Sin City, Asian version

You can do Macau for free. That is, if you stay for one day only. Get on a ferry first thing in the morning and leave at around 10 pm. Take advantage of the shuttles and the hospitality of casinos. But we decided to spend two nights in the country and it was worth it. When we arrived, the husband of Reyma’s cousin, kuya Andrew, together with a friend met us at the terminal and after bringing our bags to the hotel, they showed us what Macau is known for.

First stop was Wynn Hotel.

e (4)There was a huge dome in the lobby and kuya Andrew told us to wait there and stay near the dome because in no time, people will start coming to the place. After a couple of minutes, drum rolls signaled the start of the show. It was the Dragon of Fortune. The dome opened and a really huge dragon (not real, of course) came out of the opening in a circular motion with fog effects. For something that was free of charge, it was cool.

e (11)After that, kuya Andrew and his friend led us to a series of corridors lined up with brands like Chanel and Ferrari and Dior until we arrived outside of Wynn where a fountain show is held every 15 minutes from 11 am to 12 mn. It was nice, though if you stood too near, you’d get splashed with water.

SONY DSCAfter the fountain show, we came back inside at the same dome where the Dragon of Fortune emerged to watch another show by the hotel called Prosperity Tree. Just like the dragon, a tree came up from the dome in a circular motion but what made it cooler was that the ceiling opened as well and a gigantic chandelier appeared. I think the leaves of the tree are really green but the effect of lights caused them to appear brown, golden and even purple. It was so beautiful a friend (I’m not telling who) got teary-eyed.

SONY DSCAfter Wynn, we boarded a bus and went to Galaxy Hotel. The exterior was impressive it reminded me of Taj Mahal.

e (5)Just like in Wynn, Galaxy also had a show and it involved a moving indoor colorful fountain where an enormous (I am running out of synonyms for huge) diamond appeared (of course it was not real, glass, I think) over a chandelier made up of glass crystals. But the show was not what we enjoyed the most at Galaxy. It was the Casino, the first one I’ve been in. I have read of all the free bottled water and coffee in these places but actually being there was fun. While walking, kuya Andrew simply gets bottled water on top of a poker table and hands it to us. We then put it in our bags and were handed some more. Also, he asked for our passports and we applied on the first of many casino memberships. The card came with 50 dollars worth of tokens which you can use in any of their machines. Dams won more or less two hundred dollars, that lucky bastard. That’s when our gambling started.

SONY DSCI asked kuya Andrew’s friend why we weren’t going to the City of Dreams for the Bubbles show because I read on some blogs that it was really amazing plus it was 4D. He said it was free before but now the hotel charges a certain fee. He also told me of Cirque du Soleil, which, according to him, was a really breathtaking and eye-popping 2-hour show at some hotel I forgot the name of. Unfortunately, the cheapest tickets cost around 400 HKD and we did not have that kind of money. I wished again that I was filthy rich because I have wanted to see Cirque du Soleil so bad when they had a month-long show in Manila last year but the tickets were also bloody expensive.

SONY DSCNext stop was Venetian Macau. We did three things in the place. First, took lots of pictures because it’s camera-friendly, the closest thing I’ll have of Europe for now. Second, dreamt about buying everything if only we were benefactors of infinite trust funds. And third, had dinner at the food court where the pseudo-Venice with all the gondola were. I was glad to know that there was actually something inside Venetian Macau that we can afford. The food was decent, not even the most expensive we had. It was 60 dollars for two people and it included two viands (in one plate which looked a bit awful but WTH), two servings of rice and an additional fee for drinks. Dams was my partner and since he just got 200 HKD richer, I harassed him and paid only 20 bucks.

e (6)After Venetian, we came back to our hotel and bitten by the gambling bug, visited our very own casino. Of course there was again the membership card application. It’s the first thing we always did. Actually, I have memorized my passport number thanks to writing it down again and again. Since the night was young, we decided to go back to Venetian because we forgot to avail of the casino membership. We played till morning and I lost a hundred dollars. Why? Because after you win, you want to have more (greed, which was, and always is, part of human nature) and if you lose, you play some more because you want to revenge on that freaking machine and get your money back (useless quest). Nobody wins in gambling. Trust me, don’t ever believe yourself when you say “this will be the last” because it won’t. Stop betting there and then. You should have a really intact self-control because I admit mine roamed around somewhere else when I needed it the most. Anyhoo, I still enjoyed the night especially when Abi and I played together, so much fun.

SONY DSCThe next night we went to Oceanus which was just an overpass away from the ferry terminal. My only purpose for tagging along was the additional membership card because it has free tokens. I played and stopped after winning 70 dollars (elation was multiplied by two because I only used the free tokens). At that moment I was ready to let go of my hundred dollar loss the previous night.

It sucks that you cannot bring a camera in any casino because casinos look really great, with the lights and all. Of course, temptations always take beautiful forms. I decided not to let gambling command me so I just fished for free bottled water and coffee and nai cha the rest of our stay.

SONY DSCAfter Oceanus, we went back to our hotel (learned our lesson to go home before the clock strikes twelve). Then, Reyma said her cousin told her Mocha is a really good casino and it was near where we were staying so we asked the guard and it happened to be just across the street inside Altira Hotel. I was not supposed to go but I was tempted by the prospect of having another membership card (spell shallow). The guy manning the membership section was really cute. He was the most handsome human being we saw in those 8 days, especially when he smiled. Plus point because he wore spectacles and he looked really harmless. Their slot machines sucked because it kept on playing some sort of theme song which went like, “It’s mocha time”. Also, I lost 50 dollars in less than 30 minutes. Thank you very much, self-control.

e (1)Thank God casinos in the Philippines are not as good as the ones in Macau. Not that I’ve been in any PAGCOR gaming places here but Bianca told us the differences. First, slot machines in Macau do not dispense money if you win. Instead, a ticket is printed with the amount then you have to change said ticket into money in any redeeming machines. In the Philippines, you have to wait for an attendant after you win (up to 30 minutes waiting time). Second, slot machines in Macau accept 10 HKD in denomination while Bianca said in all the Pinoy casinos she has been in, the lowest was 500 pesos. You see, 10s and 20s are easy to play and lose compared to 500. I guess that’s why almost everyone in Macau played — from people in their mid-20s to really old ones who looked like they just couldn’t find another hobby and of course, tourists like us who thought 10 dollars was okay until we added up all the 10s we lost. Ah, gambling.

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