After no sleep, I landed in Manila at 5.30am.
3 countries in 3 days!
When I dropped my luggage in Bangkok it had a transfer tag attached and the label sent it all the way through to Coron. However the lady told me I would need to pick it up in Manila. Since when did you ever have to pick luggage up that has been checked through? Totally confused.
Anyway, I did have to pick it up, only to walk it about 30 meters to another drop off point for transfer luggage. And the point being?!
Just a few hours to wait until my next flight to Busuanga island. I have zero Philippine money, not even one peso.
I tried a few ATMS, none of them would accept any of my cards. So sailed on through security, thinking there must be more ATMs beyond.
Security was my next problem. Since when was carrying an SMB (an orange plastic blow-up tube for diving) in hand luggage a problem? They made a right palava about my diving stuff saying I would have to check it in. I wasn’t in the mood, it’s 6am, I’ve had no sleep. I’ve been to many, many countries (including the Philippines before!) carrying this same stuff as hand luggage with no problem. What on earth can be the problem on a domestic flight. They eventually let me through.
To where there were no ATMs.
I tried all the money exchange places, none would take a card. So back I head, back out of the departure area, in a total panic.
I tried all the ATMs again.
The bank was ‘closed’ and told me to go away. But one last attempt and suddenly one of my cards worked. Thank god!
There are apparently no ATMs in Coron (or El Nido, where I am heading to next). So I’ve had to budget how much I think I might need. Well, at the moment I’m grateful that I at least have some money!!
And this is supposed to be a capital city airport. With no working ATMs. Brilliant.
The amazing cinnamon whirl shop is still here. Perfect breakfast. And a chance to calm down.
Last time I was in the Philippines everything was a bit of a hassle. Especially transport – waiting hours before buses would leave. I’m going to a different island this time, so was hoping I would have a different experience. But so far, it’s been a total hassle.
The last few weeks have very much been about sight-seeing. City after city, place after place. Temples, pandas, walls and buildings. I’m pretty knackered. The next few weeks should be a lot more relaxing – the ocean, beach resorts, diving (and temples).
Bloody delayed. This is just ridiculous now. I have never been on a Cebu Pacific flight that has ever left on time. I’m so tired. The most disorganised airline ever.