IT WAS bright and sunny when Emilyn and I landed at the Mactan International Airport with a loud thud. That was October 9, Tuesday, I thought the tires of the plane would be separated from where they’re attached. Cebu Pacific pilots really land their planes like roaring taxis in EDSA. I was caught unaware, the feeling’s so intimidating.
But I was excited too. Not only is Cebu a dream place, it’s also where my brother Carlo lives now. I miss him so much so a meeting with him and his girlfriend Rogie is possible as soon as we’re all free from our own busy schedules. He’s assigned in Boljoon — strange name, I don’t know where that is exactly in Cebu.
From the international airport, Emilyn and I, and another friend, Maj. Junios Fernandez, hailed a taxi to look for Subang Dako where Singson Village is located. It’s where we will live for a couple of nights before we decide to transfer to a hotel. That is if we want to.
Subang Dako means “big river” in Cebuano. I thought it’s funny because “suba” also means river in Cuyunon, the ethnic language my family speaks. Sounds familiar, I told myself grinning. The only difference is that “big” or “dako” is “mabael” in Cuyunon. Subang Dako would be “mabael na suba” to us.
We found Subang Dako a little over 1 p.m., Emilyn and I were so hungry but we didn’t want to disturb the owner of the house anymore by preparing late lunch for us. We told them we’d go to SM City and look for something warm and soupy. She and I just had mooncake all the way from Puerto Princesa, it wasn’t enough. Too bad Cebu Pacific is no longer serving free lunch or snacks.
We’re in Cebu because we’re attending the 59th JCI Philippines National Convention hosted by JCI Cebu, Inc., an all male local organization management. It will begin tomorrow, October 10, to October 14. October is always the time of the year when all members of the Junior Chamber meet. If I’m not mistaken, there’ll be over a thousand attending, and we’re excited to meet some of them, especially those that have become our sister LOMs.
At SM City, Emilyn ordered fish stuffed with eggs and tomatoes inside its belly from Island Grill. No, fish for me. I’ve been eating fish at home all the time because my father is not allowed to eat meat. I ordered for grilled liempo and requested for a manageable bowl of tinola. Major Fernandez ordered fish too, but it’s not dry. It has this pancit-like noodles that grow in the ocean.
I couldn’t eat grilled liempo without vinegar with a bit of patis (fish sauce) and garlic so I went back to Island Grill and requested its female food server for it. She entered a door to the kitchen, and when she got back she handed me soy sauce (toyo made of soya beans). Then I was struck by the thought of what my brother told me before. When in Cebu, patis is toyo. If you want it, you’d better ask for Rufina. Geez…
From the SM City food court, Emilyn and I lingered for a while just watching the scene inside the mall’s shopping area. No time to shop. Besides, we’re on a tight budget. But we did check out some iPOD models and mp3 players, telling ourselves we’ll buy one if we have extra money.
Major Fernandez had gone ahead of us to the pier where he would be boarding a vessel that would take him to Leyte to celebrate his father’s birthday with his family. The boat would leave at 5 p.m. His father was just hospitalized a few weeks before he left. Now that he’s well, my friend thought it would be better to spend time with him. I agree.
Since it’s still pretty early, just past 4 p.m., Emilyn and I decided to go up and see what movie’s showing. We saw Brave One starring Jodie Foster, one of my favorite actresses, and I thought we shouldn’t miss the chance.
The movie’s about the story of a woman who was seriously hurt in a mugging incident in New York. Her boyfriend was killed by the muggers when he tried to stop them from harassing her. A radio talk show host, Jodie’s character tried to go to the police so they can look for her boyfriend’s killer who also stole their dog. But the police station was so busy she decided to take matters into her own hand. She bought a gun illegally and started saving victims just like a vigilante.
There’s a black guy character whose an investigation officer, who, if not because he respects the law, would also like to avenge the death of a mother of a little girl. Jodie killed that guy. The movie has twists and turns that were all exciting until the end. If I give all, no one might see it. All I can say is it’s three thumbs up!
From the movie house, Emilyn and I went to Starbucks to wait for the Cebu afternoon fade slowly into nighttime. Cebu glitters like Manila as a big city. I think I like Cebu better because I feel safe in the place. I’m not intimidated by taxis like in Manila.
They said that in the Philippines there are many poor people. If you’re in Cebu, you won’t think that because it seems that they’re all in the malls. You see them eating, shopping, playing in the arcades, etcetera.
At about 10 p.m., we went home already to Subang Dako. It’s another day, and it’s not bad at all. Not bad at all to start a week in Cebu.