Roll On : My Short Trip To Philipines (1)8/25/2014Nurul Afifah
Assalammualaikum, this would be a series of post sharing my experience to Philipines. It is not much but i would still be needing to write it in series. Do enjoy!
UKM Faculty of Pharmacy is having this exchange student program with University Of Santo Tomas which is located in Manila, Philipine. It is actually the very first attempt to build this sort of international relationship with them. Luckily, a very big gratitude to Allah swt, i was given the chance by Him to join this trip. This is actually the first official abroad trip of mine. I called it official as i have went to Thailand before but it is only a short trip beyond the border. But still it was a great accidental trip.
Ok. Since it is sort of a test of some stuff, we only went there for a week. There were not much time for us to explore Philipines. We only went for a few places around Manila. Most of our time were spend to understand how pharmacy profesional works there. I would have to write some on the insight that i get on the pharmacy student there. For this first post i would be sharing the very first day of the trip. Oh ya, we went there on the first day of Ramadhan. Challenging huh~
Our Airasia flight was scheduled at 10.40 a.m. and we depart from KLIA 2. We went there by UKM bus but for those planning a personal trip do know that there are public buses and train going there. I share with a friend of mine a 20kg checked baggage. Actually, it wouldn't be necessary since 1 cabin bag with 1 backpack should be enough but i packed too much. Sigh~ Not to mention i need to bring iron and also we need to bring some food since it wasn't a muslim country so it would be hard to find halal food. I think i would need to do a short post about baggage. Just sharing some tips that i learn from my friends and lecturer. If i do write one i would list it in the Life-ly page.
PLEASE PLEASE PLEASE
If you're planning to go abroad do survey the ticket prices wayyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyy earlier like months before. The prices change drastically crazy and my frind tell me that if a flight have a certain price of ticket it may would rise when the seats left become less. We might can save more on tickets but due to some problem we couldn't book the ticket earlier and we actually book the ticket about a month before.
KLIA 2 was amazingggggggggggggggggggggggggggggggg. LCCT was nothing compared to this. They got shopping malls with lots of top brand shop plus lots of fancy dining place. Thank god we were fasting. It was so huge that it feel like forever to got to the take off place. The surau was comfy and the service was nice. Even after the departure gate they still got some shop inside. Must be for those waiting for a delayed flight.
You would be scanned twice. The first one was nothing much but the second scan were the thorough one. Do make sure you didn't bring anything illegal like too much liquid. They were strict and you wouldn't want to "donate" you Pantene shampoo.
|arriving Manila. We took a bus from the plane to the arriving hall. it was a very short trip as seen in the picture. maybe for safety purpose.|
|one of use get injured days before the trip. what a luck.|
|really small as compared to KLIA 2. not to mention the airport was under renovation so they crammed the people arriving here.|
|the man behind is the lecturer in charge.|
|waiting for the bus to pick us.|
|first muslim presence detected!|
The flight arrived right as planned which is around 3p.m. something. The time were still like those in Malaysia but they get dark faster like in Sabah. It would start to become dark around 6 so we kind of sahur and break our fast like those living in Sabah. We were welcomed by the most friendly Clinical Pharmacy Society representatives. We were taken by their bus to to UST campus where we will be stayed in their very own dorm for international program called Dormus Mariae. They also have their own hotel! We get ourselves a nice room with 2 double decker bed complete with bathroom. They also have pantry with microwave and refrigerator for our use. We were told that they are no college prepared for the students here and they would have to rent rooms nearby.
|WE'RE HERE! the only muslim + me|
One iconic thing about Philipines is their main means of transportation which is the jeepney. I've done some reading saying that use of jeeynep originated from the time of war. This jeepney were use by the soldiers and now are some sort of public transport. Jeepney use system like bus where you got a certain routes they would go. But the problem is, although they have their route , the jeepney may still go like everywhere which is according to the passenger and it would not be good to be lost here. Not when you main choices to go back is the jeepney again. To top that most of the driver weren't able to speak fluent English. You can get a taxi with a more reliable driver but it is quite tricky since i don't see much on the road. Jeepney were like a lot but taxi were not. The one time we use taxi we have to get the person worked there to get one for us. And it will cost more than the jeepney.
We have nothing arranged for us on the day we arrived. Our lecturer decided to find a halal food for dinner. I'm not sure what is the name of the place. We took lrt from Bambang to Carriedo. The lrt were so jammed. It was even worst than during peak hour in KL. Ours were lots more comfortable and have longer routes. I couldn't take any picture because they say that the pickpocket there were a lot and i feel scared even to bring my phone out to see the time. We need to have our bagpack in front of us. Not only the tourist, everyone were holding their back like that. They were not much lights although for me it is quite like city where here in Malaysia would be full of lights everywhere. They didn't have many street lamps so it is quite scary. Not to mention how concern the students here when they learn that we decided to go here without them. They can't accompany us at that time. But then it wasn't that scary. Still better safe than sorry.
|at Dr's hotel. we solat here first before going to Bambang station.|
I got to say the person selling in the street look quite poor. Not like in Malaysia, in the night market, you can still see the person selling look rather was having a nice live. Even better living also. By the way, we Malaysian looks much like them so please drop the sunglasses and fancy shoes tourist looks. It may help when you can actually blend in. Got people actually talking tagalog to us. It was hillariousss.
We walk a lot. From UST to Bambang Station was like 1 km or something. I'm not sure how much we've been walking arriving Carriedo since we were searching halal restaurant which makes us walking round and round that place. We were dead tired since we couldn't get much rest upon arriving to Manila.
Here is the twist. There are no halal restaurant and we ended up eating instant noodles. Since it ramadhan most of the restaurant were closed. The students there wasn't expecting that halal food is this tricky. I couldn't blame them since most of them were Christians. We were on the other hand was born and raised in a Muslim country. They try to find us halal food but the restaurant was quite far and it would bring more troubles for us.
With that begin our days of not having nice food to eat.