As mentioned, we did not have any real itinerary and no map in hand so while I was readying myself, Edcel had to scour for details, geographical locations, distance between spots and the most convenient route to take using my laptop and the free WiFi from Villa Appartelle (Thank God for geniuses who created wireless internet!).
The plan for the day: Star City-Manila Zoo-Luneta Park-Manila Ocean Park-Divisoria. The first spot on the list was to start off in SM Mall of Asia, then Star City then check out Dragon boat rowers nearby. We rode the MRT from Quezon Avenue to Taft. Then took a jeepney bound for MOA then rode a cab to Star City. This first stop was a proof of how uberly under-researched this trip was.
When we got to Star City, it was still closed and only opens by 2:00 PM. Just our luck. So we headed off to where Dragon boat rowers will be seen but then again, there are no rowers on Mondays.
Good thing we were able to research other spot’s locations early that morning so we had a slight clue where we were going. So we decided to head off to Manila Zoo. The long walk started from CCP Complex to Manila Zoo passing by Roxas Boulevard.
I was uberly excited to visit Manila Zoo as this was my ever first visit to zoo. I’ve never visited Cebu Zoo, and so I was expecting to see giraffes, elephants, lions, tigers, and zebras. I felt like a pre-schooler on a field trip. When we headed inside the Manila Zoo, my eyes grew bigger and bigger when we were greeted by the gigantic elephant just near the entrance. We had the chance to have our pictures taken with the playful Ostrich fenced fronting the elephant.
Just I was fired up to check the other animals, I was in utter disgust I wanted to go home as we checked out the reptiles den. There were snakes and other reptiles no matter where I look. I could not persuade Edcel to forget about taking pictures of the reptiles as I can see a big smile on his face just seeing the creatures (he could be smiling because he was enjoying the view or he was having fun on my misery getting near the reptiles).
We headed on with the tour to my relief and checked out more species of crocodiles, turtles, deers, monkeys, rabbits, birds, zebras, tigers and fishes! We toured around the Zoo to look for giraffes. To our frustration, no giraffes at all. Well, as a consolation, there was a statue of a giraffe.
As we were about to exit Manila Zoo, Edcel had something on his mind. Basing on the smirk on his face, I knew it was not something good. Edcel convinced me to have our picture taken with a snake. I did not obliged, of course! Edcel then went into tantrums mode hoping he could convince me but still I did not budge. As we were nearing the exit, Edcel talked more and more until I finally gave in. My body shivered when I touched the snake. My tears fell when the photographer placed the snake on my shoulder.
Edcel was again smirking as he could have been enjoying the opportunity of having his picture taken with a snake or he could have just been enjoying my misery. Picture taking was over and was finally relief from the snake. We’re done touring around the Manila Zoo and we’re ready for our second spot. We rode a jeepney bound for Luneta Park. Upon arriving, Edcel took some shots of the place while I was retouching my makeup (retouching is a must!). We decided to check out the National Museum, to our dismay, it is closed on Mondays.
Since we do not have much moolah (and we would not have paid the old man 2500PHP for a roughly 2-hour kalesa ride if we had the money anyway), we paid him 350PHP, disembarked the kalesa and kept our fingers crossed that nothing bad happens. It was just roughly a 2-hour kalesa ride and 350PHP is more than enough. We thought he was a good kind-hearted old man but he was total jerk! A Filipino trying to ripoff another Filipino! Way to go, Manong!
The fun had to continue so we hurriedly walked to Quirino Grandstand to check out Manila Ocean Park. Before that, we had to have some pictures taken at the historical Rizal Park.
Upon reaching Manila Ocean Park, we had to choose as to the best package deal worth all the money. We decided to take the Marine Life Encounter Promo package for 500PHP each. That will give us access to the Oceanarium, the Jellies and the Sea Lion Show. Before starting though, Edcel had to buy a new shirt, not as a souvenir though as he had to replace his shirt as it was full of white sweat stains as a result of an accumulated amount of sweat caused by the humidity of Manila (yes, Manila is very humid if you haven’t heard or read).
Continue reading Day 3 of our adventures in Manila here