Wednesday, September 18, 2013


I was one of the ninety pilgrimage from different part of Sabah and Brunei who went to Manila a few days ago. It was also my first with this group arranged by my nephew through pilgrimage agent in Penampang. It was a few short hours of shopping and we were brought to the 168 shopping Mall, Manila. My previous tours was organised by a reliable, dependable and well organised agency and it did surpass my rating with the just concluded trip. Anyhow it was just my opinion and there was no complaint and I did enjoy the trip with different sets of people with very much different behavior.


Tour Agent   :   Please remember that you are given until 5.00 pm and make sure to be on the bus which is parked here. Am I clear?

Pilgrimage   :   Yes Boss.

Tour Agent   :   You see the building signboard there, it is straight from the 168 Mall  and the parking space here. Okay, Please follow me.

We followed the tour agent and looked for a landmark myself that will be my focal point to go back to the bus. I don't trust my memory anymore as driving to another district in Sabah previously was hard for me but since there were many of us it eased my fear of getting lost.

It was just the same feeling and atmosphere when we entered in any shopping mall and it goes the same as the 168 shopping Mall of Manila. The sound of different music, the voices of people and the different smell of cooked food from the food court made you want to take it all. As experience taught me to be prudent in my spending as of my previous vacation, I disciplined myself of buying just a souvenirs for my nephews and one or two shirt and trouser for myself. Thankfully I didn't spent much away from the budget that I did reserved for the trip.

The massive 168 shopping Mall contains so many stores that you may get lost eventually as if you're not careful to remember the route you had taken. The items sold could be bargain to your lowest price to show your skilled of bargaining it. You must remember that the sale person are not the amateur individual but the master of their trade so make your stand of the price you want . If they don't agree with your price, they will make a counter offer and if you think it is still high you could always walk away as there are so many stalls selling the same items. Once you had your price bargained and the stall owner stuck to their price then you could buy it happily.

The first thing we did when entering the mall was to find the food court as we were on our own to look for our food. Trying out the local food was out of the question for me as it will incurred extra costs if it does not suit with my taste. I selected food that was familiar and healthy especially fish and vegetables. The food that was catered for us in the hotel was either oily, meaty and vegetable was almost non-existence.

After our lunch we moved to the clothing section and my mind was remembering the message my nephew told me when he sent me to the airport asking me to buy him jeans.


Nephew   :   My friends told me that branded Jeans are sold cheaply in Philippine as compared here. Buy me one as a souvenir okay.

Butizaon   :   See first lah if got time.

Nephew   :   Waist size is 33 Levi's brand .... okay?

Butizaon   :   Yalah.


I did my skill to bargain the jeans that I bought for my nephew and eventually bought two instead of three. I had selected 3 jeans but mostly the style was the slim fit. You know where the material stick to your leg as most teenager's style (fashion) nowadays. I didn't looked for the straight cut which is suitable for me due to the limited time and we still have time for another shopping spree.

As I was bargaining for the jeans, I found out that the stall owner was a very experienced individual where it would not be an easy task manipulate them about the price. They know when to stop customers to lower the price further and yet they still manage to benefit within their price range.

We had one hour left when we decided to look for the exit to where our buses was parked but every time we exited we ended at the other side of the building. The massive 168 shopping mall was a combination of few buildings which was joined together and for foreigners and first timer which has a memory problem will most probably get lost.

We saw few ladies sitting outside the mall and told us that they were lost also and gave up looking for the exit.

Ladies   :   Kami sudah sesat ini tak larat mau cari pinta keluar.

Butizaon   :  Kami pun sasat ini, nanti kami cuba cari dulu mana pintu keluar yang betul.

Ladies   :   Bila kamu jumpa nanti kamu panggil kami. Kami tunggu disini saja.

I was happy to see a group from Brunei was also looking for the correct exit. We decided to stick together maybe about twenty of us. I realised later that one couple get away from the group and find the correct exit but didn't come back to get us. If I was the organiser of the trip I will banned them for any other trip in future.

It was the same exit that we get through but that time our tour agent was there and thought that we were safe already but alas he was lost also as he is a Sabahan. He asked us to stay put together and the bus will come to the street where we were. It was already late for an hour when a good Samaritan lead us to the other side of the building which was just a straight walk through the shopping mall about a minute walk.

We were given a rousing welcome by our fellow friends when we got in the bus and it was a relief that a good Samaritan still existed amongst us. Thank you Pinoy.

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