Hola mi amigo, como esta?
If given the chance to learn a new language, it’ll definitely be Spanish. Although I think it’s easier for Filipinos to learn and speak the language considering the similarity of words, there’s a lot to learn especially when it comes to hard core Spanish slang.
I got the opportunity to travel to the U.S. and spend a couple of months working and immersing the new team that we organized for our San Antonio site. Honestly, it was not only the job that got me excited. But it was also the chance to experience the Hispanic city of San Antonio, most especially the city sights!
Traveling to SAT
There are no direct flights from Manila to San Antonio. Instead, you can take direct flights to either LAX or SFO. Then take another flight to SAT.
We took the PAL flight from MNL to LAX, then took another flight from LAX to Houston and then to San Antonio. It was a 22-hour flight so make sure to prepare for a very tiring trip.
What to see in San Antonio
There are a lot of tourist attractions in San Antonio. In the downtown area, you can traverse the entire river walk (or Paseo del Rio) and enjoy the different sights and dine at the finest restaurants beside the river. You can also take the river cruise and learn more about the San Antonio history and culture.
Shop at SAT
During our 2 month assignment, we would always hang out in malls, which is very Filipino of us. One of nicest malls I have been to was the River Center Mall and North Star Mall. They almost have everything “America”: Apple Store, Macy’s, Saks Fifth Avenue and of course Forever 21.
But never miss San Marcos! If you love shopping, then San Marcos is heaven. It’s a huge outlet store with hundreds of shopping options. I went there to accompany a friend and had no plan to shop. Turned out I brought more stuff.
For more budget-friendly shopping that’s within San Antonio, Ross is the way to go!
Dine at SAT
Like I said, San Antonio is geographically at the border of the Hispanics (Mexico), so expect that Mexican restaurants are everywhere. My favourite restaurant so far was Torchy’s Tacos.
American burger joint In-N-Out is also present in San Antonio. Tried it (for the experience) and didn’t like it.
You will never go hungry in San Antonio, you can buy a taco for as low as $2 or indulge in sky-rocket priced steaks (where Texas is famous for).
But if you are in a really tight budget, go to HEB! It’s a local supermarket (like that our dear SM) but with more food options at super low prices.
Traveling around SAT
If you can’t drive, then you have to stick with Uber (and that’s what we did). Texas is a state connected with highways. It may not be tourist friendly, but I think Uber in SAT is way cheaper.
While in San Antonio, I also took the time to visit Houston – my family’s home. I travelled by bus (for 3 hours) and it was a good ride. You can purchase bus tickets online for as low as $2, depending on the availability and seat-sale.
Should I want to go back to San Antonio? Definitely! I think San Antonio is the friendliest city in the US (together with the other Texan cities). You can really feel the “southern hospitality”. Always worth coming back!