Chris: I said if you graduated from college I would take you abroad (you had never been out of the Philippines before), and I gave you a list of Asian cities to choose from. You chose Hong Kong.
Honey Mae: Well, i choose Hong Kong because im enthusiastic with it, based on what i read on the internet there's a lot of places we can go sight seeing, shopping and one good thing is they're not so strict unlike Singapore.
Chris: So, how was the trip?
Honey Mae: Pretty good. I had a lot of fun walking around Hong Kong. Shopping (laughs.) Especially the Peak Tram and being on the Peak. One good thing in there is they have 2 big shopping center where all the tourist can hang-out and buy a lot of stuffs and thats what makes me entertained so much (laughs.)
Honey Mae: And the underground train (MTR.) I like riding it because its really fast and we can get to the place where we like in just a few minutes! I like it so much i wish we have like this in the Philippines. Everything is so efficient.
But regarding about the foods, I feel terrible. Especially when I passed by through those stinking market, I can smell the stinky Chinese dried food.
Chris: So you're not fond of Chinese food?
Honey Mae: Correct. Very correct. ( laughs.)
Chris: At least you found out where the Hong Kong Jolibee (well-known Filipino fast food restaurant) is, and I took you there three times to eat. It's lami? (delicious?) Did that help your feelings about food?
Honey Mae: Yes i feel so grateful i found my hero in Hong Kong (big laughs ) But i have a very important comment regarding about the taste of their food.
The Chickenjoy in the philippines is the most popular one because the flavor is really good and specially when its very hot its very crispy and you always get the LANGHAP SARAP factor (smells and tastes great.) In Hong Kong something makes me wonder about, the taste of the chicken joy is different I mean its not that bad but its very different from the original taste. My thoughts was they're using a chicken from Hong Kong and maybe their chicken is different from what filipinos always use to make crispylicious, juicylicious Chickenjoy (laughs.)
Chris: What can you say about the people in Hong Kong?
Honey Mae: Hong Kong people are fashionista, especially the ladies. But I don't like the way they talk, cuz I don't understand them. What the fuck they are talking about? (laughs.)
Chris: How about the hotel where you stayed, Chungking Mansions? It has a reputation, as a not-so-great but very cheap place to stay.
Honey Mae: Hmmm pretty good, I mean not a deluxe one. But at least there's my favorite place which is the CR (comfort room = bathroom) (laughs.)
Chris: So you're willing to trade off (stay in budget lodging in exchange for more money available for shopping)?
Honey Mae: Yes! (laughs.) That's why we stayed at Traveller's Hostel so I can do a lot of shopping. That's me, baby, shopaholic.
Chris: So, how about all that shopping?
Honey Mae: I'm very happy with my purchases, i bought fashionista mini dresses for me, perfumes, shirts and chocolates and pasalubong for my family.
Chris: We visited the great buddha at Po Lin Monastery, how was that?
Honey Mae: It's really large, hard to get there and you need to have lots of energy because you need to get to a train until Tung Shung, Lantau Island, then you have to transfer to a bus takes about 1 hour on a steep mountain going to Po Lin Monastery where Tian Tan Buddha was. I enjoyed a lot and so grateful to see the world's largest outdoor seated bronze buddha.
Chris: How would you compare Hong Kong with the Philippines?
Honey Mae: In general, Hong Kong is the best place to stay. Why? Because regarding about transportation, they are really efficient. You know like if you're going to the place you like, you can get there as fast as you want, not like in the Philippines where its too slow and traffic is always a problem and more pollution,snatchers and pickpocketers..
Chris: How would you compare the quality of life between Hong Kong and the Philippines?
Honey Mae: I think Hong Kong is much nicer. Regarding about the minimum wage, can you imagine even a yaya (nanny) or DH (domestic helper = maid) in one month they can make 3,580HKD (P21,000 Pesos = $435 USD) whereas in Philippines you only get P1,500 ($31 USD.) It's not hard to survive here as a filipino with less education. But i think if i will work here as a chef, I can buy a husband, a house and lot. ha ha ha (laughs) and a sports car too (more laughs.)
For the Philippines the answer to the crisis is not only for the government, the military, civil society and the political opposition to respect due process and protect the Constitution, but also for the President to use a mailed fist to smash corruption and dedicate herself to giving Filipinos an honest, achieving and purposeful government.
Chris: People move fast here. Did you find all the rushing around to be stressful?
Honey Mae: No. That's what I always saw on TV, that's what im always expecting to happen in other country everything move fast specially if you work in there. In Philippines the life is slow, that is why money is also slow. Yes, the trade-off (in Hong Kong) is worth it.
Chris: On our way home to Cebu, we stopped off and visited Manila for your first time, how was that?
Honey Mae: Pretty good experience we went to see Mall of Asia, the largest mall in the Philippines, the nerve center of it which is Manila and nice to stay and wander around while waiting for our boarding time to Cebu at Ninoy Aquino International Airport Terminal 3.
Chris: Now you're an international traveler, you have visa stamps in your passport. How does that feel?
Honey Mae: It feels so great and im so thankfull to Hong Kong Immigration that they let me enter into their place, ha ha ha ha (laughs). Lastly i would like to thanks my dear mentor CHEF CHRIS to give me a chance to see the place where i like to work someday, (more laughs.) It was a nice experience with you and i learn a lot of good stuffs for me to prepare myself in my position as a chef.