Technically, this is Day Three. Day Two was spent with family mostly, I didn't take much pictures that day. You get the picture. This day in particular was spent non stop eating mostly. When I was editing the pictures a while ago my stomach kept grumbling! Pair that with jet lag and you get the most disgusting feelings of hunger and grogginess. I wish I had a reset button on my back or something that would fix my circadian rhythm. Ah, I'm just glad school for me doesn't start for another two weeks, so I've got time to fix my sleeping schedule. I digress, onto the main point!
Weather in Manila in December is not at all cold. Being a tropical country, you can expect overcast days coupled with the stickiest of all humidity, heavy rain for five minutes, then super hot humidity later. Who am I kidding, that's Manila weather year round. lol
This day like I said was spent mostly eating and shopping. I think the one thing I'll never ever get used to is the overwhelming traffic this country has. Yet even with such traffic jams and tiny roads, accidents are not that common! One thing that will always scare me though is the fact that no car likes to stay in their own path and everyone kind of goes at it when it comes to overtaking lanes and whatnot. I'm already an anxious driver as is, expect me to drive in the Philippines and I'd have a heart attack.
The plan for the day was to head towards SM Mega Mall's new fashion hall and try out Tim Ho Wan. Tim Ho Wan is Hong Kong's famed Michelin Starred Dim Sum Restaurant, and it recently opened in the Philippines. I've heard such rave reviews about this place and about their "Baked Siopaos", I knew I had to try.
The little one fell asleep on the ride. We dropped him off at his friend's house so that they could play X-Box.
Before heading out, we went to a nearby Starbucks to wait for my mom. She had another hair appointment. The place we were in was known to have a very heavy Korean population. Pretty cool seeing Korean signage amongst Tagalog, and Korean translations underneath English warnings.
After waiting for a bit we went on over to Tim Ho Wan. Seeing the shops in that area kind of made me feel like I was back in the US. Recently, H&M opened in the Philippines which is a good thing for those with a taste for fast affordable fashion.
The Philippines is slowly starting to become a lot more mainstream when it comes to retail shops. When I walked around the mall Tim Ho Wan was in, it was a bit surprising seeing shops so local to the US such as Aeropostale, American Eagle, and Old Navy around. Still, there are shops around that I've recently heard of such as Bershka (discovered it last year) and Pull & Bear.
While we queued, I took to people watching. I think the one big thing that separates Filipino teenagers to Filipino-American teenagers is the fashion. The boys in the Philippines for example, dress more age appropriate and a lot more simple in comparison to the ones I've seen in the US. A lot of the guys wear simple tshirts along with shorts and a pair of sneakers as opposed to the millions of snapbacks, Air Jordans, or whatever that I see that Filipino-American boys covet.
As for the girls, fashion is still very much the same, albeit a little more conservative. The one factor that sets them apart though is that they don't wear very much makeup. I asked my cousin Cassie why and she answered that since the dress code for school limits makeup, girls are so used to just not wearing it at all.
And that was your people watching segment, brought to you by AeroDynamo. lol
The one thing I find cool about Tim Ho Wan is that you simply cannot order a cup of plain rice. Dim Sum in it's entirety is supposed to be enjoyed with tea or by itself, as my Chinese grandfather put it.
Loved how the light fixtures were the bamboo baskets Dim Sum is steamed in.
My mom and her older sister, my ninang.*
And now, for the food.
Baked Siopao/Bao. Super freaking good! Essentially, this is your regular bao, but with an outer layer the same as those you would find in Pineapple Bun/Melonpan. It's a bit sweet but the savory char siu inside balances it out.
The regulars: Har Gao and Radish Cake.
In all my years of eating Dim Sum I have no idea what this is called, but I really like it lol.
The menu said this was Wasabi Salad Prawn Dumpling. It was absolutely delicious! I just love how it's referred to as a salad, yet the only green thing about this is the spicy Wasabi dressing.
So after eating, we went ahead and did a bit of shopping. We stopped at Bershka and I picked up a nice knitted pullover.
Pull & Bear is probably one of my new favorite stores. A Spanish clothing and retailer brand that was founded in 1986, Pull & Bear specializes in casual, laid back clothing targeted at a young and urban demographic. I think one of the things that drew me to the store was the heavy focus on graphic elements and typography on the clothes.
Just a bit bummed out though, there are no Pull & Bear stores in the US and the online stores don't deliver here. Ah well, I can always go back!
Afterwards, we visited NÃO do Brasil. My Uncle Mark and Uncle Trevor actually brought this brand into the Philippines from Brazil. You'll be seeing them in the blogpost after this! It was really cool how earlier in the year they had a fashion show for their grand opening. The footwear line specializes in very comfortable, light, and colorful shoes.
The various color combinations made it so fun to browse! My sister got a gray and red pair.
The polka dotted one was what I really wanted but unfortunately, they didn't carry my size. From what my sister tells me, the shoes are super light and comfortable to walk in, so if you do ever find yourself in Manila, do visit NÃO do Brasil and snag yourself a pair. They are located at SM Mega Mall, Fashion D Atrium.
This concludes today's blogpost about my trip, keep an eye out for the next one. Thanks for reading!