I didn’t want to spend a lot of money when I left the Philippines to visit my Dad back in the States. NAIA Terminal 3 on the cheap. That was my plan. And I executed it fairly well, I thought. No hotel bill. I spent the night at Terminal 3. No taxis. I used the free shuttle service to get from Terminal 3 to Terminal 1, where my Korean Air flight would depart from. And I discovered a 7 Eleven store which had extremely reasonable prices for an airport venue.
Got seated in the dentist’s chair when the cell phone rang. It was my asawa. I informed her that I had found a dentist to pull my aching tooth but I would have to call back. The doc took a look at my misbehaving molar and said I had two options. Extraction or root canal. I went with extraction.
My niece, Michelle, was walking home the other day through our subdivision in Iloilo and passed up a group of workers. She didn't take the shuttle service and saved her "Dad" and "Tita" seven pesos. The guys were part of an army of landscapers and other laborers employed throughout our development. When my niece arrived home, I heard her chatting away animatedly to my asawa and her twin sister, April.
Food, family and good times. One thing I should mention is eating while in the Philippines. When around family it seems eating is never done. I recall how in the mornings, we would enjoy our coffee (Nescafe 3-in-1) with freshly baked pandesal purchased from a rolling store (usually a honking bicycle with a big box on the back.)
“Coming soon! Coming soon!” I had been seeing those posters heralding the opening of “The Avengers” at our local cinema at SM City in Iloilo for months. As a self-confessed comic book geek as a kid and well into my 30’s, I was like a spoiled kid at Christmas waiting to open my presents. But finally the big day arrived. Caught the shuttle to the mall from our subdivision, along with my asawa and two newcomers to our home, niece Shina, 14, and her brother, our nephew, Sharwin, 12, to catch the flick this past Friday.
With our sofa bed on the top of our rented multicab and Guimaras porters, young Joseph and the mullet-wearing Neil, hanging on in the back, my asawa and I were perched shotgun next to our driver who was navigating the Iloilo City traffic. We must have looked like a Filipino version of Beverly Hillbillies as we drew some stares and startled looks from pedestrians. Light rain now danced across the windshield of our vehicle as we approached the outer limits of the city on the final segment of our journey to our new home. Guimaras was already becoming a faded memory as I was excited to start fresh in a new location in a subdivision in the Philippines that had actual paved roads and sidewalks.
Ahhh, Cebu, Queen City of the South (sorry, Iloilo, but Wikipedia claims that title was wrested from your fair city in the late 80's.) As I drink in the exhaust from the same bright yellow, aptly named “Airport” taxi that keeps circling the Mactan-Cebu International Airport like a drunken vulture, I wait for my hotel shuttle from the luxurious Sampaguita Suites Plaza Garcia. Just missed the last shuttle, and since I was told by the hotel staff I wouldn't be picked up until 5 pm, I'm not too concerned. Only 4:30 now. I'm also aware that I'm on Filipino Time. Amazingly enough, I have adjusted better to the more laid back style of living in the Philippines, so I pass my time watching other passengers exit and wait for their rides.