I arrived in Cebu at stupid o’clock in the morning, having taken a train from Nha Trang to Saigon and two flights, Saigon to Manila and Manila to Cebu.
I was very tired and quite pleased not to have had to stop in Manila which was the original plan.
Last time I went there I arrived exhausted at about 4am after an exceedingly roundabout flight from England. My dad immediately took me to a ‘dance hall’. It had allot of Americans in it and ladies in skimpy neon outfits. Some sexy dancers appeared and their clothes fell off. I am so glad I don’t know what was happening behind me to this unaccompanied man, but he seemed pleased. For some reason, my dad could not understand why I was less than impressed by this whole turn of events. Later some hawkers tried to sell him Viagra and he looked embarrassed and sped away, I found that amusing at least. Finally I allowed to sleep in a charming ‘pay by the hour’ hotel, it was only a bit dirty and there were only a few curly hairs in the shower. We took a boat to Cebu the next day and my step-mother asked dad to confirm that he had only been in safe parts of Manila and no seedy ones. Dad swore he had not. By his logic, by the way, the seedier the area, the more tight the mafia control and therefore, the safer it is, at least for the tourists.
This time I was met by both Arlene (Step-mom) and Dad and was taken to their usual holiday hotel right away – they are teachers and spend the summer holidays in Arlene’s home city. In a few weeks my sister will join me from England, she will meet my parents in Thailand as they are going to a wedding there and they will rejoin us (myself and my step-sister) after that. I like to see my step family and it is quite helpful in the Philippines, which can be scary, to have people around that can look out for you. It is also nice to be able to meet a wider variety of people and experience the culture in a little more depth.
Anyway, I can write about that soon enough. I get to meet my step-grandparents quite soon too so that is nice. Everyone who goes to the Philippines should acquire helpful grandparents, its just a good idea.