Thursday, September 30, 2010

going down the queen

"packed your things. you'll be leaving for cebu today."
then the line dropped.
immediately, i opened my cabinet, sort fresh clothes from the laundry and stuffed it inside a small shoulder bag. no more time for second thinking of what i still need to bring.
in a matter of 5 minutes, i already caught myself hailing a cab and riding inside it.
two hours later, i was already walking along mactan international airport looking for my contact, where she later brought me in a hotel in cebu city.
i must admit, it was my first time in cebu. actually, it was my first out-of-luzon trip. alright, it was also my first AIRPLANE ride (roll eyes to geek and toiletots).
cebu doesn't have much difference from manila. if not for the language, i can wake up there believing i am still in makati or in quezon city. your manila signs obviously are there: the heavy traffic, rows of commercial establishments, fast paced commuters and of course, the ayala mall.


a friend once advised me, never ask in filipino/tagalog in cebu because most of the time, they would answer you in bisaya (he believes, it is cebuano's way of getting back to manilenos prejudices against their accent). he added that i should rather ask them in english. but being me, i still insisted in asking in filipino. luckily, i understood the language eventually.
other than food and hotels, the three major businesses in Cebu are:
1. water vending machines; 2. spas; 3. foreigners.

water vending machines
i guess, "ice tubig for sale" is already long gone. in cebu, water vending machines are almost everywhere, especially among busy streets. the concept is you get a sheet of plastic bag, located on the side of the machine; open it right below the water funnel, then drop a peso. then, water will just automatically pour and stop once it reaches it serving level. you then tie a knot above the plastic and bite a hole on the side. then the rest is just gulping.

like, water vending machines, spas in cebu are crazy everywhere. almost every street has one. they offer a wide array of services from full body massage to facials and foot scrubs, and it doesn't even costs that much. usually, it ranges from 150-250 php/hour.

if you try checking online and compare your results to other key cities in the country like manila or davao, you'll learn that the number of cebu masseues and masseurs are winning by miles.
now, it makes me wonder if either it is indeed stressful to live in Cebu or the people are just...
fond of relaxation.

it was also in cebu that i have heard (note: heard, not learned nor found out) the
linggam massage.


at first, i always believed that the huge number of foreigners are concentrated in Cafe Havanna in Greenbelt 3. but when i went to cebu, it appeared as if the entire Cebu islands were the main branch of Cafe Havanna.
unfortunately, for some of us, it seemed as if whenever we see a foreigner, they automatically register to us as stacks of cash; or whenever we see a foreigner together with a Filipino partner, we immediately connote that that the Filipino is a milker.

you can understand this by observing how aggressive and assertive certain subjects are towards foreigners, especially among malls and bars (particularly in Mango Square).

i guess, this is another part of colonial mentality that we failed to look into in our history and sociology classes.
when riding jeeps, people from cebu don't rely on the signage. they rely on the number-letter on top of each vehicle: 13C, 4B, 12L etc. as if they are map coordinates.
there are also cases, from which, when you ride a certain jeep going to a certain destination (for instance, 4C). but you will be needing to ride a different jeep (12L) to go back. or that was just me being dumb with directions again. hahaha!
after almost 4 months of no rice diet, operation: no rice diet was suspended in cebu. who can resist their presentation? and it only costs 2php.
but i guess, the bottomline is, you cannot fully enjoy cebuano food without rice along with it.
especially the cebu lechon and POCHERO aka BULALO (don't expect Cebu's pochero with tomato sauce).

looking for popular place to eat, friend suggested this place, where they serve the best grilled and raw food. so i hailed a cab and told the driver,

"manong, SHOOT-TO-KILL po tayo!"

i swear, i saw him laughing at me (eto pala ang feeling nang nadidiscriminate dahil sa accent).
i really enjoyed going to Cebu. infact, the supposed to be 5 days stay was extended to 13 days. i consider it as a working vacation, since our job there is to pose as a tourist. and they are planning to send me their again for a 2-3 month project. but if offered, im thinking of declining. for me, the time frame is just too long.
personally, cebu is for vacation, not for work.

but then again, kung malaki ang food allowance at may prospect love life baka ma- 'let me think about it ako.' hahaha!


Aris said...

i love cebu. tumira ako diyan noon ng isang buwan and everyday was a blast. walang takot kong in-explore pati colon. diyan ako nagkaroon ng unforgettable experience. as in, beer can! if you know what i mean. hahaha! :)

Anonymous said...

mahal ko ang Cebu. para syang 2nd home sa akin. babalik ako dyan sa Feb 2011. gusto ko ang mga museums at mga churches. hindi ko natry iyang SU TO KIL. meron pa yung sinasabi nila yung Larsian. 3 days lang kasi ako dyan. at alam ko yung Mango Square. malapit dyan yung hotel namin na pinagstayan :)

wanderingcommuter said...

hahaha. may funny story ako sa colon. 10pm, sumakay ako ng taxi at tinanong kung may alam siyang bukas na tiangge. keelangan ko kasi ng business attire the early morning, next day. sabi ng driver, "opo." so pumunta kami.maya-maya, dinala niya kami sa colon! yehey! ukay-ukay! ang galing noh?! paano ko naman susuutin yun ng hindi lalabhan.

jepoy: masarap ang sutukil sa mactan shrine. rosemary ata yun. ang larsian naman suki ako dun! gabi-gabi ata akong amoy usok!
tumambling ako sa kalye doce sa mango square. hehehe!!

mel beckham said...

nagutom tuloy ako sa pictures. hahaha

juice ko, kung lumakwatsa kayo sa colo, antatapang niyo. hahaha the place is scary underwood.

mel beckham said...

*Colon. hehehe

PILYO said...

nakarating ka ba bang Doce bar sa mango square?

Mu[g]en said...

I've always wanted to go to Cebu. It's like my little Shang-ri La where people keep a proud heritage apart from the dominant group in the country.

One day, I will. I blo-blog ko rin siya!

Nimmy said...

ikaw na naglakwatsa. hehehe. kakagutom mga pics! yummmmmmm.

lee said...

mukhang na enjoy mo ata ang cebu.

naalala ko tuloy ang tabuan, ung place na maraming bentang tuyo. pag-alis ko sa lugar na yun, amoy tuyo na ako lol

so, pila na ka bisaya words imong nahibaw-an? =D

gillboard said...

I LOVE Cebu.

i'm just happy i can understand a little bit of cebuano.

yun lang.

Désolé Boy said...

never been there, hehe.
i wanna visit the churches...
at xempre bar hopping..woohooo!!!

BJ AcuÑa aka Soltero said...

i was in Cebu a long time ago, for 3 days lang, short vacation..i remember asking for directions sa locals in tagalog, and they would always answer me back in English LOL

hehe sarap ng mga food sa pics mo...:P

dabo said...

hmmm it seems everything written here was very different from what you told me.. you were far more animated when talked about linggam massage hahhaha

wanderingcommuter said...

mel, oo! mga 1am na nga kami nakabalik ng hotel. hopeful kasi na makahanap ng pwedeng isuot the following morniing! hehehe!

wanderingcommuter said...

pilyo: naku, twice kami nakapunta sa kalye doce. at isa lang masasabi ko: walang makaatalo sa diversity duon. from cross dressers, mini skirts, to long gowns, to super effort masculinity. not to mention ang mga joiners- mapa-lalaki at mapa-babae basta may foreigners!

wanderingcommuter said...

mugen: tara! narealize ko, ikaw na lang pala ang hindi ko nakakasama sa mga out of town natin. kelangan ng iset yan!

wanderingcommuter said...

nimmy: sssshhhhh... baka sabihin ng mga tao hindi ako nagtratrabaho! hahaha!

wanderingcommuter said...

lee: konti pa lang... basic words like: PILA NI/TO? LUGAR lang. hahahaha! at syempre maraming MURA para ako namumura na hindi ko pa alam hahaha!

wanderingcommuter said...

gillboard: i bet cebu loves you too! hehehe

desole: sto.nino church should be your first stop. sad nga lang kasi yung mga turista kahit sa mismong simbahan nagpapa picture pa din!

wanderingcommuter said...

soltero: english or bisaya! hahaha! ang sosyal nga ng accent nila dun e!

dabo: tumigil ka! hahahaha! wala kaya akong sinasabing ganun! lol

drew said...

hay ang sarap talaga ng lechon at puso. miss na miss ko na iyon. dapat din matikman ang steamed rice dimsum sa cebu, iba siya sa steamed rice dito sa manila.

wanderingcommuter said...

drew: saan yun? parba yun ng dimsum break?eho lang

somelostboy said...

During a visit, we were buying barbecue. A friend asked for ketchup. The manong went to get a knife and chopped the bbq into smaller pieces.


wanderingcommuter said...

some lost boy: hahahaha! panalo!!!

Brent a.k.a. yourkidatheart said...

Oh my God. Cebu lechon.