Sunday, March 1, 2020


I finally finished Burmese Days by George Orwell. It was his first novel and I picked it up in Bagan, Myanmar. I knocked it off in 4 days and as reading goes I am feast or famine. I will now dive into Pablo Escobar My Father by Juan Pablo Escobar. It should be a light read.
Now the Drug Kingpins son, Juan Pablo Escobar has written a moral trainwreck of a memoir of the life and times of  his father - The Washington Post

After 5 great diving days in Lapu Lapu did I continue on my diving journey, keeping my spirit filled with excitement and wonder? No sir, that would only make sense.  I decided that a 3 days visit to Cebu City was in order. It was not an awful choice but it was a moment killer. I took my GRAB from Maribago and headed to the Kiwi Hotel if only because it was clean, cheap and the reviews were decent. It bills itself as the Cheapest Hotel in Cebu City. I thought about that as we neared the place and wondered if it was the choice and if I was heading to a "Love Hotel".  Thankfully it was fine. The neighborhood was a great old area that lacked any tourists except for those of us in the hotel, who I only saw in passing.

There was enough history here to keep my occupied for a day, including learning about the explorer Ferdinand Magellan from the 1500s. He was the first explorer to circumnavigate the globe which I did not know. He arrived in Cebu in March of 1521 and immediately set upon trying to convert the locals to Christianity. Those who did conform he burned down thier homes. (Yup, convert to my religion or suffer/die.) Ultimately there was an uprising and Magellan was killed at the Battle of Mactan in early April of 1521.

It is in Cebu that Magellan's Cross is located. It was brought and set here when the Spanish arrived. It has its own little protective housing sits in the dockyard area of Cebu. It is impressive for the historical value alone but unimpressive otherwise. Naturally, it is surrounded by tacky souvenir shops and touts offering a variety of services.

I like old forts and Cebu his home to Fort San Pedro. It was built by the Spanish and is located in what is now called Plaza Independecia. It is actually quite small but solidly built. It protected the inland waterways into Cebu and still stand strong and stately after 500 years.

I also found a few great old churches along the way. Old and battered on the inside but as religion goes, ornate and over the top in the inside. The Philippine people are devout Catholics thanks to the Spanish. Again, historically they were impressive but as you know, religion itself does absolutely nothing for me.

Finally, there was the Mango District. This is the place where Cebu and most foreigners hang out. It is filled with modern shops, restaurants, and bars. In the end, I found what I came looking for, Marshalls Irish Pub. I needed an afternoon in a pub as you do. I ended up having a good time. The bar was friendly, especially once happy hour arrived. I had enough about 9 and walked the 30 minutes back to the Kiwi Hotel. The next time in Cebu I would certainly stay in the Mango District.

All told, three days and nights in Cebu is plenty. It is not a pretty city by any means but it has its charms. I did spend quite a bit of time walking around and exploring mostly in and around the shipyards and dock works. It also has the airport from which you can launch anywhere in the Philippines and that is exactly what I was going to do. It was time to get wet again and I was off to Bohol Island.

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