Stops 33 +34: Lapu-Lapu and Cebu, Back to Asia!

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After spending a luxury evening in Dubai it was time to jump onto the plane to take me to the Philippines. The flight was at 2 in the morning so I spent the majority of it asleep. That is until I was woken up by the stewardess who literally prodded me in the arm asking bluntly if I wanted lunch.

“Why not?” I replied on autopilot.

We landed at 3, and I finally got to my mate Lee’s house at 5. That was mainly because there was a huge line at customs, then I went to walk it to Lee as it was only a couple of kilometres, but it began to rain so I retreated back to the taxi rank and asked matey boy if he knew the address.

Of course he fucking didn’t, but he said he did so he would get the fare. So after driving around clueless for 20 minutes running up the fare I got out at a random school that I knew was somewhat nearby as I’d seen it on Google Maps. I found the place after a tricycle driver drove me there and smugly smirked at me saying “No change!” When I gave him a 100 peso note. Yep, I was reminded within 20 minutes how dishonest Asia could be, and that I needed to put my guard up again. Not only that, but after resisting it for so long I downloaded maps.me on my phone so I could follow a map offline, that way I didn’t have to keep memorising places like I have been for the past 5 months…

But none of that mattered; as I finally got to Lee’s place and hugged after 15 months of not seeing each other. I said hello to his wife and daughter (his daughter is the same age as my nephew, so I’m used to dealing with children that age). We ate, talked and break-danced until it was time to really catch up, in the form of a bar:

Rock Cafe felt like a Thai bar; girls in short shorts who would only shout swear words in English (Which I guess says a lot about the clientele), overpriced food and a pool table. I had no interest in the food or the loud women shouting obscenities, so I was happy chatting with Lee catching up having a few drinks and playing pool.

We drank until midnight and was about to leave, but Lee began chatting to a few locals there called Paul and Joy. After chatting for a few minutes we agreed to get one more drink. Of course one more drink turned into several and we were soon playing doubles on the pool table. Me and Paul humiliated Lee and Joy, because no fucking mercy!!!

Me and Lee stumbled home at three in the morning and I eventually got to sleep at 4:30. Jet lag finally set in and I was up again at around 3:30 the next day. Luckily Lee had planned for us to go to a barbecue at some ex-pats house. It was bitching! Burgers…and lasagne for some reason. Not that I’m complaining! It was a nice day and before we knew it it was 10:00 and time for everyone to go to bed. Well, everyone except me, who was wide awake and couldn’t get to sleep until 7 the next morning.

I slept for 2 hours, had breakfast and lunch with Lee and his family and said I was heading off. They replied that they were going to have a nap for a couple of hours (We’re hard workers over here!) so I might as well have a nap as well. I did and left Lapu-Lapu at 4:30 heading on random jeepneys to Cebu.

What’s a jeepney you ask? For fucks sake what’s with all the questions!?! A jeepney is the Philippines’ version of a taxi/bus. They’re actually old US army trucks that have been converted into public transport, and is between 7 and 15 pesos per journey depending on where you go (if it’s more than 2 km you will start paying more than 7, which is roughly around 10 pence…) I had to take 2 separate jeepneys, so my 10 km journey cost me a grand total of 22 Pesos (30-35p)! I waltzed toward my hotel and got an air conditioned dorm room for 350 Pesos (£6) a night, and except for the first night I had the whole dorm to myself! Winning while I’m singing!

As I was still adjusting with the jet lag, I decided to do nothing for 3 days, and get my body clock into check. The air con room was a God send and before I knew it it was time to get the bus to Dumaguete and see what that place had to offer for me on my return. I didn’t like Cebu the first time I was there but this time it wasn’t so bad, so hopefully Dumaguete is going to be even better than I remember it to be…

NOTE:  I also went to the embassy to get information about getting my Thai work visa. It looks like I’m just going to run out of time when it comes to applying for it. So most likely it’ll be a case of going to Thailand to pick up my paperwork, then go to Laos to get things sorted there. It’s not ideal but nothing ever works out perfectly. That’s the fun of the trip!

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