Away for the Weekend: Intramuros Photo Trip

After around three months of not seeing each other, Deeday and I decided that it was about time to head out to another adventure. Where else, but to our most favourite place in old Manila – Intramuros. Aside from that, we wanted to try out her new toy, her two-month old Canon 1000D digital SLR.
Of course, I brought my beloved Canon 400D with me.

It was
a rainy day but there was no stopping us with our itinerary. Our first stop, as usual, was Manila Cathedral. After taking a few shots outside, we headed inside the marvelous church and took shots of the various sculptures. I was particularly drawn to the beautiful marble Pieta and took several photos of it. Satisfied with the photos we took, we went out and took shots of the bell tower (with clock).

From Manila Cathedral, we took a walk and proceeded to the COMELEC Building. We deemed the building not a good subject. As such, we just took a shot of the wall overlooking the golf course. There weren’t many interesting subjects, so we just spent the next 45 minutes walking around.

Afterwards, we thought it better to go to San Agustin Church. At last, we will have photos of this UNESCO World Heritage Site. Deeday and I have been itching to get shots of San Agustin Church during our previous Intramuros trips.

By the time we finished at San Agustin Church, it was already drizzling heavily so we decided to have dinner. Our initial plan was to eat at Barbara’s but it was full so we went instead to Hotel Intramuros. We had pork sinigang and hazelnut-flavoured brewed coffee, al fresco. The sinigang was good, soured just right with the vegetables still a bit crunchy. Good but nonetheless ordinary sinigang. The place, however, was cozy and relaxing. Plus, there was a band playing at the lobby so it all the more added to the great experience. We spent the next hour or two taking photos inside Casa Manila.

What was unforgettable about that day was the weird guy who got his bumper broken off as he manoeuvred his lowered car. He was a bit creepy because he parked for a few seconds in front of us, doing nothing. We were about to leave when he suddenly spoke and asked for directions going to Manila Bulletin. He looked miserable and hapless, as Deeday put it.
After that encounter, we decided to just head back to Mayon. When we got to Deeday’s house, we suddenly craved for dessert. Thus, we walked all the way to Banawe to look for a Mini Stop outlet because Deeday wanted a certain mocha-blended drink. We were gravely disappointed because there was none available at Mini Stop (only Twinkies, which sounded really funny). We bought Chippy and vanilla shake instead. 
When we were walking back to Mayon, we had another big laugh because of something that happened to Deeday and which I swore I wouldn’t tell anybody lest she kills me.
We had some more chit chat for an hour or two before we called it a night as we were both dead tired. Needless to say, it was another well-spent day for us. Our promise was to repeat it soon.

First Time Flyer: Cebu Mini-Adventure

After years and years of thinking, weighing and waiting for the right opportunity, I was finally able to experience it — to fly, that is. It wasn’t exactly how i wished it to be i.e. leisurely, for vacation and all. I was sent on a “business trip” to Cebu. Nonetheless, it was still fun. It was my first flight and I was flying by my lonesome. To say that I was nervous is an understatement. I was terrified, not with flying itself but with the thought of looking stupid and lost at the airport. And, of course, the thought of being left behind by my plane. Good thing it was all just in my imagination. I went to NAIA T2 about two hours before my flight.

After paying the terminal fee, I still had around 1 hour and 45 minutes to kill before boarding. I decided to have hot cafe mocha at the airport coffee shop while writing the invocation for the program. My excitement was building up.

Finally, boarding time came and I was almost running to the boarding gate. While I was inside the plane, it still felt like I was dreaming. I thought, “so this is how the interior of a plane looks like.” Minutes after settling down, I couldn’t wait for the plane to take off. I took an evening flight, by the way, so I guess it added more to the “adventure.”

As the plane taxied down the runway, my heart was racing like crazy. It was really happening! And then, suddenly, we were up. I was finally flying! I could see the bright city lights that looked like sprinkled sparkles on the ground. The feeling was all so surreal.

My flight to Mactan International Airport was two hours. I thought of sleeping but decided not to as I wanted to relish the experience.

When the announcement finally came that we were already at Mactan, I felt jolted once more. It was my first time to travel out of Luzon and I was fortunate that it was in the beautiful island of Cebu. I immediately headed for the airport’s exit and took a cab. I went straight to Waterfront Hotel in Lahug, rested a bit and got down to work. Waterfront Hotel was amazing and beautiful with its high ceilings and big function rooms. Likewise, we were awed by the big coliseum inside. As for the food, we loved the buffet breakfast of Waterfront. As always, bacon was a big hit with us. Also for the first time, we had a taste of the famous Cebu lechon which was indeed very good. The meat was tasty while the skin was crunchy and well-seasoned. The skin was almost like chicharon.

Waterfront Hotel, Lahug, Cebu


We didn’t have much time to go out we were there for only two days and two nights. On our last night in Cebu, we went to Asiatown and just had coffee.

Port Restaurant, Waterfront Hotel Lahug

For our pasalubong, we bought otap and piaya. The flight back to Manila was nothing unusual. We just slept for the entire duration of the return flight. That evening, we were at a colleague’s house for a despedida dinner and videoke.