The plane had just landed and I arrived at Diosdado Macapagal International Airport, Clark. After doing some document checking and immigration stuffs, my passport was stamped. As suggested by some blogs, to go to Manila, I took Philtranco bus which was waiting next to a bus shelter outside the building. The ticket could be bought at the ticketing booth near the the exit gate, where I also bought a local number to contact my friend who lives here.
The bus from Clark to Manila takes… err… depends on the road mercy. My friend told me, it supposes to be approximately two hours on bus. But when the traffic goes crazy, it can take you more than three hours. Thanks God, the traffic wasn’t that rude, so I arrived at Pasay district not more than two and half hours.
The bus dropped me at their own pool. I then went to Pasay Rotonda metro station to meet my friend. Well it took like fifteen minutes walking from the pool. And while walking on pedestrian street, I was reminded on my own country’s capital city, Jakarta. Why so? Well, it all look the same, not only the traffic, the crowds, some slumpy area, some minor beggars, the hectic, all got me dizzy at once. Pasay district is like Senen district in central Jakarta or Blok M district in Southern Jakarta, perfectly the same, except the language used, Tagalog.
The stair to ticketing office, http://entertainment.inquirer.net/files/2011/08/amok-Pasay-rotonda.jpg
Pasay Rotonda, taken from http://www.ppeso.com/wp-content/uploads/2012/08/Pasay-Rotonda-Hostage-Taking.jpg
Finally, with local’s help, I find the station (which precisely just a go straight walking). Waiting for minutes, my friend Jake came and directly brought me to have lunch at MacDo (it’s how they call McD). Well, nothing was really special with the MacDo–just like ordinary McD I can find anywhere, except the sauce. They use their sweet and sour local sauce (I like this one).
After finishing our very late lunch, We left the MacDo. Jake lead the way, crossed the street then stop a jeepney, a local public transportation. Passing through the crazy traffic, sitting inside the Jeepney, stood against the heat are not really new for me, since I also did it so many time in Jakarta. Living in the metro–even mega–politan city will make us getting used to such incredible experience. You can’t expect the traffic will fade or the heat will be friendlier. It’s just its nature.
Getting back inside the Jeepney, we sat there like seven to ten minutes, while the weather were heating up. Jake suddenly gave me sign that we were about to arrive soon. When the Jeepney stopped, and left us, we continued walking to a street. Along the street, again, reminded me of another side of Jakarta where I lived, Salemba street. Typical phenomena tangibly seen, local’s residence are built closely one another, some people were sitting or standing while chatting right in front of their house, children were running around, some carts intermittently stopped to sell food streets.
Jake lives in a flat with his relatives. As we reached his stay, we directly took a rest in his room. Since I slept less when transiting in LCCT, I will have my flight to Puerto Princessa tomorrow morning, and I will have 3 more days to stay in Manila after getting back from Puerto Princessa, I prefer to remain at home rather than go anywhere in the evening. Fortunately, Jake was also too tired to hang out after working.