Monday, August 20, 2012

The KK Diaries: There's Always A First Time

Dear Diary,

Days before my Kota Kinabalu trip, torrential rain poured over Metro Manila for three weeks already. 3/4 of the nation's capital was submerged underwater and would you believe that the Balintawak Exit of NLEX (North Luzon Expressway) was impassable during that time? Gee, I was worried.

No, not today, rain. NOT TODAY!

Clark International Airport
Air Asia Malaysia, our flight to Kota Kinabalu

I have prepared for this trip and I cannot allow this monsoon rains to ruin my perfect plans. Heck, it's my first trip abroad and I will do anything just to make this trip possible. Buying a new ticket from Davao to Clark was my alternative plan. I don't really care if it will cost me a LOT, as long as I won't miss my connecting flight to Kota Kinabalu. Yes diary, I was THAT desperate.

Together with Yancy and Brenna, we constantly monitor the satellite feed of the weather and prayed for its improvement the next day. Thank goodness, the gods, demigods and goddesses heard our prayers! The weather improved the following day and the three of us arrived at Clark safe and sound.

But that's not all. The fun is just about to start.

After paying the exorbitant travel tax and terminal fee, we went straight to the immigration area wherein we were required to fill up a form about our personal information and other important stuff that we need to provide. Prior my trip, I read a lot of horror stories about Clark's immigration officers. Some officers ask too many questions. Some will intimidate you. Worse, some will accuse you.

But I wasn't that anxious or nervous. Besides, I don't have bad intentions or whatnot.

But things turned upside down when the immigration started to ask me questions. My only defense during that time was only my charm. Okay, scratch that. Sarcasm.

These were the immigration officer's questions:

"Where are you staying?" 
"What is your course back in college?" 
"Wow, so you're from the University of the Philippines? So why did you choose of not pursuing a medical career?" (IN MY MIND: PLEASE READ MY 'ABOUT ME' PAGE. KTNXBYE) 
"So, what's your work?" 
"Really a blogger? What's a blog? And how do you earn from that profession?" (HERE WE GO AGAIN!) 
And the worst question was this: "Did your parents know that you're going on a trip abroad?"

What the fuck. I mean, seriously?! Press con ba 'to kuya?

But awl izzzz well. Aaaal izzz well, diary.

He stamped my passport and I was ready to go. Fast forward - we boarded the plane, departed on time and experienced severe turbulence all throughout the flight, except during the moment when our plane had its initial descent to Kota Kinabalu.



We arrived at Kota Kinabalu at around 6 in the afternoon. The sun was still shining during that time and from the plane, we went straight to the immigration. Unlike the immigration officers of Clark, KK's IOs didn't ask a LOT of questions. He then stamped my passport after 5 minutes of waiting for my turn in the line. Fanstastic!

It took me thirty minutes before it finally dawned on me that I am already outside the country! I swear, diary! I thought I was still in the southernmost part of the Philippines, until I heard the locals speak Bahasa Malaya. I didn't know how to speak that language. Finally, pwede na kaming matawagan as 'foreigners'.

We first stayed at Borneo Beach House, a good five-minute walk from the KKIA's terminal two. Because we were soooofa king hungry, we settled our things in our room first before heading to Tanjung Aru. Heard that there are a lot of restaurants there.




As we entered the al fresco food court, we were greeted with numerous mamsers:


"Mam, ser oiwfoiwrh4 ouosogw owfowruhgourwg wriorwipfhwrig!!!" 
"Mamser, Tiohsgwr? Rrioggipeiowefeuowbf!!!" 
"Mam ser, Rirnreiouregiev irhgireherog weioghewoighwigeweg wgoihwrighwrg!"


Interesting. When we found a vacant spot, a girl approached us and asked, "Tagalog ba kayo?" in a very heavy Malaysian accent while she gave us the menu.

"Oo! Kararating lang namin dito eh! Ano ang marerecommend mo rito?" (Yes! We've just arrived here. Anyway, what dish can you recommend to us?)

"Hindi ko alam!!!"

Srsly girl, are you mad?

But what the girl meant was this: Hindi ko alam paano iexplain in Tagalog, kung Malaya pwede pa (I don't know how to explain it in Tagalog. But in Malaya, I can explain it fully).

We ordered something that is close to Filipino food, and it was quite good. BTW diary, did I mention that their large drink was REALLY LARGE? Oh yes, I got caught off guard by its size. Perfect.

Pork chop

LARRRRGGGEEEEE FRESH ORANGE JUICE FOR ONLY RM 6!

We went strolling along the beach, diary. Restaurants lined up the coast but surprisingly, it was not that chaotic. The vibe reminded me of Malapascua Island of Cebu. It's one of the few places in the world where one can chill out and just enjoy the sound of the waves crashing on the beach. There were people strolling and some kids were playing soccer (oh, how I missed playing that game). It was one of the most peaceful nights I have ever experienced.




And from that moment, I knew that my Kota Kinabalu, my first international trip, would be a blast.

And I was right.

_________________

Read more of my Kota Kinabalu stories here.

33 comments:

  1. Si Ate talaga oh... "Hindi ko alam" talga ang sinagot sa atin!!! Pak na pak! :)))

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  2. luv reading ur detailed posts Renz. Plus factor ang photos-crisp and raw

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  3. Hahaha. The look on your face when the rain started flooding Luzon two weeks ago was priceless. Kahit siguro ako, magpapanovena matuloy lang ang first international trip ko! Anyways, buti natuloy kayo. At buti close na ulet kayo ni Lord. Hahaha

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    1. True! I was so worried na baka di kami matuloy. Pero kebs ang ulan. HAHA!

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  4. Whatta lame questions haha... Hey Renz, Enjoy KK, Sabah. I hope we can grab the land back to Pinas, though it is almost impossible :)

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    1. Instant PRESS CON nga eh, napagkamalan kasi akong artista. LOLJK

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  5. Welcome to Philippine Immigration. Funny how we have the rudest immigration officers in the airport. They always try to pick on first time travelers. Anyway, KK is one of the adventures I'd want to take. I'm sure you had a blast there.

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    1. Nakakainis yung ibang IO dito sa PH!!! :( Feeling ko binully niya ako, until I told him I'm from UP. Bwahahaha. I sure had a blast in KK! :D

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  6. LOL andito pala yung mga tanong ng immigration officer. Ang cool naman!! :)

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  7. Hahahaha...dami qng tawa dun sa mga Q ng immigration's ah..EXAM vah e2??? LOL

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  8. Did you hike at Mt. Kinabalu?

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    1. Hi anon! nope! I didn't because it was too expensive at 780-900 RM. :(

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  9. KK is a very popular destination. My plane has landed in KK for a transit to KL but never actually visited the place. It seems to be a very nice place to visit. Congrats to your first of hopefully many more internation trips (and hopefully walang bagyo :)

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  10. i am very excited to read more of your posts. more! more! more!

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  11. kakaiba ka, renz! most pinoys have hk as their first out of the country destination while you opted for sabah. so where are you heading next? :)

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    1. Hi Doc Gelo! Hahaha eh kasi yun lang ang available sale eh. Pero IDK, HK's overrated for me, as well as Macau. Kung pwede lang din nga eh isinama ko ang Sandakan sa itinerary ko, pero kulang na sa time. :( Hehe

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  12. Isn't it Bahasa Melayu though?

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    1. Oops. I stand corrected. Thanks anon! :D

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  13. Wah gusto ko bumalik kahit para lang sa seafood foodtrip! Gabi-gabi kaming lumalamon noon lol. Dali na fast forward na dun sa meet-up nyo with milks and sardines. #char

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  14. I thought you are a mountaineer about to climb the mountains of KK, marami kasi akonf barkadang pumupunta dyan for that adventure. Anyway, as for your adventure, that was such a good experience, kahit na halos di na matuloy... :D

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  15. I'm sure you had a blast except for the "presscon" experience you had at Clark Airport. :)

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  16. Bigla ko namin ang KK. Sarap mag-Jalan-Jalan, lalo na sa may Portside and Jalan Gaya. :) hayahay!

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  17. Immigration people in the Philippines just doesn't now how to deal with traveller with silly questions. Anyway,I too has my own experience with them to share. The drink is really big ,same here in the US, when it says big size ,it is really big.

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  18. It reminds me of my travel to KL back in 2010 when Typhoon Basyang hit Manila it was the most shaking moments in my life, that made me decide not to book international destinations during typhoon seasons anymore =)

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  19. i remembered how excited i was to step first time on a foreign land... priceless. congrats. Yahweh bless.

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  20. Great great trip. Thanks for sharing your experience.

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  21. Good thing you got to enjoy your first international trip. :D

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  22. Hey bangs! Nice post here, I love how you made it appear like a diary. Kudos to your first stamp! More to come! :)

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  23. Hey! First time to read your blog and same tayo! KK is also my first international trip!

    HAHA terimah kasi? :P

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  24. Hey! It's my first time to read your blog!
    And we're the same KK is also my first int'l trip!

    HAHA terimah kasi?! :P

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