So, after getting virtually no sleep last night, I was out and ready to tackle the day at 9am.

My new “girlfriend” Methzie and I went to breakfast at Philies before we said our goodbyes as I had a big travel day ahead of me.

I use the word girlfriend not because I think of her that way but because that’s how she feels about me.   I had heard some Filipino women get overly attached and Methzie is a glaring example of it.  She was begging me to stay and using the “L” word.

I gave her my phone number here in the Philippines as I had planned to return to Angeles before I leave here.   Of course through the course of the day I received non stop texts followed by phone calls.   I answered some of the texts but the phone calls I left unanswered.

It’s a shame because I did really like her and I had planned to return next week to see her again but all this fatal attraction stuff has obviously changed my mind.

So to quote Mr. Garrison, the lesson is:   fatal attraction is bad, mkay…

Anyway, enough about that…

I returned to the hotel and packed up everything.  The two Jollibees meals we had picked up for takeout last night were still sitting in the fridge so I handed them to the friendly security guard at the front door.

The plan today was to take a bus from Angeles to Manila and then another bus to Tagaytay about 2 hours south of Manila where I would spend the night before doing a day trip to Taal volcano tomorrow.

Going to Manila is very harrowing because of the traffic and their public transit system is so confusing.   There are the different LRT stations, jeepneys, trikes and dozens of different private bus companies all of whom have their own bus depots.

Because of this, it’s extremely hard to get reliable information on the internet.   I found out the bus line that goes to Tagaytay was San Agustin so I had to get to their terminal in Manila.   I looked online and as it turns out one of the companies going from Angeles to Manila (5 star) also has their terminal in the same building.

Awesome, that eased my mind a little.   All I had to do was take the 5 star bus to Manila, get off and walk to the other side of the building and board the San Agustin bus to Tagaytay.

Of course that info I found – um, not so reliable.

When I got to the bus terminal in Manila I walked up to the counter to ask where to go to catch the San Agustin bus and was horrified to find out that I had to go to a different terminal across town.   She told me to walk up the block and catch a city bus for an hour bus ride to Coastal Mall, which I found out later is a huge bus depot for all buses going to different provinces.

Sigh.

So I sat on a slow moving city bus for an hour as it navigated it’s way through the congested Manila streets.

When I reached Coastal Mall I was relieved to see the words Provincial Transport Terminal on the front and some San Agustin buses there.

Even more relieved when I saw one of them with a board saying Tagatay on their front windshield.  I boarded the bus and we were off minutes later.

One thing I’ve noticed now is that, unlike in Europe where I could blend in with everyone, I stand out big time.   I’m almost always the only non Filipino on a bus.

At one point on the bus ride a family boarded and sat next to me.   They had obviously just come from shopping as they had different bags.   They also had a pizza box.

They started nibbling on their pizza and I commented how great it smelled.   She smiled and offered me a piece.

I wouldn’t turn that down as I was starving.   I offered to pay her but she refused – such friendly people here!

We arrived in Tagaytay a couple of hours later around 5pm.

When I had looked online at where the bus depot was relative to where my hotel was located it looked fairly close by so I decided to pass on the countless offers for a trike ride and walked instead.

Twenty minutes later it became apparent that the internet had let me down again.   I found out it would be another 20 minutes walk and I finally caved and took a trike ride the rest of the way there.

After setting up all my stuff and changing in to warmer clothes I headed out in search of some authentic Filipino food.   I stopped at Pamana, a family restaurant, and sat down to a fantastic meal.

I started with crispy pusit in squid ink (280 pesos, $7) and ended my meal with three way adobo ni Lola (295 pesos, $7).   I was going to have dessert as well but my server seemed to disappear after clearing my plates.   No bill.  Nothing.

I finally got up and headed downstairs to the front desk to pay.   Lo and behold he showed up.  Surprise, surprise.   Anyway let’s say my tip reflected the service.   God, I hate bad service!

Rant over…

After dinner I went back to the hotel, planned my next few days and headed to bed relatively early around 10pm.

It was a long and exhausting day but I was here in peaceful Tagaytay and tomorrow I’ll be going out to Taal volcano so it’s all worth it.

Asia Trip 2014, Trip Journal

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