Saturday, November 28, 2009

Cebu: Days 2 & 3

The last two days in Cebu, we were pretty busy, leaving early in the morning and not returning until almost 11 in the evening, so I didn't get to update right away. Overall, it was a very fun trip, despite the awful weather every day we were there.

Thursday, November 26:
We woke up early, and my aunt and uncle took me to visit Iglo (Leonardo Igloria), the same guy who designed my debut dress three years ago. I gave him pictures of the potential Military Ball dress designs I had been considering, and he drew up a unique design for me, drawing from ideas from both designs I'd presented him with, my own input, and his own inspiration. I hope that it will be fabulous; I'm sure it will be. Afterward, the three of us went to another mall, Ayala, and had lunch at a Japanese restaurant called Teriyaki Boy...or something like that? We ordered a ton of food, and it was all delicious: fresh salmon sushi, "Philly cheesesteak" sushi rolls, teriyaki chicken, fried rice, bacon-wrapped asparagus, and more.

Afterward, we met up with my other aunt and uncle and their sons, and we walked around the mall for a while. By the way, this mall is GORGEOUS. It has the main mall building, but outside, there is a HUGE courtyard with fountains and terraces, then on the other side of the courtyard is another building full of restaurants and coffeeshops, with balcony walkways connecting the two buildings. There are lights everywhere, and it's beautiful. If I lived in Cebu, I would hang out there all the time.

I went with my aunts around all the shops, then eventually I went with my uncle to the Ayala department store, where he bought me a sweater, a belt, and a Philippines T-shirt. Afterward, we grabbed ice cream (raspberry chocolate for me! yummy!), then met the family at a Chinese restaurant called Harbour City for dinner. As always, we ordered A TON of food, and we all shared: mushroom siomai, shrimp balls, shrimp toast, chicken feet, bird's nest soup, rice, chicken ham, fried lumpia, and more. I even ate a quail egg for what I believe to be the first time ever.

After dinner, we walked around outside along the Ayala terraces.

Friday, November 27 (yesterday):
We all got up early and went to the Basilica del Santo Nino, where one of the last remaining Santo Nino statues from the time of the Spanish-ruled Philippines is displayed and where Magellan's Cross stands. It was very crowded and full of devotees who visit every Friday, but we were able to light several candles and offer prayers before leaving.

Afterward, we went to the Philippine Taoist Temple. I've been to both of these places before and they obviously don't change over the years, but it's still always nice to go. We walked around the Taoist Temple for a while, and before leaving I stopped at the souvenir shop, where I purchased a photograph, a "prayer ring," and a metal card with pictures of the god of protection intended to bring you good luck and protection when kept with you in your wallet. I was wearing shorts, so I was unable to go inside the shrine to have the ring and card blessed myself. Thankfully, my aunt offered to bring them inside and blessed them for me. This was done by waving them through the smoke of the incense in a clockwise circular motion nine times and offering a prayer.

Following the Taoist Temple, we stopped by the Jumalon Museum Butterfly Sanctuary and Art Gallery. It was owned by an artist/professor who was also an avid butterfly collector, and it is now operated by two of his children. As the children are single and getting old, the collection will likely be donated to the Smithsonian Institution soon. Many specimens from his collection aren't even available for public viewing, as the butterflies are now extinct. It was still neat, though. Apparently, in order to attract certain kinds of butterflies and moths, he grew specific kinds of plants in his garden. Some butterflies will only lay their eggs on certain plants, so they will travel miles and miles in order to lay their eggs in his garden. We were also able to view his art gallery, which included amazing mosaics created from pieces of butterfly wings. It was so amazing, and I wish photographs would have been permitted so I could share them here. The butterflies and flowers (edelweiss) in the first picture are Swiss - like Bruno! lol

We finished the afternoon by grabbing lunch at McDonald's then hanging out at the Ayala Mall for the rest of the evening. My aunt bought me a Philippines souvenir shirt, and I bought more wedding party gifts - this time for Bruno's mommy. I also bought two Philippines souvenir shot glasses to bring back as gifts. I walked around and talked with my aunt for a while, and we got fruit shakes before meeting back with everyone. Finally, we grabbed some light food (hotdogs, french fries, popcorn) and went to the mall's movie theater to see 2012, which was actually not bad at all. I usually hate all those natural disaster movies because all they usually are is a bunch of "global warming" propaganda. This one actually wasn't like that much, though, so it made it a lot more enjoyable. On another note, I have a new-found respect for Adam Lambert - his song that debuted on 2012, "Time for Miracles," is actually quite nice. Not my usual cup of tea, but there's something oddly catchy about it. I didn't like it the first time I heard it on MTV, but listening to it playing during the end credits after the movie I started to have second thoughts. It's like that Donny Darko's weird and not at all what I would normally listen to on my own, but it just fit the movie so well and is catchy in it's own way that I'm forced to enjoy it a little.

Saturday, November 28 (today):
Today has been completely uneventful. We woke up ridiculously early and drove back to Dumaguete. We stopped in Carcar to grab breakfast at Jollibee and to buy several bags of Carcar's famous chicharrones. After that, I completely conked out. I slept the entire four-hour drive back to Dumaguete, and again I didn't even get up to watch the ferry ride. It's just as well because I would have felt nauseated and bored had I been awake through the entire trip. Now, we've just been sitting around the house all day, relaxing and recovering. I've been playing on the computer, hoping to catch Bruno online and just wasting time in general.

P.S. I saw this sign inside of a jeepney we passed. If only all countries were so God-fearing that people would be deterred from being dishonest or unlawful! lol