My First Friday on Mactan..

my first Friday on MactanMy plane arrived Wednesday around Noon and for the following two days I’ve been doing LOTS of walking in and out of town.  Getting settled into my studio meant getting lots of household items.. without the aid of a car.  So each day I wrote a list of what I needed and then made 3 or 4 trips a day to buy and carry things home like an oscillating fan, folding chair, bottled water, floor mats and more.

So when Friday rolled around and I secured my USB accessed internet I was ready to for a break.  


By 3pm I was dead tired and took an afternoon siesta while my iPod player kept the Bob Marley tunes going on low volume.  It was sublime.. to finally just toss myself onto my bed and REST from all the hectic activity of starting out in a foreign land.

Three hours later I awoke around 6pm and the sun was much closer to sunset.  The temp had dropped a bit and once I had an invigorating (cold) shower, I was ready to get out of the house and do some walking for leisure.  I felt like taking a walk along the beach for a change so I hailed a tricycle (motorcycle w/side-car) and told him to take me to the eastern edge of the island.  Little did I know that the tricycle ride was the high-point of the evening.

I enjoyed the cool air as we putted down the road at about 30 mph, taking in the scenery as we went.  Within ten minutes he dropped me off just past Plantation Bay at a collection of nipa-huts.  In broken English he informed me the beach was just past those huts.  With visions of white sandy beaches in my head, I handed him a few pesos and he putted away as I made my way through the fifteen or so huts.  When I came out the other side I found many rows of picnic tables.  On one of them was a young Filipino couple having a picnic.  Making my way past the tables I encountered.. a short cement wall.  It stood about three feet high and just on the other side was the water as it gently lapped against the gnarly blockade.  No sand.  Just cement and then the ocean.

I accepted my dismay and comforted myself in knowing there ARE white sandy beaches around here somewhere.  It couldn’t be that ALL those photos were computer-generated to lure in unsuspecting tourists.  I walked along the tables, away from the young couple so as to give them their privacy, and quickly came upon some goats.  At first I was distracted by the large goat standing atop the table staring at me with that bored, cud-chewing look they always give me.  Then I noticed the other fifteen or so goats. . some atop the tables, some between and others making their way lazily towards me to see if perhaps my shirt was edible.

Not one to be easily intimidated by a bunch of hoofers with the IQ of a cantaloupe, I walked through them and then came upon a collection of six or so drunks spread out on the other tables.  One of the big ones slowly sat up and tried to fathom what the hell might have brought me there.  When he saw that I did not come bearing gifts of booze, he lost interest and went back to his meditations.  The others took only scarce notice except to lightly chuckle at my obvious disillusionment.

I made my way back to where the tricycle had dropped me off.  In the distance a 3 year old was playing in a large puddle the rain had made earlier in the day.  Other than that.. just me and the road.  Well, circumstance seemed to be dictating it was time that I get started on that walk I’d intended upon.  And so I began my twisted night’s journey.

The sun had dropped below the horizon and what little light was left was quickly being choked out by the large and very dark clouds brewing in from the Eastern shore of the island.  I hadn’t walked more than a quarter mile when a different tricycle appeared.  Most likely he saw me from a distance and came to see if there was a fare to be had.  He asked where I was going.  “Well.. “, I thought for a second, “.. how many pesos to get me to the Northern end of the island?”.  He said something.  None of which I understood very well.  Between my zero understanding of Visaya and his scattered English we were a comedy routine in the making.  I never really cared for the game ‘charades’ but in this situation plenty of hand-motions and animated gestures seemed the most natural thing to do.

After several minutes of this (with no real progress) I finally pointed to my right and said, “100 Pesos.. that way.  Ok?”  That much he understood and I climbed into his uniquely painted ‘trike’ and we putted off into the darkness.  To where, I really had no idea.  But I figured, “It’s an island.. how lost could I get?”.

ONE IS COMPANY.. FOUR IS JUST PLAIN ANNOYING

This second trike didn’t have the horsepower of the first one I’d ridden.  It labored to ascend the slightest incline.  Had it been a mule I’d have done the decent thing and gotten out to push.  We putted along into the darkness.  Street vendors hailed along the way, people slowly dodged out of our path and then.. just more darkness.  Trees, broken cement along the road and the occasional goat grazing on the abundant greenery beside the road.

“You have wife!”, he shouted over the loud putt-putt of the struggling engine.  “No, no wife.”, I replied.  “How long stay?”, he countered.  “Well.. rest of my life is the plan.”.  He looked back at the road with a puzzled look.

“You like pretty girls?  Many pretty girls here.”  “Yes.  Pretty girls.. very awesome.  Many, many on the island.”  I found myself trying to match his own succinct form of English in the hopes we’d end up communicating better.  “I take you to my house.  My house.  You come?  I have many pretty girls to meet.”.  Being as considerate of his hospitality as possible I replied, “No.. thank you, but no.  No girls tonight.  Just dinner and walk.  Need exercise.”

Again with the puzzled face as he maneuvered the bumps and holes of the road.

We eventually came upon a well-lit section of road with lots of vendors on both sides of the street.  I banged on the side of the trike to get his attention and motioned to pull over.  I gave him some pesos for the fare and leisurely began my walk into the crowded sidewalks. In no particular hurry I took in every detail my eyes, nose and mind could record.  The smells of so many foods wafted through the air as I walked along.  So many choices and every vendor giving their pitch that I buy their goods or culinary offerings.

Now, I purposely ‘dressed down’ so as to not attract attention to myself.  Some old, faded shorts, a plain yellow t-shirt were my choice for the evening.  As it is for most evenings, but that’s another matter.  It was to no avail.  I stood out like a clown-suit at a formal affair.  Speaking of clowns, it was not long before three guys sided up along and around me from out of nowhere.  One was the ‘Talker’.. so I knew he was the one to ignore.  I calculated his task was to grab my attention, distract me from the other two.  Instead I took an inventory of the other two, slowing my pace to get all of them in full view.  Checked the hands.. no weapons visible.  Pockets seemed empty enough.. no batons or machetes to worry about.  I sized them up.. even the biggest one I could take down easy enough if necessary.

The Talker began hammering me with compliments, questions and familiarity.  Despite telling him I was from California he kept announcing to anyone in earshot, “This is Rico, everybody!!.. see, my GOOD FRIEND from Canada.”  Geez, I know where this is going and if I have anything to say about it.. it aint.

I was polite but made it clear I wasn’t interested in being bothered.  I waved at them and motioned that I’d be on my way.  They talked among themselves and I made my way to a vendor selling freshly cooked corn-on-the-cob.  After getting it dipped in butter and some kind of cheese-powder I started to walk again, munching into the awesome corn-goodness. Life was good.  For about a minute.  Suddenly, Talker and the 2-Live Crew were hot on my heels again.  With a loud, (and annoying) fake laugh he started joking and saying, “Hey, Rico!  He like corn!!  Corn for everyone, right Rico?”

Now, if I have one natural gift at all it seems to be the ability to drop my IQ down in a heartbeat when necessary.  I can out-stupid just about anybody.  And I have.  It’s like a defense mechanism that evolution saw fit to equip me with for moments like this.  By the time we finished talking about corn.. he got frustrated and gave up on the idea that I was buying anybody anything that even looked like corn.  I finished my corn as they followed me down the street and, again, waved goodbye to them.. tossed the corn into a trash can and ran across the traffic to make a break for it.

I made the mistake of getting something to wash down my corn and.. all three of them showed up again.  Once again he announced to everyone how I hailed from the great land of Canada rather than California.  Once again he suggested I buy rounds of Coke or San Miguel for everybody.  I told him, “No.. you don’t have to buy me any beer.  But you guys go ahead, I need to do some walking.. exercise.. you know, good cardio.”, and once again I left.

And as I left behind the bright lights now to make my way into a very (very) dark road.. again they ran and caught up with me.  “Where to Rico, Sir?  Restaurant?  You want food??”   “No.. I’m just going to WALK and then.. WALK some more. ”

Now.. this went on for another mile.  I walked and they followed along.  The darkness was only briefly broken by a small home or sari-sari store selling loads for cell-phones.  The rest was all darkness, very few street-lights and dim at that with nothing but random jungle and darkened shacks along the way.  I kept watching them, rotating, staying alert while set like flint on walking another 5 miles if that’s what it took to peel away from these guys without an ugly incident.

We came upon a small shack where some children were singing karaoke outdoors.  That’s when I stopped and anchored myself among the kids.  Surrounded by them I just listened to them, one by one, sing out their hearts in Tagolog to tunes I’d never heard before.  Meanwhile my three companions were getting BORED outta their minds.  The Talker asked if I wanted to meet some women, he knew a place.  “Nah.. I just LOVE this karaoke thing.. I could watch it for HOURS.”  Well, as fate would have it, 45 minutes later they turned off the light and shut down for the night.  Crap.  Time to do some more walking.

After another half-mile of walking, still with these guys in tow.. Talker wanted to know what my plans were.  The other two seemed to be frustrated that we were now about 2 miles away from where I met them and no free dinner, booze or girls to show for it.   I stopped along the road when I came upon a home that was amazingly out of place for the area.  It looked like something Victorian and apparently boarded up giving it something of a haunted look to it.  I stood there, just staring at it for about 15 minutes.  “What is this house?”, I asked them.  They seemed confused.  “I mean, was it a business before?.. or a private home?  The architecture is beautiful.. don’t you think?”  I couldn’t understand what they were saying but I figured it boiled down to either, “Let’s either rob him or leave, he’s boring us to death with all this walking!”.

As I stood there, still entranced with this home, Talker came to me with something of a request from the group.  “So, ehh.. Mister Rico Sir.. you are hungry?  We go to eat or maybe you want beer??”  “No.. .. .. I’m just amazed at this design on the house.  I think I’ll walk another two miles.  I’m a night-person, I could do this till 3 in the morning.  Isn’t the night-weather here fantastic?  Perfect for late-night strolling, eh?”

“Well..”, he continued, “.. it is late.  We are far from home.”  “Yah, you guys should start walking back.”, I countered.  “But we have no money for Jeepney.”  “Well, walking is good.. very good for you.”  We went back and forth like this until we stale-mated at an uncomfortable silence while the other two looked on.  He then started to rationalize why he and his buddies should get paid.., “But you know, Sir.. we three of us, we make good bodyguards.  Very dark and not so good here.”  My response was flatly, “I don’t need bodyguards.  If there had been any problems it would be me handling it while you watched.”  He then got all apologetic, “Okay, okay Sir.. I just joking.  Only joking.”

I began to calculate the variables in play and figured it would be worth 60 Pesos (about $1.50 USD) to finally get rid of these guys.  I gave him the pesos and he thanked me profusely at first.  As I started to walk away into the night he said, “And.. Sir, I also need money for rice.”  At this point I figured my patience was well beyond testing and calmly told him, “Yah.. me too, I got bills too.”, and just kept on walking.  I glanced over my shoulder to see them board the next Jeepney and finally leave me to my walking and search for some dinner.

AND THEN THINGS TOOK A STRANGE TURN..

I continued to walk into the darkness for another quarter mile.  Immediately I was able to enjoy my evening again.  Aside from the occasional make-shift karaoke huts and dimly lit homes the road wasn’t taking me anywhere in particular.  I did pass the grand entrances of some resorts eventually.  Finally I found a few places where I could get some dinner.  I was starving and open to just about anything.  I walked into a Chinese place and sat down.  Even though it seemed to be run by Filipinos the menus were in Chinese.  The only other patrons were four Japanese men who seemed to be on their second hour of beer and saki shots.

I asked for chow mien and the waitress (a 14 year old girl) suggested some spicy beef instead, with rice.  Hungry as I was I said, “Sure.. I’ll take that with some water.”  She returned with a large carafe of water, a cup, some kind of pickled vegetable in hot sauce and some slices of an unknown pickled vegetable yellow in color I’d not seen before.  I used my chopsticks to try the pickled hot sauce.  Big mistake.  Not because it was hot.. but because it tasted just gawdawful.  I tried the pickled yellow thing and that was actually very good.

After a slow, relaxing dinner of spicy beef with rice I went to settle my tab.  Right away the two girls started in on me as they tendered my bill.  “Sir.. you have no wife?”  I settled up my bill and made my way outside to figure out my next move.

This whole time the dark clouds I’d noticed before sunset were now the area where very large lightning bolts were being tossed from one cloud to another.  The night would flash in such as way as to say that this was not the usual single-point lightning.  This was a massive storm and somehow it was going to affect me personally.  So I decided I’d ventured far enough and it was time to walk home to my studio.. which was now about 6 miles away.  In the dark.  With a huge storm just off the coast.

I started walking, a little faster than I had been the whole evening.  It wasn’t very long before yet another, third, tricycle pulled up along-side me.  This man’s English was much better.  “Where can I take you, Sir?”  “How many pesos to get to Guisano Mall, Central?”, I asked, trying to not sound as if I had no other reasonable option.  “100 pesos, Sir.”  Before I even replied I was already climbing in.  His tricycle had some power to it so already I felt better as the cool breeze chilled my sweat from the humid evening.

We hadn’t putted along for more than a minute when he shouted out over the engine, “Wife, Sir?  You have wife?”  “No, no wife.”  He seemed pleased.  “On our way to mall, I take you to my home.. many beautiful Filipinas.  My cousins and neighbor.  You like Filipinas?  You like beautiful women, yes?”

“Oh yah.. I like.  Many beautiful women here in Philippines.  But, I just want to get home.  But thank you though for the offer.”, I replied as diplomatically as possible.  Before long we were passing through the area where I first ran into the three guys.  Still lots of people outdoors.  I just watched from the comfort of my covered side-car.. almost hoping to see them as I putted along down the road.  No sign of them.

“I take you to bar, very close to mall.  You will like.. you like disco, huh?  Good disco?”  “Uhmm.. no thanks, just going home.”  We finally got close to the mall and, as I am oft to do unexpectedly at times, I changed my mind and said, “Tell you what.. how about we stop by that bar just for a quick look around.”  He sped past the mall and off we went.  And we kept going.  And going.  Finally I yelled over the sound of the trike, “I didn’t think it would be quite so far.. maybe not.”  “Oh no, Sir!  We just have to go around one-way street, not far.”

Before I knew it we had stopped along some businesses that had closed up for the night.  The only thing open was a single door leading to a stairway with a security guard posted at the entry.  It looked pretty sketchy but I figured, I’d do this guy a solid.  He’ll take me in, I buy a drink and he gets some sort of tip for bringing in the goofy foreigner.  I’ve got the time so, let’s do this.

We went up the flight of stairs.  Then up another flight of stairs.  And then, yet another third flight of stairs.  At the entry way was the bar.  The entire place was dimly lit with just a reddish glow interspersed with the random flashes of light from a DJ light sphere spinning over an empty dance-floor.  The middle of the room was filled with empty white tables.  Somewhere someone was killing a tune on the karaoke mic.  Most everyone was sitting at tables along the wall.  To the left and right.. tables with one man and three to four young women fawning over him each.  Along the wall nearest, just around eye-sight from the bar, were all the ladies still waiting for another man to come in and take a table.  They giggled and gossiped stopping only momentarily to see me and the driver of the tricycle walk in.  I’ve been to this rodeo before and wasn’t in the mood to play.

I sat at one of only two available seats at the bar, the trike driver taking the other stool next to me.  Then lifted my hand as if bidding on an auction and the bartender approached me.  “I’ll take a Red Horse.”  “We only have one size, the Grande.. is that ok?”  “Yah, sure.”, I responded.  He quickly came back with a huge bottle of Red Horse, the only Filipino beer I’ve liked so far, and two chilled glasses.  I poured out a glass for my driver, Domingo, and a glass for myself.  We toasted to nothing in particular and downed our bitter ale.  I was surprised at how very cold the beer was.  Nothing worse than warm beer.  Well, okay, maybe some things are worse.. but I’ll drink almost any beer if it’s cold enough.  Except that pumpkin/honey beer.. never doing that again.

That first glass went down fast and it was time for a refill.  Domingo and I were just getting into some idle chit-chat when an older woman (the Mama-san) approached me.  “Would you like to sit at a table?”  In my mind.. a chess game had just begun.  First objective.. control the center.  “No thanks, I’ll use the bar instead.”  She asked again, and again I politely declined.  Looking to increase his commission, tip, whatever.. Domingo then starts on me.  “You should get table.  Many nice girls come.  Maybe dance some disco?  Ehh?”

“Nahh.. I’m just gonna have me this beer and then call it a night.”  One of the other ladies came by and threw me some suggestive glances, gesturing that perhaps I should join her at a table.  Domingo picked up on this.  “She like you.  Why you not sit at table?” “Because..”, I told him in a most matter-of-fact manner, “.. ten seconds after I sit down, three women join me and start ordering watered down drinks at higher prices.  I’m not in the mood to be buying fake drinks for women who don’t give a damn about who I am.”

He nodded his head, realizing the jig was up and I wasn’t some newbie eager to open his wallet just to sit next to a pretty girl.  So he tried a more direct tactic.  “Then, you just take them for tonight, after that you leave.  Only two thousand pesos for five hours.  You get massage.. sex massage.”

“Two thousand pesos?  That’s half what I pay in rent for a month.  I’m not paying that for a few hours of massage.”

“And sex.”, he was going for broke on getting this commission, I had to admire his persistence.

“Nah, not gonna happen.”.  I smiled at one of the other girls who passed by, much cuter than the rest.  I then poured the last two glasses of booze, guzzled it down and waved some pesos at the bartender.  “Well, I’m heading out.  But you can stay if you want.”  But he didn’t.  He was quick on my heels though a bit disappointed he didn’t close that sale.

We exited the stairs into the cool, late, evening out on the street.  Domingo didn’t seem much of a drinker to already be getting fuddled up with his keys.  “You gotta pass by the mall anyway, how about you drop me off outside the mall?”  He agreed and I climbed back into the trike.  We hadn’t gotten fifty feet from the place and already we were deadlocked in a head-on stop with oncoming traffic.  The headlights were blinding and Domingo was waving gestures while the traffic began what seemed like cursing in Tagolog, Visayan.. I couldn’t tell which.  At this point I thought maybe it wasn’t such a good idea to booze up your own driver.  Well, water under the bridge.. just make the best of it and hold on.

Finally Domingo backed up and got us out of the jam we (he) had caused and we were putting down the main street again.  He offered to drop me off at my driveway but I really didn’t feel like disclosing where I lived so I had him drop me off at a late-night street vendor who was making fried chicken on the corner.  He thanked me for the beer and off he went.  I got some fried chicken t0-go in a bag for just a few pesos and began the short walk to my studio.

I was just finishing up my first piece of chicken when the most incredible downpour started.  The luck-of-the-Irish was with me.  Five minutes later and I’d have been drenched.  The lightning got closer and closer.  So bright I could see distinct, momentary shadows beneath the trees in the yard in front of my porch.  Just as the thunder was clapping from the first big bolt.. another incredibly large bolt of lightning pounded the ground and instantly the power grid went black all through my studio and all I could see of the city in front of me was a black void of darkness.

After about two minutes the lights flickered back on and I figured it was time to call it a night.  Anticipating much more lightning, I disconnected my laptop and appliances from the wall sockets.  Turning off the last of the lights I stretched out on my bamboo bed and every muscle in my body thanked me.  The last thought I remember having before drifting off to sleep was, “I’m sure that food was safe.. how can you screw up fried chicken?”

Henry ‘Reekay’ V.
www.lifebeyondthesea.com



 

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Author: Reekay

After 49 years living in Southern California, USA, I decided to move to the Philippines despite never having been here before. In July, 2012, I took a leap of faith and transplanted myself to the amazing Philippines. I am a single man taking an honest look at all that the islands here have to offer, one day at a time. I hope you find my LBTSea site informative, entertaining and hopefully a bit of each. 🙂 Be sure to visit the Forum and other parts of what the site has to offer. Browse around and be sure to sign up for updates via email. Enjoy!
— Reekay

24 comments

  1. Great Story Henry! When I read it…. I felt and experience what you were going through that night as if I was with you! Good Luck on the Island…. We'll connect as soon as I can travel back Home.

  2. Cool.. look forward to it. Glad to bring you along with my account of the evening. I'm thinking about a trip to Cebu today for another walkabout. I'm going through three shirts a day here so a little shopping is a good enough excuse to get myself over there and "see what I can see". 🙂

    1. Between video, photos and written articles I hope to share the experience with everybody. Thanks for keeping in touch! Oh, by the way.. I 'think' I have a dog now. "Black Dog" is a black Lab who has been claiming my front porch since I got here. I finally broke down and gave him some crackers last night, now he seems here to stay. I might get him a flea collar today when I take a trip over to Cebu.

    2. Henry Velez Well now that you have "Black Dog" you world will be complete! Dogs have a way of doing that. I am so glad you have found YOUR PLACE in this crazy world. And KEEP updating us- I love to see what you are doing so far away! And Definitely Get the pup some type of flea medicine- FRONTLINE – ot something…He will love you for it! and I knew you had it in you ! (crackers tho? I am thinking he prefers steak! lol

    3. Ha! Nah, the steak here is crap, more like ox meat. I suppose something he can chew on to clean his teeth would be good. He's still a 4-month old puppy.. very lovable. There's another, little-dog who gave me some attitude getting into my own place last night. No cookie for him.

    1. Some people live their lives ‘safely’, which is a good idea for the most part. Others hike dangerous ledges, zip-line, ski and take other risks in life as part of ‘living’. Me, I’ve skydived, slept in the forests of Yosemite alone, wandered the streets of San Franciso at 2am and survived many a night on the streets of Tijuana, Rosarito and Ensenada Mexico. There are no guarantees in life. Some play it safe and stay home. I choose to push the envelope and I have my reasons, but I appreciate the concern. My family accepts my lunacy, I hope you can as well.

  3. Henry. I am a bit curious about what happened to the girl you met at the Philippine Diner back in California. Thought you would be seeing her in the Philippines and unless I missed it, didn’t see any mention of her in your posts. Was hoping to hear about a romance developing LOL. how did you come to select Cebu over many other places to live. How did you find your apartment, etc…..

    1. I did kinda leave the story hanging, didn’t I? She lives in Cebu and I live on Mactan. I picked Mactan because I didn’t want to be ‘in’ the city, but still ‘near’ the city anytime I needed something. Cebu is kinda busy for me, while Mactan is more of a small-town experience. But it’s only a cab ride from Mactan to Cebu (or Ferry if I take my time) so it’s not too far from my girlfriend. As for us, we’re still crazy for each other and see each other as often as we can. She’s super-busy and I’m usually either online or checking something new out. But we’ve been together over 2 years now. Figuring we’ll get married in a couple years, neither her nor I are in any big hurry. She’s fairly well known in Cebu so I decided to not mention her name or show any photos, I’m kinda paranoid about any weirdos fixating on her and stalking her using info from the site, so that’s why she isn’t mentioned much. I’ve just seen too many stories of weird people who do the strangest things to take any chances with her.

      But meanwhile, ever since seeing her at that restaurant we’ve been doing great! Through a friend of hers we found the perfect studio for me. It’s a one-bedroom with an office and kitchen, indoor (large) CR. Lots of shade and walking distance to the stores and mall. Even a swimming pool down the street for 40 Pesos/2-hours. I had looked online at both Sulit.com and Craigslist but most of those were posted by realtors and were for places beyond my budget. For anyone looking to find a place here I’d suggest asking via a network of people who are local since many are not openly advertised online.

  4. Well next time I come to Cebu I will call on you. Please email me your cell. We can meet for coffee or lunch if that is okay with you. I know what you mean about it being so busy. I generally hang out in the Ayala Mall area and take care of shopping I can’t do in Dumaguete. Also coming to Cebu is a good excuse to get Chicharon in Car Car which my wife loves. It’s the best in the entire County. If you can just read my entire journal as it might same you some time and money on things and please try and be blind to my bitching and complaining LOL I’ll be back in October. See you sometime thereafter

    1. Definitely, sounds good to me. I grabbed some chicharones here, not expecting them to be all that great since the ‘Mexican’ food I had tried at a restaurant didn’t even come close. But, wow.. yah, they make some good chicharones here in Philippines. I know, I’ve had them fresh from guys in Mexico plenty of times. Stay in touch, talk more later.

  5. Hi Henry , I was just wondering how you sourced your rental accommodation in Mactan. This is the best blog I’ve come across from ex-pats relocating BTW.
    Keep up the great work, Regards, David

    1. For the studio in Mactan, which I was really fortunate to get such a great deal on a place so close to the mall yet at a great price and with lots of privacy, including a shaded yard.. what worked best was having a friend just walk around and ask in the area. Places like Sulit, Craigslist-Cebu and such are mostly ads from real-estate agents for the higher priced condos and home rentals. My suggestion to anyone who doesn’t have a connection here is to find a decent hotel to use for about a week in the area you’re interested in and then “beat the pavement” where you’ll see a paper sign in the window. Also, simply asking some of the pretty girls who work in the nearest mall is a nice little ice-breaker. 🙂 Exchange numbers and ask them if there’s a place they know of, to give you a text. Assuming you’re single of course. ha!

      1. Ha ha , I’m single alright Henry .. I’m an young Irish lad heading over to do a bit of work . I’m into website/mobile app development etc. Similar line to yourself.

        I read most of your blog last night and to be honest your time is wasted in computers , you should get cracking on that novel !

        Your writing brings me into to the moment , the article about the three lads following you for the night was particularly intense.

        I also read the article about your move and picked it up from there how to go about renting. Finally could I ask you to recommend a hotel in Mactan ? I’ll take your advice and stay central till I find a place..

        1. Thanks for the compliments and encouragement on the writing. Now that I have my writer’s hide-away here in the jungles of Bohol, some short stories and a novel are on the way. (to be sold online, hint-hint) ha! As for Mactan accomodations, there are a few choices in the Basak area, which is where I lived. Each is about $20-$25 a night. One is the ‘Hotel California’, located directly across the street from the Grand Mall. When you get to the airport, just tell the taxi driver to take you to Grand Mall (about a 90 peso ride, so be sure he uses the meter).. and you’ll see Hotel California in big, red letters across the street. Another place is the BDM Motel, about same price range for the night and also across the street from the mall on the other corner. (they also rent by the 2-hours for 200Pesos, hehehe) And finally, down the street from the Grand Mall, near a pizza place is the Europa Hotel. That place just got renovated and is pretty nice for the area, running about $29 a night.

          Now, over in Cebu across the bay, if you go to Pier 1 and then up the street for about five blocks there are lots of pension-houses for super-dirt-cheap but.. at 400P ($9 a night), some are clean and some.. not so clean. I’ve stayed in pension-houses before and was really clean and nice. But since a lot of them are actually “quickie-motels”, the clientele and ambiance are not the same as Hotel California.

          One other option is the Haruhay Dream Resort, also located on Mactan but further down the road about a mile from the Mall. Now, the nice thing about there is that for about $35 a night it’s a mini-resort with a swimming pool, onsight bar and restaurant with American/Italian/Filipino food and really nice landscaping that make it a total chick-magnet pad. I mean, the resort ambiance is conducive to a very relaxing stay. Just as the taxi to take you to Haruhay Resort and most know where it is. You can view photos of it here; http://www.haruhay-philippines.com/

        2. p.s. My former landlady’s name is Joy. She has about 14 studios she rents out and if you’re lucky (being Irish and all).. she may have one available when you arrive. Here is her contact number you can use once you get here, or even arrange in advance; +63 915 988 0737. I left my studio on good terms so tell her you’re a friend of ‘Henry Velez’ and maybe that’ll ease up things for you.

  6. Legendary stuff pal …. I’ll be waiting for the next installment of the series and your due a beer if I venture as far as Bohol !

    1. Thanks, I plan to explore the nooks and crannies of Bohol more and more now that I have my new home rental somewhat situated. I’ll keep everyone posted. ha!

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