Stickman Readers' Submissions August 10th, 2017

Cebu Philippines Trip Report – Day 10

This day didn’t start off too well. I wake to another day of dark overcast and threatening rain so I decide to cancel my walk for the day and went to the gym instead. I hate the gym and prefer to exercise outside or in the bed. I was an avid gym goer for many years until I tore both my rotator cuffs at the same time in 2008 while working out on a butterfly press machine. I blame the gym on my injury and the affect it had on my second love, golf. I can still play but not nearly as often and I can’t pound the ball 300+ yards anymore.

The rain wasn’t heavy but constant and I had to cancel my plans for the day. I was going to take a helicopter tour over to Bohol in the afternoon but had to reschedule for the next day. I grabbed a taxi and went to SM City Mall for a change of scenery. I take a seat at a coffee shop, browse the internet, read the news, and emails. I finish my coffee and take a stroll around the mall. I stick out like a sore thumb; the place is crowded but not many expats here. I tried to get some numbers from several store clerks but they all seemed frightened as hell when I asked them. One was tempted and I think she was about to give me her number but the male manager came over and unknowingly cock-blocked me. I ate some true Filipino food for the first time in Cebu and my last time. I’ll stick with the BBQ chicken/pork (Lechon they call it) and non-Filipino food for the rest of my visit.

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Back outside to get a taxi. The rain had stopped but threatening clouds were still all around. I thought about having the taxi driver drive me around on a make-shift city tour but came to my senses rather quickly knowing the clouds could really open up at anytime and flood the streets.

Return to the hotel and then go for a massage. Rays of sunshine are peaking through the clouds when I exit the massage parlor so instead of going back to the hotel, I go in the opposite direction. The city is really old and it shows. The streets, the utilities, and most buildings older than 30 years need renovated or destroyed and rebuilt. I did come across a rather swanky and upscale neighborhood with several houses large enough to have their zip code. Walk a short distance then I am in Asian style projects of tin shacks. Walk a little more, middle-class townhouses. I get some fruit from the roadside vendor and talk the sweet old lady for about 20 minutes. She only sees a white person about once a week.

I made a wrong turn somewhere on my way back and ended up deep into a lower middle-class neighborhood. The cell reception was weak and I couldn’t get the maps to load so I stop and ask a guy running a BBQ Lechon stand for directions. We get to talking and after 2 beers and half a chicken later, I have the directions. That was the best BBQ chicken I have eaten in a very long time. The Lechon stand was a 20 yr old family operated business. They raise their own chickens and sell about 50 chickens a day BBQ style. Not getting wealthy but enough to send his daughters to a good university.

Even with directions, I make another wrong turn, which isn’t difficult given the layout of the streets. I finally came across a place I recognize; bar XXXXXXX (the place where Ms. Fast Walker works and the owner is a total butt wipe).   How I ended up here is a mystery to me; I was supposed to be about 2km to the east.

I stop in to say hello to Ms. Fast Walker, order a water, and chat with her for about 30 minutes. I go to leave and get half way out but then calls my name. I turn around and she motions for me to come back inside. She hands me a piece of paper with her number.

Me: I didn’t ask for your number. Why did you give it to me?

Her: Because you didn’t ask this time.

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Women…I can’t figure them out most of the time.

I make the 20 minute walk back to the hotel, shower, and get a taxi to Time Out Bar to see Ms. Time Out 1 whom I had messaged earlier and told her I would stop by to see her. She’s working the downstairs bar when I arrive so I take a seat at the bar and order a beer. She is very busy taking care of the customers and not much time to have a conversation longing than a minute. I am getting a little bored and was about to go upstairs to play some pool when Ms. Time Out 2 asked me to join her and her friend to play tongits (card game). She had just finished work and was waiting around for the band to start since her friend played in the band. We play cards for about an hour and then move upstairs when the band starts. The whole time we were playing cards, I could see Ms. Time Out 1 keeping a very close eye on me.

We listen to the band, play pool, drink, and have many laughs. I order my usual pulled port BBQ sandwich and something for Ms. Time Out 2 as well. The time passes rather quickly and the band has finished their last set. I go back downstairs and talk with Ms. Time Out 1 to see if she wants to go to Karaoke after she finishes work.

Her: What about Ms. Time Out 2?

Me: I didn’t ask her but she can come along too if you want.

Her: Ok, I will ask her.

They both agree and we head out the door about 30 minutes later. We sang, joked, laughed, and drank for about 90 minutes. Maybe it was the alcohol but Ms. Time Out 1 was being flirtatious; dancing sexually in front of me while singing. As we are leaving, Ms. Time Out 2 went to the bathroom so I took the opportunity to ask Ms. Time Out 1 if she would like to come back to my hotel. She gave me a strange look and just shook her head. We get in a taxi and I drop them off before heading to my hotel. Not 2 minutes after they exited the taxi, I get a message from Ms. Time Out 1 asking me to come back and pick her up. Women…I can’t figure them out sometimes.

Once back in the room, I could tell she was having second thoughts so I didn’t push the issue. We kissed and cuddled a little but that was about it. The next morning was much different and all’s well that ends well.

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