Friday, March 27, 2009

Jobless in Guam

Taking advantage over a long weekend, my mom and I we left for Guam one late Friday night, arrived early the next morning, and left Guam early Tuesday morning and arrived just in time for her to go to work that day. Monday was a holiday because it was Ninoy Aquino Day, in commemoration of his assasination and heroism. During this time, I considered myself "jobless" or "in between jobs" because I had almost the whole month off (August 2008) due to a job role transition.

While waiting for our flight that night (Philippine Airlines), which is scheduled to leave at 10:00PM (GMT +8) and to arrive Saturday in Guam at 4:00 AM (GMT +10), there was a blackout in the centennial airport terminal. It was my first time to experience such a huge blackout in a public place like this. It only lasted for about 15 minutes or so so it wasn't that bad.

Minutes before boarding time, the names of my mom and I were announced over the PA system. I wondered what that was about but it was just for a requirement to log our contact and address in the US. A few more minutes after and we were called again, this time to upgrade our boarding passes to Business Class. Cool right?

It was a 4-hour red-eye flight and as much as I wanted to sleep, I had a hard time resisting the temptation of the in-flight entertainment! Lots of on-demand movies, tv shows, music and even games!

Dinner was served - a 3-course meal, and so far the best I had in business class in any airline I have flown with. For the appetizer, they served tapas and fresh vegetable lumpia.

Obviously the entree followed. I had an angus beef steak cooked to my preference which is medium-rare! Served with potatoes and vegetables on the side it was delicious and cooked just right to my liking!

As you can see here, I finished almost everything! I was already full at that time come desert time, I had to refuse when they offered sweets. When I was handed a Häagen-Dazs chocolate ice cream though, I didn't hesitate and got it. Yummy!

We touched down Guam right on time, just a little before 4:00 AM. Because it was a red-eye flight, we sure were tired and was looking forward to see a bed soon and sleep. Hurriedly, we went to get our baggage, hailed a cab, and off we went to our hotel.

This is the lobby of our hotel. Very welcoming but different from the ones I'm used to seeing when I travel. Ambience is very warm and themed in a holiday getaway manner.

It was still early in the morning when we checked-in and we had to wait for our room to get fixed because they had full occupancy the previous night and housekeeping personnel has schedule on when to clean up. We settled in the comfortable sofas at the lobby first and didn't realize we already had fall into substantial nap time. When we woke up, the sun is already rising and since it seems housekeeping isn't in yet, we just walked around the premises to see the a glimpse of Guam at sunrise. This photo was taken from the pool area.

the hotel beachfront, facing Tumon Bay

A few hours later when the sun was already out bright, we left the hotel to have breakfast. It was raining on and off that day and the grounds around the hotel was still wet. The clouds were still gloomy and the sky had an overcast. We were staying in Guam Marriott Resort & Spa, a lovely hotel located in the quiet and side of the city but is within minutes to establishments and necessities.

After breakfast, we boarded one of the bus lines, bought a few days pass and off we went to Guam Premier Outlets. It is similar to the Premium Outlets at mainland US but is smaller.

Right after window shopping (I didn't buy anything, though my mom bought some), we went back to our hotel to settle things and take a rest that afternoon. Our room had a nice view of the bay with a balcony where we can stay and watch the beauty of the surrounding.

Before the sun came down, we went out, rode again one of the buses, and heard an anticipated mass in a nearby Catholic church.

I forgot the name of this church but this is just a small parish, beside Acanta Mall.

After hearing the mass, we dropped by and see things around Acanta Mall.

We also went to the heart of Tumon to see the different establishments and shops, most of which are high end! Of course I cannot avord the LV's, Marc Jacobs, YSL, etc. so I just window-shopped with my mom.

I love this photo of The Westin Resort with dark blue background at night.

After dinner around the vibrant heart of Tumon, we went back to our hotel and had a good night rest, to get ready for the next day.

View from our room at night, overlooking buildings around Tumon Bay shoreline.

We woke up a bit late the next day after taking the long deserved rest. Sky was still overcasted but the rain had stopped. This is the view from our room in the morning.

We had breakfast at Marriott Cafe, a very vibrant and colorful restaurant! The food was okay, the usual Marriott spread in full-service hotels, but it sure filled us up to be ready for the activites for the rest of the day.

We rented a car for the day to go around the island and explore. Here are some places we went to throughout the day:

The first place we stopped by was in Two Lovers Point, a good spot to see the area around Tumon Bay and Philippine Sea. There is a legend as to why the namesake, telling that a couple jumped in the cliff here to be together in eternity.

We also passed by Pope John Paul II's statue in Hagåtña. It was built at the same spot where he held a mass during his visit in 1981.

Around the island, we saw a few of these tunnels, which were used as a hideout during World War II.

cannons, used during World War II

an ancient war tank and a dinosaur?

governor's complex

War in the Pacific National Historical Park near Asan Beach

Fort Nuestra de la Soledad. I saw this Carabao on the way in and honestly, it is my first time to see one with a full horn even though we have lots of this in our country and originally these faunas are from the Philippines!

San Dionisio Church, view from Fort Nuesta de la Soledad

view from the the fort

cannon at the fort, facing the sea and defending the island

We had a beautiful scenic drive around the island! Aside from the luscious greens and beautiful waterways, we've seen things like the stone that others think is shaped like a bear.

We also stopped by this beautiful area where a few people are swimming. From a certain angle, it looks like an infinity pool.

We had lunch that day at Jeff's Pirates Cove to sample Guam barbecue food.

This is a souvenir picture taken in Jeff's Pirates Cove restaurant. I'm not sure what I was thinking back then.

Sampling the local barbecue, we ordered some stuffs and we were served these dishes of different items each with vegetable sidings. It was good old barbecue food but we didn't even finish half of our plates because of the huge servings. Lesson learned - we could have shared so as not to waste food!

Because it's such a small island that you can circle around in an hour or two, there's nothing much to do except to see the wonderful spots or to shop. We passed by Micronesia Mall, the biggest mall in the island, but is a bit out of the way and far from the other malls.

We also bought some groceries that we used for the rest of our stay in the island from the largest Kmart in the world. Kmarts are usually just small convenience stores, but this one is a full blown grocery + department store in one.

Back at the hotel late afternoon, the sun was still shining and it's inviting us to come out and have a good time out so off we went to stroll around the beach and took a dip.

white sand beach of Tumon Bay, late in the afternoon

sunset time

The next day we went out to experience something new - ride a submarine to see the biodiversity of Guam! By Atlantis Submarines, we first boarded a ship which brought us to the middle of the sea.

A submarine docked somewhere in the middle of the water, a bit far from land, was waiting for us. This is the submarine that will take us at the bottom of the sea.

guide to fishes

inside the submarine

The view from the submarine wasn't so great at that time because of the overcast, but nevertheless, we enjoyed the experience of seeing the fishes in their natural habitat.


That was our last day to enjoy the island because we were flying out early the next day (4:00AM and arrived in Manila by 7:45 AM). After some last-minute buying of gifts, we just stayed in the hotel and walked around the shoreline and dipped in the water along Tumon Bay until sun down.


Guam is among the top of the list I've been that is good for relaxation. A laid back island, it has everything that you need - places to relax, visit, shop and even to party!



thank you for visiting my blog. ganda ng pics. make me want to travel all over asia.

blessedmom said...

wow! i had fun reading ur blog! :) seems like u really enjoyed the trip esp the food! yummy talga! when u mentioned the tapa, oh boy! i missed Goodah restaurant, tapa king, etc.! mmmmmmm :)

hey, thanks a lot for the visit and for leavin a comment! appreciate it! :) hope to see u again :) take care :)

Jasper said...

haha that was tapas :)

Ian | GoingRoamingWandering said...

You have been to Guam din pla... its a nice place right? The beaches are perfect and waters are calm... what's the name of the beach you stayed... we only visited Mata'pang Beach.

I miss the Atlantis. We also did the round the island. See the Underwater Workd Guam. You should have seen the Latte Stones Park and Fort Santa Agueda... great places. Plus the people are great... mostly populated by Pinoys... it's like little Philippines but the place is so tropical but with American high-life feel

Jasper said...

hi ian bryce, i'm not sure about the name of the beach, but they just fondly call it as the tumon beach in hotel row.

i've seen the latte stones park but didn't get a shot with my cam. the 3 cannons in this post i believe is in fort agueda, nice view from above. and yeah, i agree it feels like home with american touch.

Ian | GoingRoamingWandering said...

how's business class of PAL on its brand new A320... it looks luxurious never been to their bus.class. Food looks 5 spoon!

Unknown said...

I am traveling to Guam for the month of September and I am trying to find a good hostel or place to stay that is not too expensive!! Any auggestions???

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