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!
|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.
|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.