We have only been here a few days but it feels a lot longer. Here are some of the highlights.
Dinner at our favourite restaurant Mongkok, where they serve the best ever Beef with Crispy Noodle.
Having our friends here show us around through TheMegamall. The largest mall in Asia. It’s enormous…..anything you cannot find here, is probably not needed.
Getting lost at Glorietta Shopping Mall. This mall is made up of five sections (and probably extra bits), which are connected by walkways, staircases, following obscure signs and car-parks. It is so complicated that even the smart directory confused us (Not actually sure this is a highlight, but it was an adventure. One we were glad to be over with).
Unexpectedly getting to watch a dance performance celebrating The Blooming Flower Festival at Market Market. I don’t mind Market Market because it is not as confusing as the other malls, however it is really really noisy. There is a lovely fresh market next to the mall though, which has flower stalls, fresh food and street vendors selling traditional Pinoy meals and items.
The Panagbenga Festival (Blooming Flowers Festival) is held every year during February. The celebrations showcase floral floats and native dances. Panagbenga is a Kankanaey (Filipino Indigenous group from the North) term for “a season of blooming.” It is also known as the Baguio Flower Festival, homage to the beautiful flowers the city is famous for as well as a celebration of Baguio’s re-establishment. Since February 1995, it has been held to help Baguio forget the 1990 earthquake that distressed much of the city. The Festival involves street dancing parades, with dancers dressed in flower-inspired costumes.
Hanging out on Fort Bonifacio High Street, a high-end shopping mall. There was a British Festival on and there were interesting relics of England, including a Dr Who Tardis and a floating Loch Ness Monster (which is from Scotland so not sure why they put her in, but she was rather cute) in one of the water features which the children were very enamored with. I desperately wanted to shop here however it got late. The children needed dinner and then we had to come back to the hotel. So we will have to save a trip back there for another day. The district used to be the Philippine Army Camp. In recent times it has been sold off and turned into an urbanised mecca of high end apartments, shopping and social hotspots.
Taking the children to the best indoor Play Centre around – KidsVille in The Podium at Ortigas.
This Play Center has a whole section that is for imaginary play. This is such a vital component to child development. There is a town built in there, with a shop, café, fire station, school, hospital and mechanics complete with a real VW car, on which the lights work. Ever since we returned to Manila the children have been begging to go back there to play. We finally had the chance today.
Watching the children discover new foods. They are so addicted to eating Asian Noodles at breakfast time, they prefer those over pancakes some days!
Children here stay up really late. The shops are open until 10pm every day of the week here. I guess it is because during the day the weather is often too hot and humid to venture out. Also families have to work, so night time is when they get to do their shopping – that’s my take on it anyway. I plan on doing some research and speaking to people to find out why this is so. This is a busy place, but night time just goes off. Last night I escaped on my own to wander around The Megamall and there were little children and babies – everywhere! Where we are from, kids go to bed at an early hour. Over here, the kids were going off. There were toddlers in the play-zone just going nuts. Our children have gone nuts the few nights we took them out to the shops. But not nuts in a good way. The overtired, stressed out, out of routine kind – not pleasant at all.