Alright, this is how it really went down.. hahaha!
It was an adventure really. Started off Thursday with a bit of a surprise.. got an sms from Francis that our flight to Tacloban leaves Manila at 4am so we needed to be at the airport at 3am.. nice………..
OFF TO TACLOBAN!!!!
And during the flight, Francis told us that we were booked at this hotel situated right smack in the middle of downtown, at the Executive Suite.. WOW! But it costs a whopping Php 1,500.- per night! 1,500 for an executive suite? That already got me wondering.. that’s too cheap.. waaaaaaaaaay too cheap.
lo and behold.. the executive suite that costs a grand and a half.. is one room, three beds, a TV (with grainy cable reception), what looked like an open urn with someone’s dead relative still in it, a "speaker phone", and a few other amenities like : staff that saw us as ‘more work’ rather than as guests, a broken toilet seat (that we found beside the sink, I think Francis broke it), we had to call room service to have the towels brought to the room (all three of them), a cafe that looks familiar, and a great view of a.. wall. Here are some pics:
Nice!!!! What else can go wrong.. right?
Well, as it turns out, the hotel had a taxi service that would take us around town. Tacloban city is great, really. I thought I was in Avenida with all the hustle and bustle. A wide array of shops lined the streets with hundreds of people going about.. window shopping.. shopping.. everything!
Shoot.. I forgot to take pics during rush hour.. but believe me, that yosi vendor got real busy. I took those pics at 7am. I could not bear to stay in the hotel so I went out to find a Church to ask for forgiveness for hating Francis soooo much! 😀
And I did find a church and saw some emotions..
It is the Sto. Nino Parish.. I grew up in Tondo so I reaaaaally love going to another Sto Nino Church.
And off to lunch! We went to the NEWEST mall in Tacloban (which apparently opened just 4days ago) to find some food. The place still smells like paint and it was nauseating! One strange thing though, the people were so polite that the escalators, well, they stepped on the escalator with one step between each other. Only later would I find out that, THAT escalator is the first ever escalator in Tacloban.. ever. Wow.
So, off to lunch! And we found this grrrrreat place! If ever you go to Tacloban, find this place and man.. they serve mean seafood..
After lunch, we headed to the venue, the Hotel Alejandro. I have another blog with pics of that hotel which is veeeeeery nice.
And Alejandro, is actually CHEAPER that the hotel we were staying in! HUWWWAAAATT!!!!!??? Sabi nga ni Naruto.. Believe it!
And then came more bad news… the host of the event was able to book us at this really nice hotel (Alejandro) but wasn’t able to reach us in time to tell us!!! Can you believe it???? We ALMOST stayed at this great hotel with a museum inside. 😦
After the Event, we had dinner with the host and he is a gracious host. Mr. Orlando Uy, President of the Leyte Chamber of Commerce and owner of Chapter 2 brought us to OCHO, another seafood grill resto in Tacloban and the food there is grrrreat! Another MUST TRY for anyone going to Tacloban. The seafood was mouthwatering and belly filling!
Then we went to a cafe situated right beside the Sto Nino church. I forgot the name but it is another MUST SEE and TRY in Tacloban. Coffee is good, but the ambience is THE BEST. This is the place where Carlo talked up to 1am! (He started talking during the event.. 1pm WHOAH!!! )
And…… back to the hotel for some sleep… darn I really hate that place.. hahaha!
And all was well.. we were all headed to sleep.. Francis is sleeping so he has no more chance to torture me (or so I thought). I was just about to sleep when I heard something that sounded like someone was dragging furniture upstairs… it was Francis.. snoring. Even in his sleep he tortures me! Hahahaha!
Now we are off to see the country’s longest bridge, the San Juanico Bridge and the place where Gen. Douglas MacArthur landed in Leyte when he came back to lead the liberation of the Philippines during world war three.
Well.. this blog is basically a rant. But if I were to rate the stay here at Tacloban, it was 100% pure fun!! Yeah the hotel sucked but we had so much fun dissing it that me cheeks are still hurting from laughing so much!
With that I really want to do now is to thank PeopleIgnite for such a memorable trip to Tacloban, particularly Francis who was sooooo gracious and such a good sport. Thanks guys!