Monday, May 21, 2007

Nationwide Tour#1: Davao

My first month @ Samsung was coincidentally commemorated with a business trip to Davao. Sweet, isn’t it? =) As I’ve mentioned, the HHP Team will be conducting a product roadshow Friday @ Marco Polo hotel so Wednesday night got me packing up my bags for a Thursday night flight, straight from work!!

Now I’m a bit shy to admit this section but I’ve got to be honest here. This is just my second air flight in my entire life. Forgiving, right? But the last one was when I was 7 yrs old flying to Cagayan with Mama and Kuya to meet Papa. Sheeessh, at least it’s not the first. And I’m anticipating more rides this year. =)

As soon as I stepped on the plane I keenly observed how the stewardesses look nowadays. Nothing, it’s just that someone way back was pushing me to consider this job thinking that I’m fit for it even going to the extent of inquiring for a 1-week workshop for my enrollment, hehe. But as I watch them serve the amenities during the voyage, I was sure I’m not suited for this occupation. Hello? I can’t pull off those smiles and look friendly as I see some irritating passengers.

The Take-Off
Being a first-timer in my adolescent years, what do you expect but me being wide awake the whole journey just to capture all the fun, fears and thrills of being aboard an airplane. Yay! Like anybody else, the much anticipated part is the take-off. It was hard for me to show an unflappable face as the plane tilt by around 45 degrees but I can’t help smile along with that feeling of adrenaline rush. “Wow!” was all I can say to myself. And as the plane stabilizes in the air, I turned to the window and caught sight of the bright lights of Manila in the evening as slightly seen in the window. Slight coz first I was seated second from the pane and second, most of the view was blocked by the right wing of the plane! I rested my head back on the seat as I munch on my Meiji Almonds imagining in my head how or what Davao look like. The next hour was killed by me reading newspapers, watching other passengers, eating the snacks and turning my eyes to anything that is moving, hehe. Not to mention observing the different timbre of air pressure tingling on my ears as I swallow my saliva.

As the travelers were warned for the landing, I swiveled my head to the window and to my surprise; I saw the brilliant city lights of Davao. I was like, “Does my eye deceive me? Is this really Davao?” I was expecting fewer lights, so and so. But as we descend nearer, I realized, “Hello? Your nautical miles (reminds me of my Navi subject way back college) above land! What are you expecting moron?” And soon afterwards, the safe landing; turned on my phone and started texting and calling. =)

We (my boss Sir Jay and Joanne) were greeted by a crew of the hotel and rode the van. The said hotel was like 20 mins away from the hotel and I got to again, observe the roads of Davao. The place doesn’t look any different, I feel like I was just passing along Baesa, Quezon City (feeling road expert, haha!). Soon, I was startled with one of the most common sight in Manila, FLOOD! Yes, nagbaha gid sa Davao! I told ya, it’s no different.

Reached the hotel and took pictures at the lobby for blog purposes. =P Had dinner in one of the party places near the hotel, bought some Marang (a derivative of Durian) for Mama as pasalubong and slept in my cozy bed @ the 14th floor. End of Day 1.

@ the lobby

Of Buffets and Social Drinking

Day 2 started with a knock on the door. Our roommate Raine (product manager) has arrived. I alarmed 6 am so I can enjoy swimming but the bed was so inviting I can’t resist staying and dozing more. This was Davao’s view as seen from our room.

Davao as seen from my room

We had a buffet breakfast 9 am after which we headed to SM Davao to visit the gallery and our dealers. Boy! Were we delighted when we saw a Mango boutique inside? Of course, Raine and I raided the shop while Sir Jay headed to the dealers in the 3rd floor for the audit. A self-confessed-shopping-as-stress-reliever herself, Raine and I did our shopping. We ended buying up clothes at Karimadon, a cute striped top for her and a swimsuit for moi in a tennis-outfit style. Yay!

Then we had a hearty seafood lunch at a restau near the hotel. We were a bit late for our product roadshow which is supposed to be 1 PM. After presenting the roadmap for our mobile phones, I sneaked out of the hall and went with Joanne and JJ to do our souvenir shopping at a nearby shop. (How silly of me not to ask permission from my boss first, tsk!.) I’m just eager to buy sarongs for my summer escapades. I ended up with these beautiful malongs instead and a 5-kilo box of sweet pomelo. (Not to mention a new admirer JJ?) We hurriedly finished our shopping after a call from my boss. We arrived 7 PM back at the function room just to have myself another buffet dinner. (Now, I really have to do my swimming tomorrow.)

malongs for pasalubong
After the dinner, another fruits shopping this time with the marketing managers (my boss already left for Manila before dinner). And I was sales-talked to buy this mangosteen after Ma’am Fe (my boss’ boss) moaned how astronomic they’re prices are back in Manila. Again, another box for myself after tasting it. It cost me Php400 for 5 kilos, wise buy isn’t it? (God, I really am not good when it comes to market shopping of veggies, fruits or food.) But, it’s really delicious and I now have another favorite fruit. =)

Warning: If you’re a heavy drinker, then don’t read this section.
To be honest, I don’t look forward to the evening. I’m not sure about this but according to people here; Koreans are known to be heavy drinkers. Or, maybe it’s just the VPs here or the marketing section itself, not sure. Therefore, employees are expected not to turn down the VPs when offered by any drink. Though our VP is not here, there’s one manager Sir Mark who’s known to be an, oh-well alcoholic. And it looks like I can’t avoid him for the night. Beforehand, I already uhmm proposed to sing even if it will take me on stage just to avoid the drink but he doesn’t want to. His condition: a drink and a song on stage. Oh, sod it!

Since I won’t be avoiding any drink, I had no choice. Served in front of us is a bottle of Vodka and a Sprite in can. (I remember this, Lisa advised me to try this since it’s light and specially for females.) So, I guess you can say I’m a vodka-virgin no more. First glass was not bad. They’re asking me to do a bottoms-up but I really can’t. I had to force myself to finish the 1st glass thinking they’ll be contented with that. But no, these monsters aren’t pleased with that! We have to refill everybody’s glasses until we consume the whole bottle. Now, I’m dead. I’ve tried some delaying tactics but to no avail. They’re all waiting for me to finish it up. And the second glass has got me feeling a slight dizzy along with a hot sensation (I guess this is the tama thing they’re talking about.) But I’m still sober though. So quick! I have to make an excuse. Thanks for my indigenous talent in acting, I held my head with my hands as though in pain and zigzagged my way to the ladies room. Haha, a flash of pure genius!

Inside the room, I can hear guffaws from what I did. I simply don’t care. Even if I’ll be the talk of the office on Monday, I don’t give a damn! OK, quick background: My college kadas didn’t allow me to have a drink during college overnights. Maybe it’s to their advantage so they can have the drink for themselves, hehe. My heartache from my past relationship didn’t end me up drinking just to forget what happened, though Joy told me it helped her somehow. My previous team in Intel didn’t force me either, coz I’m their apple of the eye; the only girl in the group. My Intel batchmates were also kind enough to exchange 2 songs on stage in The Library just to escape a San Mig Light. And now, these people whom I’ve been mingling with for barely a month, coercing me to get drunk and my goodness, in Davao? Far far away? No way! So I see you continued reading, huh! Sorry to disappoint you drinker, but you’re talking to your quintessential good girl!

I stayed there in the comfort room for a grand total of 1.5 hrs. I busied myself singing the songs played by the entertainer as well as entertaining myself with the occasional going in and out of my officemates vomiting and slumping themselves on the floor. Haha! Just like the old adage goes, “Nasa akin pa rin ang huling halakhak!” It was 12 midnight when the show ended and everybody went back to their room. My two roommates were already sleeping after getting drunk so I treated my sane self with a dose of Preview magazine Raine bought. After leafing through all the pages, I decided to try my swimsuit on and picture myself. I brought my D900i with me in the comfort room, posed and clicked!

Oops, sorry. Wrong pic, hehe.

photo-op in my swimsuit

A warning reads: “Low battery!” Uh-oh! Gotta take more. So I fumbled for my other phone P930 in my travel bag back to my bed then walked towards the CR again. So its 1:30 AM, there’s an unread message from Lisa probably texted earlier this evening. Opened and said: “Hi gurl! Musta ang weather jan sa Davao? D2 kami ni Gail sa greenbelt, hi daw! (I smile) Nga pla, you know R***** C**** from QnR? He died in a hotel room. Sad.”

And suddenly, I felt a chill from within. No, not coming from wearing just the swimsuit. I hurriedly ran towards my bed and covered myself with the comforter. Kmusta naman ang text na yun, Lisa? Goodness! If really not for Raine and Joy, I could’ve shrieked in horror! I don’t know as to what position I will take just to have my forty winks but somehow I managed to fall asleep. End of Day 2.

Woke up 6 AM Day 3 for my swimming exercise and eventually disturbed everybody because of the alarm. I intend to do 30 mins the very least of burning calories coz my flight is at 9:30 AM. Phoned the concierge but the pool will open by 7 AM. They noticed I slept in my swimwear so I had to explain myself to them. Then shortly, the morning became a ghost-encounters-storytelling session. I related my own, of course. But that’s for another discussion.

I was readying myself for going down 4th floor where the pool is when I decided to check again my travel requirements. I packed my bags last night before reading the mag so I’m pretty sure everything’s settled before I leave. I had a one last check in my hand carry just to make sure when I realized, my ticket is missing! OMG! My e-ticket is missing! I rummaged through my luggage (Samsonite duffle bag giveaway during the roadshow) and found nothing. I sent everybody in panic and got me contacting my boss for help. It’s almost 8 and nothing has been done yet so I had to take my shower hoping a miracle would happen. I’m almost finished when I heard Joy say “KC, ok na!”. I was advised to be in the lobby by 8 AM (pick-up time of the hotel van) and get the faxed e-ticket from the business office. Whew! What a crazy morning!

We arrived early at the airport and I exceeded the allowable luggage weight per traveler. So Ma’am Fe and Raine combined our luggages. One has to be hand carried in order to reach the 60 kg sum for the three of us. We’re a bit early for the flight and my company are both indulging on their mags and books. It made me realized I forgot a lot on this trip, my Podie and a little something to read. So I just called up some friends to while the time away.

Still didn’t sleep during the flight. Arrived safely at NAIA, went back to office to pick up some phones and went home starving.

A new favorite fruit, a new swimsuit, a new traveling bag, a new suitor maybe and a whole new crazy experience! Not bad for my first trip eh?

That wraps up my Davao business trip. Did I just say business? As in work? But I got everything covered already. =)

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