Friday, February 19, 2010

Peso-less in Manila

My recent trip to the Philippines was not without its series of little unfortunate events.

My biggest mistake was that I failed to check that I brought my pesos with me. Duh duh duh, and I can kick myself for this! I confidently packed everything I needed (or so I thought) and even sorted out the currency the night before.

The thing is, for travelling I use a separate purse for the foreign currency as I prefer not to mess up my daily purse. I must have dropped the purse in my room in midst of packing my backpack *mental note to self : clear mess next time*

I only realised that I didn't have all my pesos when I arrived in Pureza station, en route to GV Florida bus terminal in Sampaloc. I wanted to kick myself : how could I not have realised this after buying the bus ticket from Clark, some things from Watson's and dinner as well?

I asked around and was told that the nearest money changer was at a mall 10-15 minutes away, SM something. Braved myself to hail a jeepney (fastest way apparently) only to reach there after it just closed at 8 pm. *gawd* ATM machines were aplenty but I've never used ATMs out of the country before and didn't think it was a good idea anyway. Went around asking some more, still futile.

I decided that I should just head on to the bus terminal and worry about it later. Maybe there are money changers in Banaue. Back in Pureza I asked the tricycle guy if he knows any money changer. In halting English he mentioned the name of a place (Sunshine something?) and said they might still be open till 9 pm or so. He offered to cycle me there and then onwards to the bus station for Php 100. I said I'll pay him that only if I get to change my money and reach the bus station on time (so mean, kan?)Italic So the guy cycled away real fast and within 15 minutes I got my pesos (yeay! not so great rate though, I didn't care much anymore) and another 15 minutes later I was at the bus terminal. Thanked the guy and gave him a tip for his A+ efforts.

Anyway, the moral of the story is, please learn from my mistake and double-check your purses before you leave, ya?

On a lighter note, how was your Valentine? I had this man wish me in Banaue :

No. Just kidding. But the poster banner is scary, no?


  1. Looks like we both had money problems that weekend lol

  2. Hehe. yeah, sure be careful on that one.

  3. Nina - yeah, weird coincidence, isn't it? ;)

    JIPP - :) I was lucky I didn't get stranded.

  4. I'm back! I think it's these things that make travel exciting. Welcome to the club. :)

  5. The guy in the poster is probably a political candidate in the upcoming Philippine election, ha ha ha! On another note, I use ATMs when I travel - just like in Egypt. I only get charged $1.50 for the transaction by my bank.

  6. Hi Dennis -

    I should find out how much I get charged for using the ATM overseas. Just in case :)

  7. Jason LT -

    :) Glad to see you're back! Where have you been la? Update please.