We waited five months from that time we booked our tickets, to the day we finally flew to Sydney. So we were no less than ecstatic!
Cebu Pacific Air was our airline of choice because of their 9k+ roundtrip tickets (read story here) which we were able to avail of. From Cebu, we flew to Manila at 6pm. Then Manila to Sydney at 1am, the following morning. By the way, huge props to Mactan Cebu International Airport for finally having water fountains in the terminal. It’s time concessionaires stop overpricing the bottles of water they’re selling. Exploiters and opportunists! 🙄
Anyway. I was so exhausted from all the shows and singing engagements I did days before our trip, I completely lost my voice. So I slept through 90% of the 8-hour flight. My friends said it was very turbulent, but I never felt anything. I really didn’t care either. I only woke up in time for sunrise to eat a snack and freshen up. Sunrise up there was so beautiful! But it was kinda weird. I guess because of the time difference, it felt like it was sunrise forever, then we’ve arrived, and then it was noontime all of a sudden! haha we got there at past 11am, and it was very hot that day!
Being first-time travelers to Australia, it was quite scary going through all the airport checkpoints. Immigration, customs, etc. There, we saw lots of items with pieces of wood in/on it, being left behind in bins, like umbrellas with wood handles, key-chains, etc. For emphasis, just don’t attempt to bring anything with wood, in. It’ll never make it through (except for certain specifications). Also, if unsure with the things you’re carrying, just declare everything that’s applicable, especially food products. I guess they’re more lenient to let you and your items through when you did, than when you have not.
As we came out to the arrival area, our respective friends/relatives in Sydney greeted us. Lucky, we saw Filipino model and former Pres. Marcos’ grandson, Borgy Manotoc, just lounging with friends in one of the cafes. 😊
We took the airport train link to Central Station. From there, we transferred to another line towards Mount Druitt, a suburb of Sydney where we stayed the weekend with my parents’ old friend, in their lovely home, with lots of ice cream! The whole trip took around an hour and a half.
Just beside Mount Druitt station is a Westfield mall (chain of malls in Australia). While my brothers and aunt took our luggage home, some of us stayed and roamed around the mall looking for lunch…at 3:30pm! We bought 3 Indian combo meals which we shared.
In there, we got our prepaid sims from Vodafone. When traveling, you really need to have a local sim for communication. That, or at least mobile data so you can also communicate via FB Messenger, Viber, etc. Anyway, we were so happy most of the store crew were Filipinos. They were so helpful! JR, Eddy, and Mani (Indian-Australian), thank you so much for your help! 👼🏼
After our Indian lunch, we then went back to the train station to make our way to Sydney CBD (Central Business District), to meet the Aussie icons!
Watch out for my next posts as I try my best to detail most of our trip expenses.
One thought on “AUSTRALIA 2017 (Sydney): First Order of Business”