I’m here at the Centennial terminal of the Ninoy Aquino International Airport, waiting for my flight to be called. It’s been a while since I’ve been at Terminal 2. It’s actually quite nice here during daytime; not as gloomy as it is during the night.
The airport isn’t crowded today, and there are plenty of empty seats in the lounge. I have an hour until boarding, and I’m wondering what I’ll do after writing this blog post. I’m actually offline as I write this. I have not found this mythical free wi-fi people have been raving about in T2. I’ll go online to post this and the photo I took, so I can have more time to Plurk.
I’m going to spend the weekend in Hong Kong. Well, some parts of the weekend anyway. Remember when I blogged about using up my Mabuhay Miles before it expires? I was planning on using it up for a domestic flight, for a destination not served by Seair. Since I only have 8,000+ miles, I can only use it up for a round trip ticket to a very limited number of destinations within the Philippines. I had qualms about redeeming my miles for a domestic ticket, for the seats they’re allotting for redemption are limited, and often, these are the same seats allotted for zero fare flights. If I’m paying for the taxes, I might as well save my miles and buy the zero fare tickets.
Luckily, Mabuhay Miles announced their Great Mile Giveaway, wherein they’re cutting 50% off the miles needed for redemption on select international flights. For only 7,500 miles, I was able to redeem my expiring miles for a a round-trip ticket to Hong Kong. The taxes I had to pay amounted to US$120 or Php 5,896, based on the day’s conversion rate. I checked the fares for the date of my flight, and they cost US$208 — roughly Php 10,210.
It was a pretty good deal, I think. Of course, it does have its conditions. For the Manila-Hongkong and Hong Kong-Manila flights, only the afternoon flights out of Manila and the morning flights out of Hong Kong are qualified for redemption. That means you have less time to spend in HK. But nevermind that, I was antsy to use my miles, and I’m excited about finally visiting Hong Kong.
I am traveling alone again this weekend. I’m giddy with excitement (and lack of sleep), at the prospect of exploring a foreign city on my own. Since Hong Kong is a fairly expensive city to travel in and because I’m saving up for a much bigger trip, there will be strictly no shopping for me. As much as I want to check out the building with all the gorgeous clothes for dolls, I refrained from asking Kaoko for its location. I have a strict budget for this trip, and I plan on sticking to it.
To help me stay within my travel budget, I am Couchsurfing with a Hong Kong local. Though I’ve been a member of Couchsurfing.com since 2006, this will be the first time that I will be staying with a member. I’m a bit apprehensive about it, specially since I don’t know the person who will be hosting me, but at the same time I’m looking forward to it because staying with a local means I get to learn more about their way of life, while sharing my own culture with them. My CS host in Hong Kong also tours the surfers he hosts, to the places tourists hardly ever visit. Going off the well beaten track in Hong Kong. I can’t wait.