Beyond the Poverty...

Trip Start Aug 24, 2010
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15
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Trip End Sep 01, 2011


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Flag of Philippines  , Visayas,
Thursday, December 9, 2010

For the first time ever we actually planned far enough in advance to have the hotel pick us up at the airport once we arrived in Cebu!! So excited to just walk off the plane and have someone standing there holding the sign with our name on it. We arrived shortly before 6pm, grabbed our luggage, looked for the guy holding the sign with our name on it, and kept looking, and waited, and looked some more....everyone was gone....and no one to pick us up!! So much for my planning! The people in the Philippines are incredibly nice, so we asked the info counter to phone the hotel for us....$17 a night, what more can you expect! haha. So an hour later, our ride finally shows up!

The hotel is located right beside Magellan's Cross and the Basilica del Santo Nino, which is convenient for a tourist; however, it also means that there are many poverty stricken families living there, trying to get food and money from the tourists. It stabs my heart each time I see the children, naked, dirty, and playing in the streets...3 year olds carrying around babies. Coming from a country where our government and fellow Canadians take care of each other and support the less fortunate, it's hard to understand the division between rich and poor here, and to imagine that in this day and age there are still children who don't even have the opportunity to go to school, or even have a home to live in.

The hotel was nice, I would highly recommend it for a night or two. The rooms were clean, the staff was friendly, and there is a nice coffee shop where you can meet other travellers and have a bite to eat. We met a couple from America who used to be missionaries in Bohol (our next destination) so they gave us some tips of where to stay and what to see. We also met a gentlemen from Sweden, Roman, who kindly gave us some of his healthy tea and body oils...I know, I know...taking a container full of "powdered tea" from a random stranger in a country like the Philippines probably isn't the smartest idea!...especially when, after telling him our travel plans, he stated he had the SAME travel plans and would stay at the SAME hotel as us...haha.

It was raining during the day, but we decided to check out Magellan's Cross and the Basilica del Santo Nino. Beautiful old structures with amazing detail. Very interesting. It's amazing how dominant Christianity is in the Philippines. Since the rain wasn't letting up, we decided to check out the Ayala Centre...a huge shopping mall with an outside courtyard full of restaurants, coffee shops, and live entertainment. I need to check out the McDonald's menus in every country...it's interesting to see how the menu is adapted to the different cultures...so we ate our McDo burgers with Twister Fries! Not really sure how to describe a McDo burger...a cheeseburger with some sort of sauce on it...it was good. After our lunch, Jay got his haircut...for 100 pesos! That's about $2.50 cad and it comes with a shoulder and head massage, a wash, and a cut...you can't beat that price! Nothing too eventful was happening, so we checked out a 3D movie, Chronicles of Narnia, in a massive theatre...bigger than our university lecture halls, two levels...it was huge!...and there was less than 20 people in it...haha.

I woke up with stuffed sinuses and a sore throat...ugh...a cold. In the morning we caught a taxi to the Pier (also very near to the hotel) to catch the ferry to Bohol. The taxi drops us off at Pier 1...a very sketchy ticketing office...and the wrong one! So we had to catch another taxi to Pier 4...which was much better. We had to go through security with our luggage...which consisted of....yup...a drug sniffing dog! Great...I was just waiting for the dog to pick up the scent of the "powdered health tea" which Ramon had given us...thinking up my story in my head...praying that the "tea" really was tea! The dog let us through so I guess we are safe...lol. The ferry ride was quite smooth; however, half way there, my stomach started turning...I couldn't eat my lunch....I must be sea sick....
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Babaeng... on

My b/f helps me start a blog about my life in town near Cagayan de Oro, and helps with some expenses.

Somehow people do not know or care about poverty, so he says I should write my stories.

Not a travelog. Not about political movement. Not about church or salvation just story about daily life in my town.

thebigmac on

PLS. DO FOLLOW OUR BLOG.. hope you’ll spare your time with us
thebigmacproductions.blogspot.com

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