Hola! Last post I wrote about the not-so-exciting journey from Surabaya to Jakarta and then to The Philippines. Now in this post, I’m going to talk about the exciting things that I got to do in the new country. Off we go to the first trip : Intramuros.
On that first day, right after we arrived in the Philippines and went homeless for a few hours because of the non-existent hotel room, we traveled to the exhibition hall. We needed to set up our booth and prepared everything so that the next day, when the event started, we would not need to set up too many things at once. So, we rushed our prep time and just in time to visit the beautiful Intramuros. Not every inch of the walled city was explored unfortunately, because we came too late in the evening and almost everything was already closed, such as the museum.
However, not having too many places to visit didn’t deter us from our goal which was to explore this new ‘old’ area in the Philippines. We were dropped off in front of the old cathedral in the area of Intramuros. Now you have to forgive me here because I totally had no clue what the names of those places were (are) because we went there without a professional guide whatsoever. So, no historical lesson on our way around the area. Nope. Nope. Nope. Just simple sightseeing and snapping pictures at random things that I couldn’t find in Indonesia (as you can see from the pictures).
The cathedral was huge. The pipe organ that stand above the door was massive. Even though the length can easily be matched by the cathedral in Surabaya, Indonesia (my hometown), but the feeling and the atmosphere was different. Whereas the Surabaya cathedral was still warm and bright, this one felt totally old and ‘sacred’. Perhaps it was just the fact that I visit the cathedral here often, so the old feeling fades away easily. But it was a nice experience.
Sparing some time to send up a prayer or two, I finished gazing up at the beautiful cathedral and started to move on to the next journey. But first, we didn’t forget to snap a picture or two as well (it’s allowed to take pictures inside the church as long as there’s no mass).
Next, we walked along the stone road of Intramuros and found the museum where (one person in our group said) you could see the people’s house years ago. Because we had to pay to enter the museum, we decided to skip that and went for the next place, which was another church.
This church was not as big as the cathedral before, but it was still beautiful. The ceiling was very tall, and the door was really something unique. Beside the church there was actually a museum as well, but because we came there too late in the evening as I told you before, the museum was already closed. Too bad.
After we were disappointed that the museum beside the church was closed, we went back to the first museum. Apparently, the inside was totally like an old Spanish house (said the one person in our group who had been there before). It was beautiful. Complete with the stone stairs and the fountain in the middle. Of course a lot of flash went off there and a lot of posing was done as well. Then, after quite some time taking pictures in every nook and cranny, we decided to go inside the museum and prepared to spend some money there. However, when we were at the gate, the security guard said that it was already closed. So sad, but true. Real life lesson there. Missed an opportunity once, and it won’t present itself for a second time because sometimes (most times) people don’t get that second chance. Therefore, with quite a weary heart, we went back to the car and set off to the mall to find something to eat.
The trip to find something to eat was nothing special, but the one after that was hilarious and totally mind-blowing. We decided to go back to the hotel very late at night. Around 10 or 11 at night. We thought that there always be taxis around. So, we weren’t worry about not getting any taxi to drive us back to the hotel. How wrong we were. We spent almost an hour or so trying to catch a taxi. The funny thing was, that experience was the first culture shock that I experienced here in the Philippines. In Indonesia, taxis are always looking for passengers. They will stop and offer you a ride. So, if you are actively looking for a taxi, you will most definitely get one. Then you just have to get on and tell the driver your address, he/she will turn on the meter, and off you go. But back there in the street of Philippines, we were deserted by numerous taxis who just abandoned us with only a slight shake of the driver’s head. And they didn’t want to use the meter! A total culture shock was happening at that time. But alas, we finally managed to find a taxi to drive us back safely to our hotel and the night ended with no more shocks happening.
So, next post will be the last one in the Philippines and Me series. I haven’t anything much to say about my time at the exhibition, because it’s for work, so yeah I will be brief about that. Next stop are : City of Dreams where I met Toothless face to face, the Baclaran Church, and the trip home. See you!