We visited the Philippines in August 2003. We had a business assignment in Makati City for two weeks, and we planned to stay an extra week to see the exotics and get to know the local culture, nature, and people.
Our journey started in Tallinn. We took a Super Seacat quick boat from Tallinn to Helsinki. From Helsinki, we flew to Frankfurt with Lufthansa. We had four hours at Frankfurt airport. At 10:30 pm, the Lufthansa plane from Frankfurt departed for Manila with a stop in Bangkok.
The flight was quite long: 14.5 hours. After a ten-hour flight, there was a stop in Bangkok for one hour. Here we had the opportunity to stretch our legs while walking from the arrival gate to the departure gate. After the stop, we still had three hours to fly.
When we arrived at Manila’s Ninoy Aquino International airport, it was already dark, and it rained a little-August is the rainy season. We took a taxi and drove to Oakwood Premiere, where we had a studio room booked. I don’t particularly appreciate arriving in the dark because you will not get the feeling. The hotel was very nice. Even a fruit plate with strange fruits was waiting for 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. Fortunately, we did not know this beforehand.
Philippines-Land of 7000 islands
The Philippine archipelago is made up of 7107 islands. The Philippines is located favorably with many of Southeast Asia’s central water bodies: the South China Sea, Philippine Sea, Sulu Sea, Celebes Sea, and Luzon Strait. The Philippines is home to spectacular coral-fringed islands populated by various wildlife and cultures.
You will find stunning beaches, rice terraces, active volcanoes, underground rivers, tropical rainforests, uninhabited paradise islands, hills and caves, and very hospitable people in the Philippines.
MABUHAY! Filipinos greet the guests in Tagalog—one of the two official languages of the Philippines. The other is English, and as English is widely spoken, it makes traveling in the Philippines very easy.