Tag Archives: manila

Peringkat Negara ASEAN untuk Jalan-Jalan


Dulu saya punya cita-cita agung, mengunjungi semua negara ASEAN sebelum menikah. Apa daya, pada tahun 2010 saya hanya sempat sampai di Filipina – negara ASEAN ke 9 yang saya kunjungi. Dua bulan setelah itu saya terpaksa menikah dengan Puput sebelum tuntas.

Saya pernah ditertawai teman sih, punya cita-cita kok ASEAN, mbok ya mengunjungi mengunjungi semua benua! Wait! Itu cita-cita berikutnya, dong!

Myanmar yang seharusnya menjadi pelengkap, still got away. Maklumlah tahun 2010 itu Myanmar masih harus pakai visa, ribet ngurusnya. Tapi, waktu ke Kamboja (2008) dan Laos (2009) pun saya masih harus bayar VOA yang USD 20 itu! Huh.

Kabar baiknya, the one that got away was not getting away anymore! Apaan sih ini bahasa? Maksudnya, setelah terlambat 5 tahun – tepat di hari ulang tahun saya yang ke 25 – akhirnya saya menuntaskan semua negara ASEAN.

Berikut ini cuplikan serta peringkat negara mulai dari yang paling saya sukai hingga yang saya least sukai. Ingat, ini SUBJEKTIF, sesuai dengan pengalaman dan selera saya. Jadi jangan protes kalau tidak sesuai dengan pendapat Anda. Selain itu, walau sudah ke semua negara, di tiap negara paling saya hanya berkunjung ke 1-3 kota, kecuali Malaysia (10+ kota). Ke tiga, saya sengaja tidak mencantumkan Indonesia karena nanti jadi tidak adil dan kalau tidak jadi nomor 1 bisa-bisa saya dikepruki massa nasionalis .

  1. Vietnam
Salah satu sudut Old Quarter Hanoi

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Queen of the World


This time of the year always reminds me of something important. Four years ago, exactly these days, I backpacked to the Philippines, the very last one of my solo adventure. It was 1,5 month before my wedding day.

The trip is dear to me, since deep in my heart I knew it might be the last one. It was almost like a trip of solitude. Unlike my solo travel to Bangkok where I shopped too much for family and friends, or a solo trip to Sydney to meet friends, or a trip to Laos where I happily hang out with strangers. It was the trip for me and only me.

The Queen is at Mt Taal
The Queen is at Mt Taal

The Philippines trip was planned to be unplanned. Having took off exactly midnight, I slept during the entire flight and found myself in Ninoy Aquino International Airport early in the morning. I caught a cab that drove me to Pasay City. Boarding the bus that took me passing through jammed Manila, away from the crowd in Dasmarinas, and finally arriving in Tagaytay.

I felt like the queen of the world. Conquering the strange land again and could not care less of what other people did around me. I own the world, I said to myself. I was obnoxious.

I crossed Lake Taal to get to the volcano, with a donkey and a boy as my companion.  Mt Taal is deemed as the smallest volcano in the world. Indeed, too small for my bigheadedness.

A journey far, a journey close to heart. I friended Christopher the cyclo guy. I ate a whole Collette’s coconut pie. I dusted my shorts and sandals. I was the queen of the world.

Coming back to Manila to stay in Malate, where Starbucks just around the corner to  serve my latte. Little that Puput know I bought one of my lingeries for the honeymoon in Manila – nor he would know which one cause I have plenty.

I did not care so much for others. I discovered the city on foot, savoured the historical site of Intramuros, the city’s Chinatown, said hello to the statue of Jose Rizal.

I enjoyed my afternoons reading novel and sipping coffee at Manila Bay. The wind blowed my past, my present. I drowned in my solitary. I would not trade my freedom for anything. Or so I thought…

I spent my nights walking around – Mabini St, Adriatico St, Pedro Gil St, to the streets of pubs and clubs. Ladies in short skirts and painted nails, men of liquors. Was I afraid? No, I was the queen of the world.

Four years on, I have very different life. I no longer have a good job. I no longer have the luxury of pampering myself. I no longer have the time to take bath for half an hour.

Looking back, this time of year, I remember the travels that I have done for myself.  I miss them so, for I can no longer do that.

I now travel in three. A husband in hand, a kid in tow. I no longer the queen of the world. I have traded to a humbler happiness.  Now I am the  queen of the house. Forever the queen in the heart of my boys.

***

PS: Islamic hardliners, please don’t shoot me for putting my photo with no headscarf on. It was the real me. Lagian mosok aku ndadak mblabur-mblabur sikil karo tangan

Lima Jam Menengok Sejarah Filipina di Intramuros


Intramuros lazim diterjemahkan sebagai benteng, walau secara harfiah “berada di dalam tembok-tembok”. Kota-dalam-kota ini terletak di jantung Manila, ibu kota Filipina, tepatnya di bagian selatan Sungai Pasig. Pada masa penjajahan Spanyol, Intramuros adalah kota Manila itu sendiri. Saksi sejarah seluas 670 m persegi tersebut kini menjadi atraksi wisata utama kota Manila.

Matahari Manila bersinar terik saat saya mengunjungi Intramuros. Walau ada beberapa pilihan transportasi, saya memutuskan berjalan kaki dari hotel di Malate agar dapat menikmati suasana kota dengan lebih leluasa. Dengan peta dan buku panduan di tangan, tidak ada yang perlu dikhawatirkan.

Sebelum beranjak lebih jauh, mari kita tengok sejarah Filipina dan Intramuros itu sendiri.


Jeepney di Intramuros, Manila. Kredit foto:ThinkStock
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