For the first time since Lapu Lapu at the beginning of September, I finally went out of Cebu City. I am part of the MPR committee (mid phase review), and my responsibility is to find a place outside of Cebu City where all volunteers can stay for one night, and sticking to the budget, which also includes food.
For the last few days, me and the two other volunteers (the MPR committee) have spent hours researching. We liked the idea of staying in a tropical beach, so we heard about Moalboal.
The MPR takes place next week, it's a social get together that marks the halfway point of the total three months. Today, we went to Moalboal to do a risk assessment and get quotations from hostels, and then make our final booking.
The journey was around three hours by coach. It's funny because I've always thought Cebu as the city itself, but I've never thought of Cebu as an island. I finally saw green grass, palm trees, the sort of things you see in films. I was amazed at the sights, so I wasn't bored in the three hours at all. The annoying thing was that every two minutes, people would hop on the coach trying to sell something, or people would beg for money.
Once we arrived, the beach was beautiful. You see beautiful beaches all the time in photos or whatever, but this was like a dream. I saw it with my own eyes and felt like it wasn't real! The place was so quiet and relaxing as well, which makes it the perfect place to be; a tropical, isolated beach on an island.
But then it started to rain. It poured down with rain for the whole day, but it was still warm. I enjoyed my day anyway, but I cannot wait to be there next week!
Even though I've been living here for a while now, I can't stop pointing out the cultural differences, or even the little things. For example, we were travelling on a motorbike attached to a tricycle and the roads are so bumpy that people would easily fall off. I see around 7/8 Filipinos squeeze into one tiny tricycle and I don't know how they do that. Sometimes in the city, I see 6 people on a motorbike, 4 adults and holding their children. The things you see here are crazy.
Today I was on the coach and I didn't like my chicken so I threw it to a three legged dog outside. The dog limped over and ate the whole thing, swallowed the bone. I couldn't believe my eyes, I really hope it didn't choke on it to death! It must have been so hungry it ate the bone!
I completely forgot about motorways, and so I asked the Filipinos if there were any motorways in Cebu. They didn't know what I meant at first, but eventually they knew what I meant and said there was one and pointed me towards it when we passed it. Coaches or lorries weren't allowed on motorways, only cars. I asked if they keep in lane or is it the same as the city, crazy driving, crossing over everywhere. They said cars here never ever keep in lane of course! I decided to tell them about the strict speed limits we have, and speed cameras; as I noticed there aren't any speed warning signs here. They were amazed at how the speed camera can catch your plate number and tell what speed you've been driving at.
We went to McDonalds, and obviously, the McDonalds here sell rice and spaghetti. I got the usual burger and chips, whilst the Filipinos got chicken and rice. I asked them which they prefer; rice or chips.
"Of course, rice!"
I can't understand how they're willing to eat rice every single meal.
Every day for lunch, I never eat my rice and always give it to the Filipinos I work with, because I know they'll want it.
But I know I'd probably say I would never complain if I had to eat roast dinner every day...