The saying goes something like this: ‘expect the unexpected’. This past week of travel has certainly dished up the different and the interesting. In my earlier post I wrote of my Monday in Cebu and the Cebu University. By Tuesday I had an attack of the ‘guilts’ so I put a concerted effort in to editing the final chapter of the thesis. Sitting at the Henry Hotel, by the pool, bottomless cup of coffee, cool water on request and the time slipped past. No distractions – emails, texts, phone calls – then a reward at the end, a big ice-cold beer. Around four in the afternoon I re-joined the world and walked through the back streets of downtown Cebu. Life here in the Philippines is certainly different to that of Australia and I’m sure I’d struggle to adapt. Tuesday night I had dinner in the hotel.
While Cebu is great for some adventure tourism, diving, climbing and para-sailing the more traditional venues of museums, art-galleries, and street architecture is not high on the list of things to do here. However, with local friends a new world opens up. I will write this up in a more detailed segment to these blogs in the next day or so when I get all my photos organised as well. We visited the uptown area of Cebu, looked through malls, walked the avenues, visited churches that date back to the first Spanish settlement (invasion) and then took a ferry ride across the harbour to Lapu Lapu – Mactan island.
Another church and so many candle sellers, and candles, which are lit at almost every shrine. We took a stroll through the attached high school (to this specific church) and then into the totally confusing labyrinth of traffic congested streets. I didn’t notice any public transport.
There are taxis, jeeps (partially covered vans where the passenger hops on and off at their leisure) and then the trikes – motor-bike and sidecar is a lose description and pedal power. We used them all.
I was privileged to visit a local government office where (Vicki) the mother of my colleague and guide is the office manager and secretary to the Mayor. Her role is a complex arrangement of formality, minute-taking, welfare, assisting tourists in difficulties and helping the local community navigate their way through the complexities of the legal system.
While her position is a normal office hour role she is well known in the community and often people will call on her at home. I will end this blog on the mention of their home. Vicki invited me to visit their home later that evening and to meet all of the family. This was a surprise and I understand the importance that is placed on this offer, which I graciously accepted.