Recuperating in Cebu!

Trip Start Oct 18, 2007
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Trip End Aug 2008


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Where I stayed
Kukuk's Pensionne House

Flag of Philippines  ,
Tuesday, January 22, 2008

Well, I arrived in Cebu on Jan 15th and am here till the 29th.  I was hoping to fit in more than Moalboal and Sinulog during this time and check out neighboring islands, namely Dumaguete, Siquijor and Bohol, but I'm finally listening to my body and taking a mini-break from my travels to just stay put for at least five days and not move around.  It also helps that the rain has followed me to this city from Boracay and Moalboal, pretty much forcing me to stay put and not explore too far or for very long.  Lately, I sleep early and do very little more than read, do laundry, sleep, write in my journal and read some more.  I've also changed antibiotics (Thanks Dr. Kira!!!  = D), and am taking multi-vitamins to help my body fight off this cough.  I'm feeling better already!  I was initially toying with the idea of returning to freezing cold Montreal to recover from this cough (maybe not as logical as I initially thought), but after a few discussions with my parents, we all came to the same conclusion... I just need some rest so I don't cut my trip short.  This is for the folks back home: I'm feeling way better and will continue forward with my trip!  Now I know my body's limits...

On a sidenote, one of the reasons I wanted to hit Cebu specifically during the third weekend of January was to soak in Sinulog, the annual colourful festival that rocks this city.  Unfortunately, the crowds and the unrelenting heat and sun can get a tad overwhelming, then it started to rain during this year's parade.  Thankfully, they organizers also host a yearly photo contest during Sinulog, so the web is FULL of pictures from this awesome street party.  For a little sampler, check out the pictures on the following sites -
http://www.sinulog.ph/
http://www2.sunstar.com.ph/blogs/photo_contest.html
http://www.flickr.com/photos/sinulog/sets/72157603681567336/
http://colloidfarl.blogspot.com/2008/01/surviving-sinulog-20 08-part-1.html

I've also experienced my first opportunity to surf on someone's couch while I've been in Cebu City.  Yaaay!  CouchSurfing!!!  My first host, Joey, showed me Moalboal, took me diving at Pescador Island, and introduced me to Kawasan Falls.  My next host was Kim Anthony and we tried to catch the Fluvial Parade...  Both have been so hospital and shared their fave stomping grounds with me.

My Uncle Calixto (aka Awa aka Showha) who's my father's older brother, his wife Auntie Flor and my cousins Ate Kira, Kuya Kim, Alec and Juan as well as their spouses and children reside in Cebu City and I've had the chance of reconnecting with them as well while I've been here.  It really shouldn't take me 10-15 years to visit my relatives out here.  I need to close that gap and bring it down to maybe visiting every 3-5 years.  But thank goodness for email and Skype! 

Next stop in a week's time, the western outpost of the Philippines known as Palawan... Then my next country = THAILAND on Feb 1!

//Addendum, 28 January 2008//
Current Mission: "To find the happy space that exists between complete strangers."
This is what I've posted on my couchsurfing profile... and I think I'm fulfilling this mission quite well and with much pleasure!  During the last ten days - my timeout from travelling - I've been based at the beautiful hub of all coolness, Kukuk's Nest on Gorordo St. in Cebu City.  I've met an amazing assortment of lovely folks, all with interesting stories to tell.  I'm hoping to convince the stunning proprietress of Kukuk's, Maria Victoria Beltran, better known as Bambi, to write an autobiography about her stories; being the first Filipina Dive Instructor in the country, a practitioner of Filipino martial arts, an accomplished artist and writer, an actress in three indie movies, a mother of three...  Maybe she's too humble to put all her adventures in writing, but hopefully some day someone will be able to pin her down and get her share her stories with the world.  

Throughout the week, I've met the usual suspects of the place: Thorston, the big teddy bear viking philosopher, who's usually asleep at the bar in the morning, reeking of beer from the previous night, Sebastien the melancholic Frenchman who plays 'basket', Vijay and the rest of gang working at VSO (volunteer organization based in the UK), Ralph San Ramon, who rents space at Kukuk's for the Needlepoint Tattoo Studio (he would later be the artist to design and work on the tattoo on my right ankle that will forever remind me of this place, of my time here and my adventure around the world!)

The world is small...  Through a random turn of events (smoky room at La Florentina Pensionne House on Acacia with no other room to spare), I found myself at Kukuk's and got to meet two girls who would be my sister-guides while staying there.  My room was right next to Jamila aka Jammie and Carmella aka Carmel aka Massacre (properly pronounced "mah-sa-Kerrrrrrrrrr" hee hee hee).  Coughing was what started off this spontaneous friendship... and from there, I learned that Carmel used to be neighbours with my relatives in Quiot and knows my cousins, Ate Kira, Kuya Kim, Alik and Juan.  She also was a former climbing/mountaineering buddy of my first Cebu couchsurfing host, Joey, and is quite plugged into the artist and music scene here.  MahSaKerr was also my guide in proper beach exit etiquette and am very grateful for her advice!  Viva la revolution (HEE HEE HEE)!
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