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Chronicles Of A Pseudo Traveller - Part 1


Two months ago, I had my vacation with my family as we went on a trip to the Philippines, my home country. This was my first trip home after two years and I was planning on totally enjoying every minute of it! Having this in mind, we planned ahead and booked every place we need to book for the trip: our stay at BSA Mansion in Greenbelt Makati, our Superferry boat trip to Cebu and our stay at Plantation Bay in Mactan.

We decided to fly with Emirates Airlines for our trip this year. It was the first time we chose to avail of their services. We had been riding Saudia ever since I started working here in 1999. I was a bit hesitant at first, only because there were stopovers on both trips but I eventually conceded. You see, it's not easy to disembark from a plane for a few hours then board another one, specially if you have an energetic 2-year old with you! But it was a chance that my wife and I took.

We arrived at Dubai, after a short trip from Riyadh, at around 11:45pm (local time, 9th of May) for the stopover and tried to walk around to while the time away. We had about 4 hours to kill and it proved to be one of the longest ever. My youngest child (the said 2-year-old bundle of energy) had other plans which consisted of putting enough mileage on her shoes to rival that of an Olympic marathon champion! My wife and I dutifully took turns in guiding her around until the boarding time for the Manila flight mercifully arrived.

The flight was pleasant on both legs of the trip because of the state-of-the-art entertainment system available of the plane. My kids got engrossed with all the cartoons, movies and games they can get their hands on. It was a welcome relief for me and my wife, as it equated to quiet time and rest.

Upon arriving at the Ninoy Aquino International Airport after a relatively smooth 8-hour trip, we were greeted by the usual welcoming musical group, singing Filipino songs to the arriving passengers. I don't usually mind them, but surprisingly for some reason I enjoyed the scene this time. We got through Immigration without any hassles then proceeded to the taxi area.

Our taxi driver was an engaging talker and we nonchalantly discussed current issues, mainly about the elections. Everything went smoothly. However, my son was apparently feeling the nauseating effects of motion sickness and was unable to control the inevitable. Luckily, my wife brought along an airsickness bag, and it came out just in the nick of time to contain the situation. So all of that was taken care. Or so I thought. Just when everything was settling down and we're almost near our destination, it became apparent that my youngest kid was also feeling motion sickness and let it all out. This time we were caught unaware that it scattered all over the car's interior. I ended up paying extra to our taxi guy for it.

So we finally got to our condotel, the BSA Mansion, and it's located right behind the Asian Institute of Management near Greenbelt. We chose the place because of the convenience of having the Ayala business district within walking distance. We stayed there during the Manila segment of the trip, during which we made frequent visits to my family. For the next few days, we got together with my mom, sister's family and my other nieces. It was an incomplete reunion though, as my elder sister wasn't in Manila due to her work assignment in Houston.

Our next stop was Cebu!

We got up early Sunday morning on the 13th of May for our Superferry trip. The kids were excited to board the boat, specially my youngest. It's her first time to get on a REAL boat and she's not hiding her enthusiasm one bit. We got to our accommodation, the Stateroom, in one piece and proceeded to make ourselves as comfortable as possible for the next few hours. As expected, the kids didn't want to be locked up in the quarters for long. I was appointed the task of showing my kids around and so off we went to explore the surroundings.

Enrico Monsanto is a freelance writer. He writes mainly about guitars, music and sport-related topics. Most of his work can be seen at his blog,

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