I had just woken up and was still lying in bed when my phone rang. It was my friend/sorority sis KC. She told me she was about to go swimming and asked if I wanted to join her. Feeling a little smothered at home and eager for KC’s company, I immediately said yes. I later found out she rented a unit at a condotel for the night. I was about to have a much needed staycation. Yey!
We stayed at Sea Residences, a condotel located at the SM MOA Complex in Pasay. Strategically located, it is a mere walking distance from the SM Mall of Asia (about 600 meters away) and is only 4 km from the Manila International Airport. The unit we rented has air conditioning, a dining area, and a kitchenette. Its en suite bathroom has hot water shower and free toiletries. It has a hotel feel to it – minimalist and aesthetically appealing, in pristine condition, comfortable, spic and span and very clean!
It is made all the more convenient with amenities that include a flat-screen TV, a fridge, a microwave, a kettle, a stove, cooking and eating utensils, and a washing machine. The toilet doesn’t have a bidet, but you’ll find a ‘tabo’ in the bathroom (Filipinos will understand why this is godsent. hahah. And no, don’t ask me why. :P). It’s like having your own little get-away home! The condotel also provides access to outdoor pools.
Probably the highlight of my staycation – meeting these two wonderful, wonderful human beings. I got to hang out with Emily, 9 years old, and Abigail, 7 years old. They are FilAm (Filipino Americans) from Hawaii. Their mom is Filipino, and their dad is American. They were having a vacation in the Philippines. We met them at the pool, and the lovely girls quickly became my BFFs. Heheh
Emily: “Do you have a husband?”
Me: “No. Why do you ask?”
Emily: “I don’t know.” *pauses* “You’re pretty though!”
See? True friend. Hahah!
The 9-year-old Emily is a sensitive, pretty little sweetheart. I was watching her younger sister swim, complimenting her for a good job, and whining about not knowing how to swim. She asked, “Are you jealous?” “Yeees,” I responded. She then rushed toward me and surprised me with a hug. After which she told me, “It’s ok. Everybody does not know how to swim sometimes. People are not always perfect.” Then she offered to teach me how to swim. The next thing I knew, she was giving me instructions and doing all sorts of demonstrations. Adooorbs!
Also, while on the colder pool (there were four pools in the area), she noticed that I was cold. She then said, “Oh look you are having goosebumps from the cold. Come, let’s hurry to the warmer pool!” And off we went to the warmer pool.
After a while, I’d started to feel that I had two beautiful little people taking care of me. At one point I was having trouble climbing out of the pool, and both Emily and Abigail reached out their hands to pull me out. I had to laugh. As tiny as I am, I am still definitely bigger than them. Instead of having them pull me up, I’d surely pull both of them down. hahah! … But ahhh, how my heart was touched by the lovely angels whose hearts were bigger than their bodies.
7-year-old Abigail is gorgeous, smart and competitive! Very smart actually. I asked her what she thought about swimming. She climbed out of the pool, stood up, and started uhmm giving out a speech, “You have to use your whole body. If you want something, you have to see, taste, feel and smell it. If you want to learn something, you have to use your whole body. It is hard work. You have to be willing to do the hard work if you want to learn something.”
“You are very smart,” I said. Then I asked her where she learned all these things from. “I just thought of it,” she said. “My sister is 9 years old, but she does not think about it. She can read and write. She is 9. I can read and write. I am only 7. And she does not think.”
… We were having so much fun that by the time their uncle asked them to get ready to leave, we were all whining. The little girls asked for another hour, but their uncle refused. Emily haggled though, and was able to increase their ultimatum of 8 minutes to 30 minutes. Ironically though, my friend KC asked me to get ready to leave. I couldn’t haggle my way out of it, because we did have to check out at a certain hour. The girls were disappointed. Emily was holding on to me, hands around my neck and legs around my waist, and was repeatedly saying, “I won’t let go until it’s dark.” KC tried to appease them by telling them that we would visit them in Hawaii. “It’s eleven hours travel on the plane,” Abigail exclaimed in a much better mood. And Emily started blurting out their home address, house number, street name, city and all. “We have a white Mercedes Benz and a white Chrysler at our front yard,” she added. She really wanted to make sure we’d find them. We parted ways hugging over and over again. I planted kisses on their cheeks too! *sobs* I am writing this hours after meeting them … and I miss them already!!!
Oh by the way, before we left Abigail asked for a strand of my hair. “To keep the memories,” she said. KC offered to take a strand of my hair for her and said, “You’re just like the sea witch, asking for the pretty girl’s hair” (also a “true friend”, apparently. hahah). Abigail then asked for KC’s hair too. KC willingly obliged, but not without taking necessary precautions. “Don’t take my voice, ok?,” she told Abigail.
We later found out that use of the pools came at additional fees, Php 150 per head. KC refused to pay the fees, as she felt she was made to believe that the condotel rental was inclusive of pool use. The receptionist insisted on the fees. Refusing to budge, KC called the owner of the condotel and managed to have the fees waived. I asked her how she did it. “Anak ako ng Diyos eh” (I am the daughter of God). That’s just KC … assertive and bullheaded. I like that about her. 🙂
By the way, rental for the condotel came at Php 2,500. If you book on TravelBook.ph, you could get it at a discount. KC did her booking within the day of our use. Click on this link for fast transactions and awesome deals: Book a unit at Sea Residences! You do not need a credit card, and you can pay at the hotel! 🙂
Our staycation included food, food, and more food. Read more on this post’s Part 2: Staycation at Sea Residences! Nearby Seafood Mecca and Confessions of an Awful Human Being.
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Author: Tahna de Veyra
Voracious eater. Coffee dependent. Book sniffer. Music addict. Profound thinker. Certified ambivert. Life-hungry maverick. Nonchalant realist. Hesitant blogger. Consultant / Writer / Researcher for Propelrr. Digital Marketing Consultant / Copywriter for Techy7.
She is passionate about learning and sharing what she’s learned in the hopes of providing value to people’s lives and fostering an understanding that builds bridges. She is the founder of UrbanPonder.com. You can learn more about her on the site’s About page.