Prior to my departure for Manila, I was running like a maniac. On Friday, I went to the bank and wanted to withdraw and exchange money but the bank was closed because of the holiday. Since I could’t do it in person, I thought I would withdraw money at the ATM but when I tried my card it didn’t work. I came back home and cleaned and started packing. The following day, I went to Seoul and bought contacts for my trip. I thought I would try withdrawing money again hoping that it would work on a different ATM but after multiple attempts at various bank ATMs I gave up. Something was definitely wrong with my card. I guess my card is a little worn out and I need to get a new one. The strips on the back is worn out/faded. It was a good thing I went to Seoul early because I had to go back home and get my bankbook. I didn’t know that you can use your bankbook to withdraw money! I know you’re suppose to use your bankbook to print the balance and your transactions and all but I just never bothered with it. Well, the bankbook finally came in handy.
After running around Seoul and going back home, I was finally able to withdraw money and headed straight to the airport. And for the record, I went to the right airport this time around, not to mention quite early. At the airport, I ran into my friend and her partner. We got coffee and waited to board. While we waited, we took some selfies (of course this is inevitable, it’s Korea after all). My flight to Manila wasn’t too bad. I slept a little on the plane but the ride felt longer than 3 and a half hours. After landing, I waited in line to get my passport stamped. After a few minutes of waiting, it was finally my turn. I went up and gave the lady my passport. She asked me if it was my first time in the Philippines. I said it was. She told me to wait and at this point I knew something wasn’t right. I waited a few minutes and the lady came back with another official. They told me to follow them. I sat on the chair and the guy started to ask me questions. Apparently I was blacklisted! In my head I was just like what in the world? How is this even possible considering this is my first time coming to the Philippines! I have never had any issues while traveling in South East Asia but this was the first time. I was a little terrified. I mean it felt like I was in prison and being interrogated. The guy was asking me questions about where I was born, why am I visiting, where do I live, how old I am, if I ever visited the Philippines, etc., After a few minutes of question and waiting, I went back in line and waited to get my passport stamped. Who in the world could have the same name as me and what could they have possibly done to be blacklisted?! I had so many questions left unanswered. After going through customs, I caught a taxi to my hostel. I had a little trouble trying to find the hostel but finally found it. I was also starving! It was my first time eating at Wendy’s in a year and a half. I had chicken and spaghetti. After my late supper, I went to bed for two hours and woke up. I didn’t go to bed until 4 am. Now I have the whole day to explore Manila and then hopefully I can take the night bus to Banaue. I didn’t plan or book things but will do it as I go.