Touchdown Manila

We are already half way through our Philippine-Europe-Qatar vacation but only now are we able to update our socials, the schedule has just been too hectic! Yes, we made it! We left Sydney on a beautiful spring day only to be welcomed by a rainy evening in Manila. I guess we shouldn’t complain after all it’s the tropical monsoon season. Be good if we could re-direct these heavy downpours back home to help ease the current Sydney and nationwide water shortages.

Our flight with Philippine Airlines PR 212 was alright, not as great as the last time I flew with their brand new Airbus A320neo where the service was absolute excellence. The service on this flight was very lacklustre, most of the crew looked like they had forgotten to pack their “famous” PAL-smiles when they checked out of their hotel in Sydney, adding a dusting of disdain to an otherwise pleasant flight. Nonetheless, we departed and arrived in Manila pretty much on time, it was a quick flight of under 8 – hours, thankfully…

We flew with Philippine Airlines Airbus 300-400.

ETA in Manila was spot on! It’s a lovely welcoming gesture when your accommodation goes an extra mile, the property manager of our condo unit had organised a transfer from the airport to our accommodation in Makati. On a Sunday evening, it took around 30 minutes from the airport to Makati’s CBD, not bad at all. Hearing all the news about traffic and congestion in Manila scares me to even think about starting a plan of where to go, let alone just getting out of the Airport precinct to our digs, so the transport was very much appreciated!

Accommodation: Eaton Tower – Gamboa St. Makati.

If your hotel or accommodation is within walking distance to Greenbelt Shopping Mall, then you don’t need to worry at all. Groceries, coffee shops, restaurants, bars, convenience stores and even a church, Greenbelt  – has you covered. It also has a walkway that connects to the Landmark Building, Glorietta Shopping Mall, SM Store and Rustans, all these establishments are big shopping malls. During the rush hours, grocery stores can be very busy but we were able to find a local, smaller grocery that offered most of the necessities including grog! The 7-11 chains are plentiful and will get you out of hunger and thirst troubles at most times of the day or night.

Our pick: Rustans Supermarket Greenbelt 1

It’s a ritual for us when once we have touched down in Manila, for our first meal to be Filipino Food paired with the national beer, San Miguel. The Makati area is full of restaurants, from the local offerings, Fast Food, Thai, Middle Eastern, Greek, Italian, Spanish, Japanese, just whatever your palate fancies, you’ve got it.

Our pick: Via Mare – Greenbelt 1

For a late night tipple, the choices are near endless. From an open beer garden to more sophisticated and posh cocktail bars. It’s all about how much you are willing to spend for the night. Fancy a midnight snack? No problem, these bars also serve up late supper/finger foods (pica-pica), how handy is that? 

Our pick: Barcino Greenbelt 5

This pretty much sum ups our first nigh in Manila. Back in our unit a little past midnight.

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