SURPRISE! I actually went to the Philippines in July for a very quick 10-day family business trip. I wasn’t able to do a lot of sightseeing, but I was able to stuff myself with good food! This trip marked my first time home since moving eleven years ago – it was great being back in the motherland and I’d be lying if I said it wasn’t bittersweet when I left yet again.
For this trip, it was just me, my aunt and my youngest brother. We departed LAX at one in the morning; we actually ended up checking in earlier and spent an hour waiting for our flight. How long is it from Los Angeles to the Philippines? A good 15 hours. Thirteen to get to Hong Kong International Airport and another two hours from HKIA to Manila. My hometown is on the island of Cebu but we had business to attend to in Manila, which was where we spent majority of this trip.
I packed really light for this trip – my carry-on consisted only of my Kanken backpack, which had my laptop, utility jacket, my Midori notebook, Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone (which I didn’t even know I had chucked into my backpack until I sat in the hotel terminal) and all of my chargers. My suitcase consisted mostly of leggings, lightweight shirts, pajamas, and of course, the essentials. Word of advice for international travel? Stash that laptop in that check-in baggage because it will be a hassle.
On the plane, in an effort to avoid jet lag (Philippines is ahead of US time!), I spent almost my entire flight sleeping. I did watch some in-flight entertainment – Tomb Raider (3/5 stars) and Unsane (1.5/5 stars). My aunt also woke me up when it was time for meals on the plane – we may not have sat in business class but premium economy wasn’t too bad.
We arrived at HKIA at seven in the morning; our next flight wasn’t until nine so we strolled the airport for a bit and grabbed some food.
I honestly don’t remember HKIA being this nice! In hindsight, this airport may have been a blur since the last time I set foot in it, I was moving away from the country I had spent the first 15 years of my life in. Besides that, ASIAN FOOD IN ACTUAL ASIA. We ate at Saboten and I got their tonkatsu and holy cow, food tastes so much better in Asia.
Did I mention how much cheaper food is in Asia compared to getting it here in Los Angeles? After eating, we stopped by those airport souvenir shops and got shirts – definitely the biggest tourist move, but hey the shirts were so cute! Also, buy 3 get 1 free? WHY NOT! We boarded our plane to Manila shortly after.