Arriving at the hotel in Cebu City completely exhausted, I feel like I couldn’t stand up another second longer when the key to the room is handed over. We finally arrived around 7am local time on Friday morning, and considering the roughly 26 hours on the go and the 15 hour time difference I was ready to collapse the second my bed was in sight. But it’s worth it!
Two and a half hours later I’m wide awake again and buzzing with excitement to get out and explore. I think that may have been the deepest sleep I’ve had in recent memory, and I wake up after that nap feeling completely rested and re-energized. Unfortunately, Mike’s still sawing logs… not that I can blame him – he’s not used to lack of sleep the way I am. Trying to keep quiet and not disturb him, I distract myself with my emails and writing for as long as I can sit still, then tiptoe to my backpack and dig out my running shoes. I am convinced that a solid workout is my best way to tackle the jet lag, so off I go.
Our hotel in Cebu has a lovely little pool, and I chose here as our starting-off point exactly for this: it’s nice to have the first day of vacation free to lay around, and preferably on pool loungers basking in the tropical sunshine!
It’s the next day now, and I’m back at an airport waiting for a domestic flight to Palawan…. the seemingly endless delays are handy, at the very least, for me to be able to jot down the day.
Cebu is in the middle of a party as we arrived – it’s the Sinulog festival this weekend and everywhere I look there are bright flags and artwork decorating the streets; a distinctive drum-and-xylophone song being played on a seemingly endless loop with costumed dancers weaving through the crowds. Speaking of crowds, we hadn’t realized just how much that would be when we set out to explore after breakfast. I guess our first clue should have been that the roads where we were headed were being closed to vehicles… but we didn’t know what we were getting into and set off anyway to see San Pedro’s Fort and Magellan’s Cross for a bit of local history.
Trying to get back in time for our flight was a bit of a challenge as well, as of course by then the streets were entirely closed to traffic. Mike’s Google Map said it would be about a 35 minute walk so that didn’t seem too bad, and we set off. Somehow, and honestly I’m still not even sure how we did this, we found ourselves walking upstream against the parade the whole time, even when we tried to veer off to other streets. Actually, parade’s not even the right word – procession. Which makes me feel even worse… we’re very sorry for any offence we might have shown. We at least stopped and faced with the crowds when we noticed a holy image being carried. It was beautiful, though, and a very humbling experience witnessing the devotion of so many Catholics.
That 35 minute walk took us almost an hour and a half; where we uttered sorry/pardon me/excuse us please/I’m so sorry probably about a hundred gazillion times.
Cebu seems like a really great city, full of a very friendly population and some fun historical sites, but I’m really looking forward to getting out and on to the beaches of other islands!