Saturday, September 8, 2007

the travel mart experience

since the event was held a short walk away from the office, i decided to drop by the first day of the travel fair. no sense driving back up to ortigas on a weekend, right?

i have mixed feelings about it. first, it's good because i got what i wanted: i was able to get roundtrip tickets to boracay for next week's trip for just P2,705 via seair. it was pretty hard rescheduling things just to get good fares, but thankfully, we didn't have to sacrifice much.

we were also able to get some brochures on places we can visit next year. but that's as far as the goodies go.

this travel fair is perfect for people who have an impending trip, but have not made any permanent arrangements yet. just like susie and myself, we were able to get good fares for our trip next week. but if you're just browsing around, trying to find an interesting place to visit, it might not be such a good idea to go.

first of all, the place was too small. the "paths" between booths were too small to accommodate the volume of people. the asian spirit booth was a hit, though. apparently, they were raffling something off, or their fares were REALLY cheap.

second, opening day is not the best time to be there. because the DOT people and other political figures will be there to have their photo taken with the different people manning the booths. growing volume of people + political figures trailed by dozens of photographers = less breathing space.

third, there was a program of some sort in the middle of the hall, with drums and fiesta music in full blast. that made it increasingly difficult to inquire for fares and other information. it was like trying to get to know someone in a bar. you really had to shout to be heard, and strain to hear the response of the other person.

fourth, security wasn't so good. susie and i bought tickets for P50 each, and was able to enter the fair without being asked for them. we still have the tickets.

fifth, not everyone was very accommodating. i have a particularly incredible story about a woman in the misamis occidental booth. apparently, there's a booth design contest of some sort. i was stepping inside their booth, hoping to acquire some brochures about misamis, when the woman stopped me:

woman: hindi pa pwedeng pumasok, mag-ju-judging pa, baka matalo kami.
me: pwede na lang po bang makahingi ng brochure?
woman: hindi pa kami nagpapamigay, baka maubos, mag-ju-judging pa eh.
me (annoyed already): nge. eh pano yun, eh di hindi na ko makakakuha ng brochure nyo kung paalis na rin ako?
woman: OKAY LANG.

i muttered a dejected, "WOW, ANG GALING AH!" before walking away in disbelief. that just flushed the entire point of a travel fair down the drain. i took a photo of her, just so other visitors to the travel fair would know whom to avoid. such a shame that she can't sit still for a photo:

mag-ingat sa travel fair. :p

event details:
philippine travel mart
sept. 7 to 9, 2007
megatrade halls, sm megamall
admission: P50 with paper bag (to put your brochures in)

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