It has been more than a month since I first come to Manila. I’m pretty much occupied at work with a branding project assigned to me as part of my International Assignment rotation. But whenever I have time during weekends, I will try to explore the city as much as possible. Lucky that Uber is not banned here, otherwise it will be quite difficult to get here and there.

On my first weekend, my Maybank Apprentice colleague, Janina brought me to visit Pinto Art Museum in Antipolo. I really enjoyed walking through the galleries there. The exhibitions are unique and the museum itself has a nice ambience. Spanish influenced could clearly be seen in the architecture of the building. As I walked by corner to corner, it feels like I’m in a resort. There’s a pine forest nearby, and the view is just amazing.

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Before I flew to Manila, I made some research about how to get flowers in the city. You know, for obvious reason. Google suggested Dimasalang Wholesale Flower Market near Dangwa bus station, and Manila Flower Center. Both are actually located next to each other. There was this one weekend that I decided to go there, to see the locals variants of flowers and maybe buy myself a bundle or two. It’s just a thing that I wish I could do more often when I travel; visiting local markets and discover local produces. Well, it’s actually more exciting than how it sounds here.

According to Google Map, the distance is only 13KM, from my place in Bonifacio Global City to Dangwa. That shouldn’t take much of my time (I thought), since it’s Saturday, and there will be less cars on the road. But you don’t ever underestimate Manila’s traffic. It took the Uber driver almost one hour to get me there due to the traffic in Makati area. As there wasn’t so much to enjoy along the ride, I took a quick nap, but long enough to keep my energy for my market exploration next.

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Soon as I arrived, I was already thrilled looking at the small vendors selling flowers along the road. Roses and alstromelia are the popular ones. I assumed they are both locally grown. In Malaysia on the other hand, it’s quite rare to see people selling alstromelia by the road side. They are usually kept in the cold room. Then I went into Manila Flower Center. I was hoping to see more flowers and probably different ones from what I used to see back in KL. But it was rather disappointing. There were only several types of chrysanthemums available inside. So I made my move to stroll the shops along the road. Turned out, there were all the jewels are. There were wild flowers, rare foliage and succulents of different kinds. I know I love this place already.

I bought 2 dozen of roses for, some wild flowers and 2 pots of succulents. I can’t believe that my total purchase cost me less than 500 pesos. It’s around RM35-40. Where in KL, these can easily cost me RM90-120.

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This is the arrangement I made from my flower hunting. Something rustic and chic.

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I’m visiting again soon! This photo has also been featured on Malay Wedding Guide Instagram. 😀