Clark, Angeles & Manila

When my gf found out that I needed to go to Clark for a business trip, she put her foot down.  No way she was letting me go anywhere near Angeles without her – and not because of any love for Angeles but because she was well aware of what goes on there.  We went back and forth on this for a bit but there was no way I could win this one.  In the end it was a foregone conclusion.  She’d accompany me and then remain in the Philippines to visit her family while I’d be heading off to NYC for my family visit.

We flew Cebu Pacific into Diosdado Macapagal International Airport, which is one of those airports where you get to walk from your plane to the terminal.

In the background we could see Mount Pinatubo – this still active volcano last erupted 20 years ago and I read that it was the 2nd worst volcanic eruption of the past hundred years.  60,000 evacuated, homes destroyed and it hastened the closure of the US airbase at Clark.  UPDATE – oops, it’s not Pinatubo, it’s Mount Arayat.

Unfortunately I don’t have any further pictures of Clark itself.  It was, as I said, a business trip and while my host did drive me around Clark a bit, I didn’t have the opportunity to whip out a camera to take photos.  The story is that it’s now called the Clark Freeport Zone and I’m told it’s the size of Singapore.  It’s walled off, gated and patrolled and inside the zone it’s relatively clean, crime free and traffic free.  There is a brand new billion dollar Texas Instruments semi-conductor plant and a new and equally big new plant for Samsung.

But alongside the signs of new prosperity there are signs of dreams unrealized.  A long stretch of the road featured what seemed like dozens of retail outlets that have long since gone out of business.  I’m told that someone thought people would flock here for duty free shopping but that never happened.  Further down we came across entire abandoned villages – houses that were all but destroyed when Pinatubo erupted.  The people left, never to return, and the shells of these homes are gradually being reclaimed by nature, an eerie ghost town of sorts.  If I do return there, I will be bringing my good camera and getting pictures of this.

He also drove me by where he lives and told me that he took a 21 year lease (you can’t buy a house inside the zone) on the 6 bedroom/4 bathroom house for US$70,000 – that’s US$277 per month for rent.

Following an entire day of meetings, my host took my gf and I out to dinner and then a tour.  Despite my desire to try Pampangan food in the place that it comes from, my host told me he did not eat Filipino food and he took us to an attempt at an elegant Italian restaurant.  I say “attempt” because on a Friday night, we were the only customers there.  The chef/owner was European, the food was okay, but it was a disappointment because it wasn’t the sort of thing we would have chosen ourselves.

After dinner, we were taken on a tour of the bar area.  Believe it or not, after almost 14 years of living out here and after at least 50 trips to the Philippines, this was my first time going to Angeles.  I’d heard that this was essentially the whorehouse capital of the Philippines and golly gosh that was true, and then some.  (All photos taken with a Canon S90.)

This is the Walking Street, as the sign says, of the Balibago Entertainment District.  It stretches on for at least half a mile, lined with massive bars filled with girls, girls, girls, each place bigger and more tricked out than the one before.

The place was packed, every bar was full or close to it, and I don’t think it’s an exaggeration to say that there were probably thousands of girls working in those bars.  The one we went into, one of two places with Nile in its name, was spread out over 5 floors with a massive stage with hydraulic elevators, a big light show, hundreds of dancers and a massive high energy choreographed show every 90 minutes.  Sadly it wasn’t until after we’d left the bar that my gf told me she’d asked some of the girls and was told that photography was allowed inside the bars – I had assumed it wouldn’t be allowed or tolerated.

One further thing to note – despite reports I’d received saying this could be a dangerous place, I saw no signs of that.  It was very well patrolled, filled with foreigners flush with cash to spend, and no one was bothering them.  It was actually quite different from places like Burgos (in Manila) in that regard – the streets were not filled with pushy vendors trying to sell fake Rolexes or Viagra.  And in the bars, there was no one pushing drinks or girls on you – if you didn’t ask, you were left alone.

In summation, it was far bigger than I’d expected.  I’ve only been to Pattaya (in Thailand) once, several years ago, and it seemed to me that these Angeles bars were far bigger and had far more women there than what I’d seen anywhere else in the Philippines or Thailand.

The next morning, my gf told me that while she’d enjoyed the previous night far more than she’d expected to, she was hoping that I wasn’t thinking about retiring there.  I understood what she meant.  As near as I could tell, from just one day there, there was nothing to do there except golf (and I don’t play golf), the shopping mall and whorehouse bars.  I figured if I actually lived there I’d probably go crazy inside of 6 months.

Also on Friday, my gf had met some friends of hers at the SM Clark mall.  When she took a taxi back to the hotel, she arranged with the driver to take us to Manila the next day.  My host had told me that a taxi would probably cost around 3,500 pesos but my gf bargained with the driver in advance and he agreed to take us to Makati for 2,300.  When he came to pick us up though, it was with a different car and a second man in the car.  He told us he couldn’t take us himself but that this was his father.  I asked if they were planning to kidnap us, we all had a good laugh, and then

hit the road.

Another shot of Arayat from the new NLEX highway, which had signs forbidding “dilapidated vehicles” and “smoke belchers.”  The drive took well under two hours but once we hit EDSA on a Saturday afternoon, that was close to an hour till we reached Makati.

Saturday night, there was no debate about where we would go for dinner.  We went to Abe, our favorite restaurant in Manila, located at the Serendra Mall at Fort Bonifacio.

We ordered two of our favorite dishes:

That’s crispy tadyang, beef short ribs that I guess have been deep fried, served with shredded papaya and a light sour dipping sauce.

That’s lechon cubano – crispy skin and melt in your mouth meat.

I don’t recall the name of this dish but oh my golly gosh was it good.  Prawns, obviously, cooked in “tiny crab fat” with other stuff tossed in.  Yes, the Filipino diet is incredibly unhealthy but damn it’s good.

The Fort is another fantasy land in the Philippines.  All office towers and condominium blocks, it’s a place for the wealthy – well lit, well laid out, well guarded.

If I was going to retire in Manila, this is where I’d want to be.  Dozens of great restaurants, one of the largest book stores in Manila and a Krispy Kreme doughnut shop.

Manny Pacquiao is everywhere protecting you.

Oh, here are some photos of Makati taken from the 24th floor of the New World Hotel – there’s a small smoking balcony outside the executive lounge:

Last but not least:

I have no idea what “it” is but if it works and it’s worth it, give me two!

 

Dentists in Manila?

This has been an expensive and depressing 24 hours for me.

It started last night when Spikey, my 10-1/2 year old golden retriever, wouldn’t eat.  He never turns down food.   He later ate a bit but in the morning also just lay there staring at the food bowl.  So off to the vet, who thinks he may have tic fever, which he says is common among dogs in Sai Kung.  Shots, blood and DNA samples sent off to a lab for confirmation.  And back to the vet tomorrow.  Today’s bill was HK$3,000.  Who knows how much tomorrow?

Today was also time to pay up at the dentist.  And for the work that I had done over the past several weeks, it came out to HK$14,000.  Not covered by insurance.   Yes, I know, it’s incredibly expensive.  But this guy is incredibly good at what he does.   And while I’ve had dental work done in Thailand in the past in order to save money, I don’t have the same travel flexibility that I used to have.  So I figured that I’d bite the bullet (pardon the pun) and just get it done here.

Except that this week I got a toothache in another place.  Seems that a root canal I had done several years ago – done by a dentist who charges far less – hadn’t been properly done.  And so on top of the tooth, past the root, I’ve developed an abscess.   Apparently I have two options here – they can remove the crown and post, redo the root canal, clean things out, give me a new crown and post.  And I would guess that would cost around $25k or more here.   Or I can have micro-surgery, where they leave everything in place, slice open my gum and clean things out and stitch me back up.  Buddha only knows how much that one would cost.

While a root canal would entail several visits over the course of 2 or 3 weeks, the micro-surgery can be done start to finish in one day.  So I think I’m going to have to get it done outside of HK to make it more affordable.  There’s a dental center in Bangkok that I’ve used in the past with good results so I’ll send them the x-ray and ask for a quote.  But for a variety of reasons, it would be easier for me to get this work done in Manila if possible.

I have no experience with dentists in Manila.  I figured I’ll contact Asian Hospital in Alabang (which is run by Bumrungrad).   If anyone else out there can recommend a dental center or dentist in the Philippines who has experience doing this kind of intricate work, I’d be most appreciative.

Oh, the kicker to my day?  I left the pain killers the dentist gave me on my desk at work.  If nothing else, I suppose that gives me incentive to get to the office early tomorrow.

Sigh.

No, No, Noynoy

The Philippines.  I’ve been there somewhere between 50 and 100 times (I’ve lost count), with two previous jobs taking me there on a frequent basis and at some point I’ll probably be returning because of my current job.  My girlfriend’s from there and I’ve got many Filipino friends and co-workers in Hong Kong and Manila.  I was out in Wanchai the night of the bus hostage horror and that’s all that was showing on every TV in every bar I visited.  I think it’s fair to say that no one expected the tragic result nor Hong Kong’s reaction to it.

I’ve seen hate messages posted all over Twitter and Facebook.  Lots of people I know on Facebook have replaced their profile photo with a picture of a black ribbon.  Hong Kong issued a warning about travel to the Philippines and lots of tours were cancelled.  There are reports of Filipino domestic helpers getting fired by their employers simply because they’re Filipino; many of the waitresses and bartenders I know have expressed shock, concern and even fear.  People tweeted and retweeted that SWAT stands for Sorry We Aren’t Trained, except for one nimrod who thought it stood for Sorry We Are Not Trained – this is the same bright bulb who reposted that photo of Filipino school girls posing in front of the bus and said it was “the most disgusting thing” he ever saw, a hyerbolic example of how high emotions are running over this thing.

Others, mostly westerners, took an opposing stance.  300,000 people die in the world every day, why this outblast of emotion over just this handful?  Why ban travel to a country because of a one-off event by a lone madman?

I think that many people who are so upset over this are upset over what should have been an avoidable tragedy.  The Philippines police took a Keystone Kops approach to the whole thing.  And it was severely mis-handled by Philippines President Benigno (Noynoy) Aquino – I’m not clear where he was or what he was doing while this was taking place, his aides never informed him that Donald Tsang was trying to get him on the phone and he appeared on TV the next day with what appeared to be a smile and trying to blame the entire thing on the media.   His subsequent apology seems very, um, unapologetic:

My smile might have been misunderstood. I have several expressions. I smile when I’m happy, I smile when I’m faced with a very absurd situation…and if I offended certain people, I apologize to them. It’s more of an expression maybe of exasperation rather than anything and again, I apologize if I offended certain people, who misunderstood (my) facial expression.

It is, in effect, Aquino’s “9/11 moment,” and so far handled very poorly.  (I don’t mean to directly compare this tragedy with 9/11 – the origin and the scale are obviously very different – merely that it’s a very public, international, violent tragedy coming early in the term of a new president, a chance for him to show what he’s made of and how he reacts to a crisis.)   With 12 years in the Philippines Congress and Senate and as a fourth-generation politician, one would think he would have known better, would have responded quicker and more decisively, would have understood the impact if this went bad and Done Something About It.   He was elected because of his last name and because of who his parents were and because there was no serious competition – the guy who came in second was Estrada, who had been president, tossed out of office and convicted of corruption and then pardoned by his successor.  (And he still got more than 25% of the vote this time.)

Aquino has said, “someone failed, someone will pay.”  Whoever that someone is, rest assured it will not be Aquino.

Meanwhile, Hong Kong reacts.  Companies are taking out ads expressing their sympathies (and managing to ensure that their company logos are featured in the ad).  There’s a protest march scheduled in Central this weekend.  While some of this is justified, some of it shows Hong Kong’s increasing inferiority complex.  As Hong Kong’s history and legacy fall prey to the real estate billionaires and the Urban Renewal Authority’s wrecking ball; as Hong Kong becomes increasingly marginalized by other Chinese cities from Shanghai to Shenzhen; as Hong Kong’s status as a global center becomes increasingly questioned; as we deal with our own legacy of self-serving, incompetent leaders; people are flailing about, grabbing on to any means to express their dissatisfaction with the status quo.  The last month has seen at least a dozen letters in the South China Morning Post debating Cantonese’s place in the future.

… It was a deliberate British colonial “divide and rule” policy to promote Cantonese primacy in schools. It didn’t help when chief executive Tung Chee-hwa introduced the disastrous mother tongue policy, taking Cantonese as the mother tongue.

… If you did a world survey, the beautiful languages would tend to be French, Italian, Spanish and maybe Russian or English.

… Most educated Hong Kong people can easily see that so-called ‘written Cantonese’ is only used for what should be politely called low-brow purposes, such as comic books and the adult sections of populist newspapers.

… Like all Chinese dialects, Cantonese is an appropriate medium of folk culture only.

In the end, what does it all mean?  I’m not entirely sure but at the very least it seems irrational to me to direct one’s anger over this terrible tragedy and a crappy president and direct it against an entire country and ethnic group.

Why Headhunters Suck

I still get job listings in my inbox even though I’ve got a new job, simply because I’m too lazy to click over to the relevant web sites and cancel the emails.  Sometimes I read the emails and sometimes I even click on the job descriptions out of curiosity.  I just loved this one today, from a company in the Philippines.

XXX, a ZZZ Company specializing in specialised recruitment and outsourcing services.

So they specialize in doing something specialised?

XXX Management Services  an executive search firm we have a combined of over 40 years experience specialized in recruitment and outsourcing process through out Philippines and other countries in Asia Pacific.

A combined what, exactly?

And now for the job itself:

Currently partnered by partnered by n international BPO company which is into graphic design  currently seeking  IT Manager an Immediate permanent assignment, at XXX MMS we are continuously looking for an applicant with skills:

Gee, for a moment there I was thinking that they might be looking for applicants without skills.  And they’re continuously looking for him or her, 24/7?  Perhaps they need to look for someone with proofreading skills?

Another ad also from the Philippines, they are looking for someone with 15 years experience to be a VP of MIS.  Here is the full description they offer of the position and the requirements for the job:

To plan, control and manage activities on systems operations, network infrastructure implementation and computer hardware and software installation, configuration, upgrades and administration.

Seriously, that’s the entire ad.  Nothing about the type of company or the business it is involved in.  Is it a bank?  A shipping company?  A factory?  A hostess bar?  No details about the required experience for the position other than “15 years” and presumably some knowledge about the activities mentioned above.  Not even where the job is located, other than saying “Southern Tagalog,” which covers a pretty broad area.

Is there any professional you know who would put their career into the hands of a recruiter who thinks this is a sufficient ad for recruiting senior level people?

Manila Last Day

For our last full day in Manila, we were pretty tired from the previous day and stayed relatively close to the hotel, just a bit of shopping malls and shopping.

In Landmark, I almost fell for a tiny scam.  My gf is busy trying on shoes, I’m off in another section and this guy comes up to me.  He tells me he’s the security guard from my hotel and has held the door open for me which is why he recognized me.   At this point I probably should have said, “I don’t recognize you, what hotel are you referring to?”  Because it’s not a big stretch of the imagination to see a white guy standing there and guess that he’s a tourist.  The guy goes on to tell me that he’s there with his family to celebrate his daughter’s birthday.  I didn’t see any sign of him being with anyone else but Filipinos are open and friendly and always striking up conversations with each other and I figured this was more the same.  So I pretended to be interested and asked a question or two.  And then he said, “Oh, by the way sir, can I have some tips from you to buy my daughter ice cream for her birthday?”   At that point I started to reach for my pocket.  I thought I’d give the guy 10 or 20 pesos to get rid of him.  But before my hand made it to my pocket, he added, “Chocolate cake costs just 374 pesos, sir.”  I didn’t say “fuck off” at this point but I told him to get lost.

Dinner time, I suggested that we walk over to Greenbelt 5 “Phase 2″ and check out the new restaurants, especially the ones with outdoor seating.  We passed this amazing looking bread shop.

I thought about trying a restaurant called Lorenzo’s Way.  Their menu gathers favorite dishes from other LJC restaurants, but since we’d eaten at Abe the night before, I thought this would be overkill.

Eventually we settled on a place called Tapella – nice looking spot with comfortable seats.

I have no idea who “Gaudi” is.   I ordered four different dishes and two glasses of wine.  I was very pleased that our waitress was able to explain the menu to us and seemed to know her way around the wine list.  We were relatively happy with the wine we chose.  After that, things went slowly down hill.

The Spanish cold cuts plate was okay.

Everything tasted nice enough, but I kept thinking back to a similar plate at Uno Mas.  Uno Mas drizzles a bit of olive oil over the meat, puts some olives on the plate and gives you enough toasted bread for 3 platters.  Here the plate was relatively plain with just those four tiny pieces of bread (though it was nice bread).

We were told that their absolute best seller was melted Camembert cheese with caramelized onions so I figured we should try that.

Again, the bread was really nice.  The onions almost completely over-powered the cheese, not that there was much cheese there to begin with.  And honestly, isn’t that the saddest looking plate you’ve ever seen?  That one teeny bit of parsley?

The salad with tuna and “assorted vegetables.”

A thimble-full of bland dressing.  And a smidge of diced beet and cucumber – I’m guessing less than a slice of each.

Finally, Moroccan chicken skewers.

Almost completely lacking in any sort of spice.  Once again, a sad bit of parsley and nothing resembling any sort of sauce or dip.

I certainly wasn’t expecting an authentic tapas experience here but was expecting tastier food, especially at that price and in this kind of setting.  (The meal came out to around 1200 pesos.)   Maybe their paellas are better but I don’t expect I’ll be going back there to find out.

We paid the bill and walked over to Greenbelt 2.  The weather was quite pleasant and we were in the mood to sit outside for awhile longer and have another drink or two.  We chose Spicy Fingers, the busiest place on the stretch, since we know a couple of the owners and one of them was there to greet us.  Inside the bar, this band was playing an energetic set.

I quickly found the limitations of a SanDisk III CF card.  Shooting on continuous, the camera kept pausing noticeably each time the buffer filled, writing the images to the card.  I could have saved some time by switching from RAW+JPEG to just JPEG but, well, I prefer RAW.  Obviously this week I’ll be investing in a faster CF card (or two).

After midnight, we went over to Greenbelt 3 and Cafe Havana, packed as always.

Here’s a couple of bonus “spy cam” shots.  My gf liked this girl’s shoes:

And a different angle on one of the singers from the band at Spicy.

For our last day, time for a bit more walking around and lunch before heading to the airport.  I spotted this limited edition Victorinox Manny Pacquiao watch.

Limited edition, just 1000 pieces (or so we were told) selling for around US$500.  It also came with a boxing glove with his “autograph.”  This is the second edition and I just didn’t like the watch enough to blow that kind of money on it.  Home now, I can see what the first edition looks like – I would have been a lot more tempted on this one (which I see is going for US$550-750 on eBay).

Makati Views

Just some quick & dirty snaps from yesterday.

The view of Makati from our hotel room.

Greenbelt 3:

Greenbelt 3

View at night from our room:

Cafe Havana at Greenbelt 3 is still a very popular night spot in Makati.

The chapel in the park at Greenbelt:

I’m intrigued by this Japanese restaurant in Greenbelt 5.  Love the name (get it?) and the look of the place.

Gelato goodness at Greenbelt 5:

The free jazz concert on Wednesday night.  Every seat was taken.

Greenbelt 3 with the sign for our hotel looming behind:

Nikon D700 as a spy cam – ISO 6400, 50mm lens at f/1.4, 1/60th of a second, cropped roughly 50%.  No flash, auto focus assist light turned off … this could be dangerous!

Dinner at Abé

For me, no trip to Manila is complete without a dinner at Abé, the Capampangan style restaurant from the LJC group at Serendra at Fort Bonifacio.  I get to eat some of my favorite food in the Philippines and then follow with a visit to Manila’s largest bookstore (Fully Booked) and a walk along Bonifacio High Street.

Exterior of the restaurant – clearly this is the most popular restaurant in Serendra, with the most outdoor seating and the only restaurant tonight where one had to wait for a table.

The theme of the restaurant is a tribute to local Filipino writers and artists.  They are shown throughout the restaurant and many of the dishes on the menu are presented as favorites of specific writers, complete with quotes from them about the food.

And now, our food, starting with green mango and bagoong salad.

Bagoong is a variety of shrimp paste and the salty, slightly sweet taste contrasted amazingly well with the very sour mango.

This is the dish I always return for, crispy tadyang.

Deep fried beef ribs, crispy exterior and tender interior, seasoned I think with just salt and pepper, good quality beef, I could live on this.

Gambas al ajillo, prawns with garlic and virgin olive oil.

I get this one almost every time I visit here.  Like most of the dishes, simple presentation but excellent ingredients well prepared equals satisfying food.

And finally, the piece de resistance for the night, lechon cubano.

Actually, after we ordered this, we were told they were already sold out for the night.  My gf called over the manager to check and he told the waitress to “find one more” – perhaps they reserve some portions of this each night for “special guests?”

Regardless, my gf pronounced this the best lechon she’s ever had in her life.  I’m no expert on this dish but I found it fabulous, just simple food perfectly prepared.  The manager gave me his card and mobile number and said next time we come, be sure to call him and he’d reserve both a table and the dish for us.

All of the above, plus two fresh mango shakes, came out to P1750, roughly HK$300.  And the simple fact is that to the best of my knowledge, there is no restaurant in Hong Kong serving this kind of food that even begins to approach the quality that you get here.

Asian Hospital & Medical Center

We were up this morning at 6 AM so that we could get to the Asian Hospital and Medical Center by 7:30.  At 7 in the morning, traffic in Manila was light enough for us to be able to get from Makati to Alabang in about 20 minutes.

The hospital is 8 years old and actually looked newer.  There are signs all over that they are about to commence their second expansion phase, building a new 12 story building.  Our taxi driver told us that, much like Bumrungrad, locals consider this to be one of the most expensive hospitals in town.

The hospital is not as luxurious as Bumrungrad, which many have said resembles a five star hotel.  No McDonald or Starbucks here, but there was a Mr. Donut, a Delifrance, a different coffee shop chain, flower shop, magazine stand and cafeteria, plus a Mercury Drugs and Quik-Stop across the street.  When we were finished and it was time to go, there were no taxis to be seen anywhere but the hospital reception desk was happy to call a taxi service for us.  As mentioned, we arrived before 7:30 AM and both of us were finished with all tests by 2:30.

(I compare my experience here with Bumrungrad in Bangkok because that’s where I’ve gone for my annual physical for the past several years and because Bumrungrad is a part-owner of this facility and has some sort of management or consultative role in how things are run here.  The overall cost is such that compared to doing this in Hong Kong, it’s cheaper to fly here and stay in a nice hotel and get it done rather than stay home and do this there – at least using private hospitals and doctors.)

During our time there, the executive health center seemed almost deserted, the reason being that they only accept a maximum of 12 appointments per day and we represented two of the only four appointments they had today.  The result is that we got a lot of attention and never had to wait too long for any of the procedures on the list. It does not seem as if they are receiving many medical tourists yet.  Each of the hospital staff that I met asked me how long I’d been living in the Philippines and “where in the Philippines” I lived.  Everyone of course spoke fluent English though several of the nurses asked if I could speak Tagalog.  The staff were all friendly and helpful.  Like Bumrungrad, the experience is 180 degrees different from that of going to a hospital in the US – far less stressful.

There were at least two tests here that I hadn’t had before – a bone density scan and a virtual colonoscopy.  However, I couldn’t do the latter because they want patients to certain preparations starting three days before and I couldn’t find some of them in Hong Kong.  I still had to pay the whole package price but was told that I could come back at any time in the next six months and take the test for free.  I bought those things I’d need now so I’ll be ready for the next time.

I would estimate that the doctor spent roughly twice as much time reviewing the results of my tests with me as the doctor at Bumrungrad.   I also spent about 20 minutes with a nutritionist reviewing recommendations – though a part of that time was spent discussing a computer crash she’d had the night before!

My girlfriend also underwent a full check-up, something she’d never done before so many of the tests were new to her.  She hadn’t really wanted to do this; her attitude is that you only see a doctor when you know something is wrong and she didn’t want to know if anything was wrong.  But I joked with her that if she was going to go with me anyway, if she didn’t get the tests done for herself then the staff was going to look cross-eyed at me (“What a selfish guy!  Takes care of himself but doesn’t take care of his wife!”) and maybe purposely screw up my results.  Joking of course, but she had alluded to certain potential health issues so I thought it was important to get more details and hear things directly from professionals.  The news in her case was mostly good and in those few cases where it was less than good, she took the consultations and information seriously.

As for me, my results were mostly okay, though there were one or two surprises – not happy ones and not in those areas that one might have expected (given the fact that I’m a smoker).  Overall, given my age, I’m probably doing about par for the course, worse than some but better than most and hopeful that next year’s tests will show some improvement over this year’s.

And I’ll be happy to come back here a second time.  Of course I’m not a doctor and have no medical training, so can only base this on my previous experiences as a patient.  Aside from the choice of Manila over Bangkok (let’s face it, there’s a lot more to see and do in Bangkok than Manila), I was happy with the way the tests were conducted, the professionalism of the staff, that there were less patients there (which meant a more relaxed feeling during the day, less waiting time more attention) and that the doctors spent more time with us.

If you’ve got any questions about things that I didn’t cover (or didn’t cover enough for you), feel free to check the hospital’s web site or ask me.