May 20, 2008. I flew to Cebu last Tuesday night for a KASAMA sa UP (Katipunan ng mga Sangguniang Mag-aaral sa UP) meeting in UP Cebu. The meeting wasn’t until Thursday (May 22), but I flew in a few days ahead to able to catch up on however little rest and recreation I could squeeze in my free time. I had wanted to go about it by myself, book a hotel room for two nights and do anything I desired in Cebu City. I told my mom that I could take care of myself, but she insisted that I stayed with a family friend of ours, whose family is actually one of the established affluent families in Cebu. Yes, even the highway in Mandaue that we traversed from the airport to Cebu City was named after my host’s father. The long bridge we crossed form Mactan to Mandaue was named after my host’s cousin. They’re not active in politics now, though. This is the same family of my mother’s close college friend, whose father’s death and death anniversary were the reasons why we were in Cebu City a couple of times in the past two years.
It was a pretty spontaneous thing. I woke up late in the morning without any plans out of Manila. It was the first time I booked myself a plane ticket by phone, traveling by myself, actually. My parents were naturally very concerned, and kept calling me every half an hour or so. It wasn’t a very big deal for me at all, it was just Cebu.
Anyway, so my host, Mom Inday, fetched me from the airport. I was pleasantly surprised when I found out that Mom Inday was from a sister sorority. On the way to Cebu City from Mactan Airport, I was talking about how things are in UP Diliman nowadays. She then happened to ask if I was a fraternity member. When I told her I was an Upsilonian, she pleasantly revealed that she was a Sigma Deltan, batch 1940-something. She was part of the batch who pioneered and initiated the activities in Diliman, when UP moved to Quezon City from Padre Faura in Manila. That was a pretty long time ago, I thought.
It wasn’t long when we got to their Cebu City home, near Fuente Osmena. It was a pretty regal and rustic old house. I stayed in one of the room upstairs. After being introduced to her daughter and granddaughter who lived with her, I spent a few hours talking with them before going to bed.
May 21, 2008. I had initially wanted to go around Cebu City by myself and just stroll around taking pictures downtown. Some people who know me know that such is my kind of thing. I just want to wander off by myself and take photos. I was discouraged from doing that, however, for my safety, apparently. Instead, my gracious hosts accompanied me in a chauffeur-driven car around Cebu City’s usual tourist destinations. I’ve been to the Basilica Minore del Sto. Nino, Fort San Pedro and the Taoist Temple a number of times before so it wasn’t that exciting. It was fine and satisfying, however. I was able to take my pictures and stroll around a bit. In addition to that, I asked Mom Inday if we could pass by Tabo-an Market, to buy some dried fish for my family back home in Quezon City.
After the brief roundabout, we bought lechon manok at Mom Inday’s favorite roaster and then we home to have it for lunch. Mom Inday’s granddaughter, who was a little younger than me, asked me to come with her and her friends to the mall, but unfortunately, I fell asleep right after lunch till the rest of the afternoon. It was okay, I guess. I wasn’t able to go around some more, but I was able to finally catch up on some rest, after all the stressful weeks this summer.