My aunt Leah and I stayed in Hotel Sogo. It felt awkward to check in here with my aunt.

• To make the situation more awkward, we unwittingly entered the hotel from the backdoor.

• Checking for available rooms in Hotel Sogo at unusual hours translated into an awkward moment.

๐Ÿ‡ต๐Ÿ‡ญ MABALACAT, PAMPANGA
HOTEL SOGO DAU

My aunt Leah and I stayed in Hotel Sogo. It felt awkward to check in here with my aunt. You know, there’s a certain image associated with Hotel Sogo. Being with my aunt at that time—while checking for available rooms in Hotel Sogo at unusual hours—gave me an uncomfortable feeling.

When we (me and my aunt) attempted to check in, all rooms were fully booked. I was amused by how in-demand this hotel was—considering that it had enormous rooms to fill.

To make the situation more awkward, we unwittingly entered the hotel from the backdoor (I didn’t know there’s a secret entrance in this Hotel Sogo branch), and this was the reason why I saw a line of successive rooms with parking spaces in each room. It seemed like a hotel “drive thru” where you pay, then drive directly into your secret room. However, I could be wrong. This backdoor could just be a plain parking lot. For someone like me who is not familiar with the mechanics in Hotel Sogo, I’m not really sure. I’m just sharing my scenario-based observation.

Anyway, the rate at that time was 575 pesos for our short stay, but let me bring you from the start. Why did we end up in Hotel Sogo?
HOTEL SOGO DAU
HOTEL SOGO DAU
HOTEL SOGO DAU
HOTEL SOGO DAU
HOTEL SOGO DAU
You may tap/click the images in this carousel to enlarge.

 ►  Why and how did we end up in Hotel Sogo?

We left ▼ VIGAN

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too early for our scheduled flight. We would fly out via Clark International Airport. Due to the existence of a growing network of expressways north of Manila, more buses are ditching the “passenger” route via Dau. This has caused some scarcity of buses from Vigan that usually have a stopover at Dau terminal going to Metro Manila. Since the two buses of Partas (originating from ▼ LAOAG

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) that stop at Dau Terminal were “chance passenger” buses, we opted to wait for the earliest bus for contingency planning.

To cut the long story short, our circumstances pushed us to leave Vigan very early relative to our flight schedule. We reached Dau at around 04:30 AM on 04 December 2023.

TYPHOON GORING
๐Ÿ‡ต๐Ÿ‡ญ VIGAN • ON BOARD A BUS, ME AND MY AUNT HAD NO IDEA WE WOULD END UP CHECKING IN HOTEL SOGO.
We reached Dau about 8 hours before our flight. Since Hotel Sogo is just beside the terminal (and was very prominent even at night), it felt easy to decide where to sleep that night. We had an ample time to kill before our flight. We stayed in Hotel Sogo in Dau. My aunt was not aware of the stereotypical image of Hotel Sogo, though.

HOTEL SOGO DAU
๐Ÿ‡ต๐Ÿ‡ญ MABALACAT • AT THE HOTEL'S LOBBY WHILE WAITING FOR AVAILABLE ROOMS

 ►  How Did We Enter and Exit Hotel Sogo with Grace? ๐Ÿซฃ

When I inquired at the counter, all the rooms were fully-booked. The frontdesk crew told me that the earliest possible vacancy would be around 6-7 AM. When I was about to look for another hotel because I badly wanted to sleep, a couple suddenly came out and checked-out. Hurray! So, we had a room to use. I fell asleep at around 5 AM and woke up at around 10 AM. 5 hours of rest was worth the 575 pesos for me. My aunt Leah (we call her Lalay at home) also had a good rest.

When we checked out, I opted to leave Hotel Sogo via their main entrance door which is an “automatic door” that opens when someone comes close to it. The main entrance door faces the McArthur Highway, near the intersection with the Dau Access Road that connects to the NLEX.

HOTEL SOGO DAU
๐Ÿ‡ต๐Ÿ‡ญ MABALACAT • MY AUNT HAD NO IDEA OF THE STEREOTYPICAL IMAGE OF HOTEL SOGO
I asked the property security guard how to commute to the airport. Unfortunately, the officer discouraged us to commute. I had an intuition that the security officer's discouragement had something to do with a middleman business. So, I anticipated that he would give an offer.

The guard did not recommend that we should commute to the airport. Upon seeing the transport situation in Dau, I agreed with him. Side note, the tito in me seemed like I could no longer endure traveling to the airport via jeep/bus with his luggages in tow. I used to love commuting when I was younger, though. Today is a different story. Comfort and convenience already became an utmost consideration in my travel budgeting.

Anyway, the security officer suggested that we should take a taxicab. He offered to call a taxi driver. At that time, my intuition was right then. It was an another middleman business, but I don’t complain about this. I am pro-diskarte, and the decision to accept the offer would still rest on me.

HOTEL SOGO DAU
๐Ÿ‡ต๐Ÿ‡ญ MABALACAT • THE SECURITY OFFICER SECURED OUR LUGGAGE WHILE WAITING FOR THE TAXICAB
HOTEL SOGO DAU
๐Ÿ‡ต๐Ÿ‡ญ MABALACAT • THE PROPERTY SECURITY OFFICER HELPED US WITH OUR LUGGAGE AS THE TAXICAB ARRIVED
Meanwhile, he contacted someone via Messenger video call and assured that the taxi would arrive in 5 minutes. We waited at the hotel lobby (inside the property) and left some of my luggages. The security officer offered to look after my valuables, and I was kind of hypnotized to trust him.. His last price was 500 pesos for an 11-kilometer ride. I closed the deal. I badly needed this. With the circumstances I had at that time, this was worth the deal.

HOTEL SOGO DAU
๐Ÿ‡ต๐Ÿ‡ญ MABALACAT • LEAVING HOTEL SOGO WITH THIS TAXICAB CALLED BY THE SECURITY OFFICER
HOTEL SOGO DAU
๐Ÿ‡ต๐Ÿ‡ญ MABALACAT • THANK YOU, HOTEL SOGO. SLEEP IS GOLD.
So that’s my Hotel Sogo-Dau story.

We're down to our next destination with my aunt. Where were we going? Why was my aunt traveling with me? What was the role of my aunt in this adventure? • To be continued...

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 ►  Realtime Ending Thoughts

I'm currently here in Mindanao as I write this post. I was a little afraid of starting a new blog series because most of the blog series that I started were never finished. The only series I was able to finish was my ▼ ALAB ORIENTE

๐Ÿ‡ต๐Ÿ‡ญ BONTOC • Alab Oriente: An Ancient Village With Sacred Grounds

Prehistoric mountain dwellers inhabited this place leaving a mark that became an evidence of their existence.
series way back in 2012 (but I wrote it later in 2013).

Today is 123123 (12-31-2023). It's the last day of the year, but I want to remember this closure by opening a new series. I don't know when will I finish this series. This is definitely the longest vacation I ever had since I started travel blogging in 2010.

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UPDATE HISTORY FOR THIS BLOG POST
• 2023-December-31: This post was published.
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Axact

EDMAR GUQUIB y DEL CASTILLO

Born and Raised in Vigan, Philippines. Hardcore Ilocano-Cordilleran. Professional Nurse on Weekdays. Coffee Addict. Travel Blogger in Between. For collaboration or partnership, email your business proposal at admin@edmaration.com.

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