My first day in the Philippines

Well, hmm.. Where to begin. I got to the airport right on time for my flight out of Bali at 1:10am Saturday morning on Philippine Airlines. I declined the dinner and went to sleep. When I arrived in Manila, I transferred my bags on to the next flight and headed to the gate so I could find a comfy place to lay down and sleep. It was only 6am. After you went thru customs, you had to go outside and upstairs to enter the ticketing area. This was a very strange domestic terminal setup only for transfers. Once I was at the gate I slept another 3 hours and ate a cheese croissant with Asia’s version of OJ which is Minute Made Pulpy Orange. A powdered mix orange drink with real pulp. I’m still confused but here it is normal.

 

As I was finishing up breakfast at a table near the café, a woman from the airline came up to me and advised me that my flight was canceled due to maintenance issue and I was put on the 4pm flight to Cebu. Now, the last ferry to Tagbilaran left Cebu at 6:35pm so I had to get to the ferry by then. The flight left around 4:30 due to weather and we arrived around 5:40pm.. My bags came out rather quickly and I raced for a metered cab, which is the only cab you ever want to take so you don’t get ripped off. The driver turned into Emerson Fitipaldi and we set off to break the normal time of 45min. We left the airport at 5:54pm. Thank God this driver was experienced and probably memorized every possible route to the Pier. We arrived at 6:31. A porter opened my door and grabbed my bags. I paid the cabby and tipped him almost twice the fair amount for his amazing driving skills. The porter whisked me by everyone and bought my ticket and checked in my bags. I had just made the ferry.. I thought.. Wow, this was a crazy day.

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I knew I had 1 day of relaxing before my start at the work site for Hands.org on Monday and I had planned to get settled in to my room. Once the ferry arrived in Tagbiliaran city around 9pm, I hired a trike(a moto cross bike with a covered side car built on) to take me to my homestay. Unknown to me, the homestay was in the mountains and most of the road leading there was limestone. Jagged rocks coming out of dirt and many small steep hills. A few times we almost didn’t make it up and the last hill we didn’t. The house was only another 150 feet up the road so the driver and I hauled my bags up to the house. The owner’s mother and house keeper were awaiting my arrival and showed me to my room. The unknowns keep on coming as this house has no windows and no screens. I also noticed a few 12 inch Geckos freely roaming the house. I was on the 3rd floor and the bathroom on the first floor. I was begining to think these were all signs telling me that I should cancel this portion of my trip and move on to the tropical paradise of Boracay. But I thought, tomorrow is a new day.

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I finally laid down on the bed which was a thin pad on a bamboo frame. About 15min into my sleep I was awakened by a thud sound next to my bed. I looked over and saw a large Beetle or so it seemed, crawling around my bag. It was around 3 inches. I do not like large bugs at all. After I trapped the bug in a glass, I laid back down and fell asleep. A couple hours later I woke up to turn my light out and there was a large hornet flying around my light… aaahhhh. What a night..haha

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This morning I explained to the owners, who were very nice people, that this may not work out. They offered to put up bug net, but the main problem was getting to and from my work site. Today I had a local take me to the site so I could get a better feeling of the drive time and conditions. On the way down the limestone hill we got a flat on the bike. He grabbed another bike and we visited the site which was right on the beach. My last ditch effort to make this volunteer project work was to get a room at the resort next to the project. This resort wasn’t listed online as they are going thru renovations but some rooms were still available to locals. They only had 1 room available for a few days. I’m awaiting to hear the price. The manager is calling us soon. It just got done pouring down and it was quite an amazing T-storm. That made me also think, I didn’t bring rain gear as I had no other room in my bag for it. I’m getting very close to packing up tonight and heading down to the airport or ferry to Cebu and tour the city for a few days before heading off to Boracay. I guess we shall wait and see…Either way, what was meant to happen is what’s meant to happen..

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3 thoughts on “My first day in the Philippines

  1. Shirley

    Hi Dan,
    As I was reading your journal I couldn’t help myself…laughthing and laughthing!!!
    You are one “dare devil” son of a gun to put up with all of this…I do hate bugs,
    Don’t matter what size they are, I just hate them all.
    Plus all the running around…so…are you staying? :))

    Like

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