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Published by: api-26855856 on May 02, 2010
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05/02/2010

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It started out with a kiss, how did it end up like this?PILOT ARTICLE
It was only a kiss, or was it?We bid our goodbye kisses to Manila to our first ever out-of-the-countryexperience---girls only. There were just six of us – Mika, Anna, Jessa, Jean,Kamae, Nica and me (Patty) and the idea to travel together for as long as we allshall live was a pact but the idea to create ‘The Watchlist” was all but whim andfolly.But alas, it is finally here. The Watchlist, originally, came from Nicabeing held up by the departure officer becausesomehow, her name was in the watchlist.Thankfully, it was another evil Nica Roco that wason the watchlist, and not our very own inspector gadget. Touchdown Macau, since we seemed like atraveling girl group, props to our outfits and perkyattitudes, we decided to baptize our group with thename “The Watchlist” cause you have got to watchout for us. We thought it would end there, but therest, as we say is history, or bits of history about tobe made. 
Nica on the watchlist!
Our first entry, thus, dates back to thosehumble beginnings of our first out- of- the-country experience en route Macau andHong Kong. We were students on a budgetfor term break and the road less travelled,needless to say, seemed winding but wild. Of course we chose Hong Kong since ouveteran jetsetter, Jessa Cruz, went thereevery year.
Touchdown Macau! The Watchlist!
A list of things you should remember when traveling as a group and asgirls, on a budget:1. Make sure you have our travel documents ready and updated.
Kamae almost didn’t make it cause her passport wasn’t renewed yet.
2. Make sure you are clean of any criminal record offenses,
but in our casethe possibility of having one gave birth to this site
3. Go lite, so pack light.
We got our tickets for a mere $12 aboardTiger Air  (departed from Clark to Macau and about $100 going back from Hong Kong to
 
Manila viaCebu Pacific. And packing light, especially if your headed to places of shopping interests would do mercy for your baggage allowance. Plus, you canborrow clothes, make-up, shoes and money! hehe from friends, what are friendsfor? Hehe Also, pack food too, especially breakfast food to save on money andnot eat your days off from 7-11.
4. Don’t worry about the side trips.
We found out that the cheapest ticketsto Macau are from Clark, which is justan hour’s drive’s away from Manila.Also, we were able to stop by andexplore Macau, almost Bungee jumpedMacau Tower and gambled ouallowances (shhhh) and boarded a ferryto Hong Kong, 5 minutes beforedeparture and got our tickets from ascalper, which all fell under the headingof an adventure
5. It pays to plan ahead, but if thatitch of spontaneity hits you and youhave the vigilance to pull out your means, then do not hesitate
, travelwith friends is always unforgettable6.
Assure your parents you are withthe right people
. We were a bunch of college kids then, and our parents tendto get a little too worried where we are, so tell them where you are, stow-away’sare party poopers (sometimes!)So now our trip commences inside the humble walls of B.P. International,a very affordable but convenient hotel. Yes, it has a 7-11 in front of it. What wedid on our first few days was explore the sights. We went toOcean Park, whichnever fails to bring out the kid in you (a far cry from the newl- opened Disneyland,also its more within our budget and interest). Here I got to watch my favorite
 
animals—seals, and also spend the whole day acting like a 12-year old withequally juvenile friends! I was too chicken to ride “Abyss” but my friends testifythat it is a must-try.We also did lots of shoppingin Central, Causeway Bay,Tsim Sha Tsui andFactory Outlet Stores and. We didn’t get to go to Mongkok since we traded it infor a day’s worth of H and M since it’s the closest H and M to home.
Here’s a listof what you need to keep in mind when shopping and also a little bit of transportation know-how.
1.
Do know the limit of your creditcard.
Warn your parents aheadof time that you are splurging onCalvin Klein’s if it is an extensioncredit card!
2.
Our Hong Kong bestfriend isthe OCTOPUS CARD
. I thinkthey sell it for 75 HKD and it isyour ticket to all major transportsystems-the MTR, buses andferries.
3.
Go to the community where most of your countrymen live
. TheFilipino area in Hong Kong had the highest exchange rate for peso, andeven dollars. Same goes for when my Chinese friend went to thePhilippines and went to Chinatown to get his money exchanged. Almost allthe time, that place has the highest exchangerate.
4.
Do wear skirts and flats assome stalls don’t have dressing rooms
so itwill be easier to try stuff on. This applies if you’re a girl, that flats part, is so your feet won’tbe tired though most women from Hong Kongprefer heels even when shopping, yikes!
5.
Always keep a budget in mind,
and the good thing about having a friend or friends is you can avail of wholesale prices,buy 1 take one offers and even sharepurchases!
Perfect shopping outfits!
I won’t really highlight on food here since most of the time, I only ate in 7-11 or brought along my granola bars and Apple strudels. Maybe another one of my friends would do the honors on the food part as I proceed to the fun part.
So I made a list for how to make it like a Tom and cruise the nightspots in aforeign country with a group of friends.

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