I think it is a lie to myself that I am a less-traveled blogger. Maybe because I compare my adventure to travel bloggers that I consider my own escapades less enticing and not exciting at all. I have come to learn, however, when years have passed by, that somehow, I did my take on travel differently. I may not have climbed the mountains or trekked the rivers and lakes, my way of traveling is more of exploring cities, on the busy streets like this experience flying to Makati, alone.
When In Makati, Every Year, All The Time
In 2014, I took a very early Cebu Pacific flight to the nation’s capital, Manila. I went there to attend a whole day convention for Leaders and Managers. As part of my challenging corporate job, I participate in workshops on how to hire, train, and fire employees. All smiles and struggles, triumphs and pains, yes, that’s the kind of job I was doing for 5 years. On the bright side of things, going to Makati is not new to me. I have been traveling back and forth since 2012.
With my early flight going to Manila and arriving at the NAIA airport in Pasay City, every exit from the departure area is a struggle to get a cab and off to Makati City. I would fall asleep for a while passing by the very busy roads of EDSA even at the wee hours of the morning until alighting at the main entrance of my hotel at the Asian Institute of Management Conference Center Manila in Makati.
Hotel #1: AIM Conference Center Manila
Every time I reserve a hotel room, I always ask the in-charge if I can be assigned to a specific room with my very detailed conditions: a room with big windows overseeing the view, a table spacious enough for working (and blogging), clean and well-lighted toilet room and shower (a bathtub is not necessary but a plus), and of course, a reliable Internet connection.
Since AIM Conference Center Manila is a business hotel, I 100% expect a reliable WiFi connectivity on every angle of my room. And yes, I always need to get “the window.” Here’s my view that time:
Since I nearly don’t blink an eye on every workshop and convention I attend, I take less or no photos at all. During that time, the discussion was about, quote, How to terminate an employee without getting sued, quote, no photos whatsoever was taken. It was an intense discussion, however, it was worthwhile and very crucial for my job. I need to take every detail and every tip that I can decipher during talks like these because whenever I need to return to Cebu to report for work, the “Do Not Disturb” flashcard will be pinned on my forehead for, let’s say in 3 weeks.
I need to create a training module to be rolled out for Team Supervisors and that was a challenging task.
Window Shopping At Greenbelt 5, Dinner, And Escaping Mobs of People
Probably one of the shopping destinations near the Makati area, I would never miss a chance to window shop at Greenbelt 5 and pretend to be posh. It’s very similar to Ayala Center Cebu (because Greenbelt is an Ayala Mall), I always drop by for a casual dinner at California Pizza Kitchen. Unfortunately, when I searched details on Zomato about this restaurant, it says, “This place is permanently closed.” Sad.
I was able to manage to take some photos of the food I ordered during my visit with my then-new Canon EOS 1100D DLSR camera. So, be ready to get salivating and hoping we have CPK in Cebu City as well. Here they are:
After the “casual dining” at CPK, off I went around the grounds and took some photos. I was filled with great awe as I witnessed amazing fixtures of statues, garden landscapes, and the chapel located in the middle of Greenbelt 5. As of that moment, my visit was absolutely worth having. My “When In Makati” adventures were simply worth taking.
If you wanted to check back Greenbelt 5, I am not sure if these amazing statues and decorations still exist. The photos were taken during my solo visit to Makati in 2014.
I was running out of natural sunlight when I tried taking the remaining two photos below. It was struggling since I am very new to using my own DSLR camera and the crowd was piling up for dinner time. Well, anyway, I still managed to take a couple of shots and hope they went out well.
Hotel #2: Hotel Durban Makati
After attending the convention at AIM Conference Center, I wanted to be nearer to A. Venue Mall in Makati Avenue. On my last day, while I’m still in Makati, I transferred to another hotel located at Durban Street. It’s called Hotel Durban Makati and it is one of my go-to hotels to stay when I am in Makati Avenue vicinity.
Even though Hotel Durban is close to fast food chains like Jollibee and Greenwich, I would prefer to a have chill night at A. Venue Mall and have dinner at my favorite tapa place, Rufo’s Famous Tapa. It is also worth mentioning that the parking lot in front the mall was converted into a food market, which I absolutely love. The BAGA Manila set up huge tents with plastic tables and chairs.
A. Venue Mall And More Food
Before going straight to the food market, I sat down at the Coffee Bean and Tea Leaf to take some photos until it was time to have dinner at Rufo’s. Makati Avenue was very busy that time: cars buzzing; commuters piling up; people walking fast the sidewalks. And I was there, sightseeing, and waiting for sundown.
While taking some photos, I have a sudden change of plans and went to BAGA Manila food market and check the stalls for pick-me-quick food. I was also able to get to experience how people in Makati would have their music and entertainment outdoors. Good thing, though, one of the food stalls was selling Korean food and I ordered a serving of Kimbap and fermented Kimchi (because you know, Korean food is my jam).
After some photos being taken, I went back to A. Venue Mall for dinner. Of course, I ordered the specialty of the house. I also had some sizzling buttered mushrooms and tokwa’t baboy for additional orders.
Celebrities, Models, Everywhere in Makati
Whenever I tried to dig in some food in my mouth, I would suddenly freeze and enjoy the moments. I was seeing, in the flesh, people we’ve seen on television. To my surprise, they would take the empty seats next to my table. It is very normal in Makati Avenue having celebrities and models around. They usually have dinner or hang with friends for a bottle of cool drink or two.
What you can do is gasp for air, show less excitement deep inside so it wouldn’t be obvious you’re starstruck and fanboying. In short, you mind your own business. Since I have celebrity friends (you might wonder now why I set my Facebook friends list to private), I know how it felt when you’re with them in public. People started to flock around them and take some photos with them.
So, I was there, staying quiet, pretending you never existed, but couldn’t give a smile back if they unintentionally look at you, telling yourself, “Please, you don’t know me. You didn’t me see.”
Before heading back to my hotel, and paying for the bill, I asked one of the crew members where to find their washroom. Of course, speaking in Tagalog, I was politely guided my way and to my shock, I saw my model friend inside the washroom. Funny, though it was not him in person. It was only Mark McMahon‘s print ad of Onesimus fixed on the wall.
Check the photo below and you can see him in the middle with the other models. My friend’s a famous lad, you know.
Obviously, I haven’t met Mark that time, even though we were exchanging text messages prior to going there at A. Venue Mall. He needed to attend a party event somewhere I didn’t mind asking him (because I can’t go anyway).
“I’ll Be Back Soon, Makati (I Hope)”
After having dinner, I went back to Hotel Durban carrying the bag of kimchi. I savored every last minute left while when in Makati. I need to enjoy for I am not sure when can I come back to this busy, yet lively place. But, surely, if I can have the time, I will definitely return to Makati. I will enjoy once again the lights of the city and the random people around.
And, yes, we need to forget the amazing Manila traffic.
So, friends, that is my kind of travel. I hope you also enjoyed the adventure.
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