My Backpacking Trip to Philippines - Day One (1)

As promised in my previous blog post that I will  write a blog post about my backpacking trip to Philippines, here it is. I haven't been able to writer ealier as I was so busy trying to clear up  my works in the office. Anyway, I am not going to write all of it tonight because there are just so much to cover, one session will not be able to cover most of it. We will start with the Day One (1). That way, much easier for me and for you. By the way, this blog is my personal dairy but worry not, you are free to read it.

28/08/2010 - Day One (1)
Actually it was a difficult decision to make on whether or not I should go ahead with my trip. 5 days ealier it was reported in the internet and newspaper about  a former police officer went on killing spree inside a tourist bus near Rizal Park in Manila. According to the report 8 tourist from Hong Kong people were killed, actually 9 including Rolando Mendoza the former police officer, the tourist bus hijacker. After much thinking, I decided that such incident is an isolated one and I believe the authority will step-up the efforts to maintain peace especially in tourist area and that, not all Filipino are bad. 

I called up my friend to sent me to the Kota Kinabalu International Airport Terminal 2 and at  1.45 pm I was well on the way to Clark International Airport Manila. Arrived in Diosdado Macapagal International Airport (DMIA) 2 hours later. Although this is my second time to Philippines but each time I come to this place I feel pretty uneasy or uncomfortable. I think the reason is much on the fact that, there are very high crimes rates and corruptions makes everything seems unpredictable in Philippines. 

I went through the Immigration counter without much problem and to the arrival hall. My God! the real action started here. I went to the money exchange counter inside the airport as I don't want to be seen exchanging my Malaysian Ringgit to Philippines peso in the city. Two month ago a Malaysian Mr. Selvaraj Palaniappen  was killed with multiple gun shot right after he went to the money changer in Field Avenue Angeles City when he was on the way back to his hotel. My advice to you is don't go to money changer in the city because by doing so you are putting your life on a very thin line. 

After the money changer, I head out of the arrival hall to get a taxi and hell, the taxi drivers about 10 of them was yelling at me like no tomorrow and some of them were trying to grab my backpack but off course I didn't let go. I went to the taxi counter to buy a ticket for the taxi to Field Avenue in Angeles City. The ticket is P500, and I was immediately led away to the taxi by three taxi drivers.

Before I boarded the taxi, the other 2 taxi drivers went up to me  asking for tips, but then I asked them what is the tip for since I am not in their taxi. The two drivers then reword it to 'souvenir' instead of tips. I gave each of them RM 1 and quickly close the taxi door. It is like you will have to give everyone a tips even they did nothing for you. That made me feel very sick. I feel both angry and sad for this country.

Ok now inside the taxi. The taxi driver, his name was Mr. Romeo told me that he wants tips too. I was like what the hell, it is like everyone in this city is expecting tips. That made me feel more sick, but then I ask him how much does he have in mind as the tips. He said any amount will be OK but he prefer Malaysian Ringgit. Yeahh I knew it, it is because RM 1 is about P 14.3. I told him, I have no more Malaysian Ringgit. He said, he wants to give it as souviner to his 21 years old daughter. I was thinking, what on  earth the daughter can do with RM 1.00 but I gave him anyway. I have no more energy to argue or to do anything. I was exhausted with all this.

The taxi driver then asked me which hotel I will be staying. I told him that he may just go to Field Avenue and drop me somewhere in the city center. But he didn't buy the idea. He insisted that I must be sent to a hotel, as according to him dropping me somewhere in the city center is not good. I repeated that he can drop me anywhere in Field Avenue area and I want just that. So he told me that all the hotel in the city centre are fully booked except for one hotel and he asked me if I'd be interested to go to that hotel. I repeated to him to drop me anyway in Field Avenue. His answer was, that will be not nice and insisted that he must send me to the only hotel that he knows that is not fully booked. Right after that, I feel like I want to tell him to drop me right here, and be done with all this nonsense.

I think he noticed that I was started to get irritated but regardless of it he continue to ask me about the hotel and I told him decisively that I am not going to stay overnight in Angeles City, I lied to him that a friend from Baguio is in fact on the way from Baguio to take me up to Baguio on the same day and I am not looking for hotel. When we arrived in Field Avenue, I saw a fast food outlet a Jolibee and immediately asked him to drop me off  at the front door of Jolibee. I paid him P500 with half-hearthed thanks and walk away into Jolibee. Huhu.. thanks goodness, at least I am on my own for now and nobody keep pesting around me.

I had my a afternoon meal and start looking around for hotel. I walked along Field Avenue street and check-in to International Hotel. International Hotel in Field Avenue is situated very close by to all the bars. I asked the receptionist and she told me that there are many rooms available. So the taxi driver was trying to get me to the hotel he has a deal with to get some commission out of me. 

I went up to my room, took my shower to prepare for my bar hoping but I fell asleep until the next morning. I was exhausted with those sickening things from airport arrival hall. I was exhausted.

My 2-cents: If you are to travel to Philippines alone on your own (not with fully arrange travel itinerary) you must be mentally strong. Everyone is trying to get something out of you so you must know to make up stories, and be able to refuse without offending them. But beware, these people are persistent.

Making a Phone Call With Google Gmail Phone Call

Great news! Now you may dial a phone number works just like a normal phone using Gmail phone call. All you have to do is to click “Call phone” located at the top of your contact or chat list and dial a number or enter a contact’s name.

According to Gmail phone call, all calls to the U.S. and Canada will be FREE for at least until the end of the year 2010. A phone calls to other countries will be billed at a ridiculously very low rates, starting from USD$0.02/minute.

So how to dail a phone number using Gmail phone call? If you want to dial a phone number, you just click on the “Call phone” from the menu displayed  in the Gmail sidebar contact or chat list and dial a number or you may  enter a contact’s name directly. Google call phone also works beautifuly with  Google Voice phone number, if you have one in your computer.

Can Gmail Phone Call Kills Skype?
I noticed that Google Gmail is trying to take over Skype. It is like Google Gmail will be your one-stop center in the future. If you take a very good look at Gmail call phone rates are way much cheaper than that of Skype.

It is very convenient to be able to make a call straight from your gmail email inbox. Gmail call phone may successfully kill Skype if Google  have native client for desktop and mobile devices.

I am sure Gmail phone call will eventually kills Skype. The services is very new or just introduced and I am sure Google Gmail is still in the stage of trying and fine-tuning the services.

Selamat Hari Raya Aidil Fitri

I wish to take this opportunity to wish all my Muslim friends from Malaya, Sabah and Sarawak Selamat Hari Raya Aidil Fitri. 

Why A Breastpump Is Important

So why do you need a breastpump? I decided to talk about this topic this time because I think it is important. Working mum in needs a breastpump compared to full-time housewife. And as we talk the number of working mum is increasing making it more urgent to talk about this issue and that there are best way to still be able feed your little one while you are busy at work.

A breastpump is important. You can use this tool to get enough supply of breast milk for your baby even you are busy at work. We will talk about how to use a breastpump machine and how to store them in the next blog post.

I had a look at some breast pump reviews that are available online. There are many breast pump reviews but most of it is talking about Ameda purely yours breastpump and Medela breastpump particularly Medela electric breastpump.

According to those online breastpump reviews, Medela breastpump especially the Medela Electric Breastpump is the best one. Medela electric breastpump is a breastpump  powered by electricity is one of the most time efficient tools to do the job.

Compared to a manual breastpump, Medela breastpump or the Medela electric breastpump can do breast milk pumping 50% faster than that of manual breastpump. There are other good breastpump such as battery breastpump which is suitable for traveling mum.

Anyway, I am not that expert in talking about a breastpump. So I will stop right here. The reason I made this blog post is just to let you know that there are available tool that you can use to feed your little one at home with breast milk.