Tuesday, March 24, 2015

Manila: Traffic jam

Assalamualaikum and hi.

Anybody miss me?



It was not even 6 months ago since my last visit to manila and here I am, writing the second one. 

Friday the 20th march 2015, 

11.09 am,

I was preparing to board on flight bound to Manila and one hour after I'm still in a not moving plane. Our flight was delayed for 30 minutes. I was getting restless. Come on! come on! Let's fly.

That's Mt. Kinabalu

2.20 pm,

Alhamdulillah, safely landed at Ninoy aquino international airport. We were waiting for taxi in the tourist line. However, 20 minutes later we were still queuing. The sun was angst and I was sweating badly. It took us ages to get the taxi. It was not that the line was long, it happened to be the starting of the peak hours of traffic jam in city. Thus there were very few taxis around. 

In front of us, there were two foreigners, beautiful blondes with big luggage.  One of them was getting bored and started to joke around with the construction workers across the road. She gave them sign languages and flying kisses. The workers were giggling and responded with some flirty body languages. Cute, haha.

macam film terbakar. tapi itu sebenarnya jari my mama.

The heat definitely ended once we were in the taxi, but not the waiting part. As soon as we were moving from the airport, there.... in its glory, the traffic jam! It was happening in every corner of road. Our hotel was very close to the airport where you could reach it in 5 minutes on clear road. However in this situation it will definitely takes us wayyy longer. 

Taxi driver: Would you like a different road mam?
Me: Yes please.

3.45 pm,

Instead of enjoying my holiday, I was ignorant with the views outside. the 5 minutes journey turned out to be a stressful 30 minutes ride. We were staying in Tune Hotel, Aseana city. I expected it to be like what we have here in Malaysia, additional charge for everything, small, no window. Turned out it was a great place. The room was spacious, amazing view, decent facilities and great wi-fi. The receptionist was polite and helpful. Something that you could definitely expect from most filipinos.

Receptionist: Mam, you have to wait another 20 minutes for the twin room. Would you like to change to double room.
Me: (arghhh no more waiting). Is there any extra charges?
Receptionist: No mam.
Me: Sure. Please.

She gave us the room in the highest floor. The 10th floor. We enjoyed the views of Roxas bvd road, City of Dreams and Manila Bay. Excellent! For your information, the last time I went to manila, the taxi driver questioned my choice of hotel in Ermita, saying its too far away and secluded. He suggested Tune hotel which is closer to the city and affordable. But I was being skeptical with it, you know la Tune dekat malaysia macam mana kan, so I didn't take his advised seriously. But now, I would like to recommend it to everybody who wish to stay in Manila. It has great reviews in Agoda, strategic, great looking building, close to airport and easy to get public transport. The price for this hotel is in between Rm 180-Rm 250 per night.


I was ready to go out but I could see from my room that the traffic was getting worst. You could hear the non-stop honking and witness the very still traffic. Refused to be buggged by it, I decided to go to Greenbelt in Makati area. The bellman helped us getting the taxi. But a lot of them turned us down due to the heavy traffic heading there. He continued calling and waving for taxi, to a point that I felt so guilty. Finally we got one that willing to drive us to Greenbelt with extra charges. My mama slipped 20 peso to the bellman hands. Off we go!

The oldies songs were playing in the taxi. It was soothing my tautness feeling from the long tiring journey. I could see my mama humming to song "Knock Three Times by Tony Orlando and Dawn. Then "Can't help falling in love with you" came next. After few minutes, I realised that our driver was using smaller roads. I pulled out my map from my bag and try to read the road signs and locate our current location. We passed by narrow roads named Pasay Antipolo and my eyes caught Blessed Elena Academy, small groceries shop and humble side of neighbourhood in manila. I re-locked the car's door, just in case.


Still stuck in the jam, the driver rolled down his window and called for the street vendors holding goods to sell in the midst of traffic congestion. He asked for a certain type of biscuits, but the seller ran out of it. I saw that he bought a pack of crackers. A plain one, without filing. He even offered me some. I said no thanks. Suddenly I felt a new level of sympathy. No, not sympathy. Sympathy feels degrading. I stared out of the window and knitted my gratitude. He dropped us at the entrance of Greenbelt 3. My mama gave him extra 50 pesos. 

Left: Sweet things got me like
Right Above: The Landmark mall. Nikki Gil was having her fan sign at that moment.
Right below: Jam, jam, jam

Street of...I don't even know. But it is definitely around Makati.

Walking around during night was quite difficult. I tell ya..manila people is mall people. Asyik pegi mall non stop. Seriously. The mall was getting crowded and somehow I ended up in The Landmarks mall instead of Greenbelt.  I try walking around the area, but it's difficult. Too many people and I can't read my map properly. Will tell you more about Greenbelt in next writing.

We went back to hotel and along the way the traffic jam was still going on. You know what's great about it, we learned their dangerous driving skills. Rasanya break pad diorang ni mesti tiap tahun tukar. 

Mama: Boleh anne drive dalam jam gini,
Me: Oh bolehhh. Tapi drive pagi ni, esoknya baru sampai bandar. =_=

Good night we said and off to slumber we went. 

To be continued...


Fay Baloche said...

The part where the driver use smaller road tu ba kin takut.. tp nasib baik jujur kan Anne.. ada trust issues jg sama taxi driver ni

nuranne (formerly simplyseoul) said...

fay baloche: Fay...i miss u here. ya fay, he used narrow roads, going in and about this neghbourhood. but thank god it went fine. kesian juga the uncle actually.