I returned on Saturday from my second trip to the Philippines which lasted about two weeks. It was nice to be back, working again with the company and seeing all the people who worked there, as well just being in the city with all of its energy. It was interesting to leave as springtime was starting here in Warsaw and to return once again to a blooming spring, though jumping 60 degrees F from here to there and back has been a bit taxing on the body. Beyond the work, the guys there were great in taking care of me and showing me around and introducing me to people. Some of the highlights of the trip were:
- High Rollers – We went to the casinos a couple of times while I was there, mostly for business purposes. It was really interesting to see first-hand some high rollers brining in serious cash to play with. Perhaps what I found most curious was that the guys who played with a lot of money often dressed in really expensive clothes and sort of advertised their wealth a bit, while the guys who REALLY had a lot of money were very down to earth and generally relaxed and having a good time.
- Philippine Fashion Week – We had an opportunity to go to a model party as well as the grand finale show (sitting front row in front of the catwalk!). Very interesting to meet some models and fashion people as well as to see the fashion world really upfront like that. I have to say that world seemed very foreign to me, though I found it interesting to see what models do and what a fashion show is like in person.
- Training at a Boxing Gym – The guys at the company regularly train at a boxing gym and invited me to go along and give it a try. Strangely enough, although I’m rather a quiet person in general, I have long enjoyed watching boxing (even though I recognize it is an incredibly brutal sport). It was neat then to actually go to a gym and work with a trainer and get to learn a bit about boxing and to train. I had expected it to be quite tough and sure enough it was some very difficult work! I’ve been a little out of shape and so had to stop before the other guys, but it was really neat to have the experience of training at a boxing gym.
- Embassy -We had a chance to go clubbing at Embassy at Fort Bonifiacio a couple of times. The second time we went we were all in the VIP section and it was a great night of hip hop music, especially a treat with DJ Shortkut from the Invisible Scratch Pickles there spinning that night. Good music, great sound system, and lots of fun!
- Bulocan -As it was holy week and a vacation time for everyone, we took a trip to a resort in Bulocan with a some guys from the company as well as friends of theirs. It was a nice time with a good group of people with drinks, cards, karaoke and more. The second day there we went out to the markets to get some fish for grilling and it was quite interesting to see what a market is like in The Philippines, as well just in general seeing a what a city and life is like outside of Manila.
It was nice to get to see the people I met last time once again and really nice for all the non-work experiences there as well. The Philippines is such a very curious and interesting place. As much as I enjoyed the trip, I’m also very glad to be back to the quieter life. Some great memories, I’m sure I’ll be thinking about the experiences for quite some time.