June 2012

Funemployment Diary #9: Hangin’ at the Ascott

by Joey deVilla on June 20, 2012

Manila as seen from the air, as we approached the runway. Cathay Pacific’s in-flight seatback entertainment units have a mode that let you see through a camera mounted on the belly of the plane, not far behind the nose landing gear.

Phase One of my summer vacation, a couple of weeks hanging out with Anitra in Tampa, is done and Phase Two, a couple of weeks in the Philippines, mostly in the city where I was born: Manila, or more accurately, Makati, one of the seventeen cities that make up Metro Manila and the financial and shopping district.

Photo from Wikimedia commons. Click to see it at full size.

While in Manila, I’ll be staying here:

Photo from the Ascott Flickr photoset. Click to see the original.

This is the Makati branch of The Ascott, a chain of serviced apartments for world travellers, executives and their families. I’m here as part of “The Gang of Seven”, which is made up of me, my sister, her husband, their three boys, and Mom. I know that for a lot of you out there, travelling with family is anything but relaxing, but I’ve always enjoyed our family trips when I was younger, and I’m having a great time on this trip as well. It doesn’t hurt that we’ve got one of the three-bedroom units (four if you count an additional small room for a maid, just in case you’re travelling with one), a 2,400 square foot affair with a good-sized living room, dining room, kitchen, laundry, four full baths and a half-bathroom. There’s more than enough space for all of us.

For the past couple of days, I’ve started the morning here:

The pool here is twice as long as the ones in which I normally swim. I swim 1000 metres and follow it up at the cafe, which has a breakfast buffet with a little bit of everything: the bread and cereal selection that all hotels have, a great selection of fruit — papayas, mangoes, watermelon, canteloupe, dragon fruit — dim sum stuff like siu mai and har gow, eggs, bacon, sausages and pancakes, butter chicken and biriyani and a congee bar with lots of toppings.

I like this place.


Meanwhile, in the UK…

by Joey deVilla on June 19, 2012


The Thrilla Returns to Manila!

by Joey deVilla on June 18, 2012

A photo from the in-flight map on my flight’s entertainment system.

Hello from Manila! I was long overdue for a visit, not having been here in a dozen years. I’ll be here for the next couple of weeks, so the “Funemployment” posts will be even more exotic.


Happy Father’s Day!

by Joey deVilla on June 17, 2012

Happy Father’s Day to all you dads out there!


What I Plan to Read on Tomorrow’s Flight

by Joey deVilla on June 16, 2012

I can’t read a lick of German; this is just to see what kind of reactions I get.

(Could someone who sprechens Deutsch please tell me what a Dicke Dinger is, aside from a great porn star name?)


Rules are for Other People

by Joey deVilla on June 16, 2012

Titled as found.


Yoda’s Take on a Classic Wartime Poster

by Joey deVilla on June 15, 2012

Calm you shall keep and carry on you must. Yes, hmmmm?