Week 2: Adventures In The Philippines

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I suppose it’s been awhile since I’ve written an update…A little bit more happened this week, compared to last week, but not much.

Its not very interesting but Wednesday and Thursday I spent a lot of time ‘trying’ to write my paper, to be honest most of the days were spent procrastinating from writing. I can waste a lot of time playing games on my iPhone…

On Friday we had to run some banking errands, our mom’s system of paying for things here is less then ideal: since her bank card is from North America she can only take out money through an ATM, the ATM however only allows withdraws from foreign cards in quantities less than $250 per transaction and a max of 3 transactions per day, and charges any where from $4-7 in transaction fees each time. The major problem is that she is trying to pay for a wedding which has a lot of big ticket payments, luckily my two sisters each have an account linked to hers so she can transfer money to their account (free of charge) then they can also make three withdrawals. For a total of 9 transactions a day, $36-63 in transaction fees, and a total of $2,250 in cash  : S
After all the banking we stopped at a road side fruit stand and picked up a bunch of fruit including ones I have never heard of before.

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^ This is purple mangosteen.

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I don’t actually recall what this one was.

We also stopped at a strip mall not to far from the condo and got manicures! It is really cheap to get any type of salon services here, and they are all registered technicians in their trade. After that we stopped to have lunch at a place that served Mexican food (I think). I had this delicious chili-cheese-fry-look-alike.

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Before our food had arrived our mom had a wedding planning emergency, she had to fax a document somewhere before they closed and if she didn’t get it done before the weekend they wouldn’t be able to get the wedding permit (or some thing). So she had to go back to the condo right away, she left us with money for a taxi and left us there! I wanted to be terrified but I knew I would have to be the one to get the three of us home so I calmly sipped my overly strong mango margarita and let the alcohol calm my nerves. It turned out not so bad, I asked the waitress where the taxi stand was but instead she waved over a security guard who called one for us and waited with us until it arrived. Giving the directions were a little difficult what with the language barrier but it was only a 5 min drive away and we made it safe and sound and not kid-napped. Later that evening we all packed up our bags as the next day we would be leaving before 6am for a road trip.

To start off Saturday we got up around 5am to be ready to leave by 6, I was told I had up until 6 to get ready but our mom decided we had to leave early. This made me forget to grab things like my laptop to finish my paper with, my book to have some thing to do for the 4 hours it would take to get there and again…no coffee.
First we had to pick up her fiance from the airport, but we were 45mins early (Yeah, I really didnt have time to make a coffee…), The Mactan airport doesnt allow people in to the airport with out boarding passes so when you are picking people up you are only allowed to drive by and stop for a short time, so we had to wait some where else for those 45mins.
Then it was off to Bantayan! …but first a three hour car ride, with no bathroom breaks (because the bathrooms that were available you had to pay for and were all dirty and I was more willing to just wait…good thing I didn’t have that coffee), then an hour ferry ride.
While we were waiting for the ferry, some people started using our reflective tinted windows as mirrors…while we were inside…watching them…it was kind of awkward, like do I some how let them know I’m inside or?

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Yeah…we took pictures of them, heeheehee.

Once on the other side we went to find a place to stay for the weekend. We decided on Kota Beach, this was our first time here but not our mom’s, it was rather inexpensive, and because its the off season for tourism we got to choose if we would rather beach front or not…why did they bother asking? I was so excited for the weekend when I saw our ‘room’

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Natasha, Remy, and I got a cabin all to our selves. I was even more excited when I saw our view.

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We were a little disappointed with the amenities inside the cottages how ever, mostly the bathroom to be specific, there was only toilet paper provided, the bathroom door didn’t close never mind lock…and the shower was…scary. We hadn’t brought things like shampoo or soap, so for the next three days we would just have to be smelly.
We were pretty exhausted from the trip so after lunch at the resort we took a nap shortly after arriving, to our surprise our nap lasted several hours, we woke up just in time for dinner. For dinner we went off the resort to a different resorts restaurant, afterwards our whole group hung out at the bar, we had brought our own drinks, mixes and snacks and the bar didn’t seem to have a problem with it, except due to the lack of guests they closed up at 9pm and turned the lights off on us…their only paying guests and they turned the lights out on us…

The next morning we again left the resort for breakfast, then some of us went swimming while others went giant-hermit crab hunting.

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Before lunch the pastor stopped by and confirmed some details, after lunch we all had to pile into the van to see Lala the dress maker/wedding planner for a dress fitting, though our dresses hadn’t been made yet and the bride-to-be didn’t try on her dress, so it wasn’t much of a dress fitting, they confirmed some more details that should have already been taken care of by now, then it was off to have a food tasting of the caterer. When we arrived at their home we found out they hadn’t actually received the menu so what we taste tested wasn’t even the food that we would be having on the wedding…nothing about that day made sense.

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We got to go to a locals house!

Once we were finished there we drove around for hours trying to find a bank machine that wasn’t off line, accepted North American cards, and that still had cash to dispense…then we had to confirm with the resort we would be staying at on the wedding proper. By the time we got back to our resort it was almost 6:30pm…the whole beautiful day gone. THEN there was a test run of the make up…I got a little carried away with the natural eye lash glue that the make up artist had brought.

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Apparently the sap from this tree works just like eye lash glue, since they didn’t need the whole branch I ‘tested’ it out.
After dinner Natasha and I sat on the beach and watched the lightning storm that was on the horizon.

The next morning (Monday) we had to get all our things packed and ready to leave by 10am, we had just enough time to grab some thing to eat before leaving. With all the running around we didn’t even get a full day on the beautiful beach : (
Then it was back on the ferry, which took longer this time, and a three hour drive back to the city.
When we got in I had a bunch of coffee and actually finished my paper! I even had time left over to enjoy the evening (Today was the final day to hand it in, yikes!). Now I am officially frinished the course, and I dont have any more responsibilities until I am back in Canada!

I honestly can’t remember if we did any thing on Tuesday which probably means I spent some time by the pool and relaxed all day.

Some things to note, as I like to keep this an honest account of my trip, things are not perfect in paradise, the happy couple is not always happy, I hope its just wedding stress, they seem to be in arguments all the time and are never happy with each other. They also seem to think they are some how entitled to be obnoxious because one of them is Caucasian and has money perhaps? They constantly play their music on speakers way to loud, ridicule wait staff just because they asked for some thing to be repeated, and in general they seem to think the world revolves around them and any one that gets in the way is just an inconvenience. It gets to the point that I don’t want to be associated with them and tarnish what reputation I might have left. I try to keep my mouth shut though (which some of you will know just how difficult that is for me) as they are the ones paying for my accommodations etc.
Couples who argue and fight about your problems (instead of having an honest conversation about what is bothering you) maybe you need to rethink your approach or your relationship, or do it behind closed doors, no one wants to see it.

And with that, see you next week.

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