Saturday, May 09, 2009

¡Que suerte en San Juan!

It took me a while to find a slot-machine with the view of the wide screen tv. I wanted to secure a seat with a view so I can watch the much awaited Pacquiao-Hutton match. Earlier that day, we had gone beach hopping in San Juan where we walked what could have been four miles of coast line. We started from Isla Verde, east of the city, and walked westward to Ocean Park and then finally to Condado beach taking a cerveza break in between beaches. Take note that walking on sand is much harder compared to strolling on concrete sidewalk. So imagine how incredibly soothing on my back and legs to just sit down inside the hotel’s casino.

I put two bucks into the machine giving me 40 credits. The plan is to sit there, pretend to be playing while watching the fight. To accomplish this, I need to hit the bonus round many times, take my sweet time while I’m in there and try to win as many credits as possible. It seemed like the Puerto Rican boxing fans were doing the same thing. My seatmates were smart but not as classy as yours truly. What they did was leave enough credit in the machine, leave a card inserted into the slots and lean the seats forward to make it look like the slot machine is already taken. The catch is that they informed me, in their Puerto Rican Spanish, that they will be back and I am supposed to tell people las sillas estan tomadas. At least that’s how I understood it.
I was feeling lucky that evening because I did hit the bonus round several times allowing me earn more credits so I can play longer. I sense something good is going to happen. While we all watch reruns of previous boxing matches, I learned that the local boxing aficionados were all rooting for Pacman. It must be the Spain connection? Suddenly, we all have something in common so I finally revealed to them that el es mi compatriota porque soy filipino. They looked astonished after I told them that.
The reruns are over and I can now see Martin Nievera, a popular filipino singer, and Pacman inside the ring. My heart beat faster. Hutton made his grand entrance. I got to another bonus round and earned additional 80 credits. The match has commenced and people are now congregating around the area.
Pacman won convincingly over Hutton. Mis amigos congratulated me as if I was the one who won. When I looked on my slot machine’s dashboard, I had won over 600 credits. I was thinking to myself, I should have played the lottery!

(The photo above was taken in 'El Morro', a massive colonial fortress, in San Juan, Puerto Rico.)

Here are the rest of the photos I took around San Juan, Puerto Rico.

Old San Juan
This old fortress is called Fort San Felipe del Morro or El Morro. This reminds me of the old Spanish fortress in Manila called Intramuros but only Morro is better preserved.

El Morro
Here's a view of El Morro from afar. It was a hot day but the hurricane force winds made the walk pleasant.

Mosaic in San Juan
I found this mosaic wall art while walking around the Ocean Park district of San Juan.

Beaches of San Juan
We walked the entire length of the beaches in San Juan. This one was taken at Ocean Park Beach.

This one is a nice beach called Isla Verde.

Condado Beach
This is Condado Beach and this is where we stayed the entire time in San Juan.

Downtown San Juan
This is San Juan's downtown. 

San Juan mall
At a mall called Plaza las Americas.

San Juan eats
Lunch time in Old San Juan.

Old San Juan
This is the view of Old San Juan from the Catano district in San Juan.

Bacardi Rum
We also went to rum tasting at the Bacardi Rum Distillery.

Bacardi rum distillery
And the best of all is that it was free.

We went here for a quick lunch. El Jibarito is in San Juan's Old Town.

San Juan eats
Typical Puerto Rican meal.

Fountain in San Juan
Locals flock to the La Princesa fountain in San Juan.

Condado beach
Here's the view of the beach from the Marriott Hotel San Juan.


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