Travelogue

Splendid Macao

Thereafter our HK trip, we rode a ferry and crossed the sea going to beautiful country of Macau. I did not expect it though but it is truly a very different country, since for me, the vibe is so much different to Hong Kong. Macau was colonized by Portugal many years ago that traces of Portuguese culture are still visible – in the signs, language, food, establishments and other things.

Macau is so small that it is not rare to meet a lot of Filipinos. I want to stress the small, because even a small city as a country at the same time, Macau is the richest country in the world. Its income from the gambling industry is many times fold Australia and Las Vegas combined. It also has outstanding citizen support.

Yeah, there are a lot of Filipinos in the area. In fact, I made a lot of smiles in the buses, in the streets and along the way. I smiled more in Macau. Perhaps because it was Sunday when we visited, so there are a lot of Pinoys going out, mostly seen in Senado Square, Macau’s busiest district.

Upon arrival at the Cotai Ferry Terminal, I was really amazed by the colors. Macau is very colorful in the day time due to pastel and bright paints of the buildings, and amazing at night because of the city lights. It is a very clean and beautiful place.

First we visited is the Macau Tower, with the view of a beautiful sea, towering buildings on the other side and view of the longest bridge in the world, the one connecting Hong Kong and Macau, and towards the Mainland China.

Further, we took our buffet lunch at the prestigious Holiday Inn. In here, I took a looong sigh of relief because I saw plain rice, soup, sardines (more delicious one, haha!) and several more that I thank the heavens many times. I really ate a lot and was really full. Hehehe.

Thereafter, we took the coaster going to the famous pastel store of Macau, Ruins of St. Paul’s, then A-ma Temple, The Parisian Macau, and Venice Grand Canal, at the Venetian.

We then checked in at our hotel, the Grand Dragon Hotel Macau in Taipa, Ilhas. It is where most Filipinos stay when visiting Macau. Plus, when we went there, we met Ms. Grace (I am still confirming the full name.), a very accommodating and generous front desk officer of Grand Dragon. She shared that there are two of them Filipinos working in the hotel. She was so hospitable that she taught us the directions on how to visit some other attractions, then what bus to take. We were really thankful; much more that she upgraded our twin room from superior to deluxe room! I was really, really grateful to receive this kind of accommodation and hospitality in Macau.

Hello, Madame!

I was about to hop on my pajamas since I was so tired when Ma’am Elaine said we should not waste our time and go see the night lights of Macau. I was really surprised by her energy because we visited a lot already but hey, I changed to my extra clothes. (Extra clothes because mind you, I was never a light packer; my trolley almost gave up!)

We once again visited Senado Square and by our friend’s instructions, ride the correct bus and arrived at our destination earlier. I really did not expect that we really have to literally follow when our friend told us,”Maghintay lang kayo if may magsigaw ng ‘San Malo! San Malo!” Hahaha. Jesus! I initially thought we will really get lost if we will follow it but yas, she is truly, truly right. There are lots of tourists and working Filipinos in our bus that it was not hard to find the place.

I thank heavens once again when we found Jollibee. Hehehe! We even spoke the language but the branch crew spoke in Tagalog, we thought we are just in the Cagayan de Oro. Obviously, it is where most Filipinos eat and all crew members are Filipino as well. I once decided while I was there that “Dinhi gud ko magtrabaho puhon.” Hehehe, the gist you feel when you appreciate a place and new dreams you make when you finally realized an old dream.

I was really full, then we visited once again the Senado Square. We really got lost finding comfort room because Ma’am Elaine desperately has to use one! But through that, I have seen the corners of Macau, the perfect and imperfect. I really loved the place. I bet Ma’am Elaine too, since she said she will surely go back on the next year. Hehehe.

We took a lot of pictures. Senado Square has a lot of authentic and vintage backgrounds such as St. Dominic Church, Largo de Senado, the fountain and a lot more. It was also their fest when we went there, reason there are banderitas serving as ceiling of a whole street there. We also saw the Grand Lisboa, the casino that started it all.

The moment we felt the tiredness, then we decided to go back to our hotel. We met a Filipina while waiting for our bus at Amaral. She inquired to us what transportation she should take, and she kept on talking with her situation that we can hardly butt in. Thereafter, we felt she asked the wrong people, thus, we sadly told her we cannot help her.

That is, only to find out thereafter, that we as well got lost. We took the wrong direction! Haha. We rode a numbered bus going to the opposite direction, where we are supposed to go. However, as I said before it is not really scary to commute in Macau. We rode along a group of Pinays who are on their way to church. They told us we should be with them until the last bus stop, to be able to ride another bus going back, a bus with the same number, but going to the direction of our hotel.

It was looong night ride. Again, a lot of Filipinos are in the bus I feel like I am just In Cebu (I rode the same kind of bus in Cebu, the one SM owns). I even have a crush on someone on the opposite seat that I really hoped all the more we will not arrive earlier than we expect. Hahaha! Aw. Okay, fine. Stop. Too gross.

I instantly feel asleep when we got to our hotel that I did not bother to change back to my pajamas and all. Ma’am Elaine stayed awake and slept clean. Wow, I so admire the energy.

The next morning, we took our buffet breakfast early.

Right after, we went outside shortly to have sightseeing since we have to leave by noontime to catch our flight back home. There are a looot of tall building consisting the residential apartments. Just like in HK, there are no bungalow houses in Macau. In that instant, I felt lucky though, that back home we can still have a space, land and place we could call our own since our country is so wide in terms of land area.

I was sure that with this experience of visiting another country is more than knowing what it is there that they have, that it will still be our country’s future – a future that a lot of us Filipinos will still struggle for, is also the fact that I was able to know and comprehend what are other things, material and not, we are blessed of already. Through that, we will more have a grateful heart and we will love our home the more.

The same to my other travels, I am so thankful with this trip. Yes, I was always moved by a trip. Having a passion project as this is what I call blessing. It is not new to you who followed this blog that I was always stressed with the busy kind of life that I live, but see, I am trying to see the beauty between all of my struggles. Long ago, during my younger years, I told myself that I will be able to understand someday the purpose of every difficulty.

I prayed hard.

These days, I pondered it is not just me who is experiencing difficulties at all. When I look at other people, they can still smile amidst hardships, and that was the beauty I have been searching – the beauty of resiliency, strength, perseverance, positivity and being grateful at the end of it all, for being the happiest on finally achieving a prize, big or small, if there are.

I thank my family and PIA for letting me have this trip. I thank Ma’am Elaine for the push and help. Most of all, I thank God for the opportunity.

Till my next travel story, friends.

Irene is a lifestyle and travel blogger from Cagayan de Oro City, Philippines. She is just one of your typical storytellers who appreciate the wonders of life. Most of the time, she seeks for a beautiful place and get lost in it.

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