After a couple of amazing weeks experiencing and exploring huge parts of Beijing and Tokyo, to be honest we just wanted a day of R&R, so for the first time in a year all we did was go to the Rockwell centre and indulge…(we’re going back to Manila twice so no guilt about not being able to explore later). We were loving it, two massive bookshops, lots of food including local vendors in the basement, had some yummy porchetta stuff, and a cinema where for only $4 we saw Hunger Games, so yes we could have done it anywhere, but hey it was fun. Even found a place outside with happy hour and a view.
And to top it all completely randomly yahoo and oreal were running a promotion with the centre and as we were there early in the day I had a completely free hair curl and make-up session, believe me after the airport and no sleep you didn’t want to see the before!
We are lucky enough to be returning to Manila again for a night, this time we’re stepping up the culture side, not sure how we could beat a day in a centre he he he, and will stay in a new place within the old walls entremuros, for now I’ll leave you with the introduction we had to Boracay a few days ago…after a rather long journey…it made it worthwhile…more on Boracay, one of the top 10 beaches in the world and justifiably so, next week.