Manila Baby!

11:21 PM 0 Comments A+ a-

Mabuhay!  (Does anybody really say that in actual conversation outside of formal welcomes and greetings?  LOL.)

Long time no blog.  Blame the slow-ish Internet connection at home (the hotel we stayed at for the first weekend didn't even have free wifi, boo!) and my general laziness brought along by the suffocating heat that made me lethargic for the first two weeks.  But I've been diligently updating Instagram, Twitter, and Facebook about my visit/stay here in my home country, the Philippines.  I've been having such a fun time.  Eating and malling mostly.  Hey, those two things are definitely more fun in the Philippines.

I'm pretty much halfway through my stay.  I don't know what to feel about that.  On the one hand, I kind of miss the comforts of the US, especially when it comes to the weather.  But on the other hand, I feel that my stay is all too short to experience everything that I missed in the past 3-4 years.  There are still so many foods I have to taste, malls to explore (we're not going out of Manila anyway), people to see, and Asian cosmetics to buy (LOL). 

Looks like a travel checklist to me... ;-)

The plane ride stretched to roughly 17 hours in total.  It was good but wasn't great.  I don't know if Japan Airlines (JAL) know the concept of air conditioning on their 767s.  It felt like a sauna in there and it became so uncomfortable after the first three hours.  I didn't get to read much because it was so hot in there.  They kept the fuselage dark so it was awkward to turn the reading light on or prop open the window.  I did that from time to time to take pictures of the clouds.

We were traveling with a large group of Japanese tourists; they all look like high school-age kids.  I also remembered that during that time, two BIGBANG members were still stateside, Taeyang (who was in NYC) and Seungri (who was in Las Vegas).  And as far as I've heard, they were scheduled to go back to Korea either the day before or the day after.  Pfft, where was Seung-chan when you need him?!  I admit, I was stalking around the Korean Air terminals while killing time.  Hahaha!  I was wearing my BIGBANG hoodie, no less.

Later, I hear that Taeyang's flight to Korea was the day after mine.  Oh poo.

Speaking of that hoodie, I took it off while lugging my bag to the gate.  But it got a bit chilly so when I stood up to pull it on, I heard an excited gasp and a rapid babbling in Japanese from the girls behind me.  Of course, any Japanese I learned in my formative years have been long forgotten but I caught something that explained it all... BIGBANG.  Apparently, they were VIPs.  ^^,

This is my first time traveling with JAL.  It was nice but like I mentioned earlier, it was fcking hot in there.  And I know that food and drink is limited on a flight but when I asked for a cup of water, I expect a full-ish cup and not a less-than-half-filled one.  How can I eat a very rich dish on an inch of water?  O__o  My favorite meal during the flight was the "Air Yoshinoya".  I took pics of it but they're still on my camera and as you know, I'm too lazy to upload. 

I mentioned in the previous post that I might kill time reading or watching a movie or tracking the journey via GPS.  I did all three.  As usual, I didn't get any sleep.  I read the SkyMall catalog and a few pages of A Feast for Crows but the heat got to me.  However, I did manage to watch the live action adaptation of Rurouni Kenshin twice.  And let me tell you... it's awesome.  It comes out in Philippine theaters on December 5th and yes, I'm still going out to watch it. I also watched a Japanese anime called Wolf Children.  It was very reminiscent of Studio Ghibli movies, which I love so much, especially the style used in My Neighbor Totoro and Kiki's Delivery Service.  And I also watched a health documentary by Discovery Channel about the sense of sight.  Yeah, dork.

It was rather unsettling, the flight from LAX to Narita.  It never got dark outside.  And it felt like I've been awake for 24 hours before touching down but it never became "night", so to speak.  Of course, we crossed the International Date Line and in theory, lost a full day of my life but until we got to Japan about 10 hours after leaving LA, it never got dark. 

I wish we had more time to explore Japan.  Even just the airport.  I love that the place is so big, it has its own metro train.  (I did try to convince my mom to get a travel route that stops us over at Incheon.  But that ended up costing more that I could afford.  Ohwel.)  Upon boarding in Narita, it was another five hours until Manila.  Longest five hours ever. 

So what did I do?  I watched Rurouni Kenshin again.  Hehe.  I liked it so much, I watched it twice in 24 hours.  I tried watching Abraham Lincoln, Vampire Hunter but I got sleepy.  Sleep lasted all of five minutes before the heat got to me again.  -____-  My mom skipped to all of Tom Cruise's scenes in Rock of Ages.  They didn't have BIGBANG or 2NE1 in their Asian music selection so that was a bummer.  I like JPOP enough but I can't listen to it without thinking of anime superhero opening songs. 

But all journeys come to an end.  After almost 24 hours, touchdown Manila.

And now I'm here, blogging from my childhood home.  None much has changed but I miss all of it nonetheless.