The Philippine Travel Expo — bringing the world closer to Pinoy travel junkies

This is the best part about handling my current account: being able to check out the competition! I was asked by the big boss to go to the PTAA-organized Philippine Travel Expo held from today until Sunday at SMX Convention Center.

Did someone say “travel”???? Of course, I immediately said yes, and promised to scope the competing “brands”. In fairness, I wasn’t snooping — I WAS REALLY INTERESTED!

Here’s the first day of the Travel Expo, in pictures:

don't let the absence of lines fool you (the rest of the crowd is INSIDE!)

a beautiful girl from Thailand welcomes visitors on the TAT booth

...that's my officemate Ira being adorably silly 🙂 at the Kenya booth

These are just some of the booths there, but there’s actually a lot. Truth is, I am going back tomorrow with the Queen, and I might post another batch of pics and musings about the travel expo. Who knows? I might get lucky and buy something….I wish! I was so frustrated earlier because there’s a lot of really good deals yet I can’t buy anything! Why? Cos–embarrassing as they may sound–I am broke as hell. The little amount in my credit card will not even buy me a decent hotel lodging, much more a plane ticket. It was pure agony earlier.

I keep on thinking: this is like bringing a meth addict on a full-blown crack session, yet telling her not to even touch the junk. That’s what I am feeling. Crazy, cheap plane tickets were available left and right but I can’t even buy myself a vacation. It was just so frustrating.

Anyway, I will be there again tomorrow–who knows what kind of deal I will find myself into.

….

And if you think, there’s something missing from these pictures, you are sorely mistaken. Of course, I won’t forget to drop by this booth:

Nippon!!!

Actually, I didn’t just dropped by…I actually lingered for quite a bit. I chatted with the ladies who man the (fake) Japanese food display, and had a nice conversation with the kind okaasan who makes the (very real and very sumptuous) rice cakes/sweets. She was originally from Japan, but now lives in the Philippines. Look how creative she is:

the kind and talented okaasan

The stay at the Yokoso Japan booth made me hanker more for the much-dreamed of Japan trip. If only getting a visa to Japan isn’t that hard for Filipinos. (Can’t blame the government of Japan though due to the number of undocumented aliens in Japan). But then again, if I really want it — then I must find a way to make it happen. The universe will make it possible 🙂

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