Faces of the PI – Sleepless In Cebu
My flight from Kota Kinabalu to Cebu City lands a few minutes ahead of schedule at 5:45pm.
Amando is already waiting for me inside his car outside the terminal. I have never met him in person before. He’s a good friend of one of my classmates from graduate school. I contacted him once for information on a subject relating to my research. Back then he proved to be helpful beyond belief and extended an invitation to me that whenever I made it to Cebu he would be more than happy to meet up with me and treat me to a good time.
And so it happened that I contacted him about a month ago from Ecuador, informing him of my imminent arrival. Having originally only suggested meeting up for dinner and drinks he immediately made a case for me to stay overnight at his house. Not only would it be a lot more convenient for me, we would also have the additional benefit of having ample opportunity to chat and getting to know each other better, he argued.
I first politely rejected his offer, stating that I certainly don’t want to trouble him, but he insisted.
“I’ve got a house here with four empty guest rooms so it’s about time someone made use of at least one of them” he explained.
I finally gave in. It would only be for one night anyway as I was scheduled to go to Bohol the following morning.
Amando and I get on perfectly right from the start. I could already tell from earlier communication that he was a jovial and cheerful character, but his enthusiasm and cordiality simply blows me away now.
“I’m sorry to tell you that I can’t take you to stay over at my place for the night as I originally suggested” he explains. “I have some workers in the house these days doing some long overdue renovation, but don’t worry; I’ve got an even better place for you to stay at my cousin’s. You just wait and see!”
After a forty minute drive we turn off the main road and continue along a wide driveway into a heavily guarded residential area near the coast. It’s dominated by what looks to me like newly erected high rises.
As we enter the lobby of the building I am well impressed. This is indeed a very upmarket place. It’s immaculately clean, with marble and shiny ornaments everywhere. What a stark contrast to the ramshackle huts that line the streets outside these premises.
We catch one of the express elevators to the 31st floor. Amando leads the way and finally rings the unobtrusive bell on a large wooden folding door.
Moments later a young girl opens it from the inside and invites us in. She’s of slight build and rather short with a pretty face and long straight hair. At first sight she looks no older than thirteen or fourteen to me. I take her to be my host’s daughter. Amado casually mentioned earlier that his cousin became a mother at quite an early age.
There is also a dog as huge as pony. I don’t know anything about dogs but I think it’s a mastiff. I don’t remember ever having been near to a dog as tall and heavy as this one. Fortunately it appears to be friendly enough, if the fact that he’s wagging his tail and sniffing at my crotch is any indication.
The interior of the condo I find equally impressive as the estate. Its owner has certainly gone to great lengths to furnish this place lavishly, yet in a very tasteful fashion.
We both take off our shoes and follow the girl as she leads us down the hall into the large living room. We are already being expected. Amado’s cousin lounges on a large sofa together with two other girls. I notice how she checks me out from head to toe as I walk in the room, and I do likewise.
The first thing I notice is how exceptionally pretty she is. Actually she doesn’t look like your average Filipina at all. Her facial features remind me of an Italian girl I once had the pleasure to spend some quality time with years ago. Despite this she still has a very distinctively Asian look about her. One could say she combines the best of both worlds. Even though she’s dressed very casually it’s easy to see she’s in very good shape, and definitely easy on the eye. Amando mentioned she’s 31 but to me she looks not a day older than 25.
Amado makes introductions. His beautiful cousin’s name is Aimee, and I thank her for allowing me to spend the night.
“It’s nothing” she says with a twinkle in her eyes and gives me a very warm smile. “You are more than welcome.”
Oddly so she doesn’t introduce me to the two other girls that are with her. As Amado leads me into the room where I’ll be spending the night I ask him who they are.
“Oh they…They are just the maids” he explains. “By the way, did you notice their noses?”
“Not really, what about them?”
He laughs. “Well, they have all had a nose job already.”
“What about the girl who opened the door for us?” I go on.
“Oh her! Yeah she’s had one too!”
“What? Her daughter? But she can’t possibly be a day older than 14!”
“Daughter? What are you talking about? That’s just another maid ! And she’s 21 by the way!”
It seems as if plastic surgery is very popular in this household. I suppose this also explains at least some of Aimee’s Western looking features.
I’m surprised to be led into the master bedroom of the condo. It features a huge round waterbed, a mirrored wall, and a walk-in closet that’s probably about as large as my entire bedroom back home, and a separate bathroom of equal size. Best of it all is the 20 by 10 feet picture-window offering panoramic views over the ocean and parts of the skyline of nightly Cebu City.
“This is yours for tonight” Amando explains and chuckles at seeing the bewildered look on my face.
“But if I stay here, where will Aimee sleep tonight?” I inquire.
“Oh, don’t worry about her. She’s not too comfortable sleeping in this bed these days. She separated from her husband not so long ago. She has been sleeping in one of the guestrooms ever since he moved out.”
Now my curiosity has gotten the better of me.
“Amando, if you don’t mind me asking…how much does one have to shell out to live in a place like this?”
“This unit is 9000 US dollars per month” he goes about explaining casually. “There are nicer ones in this building still, but this here has already a good size at 3500 square feet.”
He tells me to take my time unpacking my bags and freshen up and then leaves the room to give me some privacy. The night is still young and we already talked about getting a massage and dinner somewhere still.
I look around, still in bewilderment, and then go about unpacking a few essential things from my bag. As I place my alarm clock and earplugs on the bedside table I spontaneously and for no good reason pull open its drawer. I find a purple vibrator and a large tube of KY jelly. Other than that there is nothing. Aimee seems to be a very practical girl.
Thirty minutes later Amando and I head out and spend an evening at the spa and a Japanese restaurant having a great time. We return to the condo just past 1am in the morning. Aimee and the three girls are still lounging in exactly the same spot as when we left them earlier and show no signs of fatigue. I excuse myself rather soon and retire to my bedroom, not without thanking both Amando and Aimee again for their unparalleled hospitality and kindness.
I take a quick shower and fall asleep within minutes of going to bed. It’s perfectly comfortable.
In the middle of the night I suddenly wake up. Only half awake and still dreaming it takes a few seconds for my drowsy mind to grasp where I am right now. As I slowly turn around in bed, grabbing the pillow to move it into more comfortable position, for a moment I get the impression there was someone or something in bed with me.
“It’s just a large pillow” I’m thinking and grab for it with my left hand to pull it closer to my body.
My hand comes to rest on something warm and hairy. Still not entirely awake my mind just can’t figure out what’s going on, so I slowly open my eyes to examine what exactly it is that I’m touching.
I’m looking right at what I, despite the darkness, immediately identify as the profile of the mastiff’s huge snout, only a few inches away from my face. And indeed there he is, this massive dog, lying in bed next to me, breathing heavily now and looking at me with his large bloodshot eyes.
I instinctively push myself away from him, consequently fall off the side of the bed and land on the soft carpet floor with a silent thump.
I’m fully awake now, as is the dog. Obviously surprised about my reaction he too jumps out of bed and slowly trots off. He turns his head one more time before leaving the room as if to say what a jerk I am for disturbing his precious peace, and then disappears out the door.
Still somewhat incredulous about what has just happened I crawl back into bed and pull up the blanket. It takes me a while to get back to sleep, but eventually I drift off.
After an indefinable amount of time I wake again. My first thought is that the dog has returned, so I extend my left hand again to examine the space around me with my eyes still being closed. And indeed it comes to rest on a bump again, only this time it doesn’t feel hairy. Whatever it is, it’s covered by the blanket. Thinking it’s impossible that the dog has come back and has managed to slide under the blanket with me I take it for a pillow again. But then the bump suddenly moves slightly and once again I am truly disconcerted. Still thinking this must be the mastiff again, no matter how he managed to climb into bed and underneath the blanket without me noticing, I quickly open my eyes.
“Do you mind?” Aimee asks in a soothing tone.
It takes me a moment to grasp what’s going on here.
“No, not at all!”
She moves closer and kisses me. Her lips are incredibly soft and moist. After a moment of hesitation I reciprocate, causing her to lift the blanket a bit so she can get closer to me while sliding her left hand slowly down my torso.
My first night in the country, and what a welcome!
We literally devour each other during the following hour. Aimee is both eager and at the same time grateful for my efforts to please her.
After cuddling up and caressing each others’ bodies for a few minutes in our steamy state of satisfied exhaustion she gives me a tender kiss on my lips, slides out of bed, and walks out of the room still naked.
Moments later I hear a shower go on. As it goes off again I expect her to return. I spend the next twenty minutes waiting. She does not come back. I drift off to sleep again.
The annoying sound of my alarm clock abruptly wakes me at 6am. I get up, shower, and pack my bag. Amado shows up twenty minutes later. He has volunteered to give me a ride to the ferry boat terminal from where I will catch a catamaran to Tagbilaran this morning. I’m expecting to see Aimee still but she’s nowhere to be seen. Amado checks everywhere but she’s gone. She has literally fled the scene. Welcome to the Philippines.
A delightful story – and I am sure a delightful experience!