During my first visit in Central Visayas specifically the beautiful city of Cebu, I experienced Filipino Hospitality at its best. My second visit made my previous sentence an understatement.
I have been a couchsurfer for 2 and a half years already but this is my first time to really surf a couch. I met my CS Host last 2010 as she treated us dinner at Casa Verde, the home of the famous Brian’s Baby Back Ribs. This time, she was kind enough to open her house for me to spend the night before traveling to the south. Her roommates were also accommodating.
After my very short stay in Cebu City, I headed south to Siquijor Island. Again, the kindness of the people there were noteworthy especially the Abing family. Ate Mars was my classmate during our Business Counseling Seminar in Makati City. I just met her last month but when I visited their beautiful island, she already treated me as if I am her son. I was also able to meet her gwapo (handsome) son and gwapa (beautiful…very beautiful) daughter. It was easier for me to have a connection with her kids because they both studied at a very geeky science high school, probably the Siquijor counterpart of my science high in Angeles City . Her daughter was also a Potterhead (Harry Potter fan)…as expected from a Science School alumnus.
Anyway, Ate Mars took me to Samy’s pizza and treated me a Beef Steak meal, one of the specialty dishes of Siquijor. After dinner, they welcomed me to their house for a temporary stay because there was a brownout at my hostel’s area.
Siquijor is well known for its people who practice “dark magic”, “dark arts”, or whatever you want to call it. Well, I believe that was just a funny myth. The people here are magical because of their love and for their hospitality towards a stranger (and probably the only aswang-ish in the area) like me.
From Sqiuijor, I took a ferry ride to Dumaguete City, Negros Oriental just to see Siliman University and to eat at the famous Sans Rival restaurant. The advantage of eating out alone is the opportunity to meet people with whom you will share a seat with, specially at a touristy restaurant. I have met 4 people at their early 30s. They invited me to join their Negros Oriental trip, but unfortunately, I need to get back to Cebu City again…and unfortunately, I don’t have pictures with them.
From Negros Oriental, I took a pumpboat to Lilo-an Port, Cebu, then a motorcycle ride (or habal habal) to Oslob Cebu to meet new friends….the Whale Sharks, a.k.a Butanding. The experience was breathtaking. I only swam with them for around 20 minutes and probably those were the best 20 minutes of my life. This is not an exaggeration. The experience was just…aaaaaa…
From Oslob, I took a bus to Cebu City and just spent 2 days there for my training-the reason why I was in Cebu in the first place. Again, people never fail to amaze me. Jan, my roommate was from our Regional Office. He was my “competitor” during a promotional interview; and probably that’s the only time we had the chance to talk, which was actually an indirect trash talk. Its a good thing both of us got promoted. My point is, he is an interesting person. He loves football and he influenced me to watch some games during our 3 days at our hotel room. I am not a football fan, but one thing I like about this guy is the fact that he is passionate about something. On the other hand, Ate Tet, my other training buddy is also an interesting person. I met her during our Business Counselling Training (yes, that same training I had with Ate Mars of Siquijor). She has these one of a kind principles which were really impressive. The three of us bonded over a sumptuous and humongous buffet provided by our hotel.
After the training, I went back to the south to spend my Holy Wednesday at Terra Manna Camping and Resort. I planned this to be a time of solitude, so I haven’t really made new friends (well the staff were friendly though) except for the majestic nature doing its daily routine to comfort people who needs a time-off.
From Terra Manna, I took a habal-habal ride to the famous Kawasan Falls of Matutinao, and here I met Rosie, a Cebu City local. We just had those 10-minute conversation but I think those were enough to gain a new friend. She invited me to go with them in Moalboal, but again, I declined. Silly me.
Whew! That’s it and I apologize for the very long post.
I thought I was a travel blogger. Then I realized I am not. I am a people blogger. I blog about people and how great this world is because of people. I will always believe that people are naturally good, not the other way around. How about you? What do you think? Are people naturally good or naturally bad?