Travel Diaries: Manila! Manila!

May 23, 2013

Three years ago, I survived 47 days in the city and an overnight stay in the airport for 22 hours (thank you Typhoon Frank! Here’s my blog as a proof.). I was scarred by my horrible airport experience that I don’t want to travel again.

Fast forward to today, I gave up my hospitality job to join the corporate world of FMCG/ franchise business as marketing person. Working at the hotel did not give me a chance to travel but with my new job, I get the chance to visit our offices in Pasig and Davao.

Leaving Cebu at 3 am

The last time I traveled was last year. I went to Baguio with my college friends and just visited Manila briefly as a stopover.

During these trips, I haven’t really toured around the busy city. I have visited the shopping meccas like Divisoria (last minute shopping before boarding our Cebu flight), Baclaran (for the church and interesting finds) and Greenhills.

This year, I’m back in Manila again for business. This time around, I made sure I will get to go around the city and explore other places aside from the ones I’ve already visited. And of course, to try the most requested pasalubongs.

red maleta
Putting my red maleta to good use again — the reason why my blog is called as such

So what am I doing in Manila?

Aside from the fact that I booked a 3 am flight instead of a 3 pm, I convinced (and bribed) myself to be the host of a mini product launch. Because I have to drag a sleep-deprived, hyperventilating, and terrified self to this interesting point of my life, I made a list of reasons why I need to do this:

  • I told myself that I will do three things after the event: shop, shop, and sleep.
  • I need to get over my horrible public speaking experience and get a grip of myself because one way or another, I will be hosting (and I hope I won’t) other events in the future.
  • View this activity as a practice for my future hosting gigs because people get the impression that I do hosting on the side. I can impress you with the way I speak but ICYMI: hosting is my weakness.

Those are my lame excuses to convince myself to get my ass moving. When you work as a PR and Marketing person in a company, people will definitely expect you to host—whether you like it or not.

A quick obligatory photo before starting the event

This trip is rather different. Staying only three days in Manila proved to be a challenge. Half of the first day in the city was spent sleeping in late, long meetings, and gave myself pep talks in between.


After work, Glenda, the marketing superwoman counterpart in our Manila office, took me to Tiendesitas. We bought last-minute supplies for the event and ate dinner at Bonanno’s Budbod’s barbecue and canton which is yummy.

Bonanno’s Budbod’s barbecue and yummy canton

One thing I forgot in Manila was to bring an eco bag. Plastics are no longer allowed in the city. No wonder eco bags are a hit in the city. Good thing I have a spare katcha bag in my red maleta.

market! market!
Shopaholic in Market! Market!

And I have to thank my colleague and housemate, Harold for being my tour guide for one whole Sunday afternoon. He was so game and allowed me to steer him anywhere.

We went to Market! Market! for lunch and shopping (scored a pretty skirt, a great pair of khaki pants for work, and a bolero). We also went to Serendra and Bonifacio High Street. These three places are just beside each other but walking across these places left us dehydrated.

We replenished with Brother Burgers’ Vanilla Milkshake and Happy Lemon’s Oreo drink. While we’re in Serendra, we also tried Cupcakes by Sonja. The cupcakery’s quaint interiors are so vintage-y. Red stripes, swirls and curls gave off a 50s and 60s feel.

He was surprised that I would choose local tourist-y places (like Luneta or Intramuros) over malls. Nevertheless, I enjoyed myself at Market! Market! where I found great deals. He’s such a wonderful shopping and eating buddy!

Thank you Glenda, Harold and the Jose Family for showing me the fun side of Manila. Now, we’re off to Davao.

PS: I would like to apologize for my filtered photos in Instagram squares. I’m still a newbie to Insta and love to mess up with filters.

The Girl with Red Maleta

Red Maleta

The Red Maleta story was born out of an idea to travel to new places, learn different cultures and understand the world better. Of course, bringing my red maleta along with me.

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