October 24, 2011

Manila & Tagaytay, Philippines - Day 0 and Day 1

2 months ago, I was given the opportunity to conduct a training in Manila, Philippines and here's what happened... 

Departure from KLIA...
I just realized that the lights are so pretty, like stars or diamonds twinkling in the sky..

Breakfast @ Changi Airport, Singapore. Arrived in Changi Airport almost midnight, slept a couple of hours there before waking up for breakfast and catching a 5am flight to Manila. One thing I like in Changi Airport is that the food wasn't overpriced. Its about the same you pay outside the airport. 

Yee Khai getting a free food massage while waiting to board the plane :) We all did. Its good and relaxing just that its kinda gross to put your feet where goodness-knows-whose-smelly-feet have been before. But then again, we were all wearing socks and.... who gives free massages? In Malaysia, you got to pay for it... 

Some random flowers in the airport... 

First glimpse of Manila.. Woohoo! So excited... 

Upon arrival we were brought to the Manila Polo Club *yes, POLO CLUB!!!* for lunch courtesy of Mr.J. He is a very rich elderly businessman who now spends his time and money on street children's development. He bought a land, build a community center cum school cum church... in Manila *more on that in another post*

Japanese food with a fusion of Philippines food lunch buffet. Just a few choices available but good food. 

There was free flow of TEMPURAS!!! I'm a big fan of tempura... and its not only vegetables, there was loads of prawns too. Me like :)

Some fusion food... Didn't try it.. 

Healthy me :) 
Started with fruits and salad... Oh, but their salad bar... fantastic!! Lots of variety...

Salad with Mango Sauce... One of the best tasting food there!!
 I skipped dessert. Surprisingly considering I have a sweet tooth... 

We took a 1.5 hours drive from Manila to CCT Taytaytay Training & Retreat Center, Tagaytay where the training will be held. Tagaytay its located in the highlands and inside a Volcano. Gosh, I am staying inside a Volcano, how scary is that? Its a brand new training center, fully equipped with facilities and everything is so nice, clean and new. 




Dormitories and meeting rooms. Landscaping not completed yet...

However, I did not stay here. We were taken to another retreat center to stay. As we were driving there, I saw so many retreat and training centers. Its seems like every denomination, every religion opened a training center in Tagaytay. I can see why so... the place is beautiful. Lush greens everywhere, rolling hills, cool weather. 

Tiny garden at the retreat center I stayed in. 

And Philippines hospitality is just so good. I had a room to myself and they *our hosts* provided mineral water just in case we were not comfortable with the Philippines water *how thoughtful* and they even gave us chocolates just in case we got hungry in the room.. Tho I must admit, I was full to the brim every single minute there. We ate non-stop... Seriously...  

And talking about food... That night, we were taken to this delicatessen named Santis for dinner. Santis Delicantessen  is a high-end shop that provides world-wide gourmet food..

You can see, there is a wide range of food provided. Some I have not even heard off... actually most of it :) *failed*

We get to choose our choice of meat raw... as shown in pictures below... and it will then be cooked for us * not all Santis branches offers dining experience*

And as usual, here are some of what we ate. It was a large group, so I only managed to capture selected food..

Home-made bread and butter.. 

Tuna Sashimi salad. 
I am a person that does not eat raw food.. but this.. this was just too awesome to miss. When we first tasted it, we could not decide if it was fish or something else. The flesh was so soft.. and we didn't even have to use a knife. Just by using a fork, we could scoop up bits of sashimi. Two thumbs up!!

I think this was Ceaser Salad or some salad.. Can't remember the name..

I think this was Rib Steak with butter rice..*or is it t-bone?*

I think this is either T-bone or rib... *can't recall*... or is it chicken?

And this... this is my order... Beef Tenderloin Steak with a side of mash potatoes... Best I have ever tasted! What I really like about it is that most of the cuts were cooked just marinated. No added spices or sauces to accompany it. You can taste the flavour of the beef just by itself. Pure, original, soft and delicious..

And all that washed down with a glass of cold pineapple juice..

Did I mention how much I like Philippines already? *satisfied*

How much did it all cost? I don't know. Everything we ate for the next 4 days was courtesy of Mr. J. Big thank you to him!!! 

After dinner , bed time. Have to be up early cos training starts tomorrow!!! But I did stayed up a little working on my lesson and it poured the whole night... It did rain almost 90% of the time I was there as Typhoon Mina paid us a visit :) 

More of my trip next time...Till then :)

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