Religious Diversity in Penang

Penang is known as UNESCO World Heritage Site of Malaysia other than Malacca (Melaka), due to its title, tourists flock to Penang to explore the historical city of Penang.

(Kapitan Keling Mosque)

I admit, I am not a historical buff which is I think why I did not enjoy Penang much.  The city tells a lot of historical stories by just looking at every walls of their historic buildings around the famous George Town.  Reminiscing a funny conversation I had with a friend Regin, he said “I would love to visit all the UNESCO World Heritage Sites, like Great Wall of China”.  I replied, “Really?  That tells how different travelers are, like I will probably go there if I passed by the location going to somewhere I really want to go.  I am more of nature/sporty adventurer and would not travel to a place like Great Wall of China just to stare at an endless wall!”, we laughed.  Regin said, “I love history!  In my head, when I’m there, I imagine what happened back in the time it was built for”.  Make sense, but not for me.  The only thing that it will make sense to me is that I know we are all different and ‘each to its own’.

(St. George’s Church)

Anyway, much of talking about it but since I was in Penang for a visa run, I did try to see places people go there to see.  What I noticed about Penang is that, not only cultural but also religious diversity is present there.  The first historic religious place I saw on the list was the mosque.

KAPITAN KELING MOSQUE

As said on the map’s caption, it was founded 1801 and the largest historic mosque in George Town, designed in Moghul architecture.  They aren’t that strict visiting the area except going in, you have to be properly dressed and no taking of photos when somebody is praying.  Reminds me of Brunei’s mosques.

SAINT GEORGE’S CHURCH

Said to be the oldest Anglican Church in Southeast Asia according to the map, it was simple yet neatly elegant.  The building glows under the bright tropical sunlight.

(Mahamariamman Hindu Temple)

MAHAMARIAMMAN TEMPLE

Oldest Hindu Temple in George Town built in 1800’s.  It was said to be originally built as a shrine dedicated to Sri Muthu Mariamman.  The temple is carved with wonderfully crafted 38 deities on its gopuram.  Gopuram is an entrance tower of a temple that is most common in Southern India.  This temple reminds me of Singapore as I lived few steps away from a Hindu Temple that looks exactly the same, only Singapore’s is bigger.

CHINESE TEMPLES

I saw the Goddess of Mercy Temple but did not took any photo of it since it is closed for renovation.  It was covered outside which makes it unwelcoming for people while under construction.  Although, I have photos of Teocheow Temple, awardee of the Merit UNESCO Asia-Pacific for Culture Heritage Conservation.

(Teocheow Temple)

It is noticeable how the culture here is diverse, Chinese, Indians, Malays are happily inhabiting Penang.  With it comes the religious diversity as well making their city a remarkable unique one, now I understand why its in UNESCO, it deserves to be there.

 

Teocheow Temple, UNESCO Merit Awardee

(The entrance gate from across the road)

teocheow5

(The altar)

This was actually the last place I saw as it was the last building I passed by on the other side of the area walking back to the hotel.  The exterior did not look anything special but I thought, I should go in since this was the last place to go, it’s free, and it wouldn’t hurt to see.

teocheow4

(At the back of the altar)

teocheow3

(Gold everywhere)

(View at the back of the altar going out from the ‘gold’ room)

teocheow

(Going out of the temple view)

I crossed the road and saw a simple neatly built temple, with its fine architecture and interior which the Penang Malaysians boast because it is awarded the Merit of UNESCO Asia-Pacific for Culture Heritage Conservation.  Inside, was a very solemn and relaxing ambiance of a temple. Very inviting energy attracts you to see what they have inside, and as you are walking out, the look of the temple going out captures the time back to its building days, unlike the other old historical places this place do not have a creepy feel.  I met 2 Korean guys there too, taking photos from my back as I take mine, it was funny how we did not realize we exist because we were drawn to the simple yet amazing interior and the atmosphere of this temple.  We just laughed after we bumped backs while snapping our cameras.

(I was trying to get a good shot of the exterior, but the 2 Korean culprits)

Even the old guy that was there, I assumed he was the care taker of the temple is such a nice smiley old man, inviting people who were trying to peek at the door to come in and feel free to see what is inside.  I didn’t know I would like this place much, but I surprisingly did.

Penang’s Khoo Kongsi Clan Temple

(Khoo Khongsi Clan Temple during the day)

For some reason, I noticed that clan temple are common in Penang.  It’s usually Chinese which make Penang a home to Chinese community.  I saw another clan temple near a mosque too, I didn’t know it was a clan mosque until I noticed that a family that arrived from a Honda truck came in and instructed the person repainting the walls.

(Museum and theater at the ground level of the temple)

(Khoo Khongsi at night, photo on the museum’s wall)

I started walking around, looking for the nearest historic buildings near the area when I passed by an alley where bunch of tourists hanging out at the gates.  I went in, and I saw a very beautiful temple.  Although I have to pay 10RM(3USD) which I didn’t plan to do but I could not turn my back on the opportunity.  I went to the counter and paid 10RM, the lady gave me a ticket, a sticker, and 2 Khoo Kongsi Post Cards which is cool because I can send those to Chris’ and my family.

(Golden Altar, Main)

The temple was impressive, huge and for some reason, mysterious.  The carving on the pillars and the walls are beautiful, the paintings were crafty and there are distinct gold paintings used almost everywhere.  The altars are noticeably filled with golden figurines or statues, I am not sure if they were even real but they make everything looks stunning.  At the lower level was a sort of museum and theater, showing how the ancient clan lived and a bit of the town’s history.  It’s quite impressive for a clan temple which is why I think its popular for tourists.

(Altar at the left side with member of the clan’s name on the wall)

The museum showed how the temple looks like at night, it is gorgeous!  Too bad I won’t even try to go back at night, I was into checking out most of the places listed on the map.

(View from the Clan Temple)

Board and Lodging in Penang

(My room in Banana Botique Hostel)

There are a lot of backpacker places in Penang at the Core Zone area with prices ranging from 25- 50 RM for a dorm room, not bad.  Although during the time I was there, I stayed in a nice hotel which was included in the visa run package.  Two breakfast, a dinner, and lunch on the way back was included.

(Traditional Malay Lobby)

Banana Boutique Hotel is the name of the place.  It was nice and spacious, they gave me a twin bed room all for myself, with coffee maker, free instant coffee and tea, nice bath tub, LCD screen cable TV, air-conditioned, and with water heaters.  The hotel has a nice traditional Malay feel to it which I love.

I didn’t have any photo of the food but it was breakfast buffet when we arrived.  Choices of Asian and American breakfast all warm in each chafing dish. There were porridge, sausages, fried eggs, scrambled eggs, baked beans, toasts, butter & jam, fresh fruits, fresh orange juice, coffee or tea, dumplings, and fried spring rolls.  It was a morning feast for us.  Lunch the first day wasn’t included though, so I ate outside.  Of course backpacker style, street food time!

(Nasi Lemak and Red Syrup Lemonade)

What is the safest and most common food I always eat from the street? Nasi Lemak!  That is Fried Chicken and Rice for English Speakers out there, and I paired it with their Red Syrup Lemon Juice for 5 RM (1.54USD).  Fried Chicken and Rice has gone a long way with my traveling, from a way to have met new friends in Krabi, the budget meal in Brunei, it’s just everywhere in Southeast Asia. The nice Indian dude was nice enough to put curry sauce on top of my rice (but I am not fond of curry, still I ate it. I’m hungry for god sake!).

(Reminds me of my maternal granny)

The dinner I had from the hotel was choices from a short list of menu, but what appealed to me that time was the Beef in Black Pepper Sauce paired with Orange Juice drink.  I loved it, just like how I love Thai 7 Eleven’s Black Pepper Chicken Burger.

The breakfast by the time we were to leave wasn’t buffet anymore because we were too early, but I chose from the short list of menu, American Breakfast which is of course, toast, fried eggs, hotdogs, orange juice and coffee (I don’t know where the fresh fruits were).

(I think my cousins will remember this too from granny’s living room)

I enjoyed the stay there, my tired body from the 8 hour ride one way to Penang and the day tour around the George Town’s Core Zone by foot highly appreciates the comfortable bed and cozy room they gave me.  Not to mention that they all speak good English there and they were very friendly.

Penang, Malaysia Visa Run

kbv

(KBV Agency van, the agency who helped us on our visa run)

After the Laos visa run and a short visa run stamping in Sadao, my 120 days visa has expired.  I needed to extend my visa and by doing so, I went to Penang for another extension.  I was hoping I will get another 120 day visa since March is coming and I’m bound for Kuala Lumpur (I hope it would push through) and Myanmar (Yangon- Mandalay), but my expiring visa could not wait.

When I got there (Penang), the agency that I went with for this visa run said I am no longer eligible for another 120-day visa because they will only allow 3 times.  The double entry 120 day-visa I took from Laos is considered as the third which does not really make sense.  I could understand second, because I have double entry but not third.  He explained that in order for me to get another visa (and only single entry one they can give me), I would have to pay for the invitation letter that will be presented to the immigration and pay extra amount on top of the said price (4000 THB) of the visa run which costs me 2500 THB.

It is quite unfair but then again, what can you do on this situation?  It is their digression on whether they will allow you to enter their country or not.  He said, we will give you back the 2500 THB if they would not let you in but that is all we can do.  Recent update was that, there will be no more double entry on any borders of Thai Immigration as reported by a friend who recently tried to get a double entry from Laos.

While waiting for the result, I resorted to exploring Penang by foot.  All the nearest places listed on the map of tourist attraction in the area, I think I have discovered.  Don’t worry, I will be posting the photos and stories of the city soon.

Travel to Malaysia!

Whether it is tasting the myriad culinary delights of Kuala Lumpur, rafting down the murky rivers in Borneo or sunbathing on the white-sand beaches of the islands off the west coast, Malaysia has umpteen activities and attractions that make it the ideal place for a sun or adventure holiday. No matter your tastes or ideals, the beautiful and diverse landscape of Malaysia, from north to south, has something to suit everyone and sundry. So why wait?

Great Grub

Over the decades, Malaysia has seen influence from a fascinating mix of cultures from the Portuguese to the British – both of whom once ruled the peninsula – and the Chinese to the Indians. This wonderful multicultural background has not only hugely influenced the country in terms of religion, architecture and tradition, but in the recipes and local dishes found throughout. These influences have created a gastronomical wonderland with dishes from around the world perfected here: try a local dish from a Malay food stall in Kuala Lumpur, or snatch a taste of an Indian curry or Chinese buffet, not to mention the delicious Western-style food available.

Beautiful Beaches

The western coast of peninsular Malaysia is particularly known for its luxury resorts and beaches. The beaches are mostly of coral, which means snow-white sand and unbelievably pristine waters. Off the west coast lies the fantastic island of Pulau Pangkor, where shimmering silver beaches slope to the turquoise-blue waters of the Andaman Sea, ideal for sunbathers and swimmers alike. A whole host of water-based activities are on offer, from snorkeling to windsurfing, and the famed Turtle Bay is sometimes home to turtles on egg-laying pilgrimages.

Exciting Adventures

Where the west coast of peninsular Malaysia provides the perfect place for a lavish and relaxing holiday, Borneo Malaysia is rife with adventure and activities which can be found nowhere else. Click here for cheap flights to Malaysia from JetAbroad.com.au for a wonderful adventure.

Bako National Park


Though this is one of the smallest of Borneo’s parks, it is also one of the oldest and is brim-full of natural wonders from sculpted rock formations to sea stacks. Many plants found only in Borneo grow in the park, while animal-lovers will delight in the indigenous species which, as they are fairly used to humans, rarely shy away from cameras. Miles of hiking trails wind throughout the park.

Kuala Gandah Elephant Sanctuary
A visit to the Elephant Sanctuary is something which you will never forget. Created to raise awareness and preserve elephants and their habitats, guests can get close to the massive kings of the jungle, feed them and even have a ride on them! Visitors can also help out with bath-time, scrubbing the elephant clean in the local river. Truly a once-in-a-lifetime experience.

Pulsing Nightlife

Kuala Lumpur has nightlife to die for – boasting delicious food and friendly pubs and dancing and live music. The best neighborhood to start off in is Changkat, which caters to locals and holidaymakers.

This post is brought to you by Jetaboard.com.au made possible by Joey Ferrer and authored by Jowar Billanes. “

 

Kota Kinabalu Hostels and Lodging Houses

(Mapping the plans in KK @ KBL’s balcony)

Kota Kinabalu is the capital city of Sabah, Malaysia, formerly known as the Jesselton.  The city is easy, although because I am not used to the place yet I walk a lot to see more of it.  There were local transportation such as buses, vans, and teksis (taxi).

If you’re looking for places to sleep, then there are a lot of backpackers places and mid-range hotels in the area.  I suggest you book your hostel accommodation online, you’ll get cheaper.  A friend got a dorm bed for 12RM/night (PHP156)  booked online while walk ins would be charged 20-25RM (PHP 260-325) dorm bed/night.  I think Singapore and Malaysia, you should book it online (although that is not practical to do for Philippines, Vietnam, Laos, and Thailand).

(Kinabalu Backpacker’s Lodge – KBL)

Coolest hostels are near the ferry terminal, I stayed 3 days in Kinabalu Backpacker’s Lodge and was actually my favorite.  I got it 25RM/night (PHP325)for a dorm bed with breakfast, air-conditioned, WiFi, and near the ferry terminal location. The place is clean and the staff are very friendly and helpful.  I did not like the vibe of the first hostel, Lucy’s Homestay, they seem reluctant to help and give information to their guests, untidy, a bit smelly, no aircon, breakfast, and WiFi is not good for 23RM/night (PHP299).  Borneo Beach House Backpackers is okay for 20RM/night (PHP260) with WiFi, fan dorm room, without breakfast and found out from the receptionist that they give it 18RM if its booked through their website and cheaper through 3rd party websites like Hostelworld.com etc.

Just research your best options online before heading to your next destination, it was just I have no access to the Internet from my current boarding house which is why I got a little ripped off here and there.  Lessons learned, but I think I’ll be a little the same to my Bali trip due to the last minute local air fare booking.

Chilling Out in Kota Kinabalu

(Few hours before leaving KK)

DAY 7 of my 8-day holiday. Since I moved to this hostel near the beach, the plan was just to chill out at the beach which was few steps away.  I woke up quite late at 10am, I was a little tired from yesterday’s island hopping hostel changing activity.

Chill Out with Roomies

I heard the guys are going to get something to eat, and I said I will join them if they would let me.  Arnold and Sean were cool to wait for my 3 minute quick toothbrush-wash-up to get ready and that surprised Arnold how quick I was to get ready straight from my bed (I know it would take time for a girl to get ready, but I know when and where to do my typicals lol).

So we ended up having brunch at a local restaurant, Arnold took a buffet meal for 4RM and since there’s not much choices I ordered the Sizzling Beef from their menu which is 7RM that we all shared, Sean ordered Sizzling Chicken with Bean Curd at the same price that he shared too aside from his small buffet meal (Oh, Sean is a big man so don’t wonder).

Sean took off from the restaurant straight to the islands, it was almost 11:30am and I told him he needs to be at the terminal early if he wants to do several islands, bring some water and food because the price is gold at the islands, I told him I might see him later at the islands if I decided to go and see Sapi Island.

(Borneo Beach House’s Dorm Beds)

Arnold and I was left behind, he was nice enough to show me the beach since him and Sean went there this morning.  He said its not a place to swim though because it stinks but the sunset view there is amazing.  True to his words the beach looks amazing with beige fine sand but it smells like sewage.  After a few chitchats, Arnold started to pack up back in the hostel as he was flying back to the Philippines that day.

(Kuya Mahc and Me at Mamutik Island)

Another Island Trip

After I changed for my island suits and shirt, Arnold said he would walk with me as we are heading the same road (the airport is just few blocks away from our hostel) and I have to walk to the bus terminal going to the city, he bids farewell at the intersection going to the airport.  Meanwhile, I was lucky to see some locals at a bus stop, they told me bus can arrive to the terminal anytime now, and it did.  From the bus terminal, I walked to the ferry terminal (NOTE: locals are always surprised everytime I tell them I walked that distance, I understand though, I used to be a lazy walker then. The distance might 1-2km away, and I don’t think I’d walk that far in Manila).

From the terminal, since I arrived at 1PM I have to wait for other tourists they said that are going to Sapi Island, I’m okay with that, I roam around and see what interesting stuff I’ll find at the shops nearby.  After an hour, they approached me again and asked if I want to go back to Mamutik Island instead because it was the trip they have that time, I said yes. When I rode the boat, it was just me going to Mamutik so I have the whole boat for myself, kinda confusing but I thought, Sweet! I didn’t bring my camera anymore, it died after I took a video of my solo trek in Manukan for some reason so I have no proof I have the boat all to myself and the boat guy.

(Sunset view from the sky)

I saw Kuya Mac and everyone, again they lend me the snorkeling gears for free! Aren’t they cool? They are.  That time, that bully fish did not bite me much, I notice that it bites only when I have my feet down but if I’m swimming and floating, it does not.  I saw Sean when I was about to leave and he told me about the fish bites too! It freaked him out, who would not? I have lots of fish bite marks on my legs from yesterday.

I went back with Sean to the ferry terminal, he joined me to get a good Vietnamese meal at Peppermint and he was cool to go with me to the Filipino Market (not the food market but the souvenir shops) and then he left to find Internet Cafe to update his Facebook (I’m just assuming about the Facebook thingy, that’s the usual backpackers itinerary).  I bought some cool bamboo pens I saw from Arnold to give my office mates, I wanted to get 2 packs but my budget would not last me until tomorrow if I do, I bought 1 pack of it, its got 10 pieces of cool pens that I found out doesn’t work, no ink.

Meeting Another Angel, Jenny!

After that, I walked to the terminal and was lucky to see LTT 16A bus parked ( I didn’t have to wait hours again). I asked the lady in front if the bus is heading to the airport, she nodded, asked her if she’s Filipina and she said yes.  From then on we didn’t stop chatting, she asked me questions and back, she told me she’s staying in a condo near my hostel and invited me over to swim with her at their condo’s swimming pool.  I, on the other hand, still wearing a bit damp shorts and swim suit would not decline that offer.

(Photo credit: http://members.virtualtourist.com/m/tt/9de60/)

We went to Tanjung Aru beach again just to watch the amazing sunset (which was a shame because my camera died), the purply-pink-orange sky looks enchanted, so surreal that beats the magical sunset in Krabi (less the swimmable beach though). Munching a Malaysian ‘Kikiam’ dumplings (fried ground pork and veggies wrapped in bean curd), we continue chatting and watch the beautiful sunset.

We head to her condo soon after that and she got ready for our pool bonding time.  Her name is Jen, I call her Ate (ah-teh) Jen because she’s older than me.  Ate Jen asked me to come over the next day morning to swim again and offered to cook lunch for me (Wow! I’m lucky the whole trip hey, meeting these  amazing people along the way, Angels, as I call them) and I would deffo come back for that offer next day.

I think I came back 10:30PM at the hostel and met another roomate from Germany( I guess I was too tired to remember his name), had a shower, I was updating Facebook when Sean came in, the German guy left to get some food, told Sean how I got lucky and he agreed how lucky I was.  Sean said, he’s leaving the next day to see the Orangutans and its few hour trip from the city.

(Ate Jen’s Condo where we hang out most of the time)

Ate Jen and Me Day

Early in the morning, I set my stuff and packed, checked out from my hostel and went to Ate Jen’s condo. She really cooked for me!  A yummy Sauteed Shrimps with herbs, Sardine Omelet, Rice, and Coffee was all set on her dining table I feel so blessed and thankful how I get to meet people like Ate Jen.

(Ate Jen’s Brunch Menu, yummy!!!)

I spent my remaining hours in Kota Kinabalu with Ate Jen, we swam until I got roasted (aside from the roasting moments at the islands), checked Facebook, my blogs, and then guess what? She went with me at the airport too and the meal I ordered in KFC, she did not accept my money to pay it. What a treat!  I could not stop thanking Ate Jen, just like how I could not stop thanking the families, people who were so kind to me wherever I go… Like Ate Beckz and Family in Singapore,Friends and sisters in Singapore, Cantos Family in Italy, Team Canada in Krabi, Rainbow Roommates in Bangkok, Team Jamie in Brunei, and Ate Jen in KK. Unforgettable people.

It was an awesome trip and it made me think how I missed traveling alone to meet, see and feel amazing experiences like this, wondering when I will do that again, longer.  I am looking forward on that moment…

 

Back to Kota Kinabalu

(Pulau Manukan- ‘Pulau’ means Island)

Back to Kinabalu

After spending 2 nights in Brunei, I went back to Kota Kinabalu via ferry again. It was raining heaps when I arrive, I didn’t mind that day ’cause I’m quite tired from the trip and thought  I’d be a li’l lazy for a day.

The next day, it was still raining which sucks. I can’t do anything even if I wanted to go the islands. I started regretting going back earlier, I should have stayed another night in Brunei and went to join Jamie on his mission to find this Hassanil Bolkiah’s mosque rather than being stuck in the room.

The 3rd day, I checked out Kinabalu Backpackers Lodge to head on to the islands.  I could not accept to just be stuck in the room while I’m in Malaysia.  I headed early in the morning at the ferry terminal, paid a discounted price of 2 islands to see for 23 RM from the hostel’s 4RM discount vouchers ( I saved 10RM there!).  The Filipino guy that talked me to it yesterday when I tried to phish for more information was happy to see me (business, of course!), he won me over by telling me about the discount vouchers their company have that I can get from my hostel, which I took 2 (maybe I want to go the next day to be ready).

(Surface water shot, it looks amazing at the deeper side of the sea)

Aboard a speedboat we head to Mamutik Island, and there I met the Filipino guys who were so friendly and accommodating not only to fellow Filipinos but to other guests too.

Island Hopping Rates

  • 1 island = 23RM (PHP299)
  • 2 islands = 33RM (PHP429)
  • 3 islands = 43RM (PHP559)

You still have to pay 7.20RM Terminal Fee and a one time Island Fee of 10RM(PHP130).  The most common islands were Pulau Mamutik, Manukan, and Sapi.  I took Mamutik-Manukan Islands that day, it was cool to meet a lot of Filipinos working everywhere there. I met ‘Kuya’ Mahc and Marine.  Marine was nice enough to lend me his snorkel while waiting for the one I’m renting. Snorkels could be rented at 10RM (PHP 130) and life vests separately at the same price.

Later on, Marine was super nice to tour me around amazing snorkeling spots using his fins, I was holding on to his arms while he swam. Wow! Underwater view was fantastic! I hate that I didn’t have underwater camera to share you what I saw. There were lots of beautiful species of fish that I have not seen but in my niece’ favorite fish online game, and I was seeing it for real! My imagination brought back my mermaid fantasy as I got to swim with them, although there was one specie that bit my leg several times which freaks me out.  It’s got really sharp teeth giving me lots of wounds from it.  I had a short jungle trek with Marine before I left the island and saw giant lizards or what they called and we called ‘Bayawak’.

(Giant Lizard, ‘Bayawak’)

12pm I went to the other island, Pulau Manukan.  Had a good lunch for 3RM and an expensive drink of canned F&N cola for 3RM (that was an expensive drink! Big bottled water was 6RM when 1.50RM it was from the city!). After that meal, I went to walk around to see more of the island, and there were bunch of Malaysian kids who wanted to have their photos taken with me! I stayed to have a little chitchats with them and Aida the only girl in the group knows how to speak Tagalog.  Her mom is Filipino, they were funny and cool, some of them were stalking around the island so when i saw the jungle trail, i started trekking on my own.  It took me around 30 minutes trying to reach what to find but there’s none, so I decided to head back when I saw 500m sign and I was worried I would not have enough time to swim before the boat picks us up at 4PM.

(Funny Malaysian Kids)

I went to swim at the area where its not to crowded, but I was disappointed how the beach were full of trash underwater, I did not swim that long and told myself Mamutik was way better!

4PM when I went back to the city.  Took a good lunch-dinner from Peppermint, a nice Vietnamese restaurant and walked to find the bus terminal.  It was not really a long way to walk but since I’m carrying my backpack I would need to take a bus to Tanjung Aru where the Beach House Hotel is near the airport and the beach (good for my last 2 days in Malaysia just to chill).

 

I met lots of Filipino drivers there, most of them could not speak Tagalog anymore because they were in Malaysia for a long time.  I waited for the bus going to airport which was LTT 16A from 6.10pm up to 8.30pm.  None, arrived even after those bus drivers has gone for a trip and back to the terminal.  One of them was kind enough to get me to a van LTT 16A, showing me from my map he said I still have to walk.  Not bad I said, that’s nothing compared to the walk from the ferry to bus terminal!

(Pulau Mamutik)

The guy sitting in front of the van was a Filipino, he was kind enough to tell me where to alight and paid my 1RM fare.  I was paying my fare when he said, I paid it.  Cool isn’t it? Filipinos have the giving attitude wherever we are.  He even accompanied me to walk to the hostel I’m looking for before he goes back to his place which is quite a long walk away for some non-walkers (I’m assuming just because he said its ages away going to the hostel from where they dropped us off when its not).

After checking in, the young woman at the reception said there was one Filipino guest checked in there.  I just had a shower, looked for a place to eat since that long wait at the terminal and a little walk made me hungry.  I went to the nearest 7-11 and just got myself cup noodles, bottle of water, chips and ice cream all for 4RM (PHP 52), head back to the hostel had some chitchats with my roommates Arnold (Philippines) and Sean (USA), then crashed. Dang., tired