Thursday Manila Day 4, 7/25/13: Meeting the locals at the mall

Damian and I were pretty tired by Day 4 in Manila.  We got up late and tried to find a place to eat lunch in the mall!  We were looking for some restaurant that Damian wanted to check out.  As I mentioned earlier, the mall system in Makati is essentially a city within a city.  I didn’t have the energy to go out and explore the full mall system.  This is a shoppers paradise.  Typically, when I buy something, I know exactly what I want and where to get it.  I never go window shopping.  I guess I don’t have the patience to “shop around.”  Couple that with the fact that I’ve never enjoyed going to crowded places without a mission or purpose. I discovered at a young age that shopping is not for me. Before websites and amazon. We used to get huge Showroom catalogues in the mail.  Me and my brother use to browse the toy sections in the Service Merchandise and Best Catalogues to pick out the toys we wanted.  Before the internet and before warehouses like Costco or Sam’s club people bought household products, personal products, toys, and jewelry.

Anyways, there were 4 major malls walking distance from the hotel: Glorietta, SM, Landmark, Greenbelt.  If either of us were shoppers, we would have truly taken advantage of the location of our hotel, but I was more interested in seeing the sites and Damian was more interested in meeting the locals. We tried to find a restaurant that we wanted to check out the day before, but we couldn’t find it and ended up at some random Japanese ramen place because we were hungry.  We were laughing at how easy it was to get lost in the huge mall system and how much we stuck out!  The mAss Kicker Mobile was still getting A LOT of curious stares from people! Eh, not as annoying… Damian wanted to meet more locals so he struck up a conversation with the girl sitting next to us.  She was having lunch with her aunt who just happened to be a 30-year stomach cancer survivor, Conchita Lee!  This little lady reminded me of my grandmother!  She let us record an interview with her.  Just like my Lola/grandmother, she chastised me for not going to church everyday!  This made her more endearing to me.  During our conversation she told me that she was SHOWING us the church in the mall!   Roman Catholicism is serious business in the Philippines, but I was still surprised that a church existed in the mall! I took a peak at Damian, and he shrugged his shoulders. HOW COULD WE SAY NO, TO THIS CUTE LITTLE “LOLA”?  She took us to Landmark and led us to the church!  I’m not sure we would have found it on our own.  It was pretty crazy seeing the fusion of religion and pop culture. A church in a mall…  It makes sense though.  Put a church in an easily accessible place where there is a lot of traffic.  Almost everything was accessible in the mall.  These malls are essentially a modern “street market” but with security (guards and metal detectors) and air conditioning.  Walking around in an air conditioned mall sure beats walking around outside in the heat and pollution.  

Anyways, after visiting the church and feeling guilty for not going, we made our way down to the cafeteria in Landmark and hung out with a group of retired Filipinos who go there daily and have coffee.  They have their own schedule and it was so interesting talking with them about cancer and life in the Philippines. We have some great video footage of our conversations.  When we got back to the room, we were both exhausted!  Later that evening, my mom would need the to get picked up from the airport.  The van was reserved to come by at 10 PM.  I met up with my Uncle so that he could meet up with her and pick her up at the airport in the van.  Damian went out and grabbed dinner on his own and explored the area around the hotel while I waited for my uncle.  He found some pretty cool spots and tried to drag me out later that evening to have some fun, but I was just exhausted!  I decided to rest up and catch up on some blogging.  With so much going on, we were falling short on our plan of blogging every day.  This was my night to catch up!

I didn’t catch up as much as I wanted, but I did manage to get a little done.  Friday was going to be a busy day.  We were going to San Pablo, the city where my parents grew up!  I think we were both getting tired of staying by the mall.  Stay tuned for more updates.  

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