My friends and I were raring to go to the Travel Massive event, Manila version, even though we had no idea what was going to happen. I arrived very early at Malugay, 5:51 to be exact, but I waited for my friend Macy, an environmental officer at a resort in Palawan and Marine Science grad student, and blogs at theislandergirl.com, who was going through the usual Friday traffic madness and coming all the way from UP Diliman. After registering and getting stamped at the desk by the door at B-Side, I instantly spotted Jerome, a friend I made through Travel Factor and blogs at balintataw.org. We haven’t really seen each other since that frustrating, failed Batanes trip in 2008! We started talking, very animatedly I suppose, judging from the fact that someone came up to us and asked us to tone down our voices, as the first speaker was already up in front.

Travel Massive Manila - B-Side, The Collective, Makati

Travel Massive Manila - B-Side, The Collective, Makati

Wanderlass of Wanderlass.com started sharing her story on her assigned topic, “Sugar High” and was telling us about her “moments in travel that we feel infinite”. She shared her experience couchsurfing with Bedouins in Petra, Jordan. Macy was more interested than I was because Petra was in her bucket list and she saw it first in the movie Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade. Wanderlass later blogs that her supposed 5-minute spiel stretched to over 15 minutes – which I patiently endured by taking photos.

Also, another friend from UP and Couchsurfing member, Dax, arrived with some of his friends, and it was a reunion of sorts!

Travel Massive Manila - B-Side, The Collective, Makati

Travel Massive Manila - B-Side, The Collective, Makati

Travel Massive Manila - B-Side, The Collective, Makati

Travel Massive Manila - B-Side, The Collective, Makati

Travel Massive Manila - B-Side, The Collective, Makati

By this time, Wanderlass was done and it was Journeying James turn. Journeying James started promoting his Facebook page, Twitter, website and thanking ALL his sponsors! After spending about 5 minutes shamelessly plugging, he goes on to say that he has 5 minutes to share his story on his assigned topic of Rock Bottom – “moments when you feel you are ready to give in”. Read the manuscript of his talk at his blog here.

None of us had dinner yet and we were all hungry so we were off to Offbeat Burger for some dinner!

Travel Massive Manila - B-Side, The Collective, Makati

Travel Massive Manila - B-Side, The Collective, Makati

Their Offbeat Burger is delicious!!!

Another friend from UP Repertory Company arrived by this time and we had a grand time catching up.

Travel Massive Manila - B-Side, The Collective, Makati

Travel Massive Manila - B-Side, The Collective, Makati

Jerome had dinner with us and went back to the event inside B-Side. We finished our dinner first before coming back to the event. The other 3 speakers shared their stories on the following topics: “Adrenaline”, “Meeting Friends” and “Hello Cutie”. Read about what they shared here and here.

Travel Massive Manila - B-Side, The Collective, Makati

Travel Massive Manila - B-Side, The Collective, Makati

Travel Massive Manila - B-Side, The Collective, Makati

We grabbed our drinks and sat in one of the tables outside B-Side, which was quickly being filled with people waiting for B-Side’s Boom Bap Friday: Vinyl Night event.

When people started streaming out of B-Side, I went over to Jerome who was with a group of friends from Project Dora and got introduced to his friends. The Travel Massive event was then over and people were just hanging outside exchanging business/calling cards and networking.

I went back to my friends at our table, and we continued on talking about cameras, video cameras and formats, businesses, the local music scene, different bars in and around Makati, and concepts for events that we think would be interesting.

Even though the Travel Massive Manila event did not turn out like we expected, at least it paved the way for an impromptu reunion for me and my friends from The UP Repertory Company.

Macy and her beau, Adrian Arcega of Stereodeal, left earlier while we found ourselves heading over to Draft Gastropub at The Fort Strip for their Amaretto Sour and beer, and then afterwards The Distillery, which we found to be sardines-in-a-can level full. Over-all, it was still a very good night for old friends, even though we didn’t really make new friends.

We didn’t come for the free beer or for any of the promising prizes – which we really did not know about beforehand, or could have won anyway, seeing that all the other travelers there were all more traveled than we are. (During a guess-where-this-is contest when a photo of a place in Prague is being shown on the wall, someone cries out, “Huuuu, alam mo yan kasi nakapunta ka na diyan eh!”)

We went there without any idea what the event was all about, except that it was a gathering of people who loved travel – travel blogger or travel professional aside. We can’t really call ourselves travel bloggers or travel professionals but we love travel and we thought that was a reason good enough to go.

Either we are not travelers enough, or, this was an entirely different ball game.

Another Travel Massive Manila event is being brewed for December and we sincerely hope that they can improve the program and that the second one would be better than the first.

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