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Saturday, October 5, 2013

~ 2012 Manila Trip - Day 1 ~

I know this sounds really ridiculous but I did not manage to find time to sort out the photos that were taken during our November trip to Manila till recently.


~ Nov/Dec 2012 ~
It was a last minute decision to travel to Manila with our in-laws and hence we did not have any planned itinerary. Another month to Christmas and there were Christmas decorations everywhere.

We took a midnight flight and arrived in Manila really early. Being in a foreign land, the first thing we did was to upload our phones with prepaid cards at the airport so that we can be in contact with each other at all times conveniently. 


Lucky Chinatown, 168 Shopping Mall, are located in the heart of Binondo, Chinatown. 



It was very crowded in the morning with many roadside stalls selling assorted fruits and food. Many locals come here to do their shopping and marketing.

It was definitely an experience squeezing through this massive crowd, holding tightly to our kids and at the same time trying to do our 'window' shopping without losing sight of them. It can be pretty chaotic and daunting seeing the amount of human traffic.

Food always attract our attention, and we couldn't resist stopping to fill our tummies after travelling for the entire night. 

Japanese pancakes that comes in different flavour. Initially, we bought two to try and it was so cheap and good and we turned back to buy more! 

These definitely looks like our deep fried crullers (油条). I believe in Philippines it is called bicho-bicho. The main difference is we usually eat it as it is in Singapore but the ones we had at Binondo were cut into smaller pieces and dredged with sugar to give it an extra sweetness! YUMMY!

McDonald's ice-cream cones to reward the kids for their good behaviour. Chocolate flavour for Gladys and Strawberry cone for Denver.  There's always something new to try at the fast-food outlets in a different country. :)

After having our lunch and meeting up with friends, we finally arrived at New Horizon Hotel - an European style hotel located at Mandaluyong City. We stayed in a Royal Suite room which comes with a hall, dining area, 1 bedroom and toilet. Two single beds were placed between the hall and dining space, while the queen size bed is in the bedroom. The room was huge and clean. Toilet was well-maintained and comes with a bathtub. Service was great and there isn't much to complain except for the air-condition which I was hoping it can be cooler.


This suite was one of the biggest room we had ever stayed in. 

Welcome to the Lechon Capitol of the Philippines!


Lechon is a very popular food in the Philippines. The word originates from a Spanish term Lechón, and it means roasted suckling pig.

With the entrails removed and skewered through a large rod, the entire pig was cooked over a long pit filled with charcoal. The rod was in rotation motion which allows all sides of the pig to be nicely roasted. This takes several hours before it was finally cooked. We were amazed seeing the sight as we don't get to see so many pigs being roasted at one time. It takes a lot of hard work and the workers were constantly exposed to a very high temperature environment under the hot weather with all the charcoal burning.


The aroma from the roasted pork was so irresistible that we have to buy a packet to sample. The pork skin was crispy and the meat was tender and juicy! Delicious! Lechon goes well with rice and no wonder it is such a popular dish among the locals.


Evening

Manila Metro Rail Transit (MRT) has been one of the main of transportation ferrying thousands of commuters daily. The first cabin of the train is also usually reserved from women, children and elderly. However, the trains were usually very packed during peak hours and squeezing our way in is challenging.

The nearest train station, which is about 5 minutes walk away from our hotel is Boni Avenue. From here, it can lead us to a few shopping malls located at nearby stations.

We decided to bring our in-laws and kids to Shangrila Plaza Mall for dinner. Alighting at Shaw Boulevard station (3 stops away from Boni Avenue), we finally made our way to do some shopping. Christmas is an important holiday in Philippines. Many Filipinos who are working outside the country will return back to their homeland and celebrate the festive season with their families. 


The food court and supermarket is located at the basement of the mall and there is a variety of food stalls selling local delicacies. One of my personal favourite, is Grilled Pusit! A Must Eat for me whenever I am in Philippines.

The sweetness of the sauce and juiciness of the pusit as I sank my teeth into the meat is heavenly! Really missing this taste for a long time. :) 

More to come for Day 2 :)

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