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.
While in Manila, I’ll be staying here:
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.