Hotels! (Late post)

Things are looking up, yeah!

This year, I expect to go on two overseas and one local travel. While I try to contain my excitement (especially for my November trip), I’d like to talk about some of the hotels that I’ve been in.

It’s probably because of Agoda.com that I’ve been in a number of hotels. I pretty much know how hotels work because I got suckered into working in one in Batangas City in 1996, as a back office personnel. That hotel is an example of how not to do business. I’m glad to report that it doesn’t appear to have taken off since I left and (all modesty thrown out of the window) I’m a lawyer now. Eat that, Cathy Morningside Motel/Inn!

days_HOTEL (3)
Here comes the sun.

Here’s a rundown of the hotels I’ve booked with Agoda and the circumstances surrounding the bookings:

1. Prince Plaza Hotel, Makati City

Read about my stay at Prince Plaza Hotel.

2. Creekside Amorsolo Hotel, Makati City (8/5/2009 – 8/6/2009)

Read about my stay at Creekside Amorsolo Hotel.

3. Boulevard Mansion Hotel, Manila (2/7/2010 – 2/8/2010)

In early 2010, a woman called me asking if I would be interested in interviewing for a lawyer position in Palau. I had no idea where Palau was and why it might want to hire Filipino lawyers, but I was willing to go on an adventure. I said yes, and an interview date was set up for me.

I had already discovered hotels at this point and was eager for another excuse to book with Agoda. That website, along with Google Maps, helped me in my hotel quest and I finally settled on Boulevard Mansion Hotel along Roxas Boulevard. I checked in the day before and prepped for my interview by learning Wikipedia bits about Palau.

The hotel was basic but not cramped and the best thing about the room I got was the view of the opposite hotel (I forgot what hotel it was) and its moving lights at night.

I checked out in the morning before I left for my interview and had them store my luggage for a few hours.

It was a weird interview. After having complimented me about the way I speak, the two senators from Palau started talking to me about how much I’m expecting to get paid. I told them and I had the distinct feeling I asked for too little because they seemed eager to hire me but said that they would have to go back home and consult with the other senators.

Afterwards, they asked me and the other lawyers interviewed on that day to an early lunch at a nearby restaurant. When the woman from the agency and I went to the bathroom, she told me that I was the only one whose interview wasn’t rushed. During lunch, those old guys seemed to be paying more attention to what I was saying than to what the others were saying.

There was this other Palauan man who joined us at lunch. He said he was also looking to hire lawyers for his private practice and got my number. The senators saw me talking to him and told me to wait for their call and not to make a deal with that man. Strangely, they also gave me a few hundred pesos for my commute back home. At first, I refused the offer but they insisted and it would have been too much effort to refuse some more.

As a post-note to this anecdote, I didn’t get a call from the Palau people, which made my pronouncement that they seemed to like me a big joke. I think I must have been dreaming. Or maybe, Palau doesn’t really exist.

4. Goldkist Beach Resort, Singapore (3/31/2011 – 4/1/2011 )

Read about my stay at Goldkist Beach Resort.

5. Bayview Park Hotel, Manila (4/26/2012 – 4/27/2012 )

In late 2011, I decided I was going to become a judge. I had my eye on the vacant position in one court and many people were actually egging me on. Buoyed by this, I dragged my brother and friends to a two-week pre-judicature seminar in Manila.

I didn’t expect a pre-judicature to be as worthless in court practice as the theories I learned in law school but it was. The problem is that they are set up by people who have no idea what goes on in the lower court levels. What we got were the usual suspects — learn the law by heart and be prepared to pour it on paper at the end of two weeks. Did it matter that we can analyze laws? Nope. It only mattered that we memorized them.

This is a sort-of confession: I only suggested that we book rooms at Bayview because I like being in hotels. I told my friends it would be a good idea so that we could study before the test the following day. And those rooms were booked. (Damn, I’m good.)

Not having fully listened to the blabber, I passed the test, barely. But I got my hotel stay.

I’m happy to say that I did change my mind about becoming a judge and that I’m going to stay a lowly lawyer for a while.

6. The Metropolis Suites Davao, Davao (1/15/2013 – 1/19/2013 )

Read about my stay at The Metropolis Suites Davao.

7. Tagaytay Wingate Manor, Tagaytay (1/5/2013 – 1/6/2013)

When my brother-in-law came home for Christmas, the family spent one weekend at this hotel. I chose it because it has a family room (there were nine of us) and offered breakfast and dinner, and a full-body massage for four (two for each room and we got two rooms) as part of the package.

It was some minutes’ drive away from the main thoroughfare and kind of remote, actually. My nephews and niece kept asking “Ilang minutes na lang?” (Literally, it means “How many more minutes to go?” but it’s probably the boredom equivalent of “Are we there yet?”) Truthfully, I was doubting this hotel choice when the grass got taller and denser and we haven’t found the place yet.

Finally, we did. The rooms were clean and basic. Nothing much to tell about it. In the afternoon, four of us went and got our massage. Again, it was forgettable. Not horrible but not something I’d remember either.

Dinner was shabu-shabu and in our country, we call the prohibited drug methamphetamine hydrochloride as “shabu.” Needless to say, we went in for our double dose of illegal drugs without any idea what we were getting into. And what we got into were healthy hot pots with lots of leaves that we had to prepare ourselves. We might have looked like idiots there waiting for people to serve us after they placed the ingredients on our table. The other guests seemed to know what we were doing and we felt like aliens in our own country. Did I actually think they would give us something to our liking with th

8. Rockpoint Hotspring Resort Hotel & Spa, Laguna (4/19/2013 – 4/21/2013)

Read about Rockpoint Hotspring Resort Hotel & Spa.

I’ve also made bookings for friends:

9. Ovolo 256 Tung Chau Street West Kowloon Hotel, Hong Kong (3/9/2013 – 3/11/2013)

No memories here as it wasn’t my experience.

There were places I’ve stayed in that I didn’t use Agoda to book with.

10. Wendy House, Bangkok ()

Memories of my stay here will follow.

11. Tom’s Guest House, Hong Kong ()

Read about my stay at Tom’s Guest House.

12. Panda Hotel, Hong Kong

Memories of my stay here will follow.

13. Hotel 81 Tristar, Singapore

Memories of my stay here will follow.

14. Tagaytay Haven Hotel, Tagaytay

14. Lee Boutique Hotel, Tagaytay (5/26/2012 – 5/28/2012)

Memories of my stay here will follow.

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