chuvaness
On Hong Kong and getting old
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When China threatened to impose visas on Filipinos traveling to Hong Kong, it didn’t bother me that much because the last time I went to Hong Kong in August it felt a little different. It felt tired.
My first trip out of the country, I was eight years old. We flew first class to Hong Kong and stayed at the Peninsula.
We don’t always fly first class as a family. It was just that one time. Maybe my parents wanted to make it special, and it was.
I remember buying Monchhichi dolls in Tsim Sha Tsui.

HONG KONG 0104

I have vivid memories of bones aching from walking so much at Ocean Centre, trailing family members looking at mainstream stores, and wishing, well, that I knew where the cool clothes were. (Now I know.)
Hong Kong is a Filipino pastime. My late grandmothers shopped there as well. I remember my lola frequenting to Shui Hing on Nathan Road. It doesn’t exist anymore.

Shui Hing

If you’re Filipino, going to Hong Kong is such a treat because of its convenience.
“Five hours door-to-door,” Tita Virgie Ramos once told me. “That’s what I love about Hong Kong.”
Well, five hours for Tita Virgie, eight hours for me. I timed it. From our doorstep in Pasig to our hotel room in Causeway Bay, it took about eight hours.

My husband and I were supposed to go on our annual honeymoon in Tokyo this November 25. But Yolanda happened, and I couldn’t get myself to book the flights and hotel, or get a visa. It all seemed so frivolous, and depressing.
Yolanda took so much energy from me. I did what I could and I’m still doing it—helping people rebuild the roofs of their houses. But then Christmas is coming and so rapidly. I need to put up my Christmas tree for the kids. I need to buy some new parols. I need this and that. I needed a break.

I convinced the hubby to take me to Hong Kong where tickets and hotels can be booked quickly online, no visa required, not yet anyway. I got ourselves free business class tickets through Asiamiles. I booked us at Park Lane in Causeway for its convenient proximity to Ikea, among other stores.
We were lucky to be upgraded to First Class on Cathay Pacific—what a treat!

Cathay Pacific First Class
Cathay Pacific First Class

I even ate the meal!

Cathay Pacific First Class
Cathay Pacific First Class

When we arrived at Park Lane, the room wasn’t what I expected, so we got a “free” upgrade to a large, although dated, suite. (You half expect to see Tony Ferrer come out of the wood work).
This is the last time we’re staying at the Park Lane, hubby and I agreed.
We were there from Thursday to Sunday.
On Thursday I passed by all the shops on Causeway Bay—from Ikea, to aesop, Zucca, I.T, Vivienne Westwood, Liger, Droog, Frapbois, a.p.c.
On Friday I hit City Super, Lane Crawford, COS, and had a wonderful date at a hip Spanish eatery called Boqueria in Lan Kwai Fong. (Thank you James Acuña and Apple Mandy for arranging!)

Boqueria, Hong Kong
Boqueria, Hong Kong
Boqueria, Hong Kong

On Saturday I had no more energy.
I feel old, I told the hubby. I can’t do this anymore. I can’t shop till I drop. I feel like a lola.
Hong Kong has lost its luster on me. I have been there 100 times. So if Hong Kong wants to impose a visa, I’m OK with it.

Jer and I in Hong Kong

Despite all of that, we checked in six pieces of luggage on Sunday, when I thought that I didn’t shop enough. Luckily, Cathay didn’t charge us for overweight. Plus were upgraded to First Class—again!
My husband and I were seated at 1A and 1K, right by the nose of the plane.

Cathay Pacific First Class
Cathay Pacific First Class

Someone is happy…

Cathay Pacific First Class

Strangely enough I felt no fear. I prayed my chaplet quietly and read until we landed.

Cathay Pacific First Class

More than anything, however, my body was tired. I had developed a bad cold in Hong Kong and I intend to take it slow this week.

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RealChangePH

This post is probably one of the best examples of a “humble brag” post I’ve seen in awhile. I usually only see them on FB, not on a blog.

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CVS Reply:

I can show you an ENTIRE blog that is a humble shallow brag 🙂

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Ritz

i think they will scrap the visa issue. the philippine goverment gives undisclosed amount of donation to bus hostage victims last november 19

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Chinabird

Ms C,sorry naman but I just want to ask if you know where Delicious Kitchen is in Causeway?Near Ikea ba?kasi un ang lagi kong point of reference:)Thanks!!! [Reply]CVS Reply:December 4th, 2013 at 2:05 PMsorry I’ve never been. what’s that? [Reply]Chinabird Reply:December 5th, 2013 at 12:20 AMMs C.,some say they have the most “delicious” Pork Rib Rice in HK…I thought you knew kasi foodie kayo ni hubby mo!:) I’m HK bound in January so I thought I’d ask you:) [Reply]SungEmpress Reply:December 4th, 2013 at 6:58 PMHi. It’s around the corner from Ikea/Park Lane. Here’s the OpenRice link, which includes a map.… Read more »

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SungEmpress

Hi. It’s around the corner from Ikea/Park Lane. Here’s the OpenRice link, which includes a map. 🙂 http://www.openrice.com/english/restaurant/sr2.htm?shopid=5495&mapType=1

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Chinabird

Thank you so much!!! I hope the food really is better than the hype I’ve been hearing about it!

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Philip Nazareno

Crowne Plaza or Excelsior (both in Causeway Bay like Park Lane) are good options. Used to stay at the Excelsior (it’s a Mandarin Oriental hotel). Causeway Bay really is the best place to stay if the primary purpose of your trip is shopping.

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joelcruise

Ingat!!!!!! Bird flu on the rise again just now…

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-asia-china-25181387

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Leilani Sonza

Hello…I am just wondering…how do you get upgrades to business class? thanks a lot!

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CVS Reply:

for Cathay you probably need a silver or gold card. i have silver

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Guest

thinking of going to HK next yr for the kids double b-day bash… but that visa (when impose) would likely put a kink on the plans… i’ll probably ask hubby’s company to get us those dependent pass instead

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zsasquared

Hong Kong has always been my comfort place, it’s the only place near enough (well about an hour and 45 minutes by air anyway) that I can afford to go, where I can roam around by myself, shop around and feel safe without taking cabs (just the MTR). I tried Singapore and Thailand, but I got tired easily because of the humid weather, so HK is still tops for me. I really hope that visa requirement will not push through.

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Andrea

Isn’t it sad that Citysuper no longer sells the belgian waffles? =( Was an expat in HK for 5 years and i’ve always looked forward to having them everytime i’m in causeway bay. [Reply]CVS Reply:December 3rd, 2013 at 11:08 AMi loved those! my husband met the creator in Belgium [Reply]Andrea Reply:December 3rd, 2013 at 4:53 PMI’m jealous! I drool over their Nutella waffles every time I pass by their stall. Would you know if they still sell in HK? Or if they have any plans bringing it to Manila? Few months ago in Tokyo’s Shinjuku station I thought I saw… Read more »

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Sarah Carmichael

“You half expect to see Tony Ferrer come out of the wood work.”

Good heavens, this cracked me up. XD

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Tricia P.

Have fresh orange juice with ginger. It works!

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Guest

We got a bad cold, too, when we got back from HK! Get well soon, C!

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Jasmine Reply:

bird flu na yan lol joke

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Jasmine

bird flu na yan lol joke

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KUMAGCOW

I’m going back there early next year… with Mum and Dad.. hopefully my last.. 😀 hopefully I’m not going to complain about walking too much.. Dad is..

But yeah.. that visa requirement will really just get us to tire.. about this place.. and it’s politicians.

Need to speak Japanese maybe so I can do Tokyo hehe

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Name

You say this now, but you know you’ll be back. It is Hong Kong after all.

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CVS Reply:

i know….

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