Philippine Airlines & Astoria Plaza Suites

A few weeks ago my boss informed me that I was heading to the Philippines on a business trip with my manager. Usually when someone offers me an all expenses paid trip I squeal like an orgasmic pig only this time I had a couple of different thoughts running through my head…

1) It’s not that I don’t like my manager, but four straight weekends with him leaves one asking if this is really necessary? Blogopolis, a work ski trip and now this on top of our regular work hours coupled with the almost certain possibility that he’ll throw in some terrible dad jokes along the way leaves me wondering if my boss’ real plan is for the manager and I to become BFF. Can you sense my enthusiasm?

2) *birds churp*

As much as I love to travel and discover new cities, I’d never really given any thought to visiting Manila. I knew nothing about the culture, the people or the sights so no bells went off in my head when mention of it was thrown at me.

PHILIPPINE AIRLINES FLIGHT: MELBOURNE > SYDNEY > MANILA

I was by no means prepared for this flight. As I enter the plane and walk through Business Class I see no TV screens on the backs of each seat; this is quite standard with Business as each seat has an individual screen that folds down into the arm rest so I think nothing of it and proceed down to economy…

It is not until I reach the economy section that my worst long-haul flight nightmare becomes a reality – no personal entertainment unit! It gets worse, oh yes… there is only one TV per every 10-15 rows… simultaneous movie viewings, AHHHHHH! I die a little on the inside.

After flying United Airlines to the USA back in 2006 I swore to never again board a long-haul flight that did not contain a personal entertainment unit. As diva-ish as this sounds, it is 2011… get with the times, people!

I have my laptop with me, but no movies. I also have my iPod with me, but let’s be honest here, there is only so much solitaire you can play before you begin to go insane. It was also just my luck that I had a creeper dude sitting beside me that insisted on following me around Sydney Airport during the hour-long layover. Oh, and to top it off, this flight was inundated with screaming babies… my absolute favourite!

It wasn’t all bad, though. Philippine Airlines has some fantastic service – their flight attendants were well mannered and always happy to be of service, even when the lady sitting in front of me on the flight back filled three barf bags with vomit within a matter of seconds – they smiled and held them for her! They are also incredibly fast on Twitter, even if you haven’t directly @ mentioned them which ia always a win in my books…

Philippine Airlines on Twitter

ASTORIA PLAZA SUITES – PASIG CITY, PHILIPPINES 

Located in the Ortigas Business District of Pasig City, the Astoria Plaza couples as both a hotel and residential apartments. My manager and I stayed in a two bedroom suite on the 12th floor which was quite spacious and well located. I arrive first so it comes without question that I take the bedroom with the bathroom in it. The other bedroom also has its own bathroom, just not inside the room.

View from main bedroom window, bedroom 1 and bedroom 2 - Astoria Plaza, Philippines

We have a rather large self-contained kitchen area and a huge living/study area. There are three TV’s in the apartment, each of which contain a plethora of cable TV channels and a funky brown shag rug sprawled out across the living room floor. Our rooms are serviced daily and re-stocked with bottled water at no cost.

Living Area - Astoria Plaza, Philippines

Included in our stay is a daily breakfast buffet at Cafe Astoria which is situated on the ground level of the hotel. The breakfast selection varies every morning and ranges from bacon, beef, chicken, fish and rice with an array of pastries, breads, fresh fruit, juices, cereal and coffee/tea. Breakfast would not be complete without that of our amazing omelette maker which I took the liberty of naming, Omelette Dude. He is too cute – don’t you just want to squeeze his cheeks!?!

Omelette Dude doing what he does best - making Kruppy an omelette!

Not sure I can adjust to eating rice, chicken and beef for breakfast so for the mean time, I’ll stick to my omelette dude and some freshly sliced pineapple!

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