We visited Philippines in August 2003. We had a business assignment in Makati City for two weeks and in addition to that we planned to spend an additional week in order to see the exotics and get to know local culture, nature and people.
Our journey started in Tallinn. We took a Super Seacat quick boat from Tallinn to Helsinki. From Helsinki we flow to Frankfurt with Lufthansa. We had four hours in Frankfurt airport. At 10:30PM the Lufthansa plane from Frankfurt departure to Manila with the stop in Bangkok.
The flight was quite long: 14,5 hours. After ten hours flight there was a stop in Bangkok for one hour, here we had a possibility to stretch the legs in walking from arrival gate to departure gate. After the stop we still had three hours to fly.
Then arriving in Manila Ninoy Aquino Int'l airport, it was already dark and it rained a little - August is a rainy season. We took a taxi and drove to Oakwood Premiere, where we had a studio room booked. I do not like arriving in dark, because then you will not get the feeling. The hotel was very nice, even fruit plate with unknown fruits expected us at the table.
Later it came out that the rebel soldiers occupied the Oakwood Premier at the Ayala Center in Makati City on July 27, 2003 and held it for almost 20 hours before surrendering to government forces. They demanded the resignation of President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo and other top defense and police officials. Happily we did not know this beforehand.