My wife and I had the good fortune of visiting the Philippines during the Thanksgiving holidays. We had a jolly good time reconnecting with family and friends in Manila, shopping, sightseeing, and of course, indulging in some seriously good eating along the way.
One of the first places we visited shortly after arriving in Manila was the SM City Mall in Santa Mesa, Manila. This was one of my favorite places to hang out back when I still lived in the good ol' Philippines. Just a 5 minute drive from our house, it's a very convenient and comfortable place to shop, watch movies, eat, and just relax while escaping the hot and humid weather in Manila.
The gay (meaning happy, not homosexual ;-) Christmas lights and decorations, and throngs of people scurrying about, told me for sure that the Christmas shopping season was in full swing at the mall. (With over 80% of Filipinos following the Roman Catholic faith, Christmas is the most anticipated and beloved celebration of the year in the Philippines.)
We experienced the exceptional warmth, friendliness, and hospitality of the Filipino people while shopping at the mall (and everywhere else we went, for that matter), where we received excellent customer service. There were some good bargains to be had, too. My wife bought a very nice pair of jeans for 900 pesos (about 18 US dollars). The same thing would probably cost over $35 in the States.
After a full day of shopping, my mom suggested that we have dinner at one of her favorite Chinese restaurants - Luk Foo in Quezon City. So off we went.
We enjoyed delectable morsels like barbecued pork:
...and roasted duck (my mom's favorite!):
...fish fillet with sweet and sour sauce:
...and some xiu mai (pork dumplings) thrown in for good measure:
After our appetites were sated, we headed home for some much needed rest.
(To be continued)