Without sharing too much about my personal life, I just want to share that for three days, just recently, I was homeless.
My search was turning out to be in vain until one Malaysian friend Kenji, suggested I crash at the Our Melting Pot (OMP) hostel in Makati. I couldn’t believe it at first. A hostel in the heart of Makati Avenue?
My friend hasn’t been there but he has heard of it from fellow travelers. Despite me being in touch with the backpacking industry in the Philippines, thanks to couchsurfing, I haven’t heard of the place either.
But without any other options left, I looked for OMP’s website and asked whether there is still space for me. And with luck, I was able to crash on a bunk bed inside a 6-bed mixed room.
The hostel occupies the entire fourth floor of a building just beside Aberdeen Court along Makati Avenue. It’s at the corner of Guerrero street. The building is unremarkable but there’s a small OMP signage at the door bell.
For stranded locals, this is convenient since its close to the Makati Central Business District. For foreign backpackers, its perfect since it close to bars and clubs in Makati.
With my mind still weary with my troubles and since it was already 1am, I checked in at the counter and proceeded quickly to my quarters. I wasn’t able to really look around and I slept in the airconditioned room.
The morning after was different. I woke up, needing a blanket since the room was really cold.
It was then that I noticed that the room I was in was actually cool. There were six beds, but the room was spacious enough. Each bed has its own curtain so there is privacy somehow.
There are seven rooms all in all, with varying number of bunk beds in them. There are two lavatories and several shower and comfort rooms.
There is communcal kitchen and dining area, which is immaculate clean and there is a common area, with a table football.
For a 6-bed mixed room, each guest pays a measly P600 or $14 dollars, while those staying at 4-bed mixed rooms, they pay P800. For a Philippine rate, that’s way too cheap and it was lucky that I found the place.
But I was even more grateful that that rate is already inclusive of breakfast.
I had to leave most of my stuff inside one of the lockers, because I needed to go to work and when I got back, nothing was amiss, so I realized that it’s really safe to leave your stuff.
I stayed for three nights, I was able to meet a lot of travelers/backpackers passing through Manila before leaving for other destinations in the country.
I met Nicolas and Charles (Portugese and Belgian) en route to Sagada. I also met Walker, who’s has been traveling for the past two weeks.
I have stayed in a hostel in Thailand so the arrangement is nothing new to me. But staying in a hostel in the Philippines is really quite different.
First of all, abroad, you feel equal as everyone else, because all of you are foreigners on a foreign country. Here, you’re a Filipino, with nowhere to go. You can be a tour guide to your hostel mates or you can be the oddball: the local guy with nowhere to go.
With a wealth of experience and a few years ahead of my hostel mates, I decided to be a tour guide and shared with them the easiest and most practical ways to go around.
(Sagada seems to be a top destination and so are Bohol and Boracay.)
All in all, I stayed in OMP hostel for three nights and during that period, I was able to share a lot of my travel stories to fellow travelers and I heard theirs as well.
In the end, I realized that the name of the hostel is quite apt for this kind of establishment. In three nights, the hostel welcomed guests from Europe, North America, Africa and Asia. Just a floor of a building, yet it holds citizens of many nations.
Quite a melting pot, Indeed.