On our way back to Taipa, a funny incident happened. We technically didn’t know how to make the bus driver stop. It’s a lot different from Filipinos way of shouting para (or stop in Filipino language.) We frantically clicked every button-looking thing we saw inside the bus. It was funny and frightening at the same time. We don’t know any place here and we also can’t afford to get lost because it’s our last day in Macau and there’s still a lot of places to see.
So there we were, seemingly hopeless with no idea on how to get off bus. We looked around if there were Filipinos that happened to be inside the bus but apparently there’s none. We were two bus stops over and still no idea, until a passenger standing in the middle pushed the thin black line on top of him. We got off along with the man laughing our asses off because of our stupidity.
We walked our way back to where we initially wanted to go which was the Macau Giant Panda Pavilion. There’s no one there that morning but us and a few people walking on the other side of the road. Moments like this makes the adventure more memorable. I’m glad we were lost again. Yeah, we lost a little time but we got to see a lot while we were walking, so, it was still worth it.
I felt like the place was ours because no one was there except us and a few of the zoo staff. We started walking with no idea what to see first. We saw flamingos and swans swimming gracefully along the shallow ponds and some other birds flying inside their enormous cages.
When we reached the end of the lined cages, a beautiful animal surprised us with its elegant stance. It was the very first time I have encountered a real-life reindeer. It was so beautiful. Everything it did seem like magic.
We have reached the final showcase of the whole pavilion, which were the pandas. It was secluded in an air-conditioned room with real trees and grasses to make it feel like their natural habitat. We were giddy like kids on Christmas day opening their gifts. This was it. An opportunity to see the cutest animal in existence. A time to cross out one item off my bucket list.
It was so surreal seeing a panda in person. It was so lively, rolling over the grasses, falling and tripping over the small ledge. It was so cute. Scratch that, it was beyond cute, it was adorable. I couldn’t take my eyes off of it. I followed the panda as it went from one point to another, trying to capture its most candid moments.
This panda seem to change its mood every few seconds. From giddy, to sleepy, to lonely then back to being jolly. It was so fun to watch.
We walked out with the biggest grins on our faces. It was truly quite the experience. Seeing it in person was priceless. I will never forget it’s funny antics like rolling until it falls over the ledge and trying to get back up but stumbling down instead. I was standing there hoping I could take it home. I think if the panda looked at me, it would see the desperation in my eyes.
What’s good about Macau is that every location can be reached through routed buses. But what’s bad about us is that we always get lost. This time we managed to get lost again. It was starting to be our habit. Every time we get lost is a chance for us to laugh things off.
We reached the entrance of A-Ma Village but we don’t know how to get inside the main village. We bumped in to a few Filipino workers eating lunch and told us that we need to wait for the shuttle that will take us there. I love seeing Filipinos in times like this. Filipinos are so welcoming to everyone and seeing them with smiles on their faces pacified my worried mind.
We waited alongside other foreign tourists for about twenty minutes before the shuttle have finally arrived. I seated by the windows to see the view outside. It was a lovely sight to behold. As we were reaching the top of the hill, I was seeing Macau unfold below me. I wish I could take photos but it was hard taking a good photo because the shuttle was moving swiftly.
We were welcomed by this stunning temple with bright orange-colored roofs. I have never seen anything this grand. You can even see the intricate details from afar. We climbed upstairs to see everything up close.
I was amazed with the architecture of this temple. It was literally jaw-dropping. I couldn’t help myself but to put my fingers and trace every line and every curve of its walls.
We walked along the quietness of the village. It was scorching hot and I could feel my body sweating but I still basked myself under the sun just to take photos because I will never ever shoot it the way I’m going to shoot it that moment.
After taking some snapshots, we went inside the temple and knelt down before the golden statues. Though, I’m not familiar with their religion, I still exerted an effort in adjusting to their culture. That’s what I love about travelling. I get to be exposed to other cultures and learn to treat them with respect.
While we were waiting for the shuttle, I took out my last piece of egg tart from Lord’s Stow’s Bakery. I still loved the smell and taste of it even though it was a little cold. After that, I crumpled it’s paper container and grabbed my bag to hurriedly ride the shuttle.
We rode the bus back to Barra late in the afternoon. The winds started to blow a little colder and the skies are starting to turn golden. There’s still a lot of foreign tourists visiting the A-Ma Temple. We joined in the bandwagon and walked inside. It was a serene view. The only thing I’ve heard were the leaves swaying with the breeze. With the light cutting through some open spaces, it made the temple look so dreamy. I smelled the aroma of the incenses scattered everywhere while praying and giving thanks to our very unforgettable tour.
On our way back to our house, I kept thinking to myself, asking myself, “Why can’t I stay a little longer?” I felt like it was a little cut short. But at least I’ll have more reasons to come back here.
With a few hours left before we leave for Hong Kong, I called my parents back home to check how they were doing. It’s hard living in a place without your family. We have met a lot of Filipinos working here and every story was sad. I can hear loneliness and longing in their voices. Knowing their stories made me realized that I’m lucky to be working near my home because anytime I feel lonely I can see my mom just outside my room. I admire their strength, though. Working this far from home, is never easy. People like them, made me want to travel more and know more of their stories.