I recently traveled back to Cebu this summer at the end of July, the land of my mother’s family, not to mention the sweetest bananas and mangoes one can ever taste. Every trip I take there is different. This time around, I decided to simply collect all my favorite moments while I was there. Enjoy!
This is why I love traveling.
- When I was standing in front of a Kodak kiosk figuring out how to print off a couple 4×6 photos, the employee assisting me asked if I was Italian.
- While I was standing in the security line at the airport, I was informed by the group of Korean males in line in ahead of me that I was standing in the male line. Upon receiving this news, I thanked them in Korean. 😉
- When I stayed with one of my cousins’ families, we went to the beach. The beach was a rock wall with steps leading down to clear and shining water. We went swimming with our clothes on at about 8 o’clock in the morning after eating fish and drinking instant coffee for breakfast.
- In the Philippines, all coffee is instant coffee. I don’t even know if I trust the higher class places sometimes.
- My mom and I were at the Ayala Shopping Center in Cebu since she needed to take care of a camera problem. I guess she purchased a defective Olympus product. She decided she wanted coffee. Iced coffee. So as the good and dutiful daughter, I marched off to McDonalds to discover they have no ice coffee. Then I went to Dunkin Donuts. No iced coffee. (I’m in a shopping mall, by the way, going from stand to stand, store to store.) Mr. Donuts. A place that sold pastries. An ice cream store. A couple restaurants. I couldn’t believe it. I wasn’t finding iced coffee anywhere. Then I saw Pizza Hut. And let me tell you, Pizza Hut is a freaking Italian Cuisine Restaurant decked out with classy menus and waiters in the Philippines! They had iced coffee. But it sucked and wasn’t even worth the pesos I paid for it. It was probably instant iced coffee. Thanks, Pizza Hut, for having it at least!
- Riding a taxi WITH my mom and telling the driver where to go without even knowing the address. Just the location. We drove past the place a couple of times, but it was dark.
- My mom and I were walking around looking for the jipney port, couldn’t find it, gave up, and hopped into the first taxi that came around the corner.
- There’s this shopping mall called Gaisanos in Talisay City, Cebu. There’s a salon in there that does manicures and pedicures for 50 pesos each. (That’s roughly 30NTD, 1USD, depending on the exchange rate.) And they do a good job!
- There are these stores all over the Philippines called sari-sari stores (variety store). They’re these little barred shops that allow the boss to sell stuff out of his home. A sari-sari will sell tiny packets of soap, shampoo, detergent, instant coffee, soft drinks (in a glass bottle of course – they all are in the Philippines), rice, numerous snacks. Some have bread. There was this bigger house near the place we were staying that had one. I ran over to buy soft drinks for everyone. Nobody was home, or they were sleeping. My friend and I left and went to another one (they’re literally everywhere). We were later followed by another woman who was also standing in line with us at the sleeping sari-sari. (Note for foreigners: if you ever do buy a soft drink from a neighborhood sari-sari, you may be required to return the glass bottle to that same store. Some places pour your coke into a plastic bag and give you a straw to avoid the inconvenience of not getting it back.)
- While I was in Cebu this last July, My mom and I actually spent most of our time taking care of Grandma, who was extremely sick. One of the things we needed to do before we both left and other people were hired as caretakers was move her to a more permanent location. Well, the “move” ended up being quite the show for my Lola. We called a whole group of guys from the church over to help mover HER. All of them picked up the chair that was temporarily serving as her bed, maneuvered it out of the house, and carried her OUTSIDE across the field to her new location. She was getting the Persian Princess treatment, and she looked so happy. This moment is extra classic for me, because it is one I, along with everyone else who was there, must remember with my heart. (My iPhone 4 of all things was acting up.) It was truly priceless moment. I guess God knew that when he kept me from capturing it with a device that is defined by price.
- My mother would speak to me in Cebuano. Sometimes I understood her; most of the time I didn’t. Now only if she had done that while I was growing up.