June 17, 2013
Packing up and heading to the airport. My time in The Philippines has sadly came to an end. I am overwhelmed with gratitude as I leave this beautiful county. It’s been wonderful. Each part/city had a significant role in the overall experience. My last stop was here in Cebu. Most of you know I went to a Jesuit Prep School for high school. They always told us that we all were “brothers” for life which I took as a grain of salt at time. It’s been proven true over time and once again was proven when an old classmate, Shawn Harvey (Harvey O’Neil), opened up his apartment to me and invited me into his amazing life here in The Philippines. I got taste of culture from someone who has been living here. He and his wonderful girlfriend JoAnn took me on some great excursions. It started with food from a street vendor Friday night. We got two chickens which were cooked right there near the street. We then went to another vendor and got Liempo which is mainly pork (fat) and surprisingly tasty (just watch out for bones). Some rice and few beers were also picked up along the way. Then Saturday night Shawn took us to a fish market. We got off the Jeepney (a communal taxi; we rode hanging on the back. We also took a motorbike where you hop on the back and hold on tight as as you zip through traffic).. So we took this Jeepney to a port where as a traveler I would never think to go in; it was intimidating if you were not familiar with the town. There were roughly 5 places to eat, all fighting for your business as you walk in. “Sir, special price here”.. “No Sir, here is the best fish in town”. It was interesting to see unfold but we had to choose one. All were similar, thirty types of fish along w squid, shrimp, scallops, etc. and you chose which ones you wanted, how you would like it cooked, and BAM, out comes a fresh meal. Probably the healthiest meal I’ve had here.. No time for preservatives and all that other junk we eat in the States. I expanded my food horizons as I ate a hermit crab (sorry), fish eyes, and fish brain! Oh, and it didn’t stop there. Still on my experimental high I decided to try Balut. Ill spare you the image but please feel free to Google it. It is a developing chicken/duck embryo in an egg (with feet and often feathers). Yes. I ate it. A pretty funny video will follow as we filmed the whole thing. We took an evening stroll to a memorial park in town that was a popular hang out for all the teenagers. Cebu had a city feel but we still made it to the beach a couple times (I have a sunburn to prove it). Today I woke up and watched the Spurs/Heat game. It comes on around 9:00 am here. As I sit here eating my lunch and reflecting on my time here in Philippines I realize that’s haven’t been this healthy and happy in years. I’m in complete bliss. I am eternally grateful for the sights I have seen, culture I have experienced and the things I have already discovered about myself as a person. There’s a lot of room for advancement but I think is am on the right track. So onward to Vietnam I go. Love you all thanks for reading.