Manila: Greenhills and Jollibee

Still in Manila for a day full of crowds. The activities for the day: a trip to Greenhills and a Jollibee children’s birthday party.

”Greenhills Shopping Center is a shopping center. It has over 2,000 stores, and espouses an ‘indoor-outdoor’ theme, with the Shopping Center having the appearance of several distinct buildings (some separated by a main road) that are all interconnected through pathways and bridges. It hosts a Roman Catholic chapel and a Muslim prayer room (..)” (Wikipedia, 2013)
So, Greenhills is a shoppingcenter with diverse shops and different areas. Some areas have stalls and give you that flea market feeling. It is filled with fake brands (but a lot of people state that Greenhills has class-A imitation items). If you’re foreign, they will know it and you will know it too. Salesmen and woman almost screaming for your attention: ma’am! ma’am! I know for sure it’s going to annoy you if you ever plan to visit it. Anyway, you’re not the only one. Even locals get that attention, but far less of course. Also, there are more tourists walking around, but not a lot.

We spoke with a salesgirl that sold basketball t-shirts. We we’re trying to get a good deal because we were on a tight budget ourselves as students and financing everything. Johanna joked around and said: ‘It’s a good price, we’re not that rich! haha’. Then she said: ‘Yes you are’. ‘You are all rich’. We tried to explain to her that we may be ‘rich’, but everything in our country is also more expensive, that for their standards we were rich.   ‘But you’re rich anyway’ she said. ‘No not really, we’re just students, we don’t have all the money in the world’ Johanna said. She was still convinced of it, or at least really surprised we were not that rich. The point was that not everyone drives an expensive car or lives in a big house outside of Asia, especially ‘the west’. In some way she was right though, we  are rich. Not in the sense of money, but that we have more opportunities (which could lead to more mony yeah..). In the end you are as rich in life as you feel. It was hard to explain that it can be hard for a lot of people to live in the West too, because of the standards, laws, rules and taxes the ‘poorer’ have to pay. A different kind of poor. What is poor anyway? A poor person could be someone with a lot of money, but that doesn’t enjoy life and doesn’t enjoy others. Poor is not only about money. Everyone feels poor once in a while.

Anyway, Greenhills has a lot more to offer than basketball shirts. It also has a LOT of phone cases, illegal DVD’s, stalls for reparing electronics, more ‘chique’ boutiques, foodcourts, cinemas, restaurants and a lot of fake stuff, beads, bags, shoes, native crafts and a lot more!
You really need to take a whole day for everything, or even two! Major fun though, just ignore all the screaming for attention. We didn’t bring our camera because everyone around us was being paranoid about us foreigners going there with expensive stuff, plus it’s really crowded in public transportation. We didn’t feel like carrying that thing anyway and we didn’t want to risk to lose our 1-month old camera. So we’ll treat you with some Google images again.

P.S. Don’t be afraid to haggle! A lot of people will overprice you, just because you are a foreigner or buyer in general. Don’t be too greedy either, I mean it’s not fair of them to overprice you, but don’t be the greedy tourist either and just pay what you think is fair. Think of it, what would you do?

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How to get to Greenhills (our way)
Obviously there are many ways to get to Greenhills. One way is by car, taxi, bus or jeepney. The fastest way by far is the MRT. The nearest train station to Greenhills is MRT-3 Santolan-Annapolis station.

MRT map Manila

MRT map Manila

1. MRT from EDSA/ Taft (the blue line on the map)
2. Ride the MRT to Santolan-Annapolis station
3. Use the pedestrian overpass to get to the oppisite side
4. Walk down the stairs and walk southwards
5. On your right you will see Annapolis street, walk towards that direction
Now you can wait at that corner for a jeepney ride to Greenhills (you will know where and why when you’re there: people standing in a line and it’s probably hot or raining).
If you decide to walk anyway, like we did, because the jeepney ride is ridiculousy short (5-10 minutes), just walk straight until you see the obvious shopping center on the left. Or you could just ask around!

Jollibee who?
After our Greenhills adventure we went to Jollibee with Johanna her auntie Edna. Jollibee? You might wonder what that is. Well, according to Wikipedia:

”Jollibee Foods Corporation abbreviated as JFC and popularly known as Jollibee is a Filipino multinational chain of fast food restaurants headquartered in Pasig City, Philippines. It is the parent of Jollibee, the country’s leading fast-food chain brand.” (Wikipedia, 2013)

Jollibee is, by far, the most popular fast food chain in the Philippines. Their menu consists of spaghetti, fried chicken, rice, the champ burger, fries and many more. From a personal point of view, we think it’s MacDonalds that married KFC, got kids and lived in Italy. The spaghetti is sweet though, nothing like Italian spaghetti at all. Like a lot of things in the Philippines, it’s sweet and they like it. Jollibee is not only settled in the Philippines, but also in Malaysia, Hongkong, Indonesia, the U.S.A and some more. Is this the next fastfood revolution?

Anyway, we went there for a birthday party. It was intense.. A lot of kids and parents, music, loud games and the mascotte of Jollibee. A typical Jollibee birthday party includes a typical Jollibee meal: rice, fried chicken, sauce and games. You just need to experience this. Besides, a true Filipino experience isn’t complete without Jollibee and the plus experience is one with a birthday party involved.

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– Vincent & Johanna

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