The beginning of any adventure is hard, but once you take the first step it all falls into place.
Getting to the Philippines from the USA is quite a task. It isn’t hard per say it is just long! I left snowy mountain peaks for sunny sandy ocean shores and I packed as little as possible. I had the good fortune of snagging a fairly cheap ticket back in July, and the route was my usual, Jackson to Denver to Tokyo/Narita to Manila. I usually go to Thailand by this same route so this time my last flight just landed me in the Philippines instead, Hooray! I also booked a local flight on Philippine Airlines to depart approximately two hours after I landed in Manila to Cebu. This was probably a mistake, but worked out for me regardless. Between my flight to Manila being about thirty minutes late and it took about thirty minutes to make it through passport control, baggage claim, and customs, I would not have been on time to check in for my Cebu flight. As luck would have it the flight was delayed and I was transferred from terminal 3 to terminal 2 on a nice shuttle. I checked in for my flight and waited about an hour and a half for boarding and departure.
Once in Cebu I collected my luggage and followed the signs to the taxis where I read that you should take the white ones because they give you a slip with the taxi information on it where you can contact the government to complain if it was a bad experience. This gives you a little insurance policy on having an easy journey without bartering a price, or being taken on an unsolicited tour of the city. However, the yellow taxis seemed ok enough and the rates are only slightly different from what the white taxis offer. This is all stuff I have read so without experience in the yellow taxi I can’t give a 100% view.
Off in my taxi I had a smooth twenty minute ride that cost 250 PP, 5 USD, to the 101 Horizons Condominiums. I booked this apartment off of booking.com and chose this location for convenience within the city. Getting to a place at almost three in the morning is not the best but it is a relief when you see the host of the apartment, Nica, quietly snoozing on the couch waiting for you at reception. I will admit I am not good at researching places before I go to them. I tend to book a landing spot sometimes the day before I get there, in this case I had booked this apartment in Cebu one week before departing America. I would like to think that it is good karma that puts me in places with amazing and thoughtful people. By the time I was in my very own apartment I had been traveling for thirty-two hours. Even with sleep aids I have a hard time sleeping on planes and buses because the seats for me are so uncomfortable. So out of those thirty-two hours I think I slept maybe six.
After getting settled and having much needed sleep. I awoke to a sunny morning with scattered rain showers and knew I needed food. I made my way down the block to a Mexican taqueria. I had, once again last minute, read about this place on trip advisor. I indulged in three carne asada tacos that looked and tasted like they came straight from Mexico at La Lucha Taqueria. I was so in love that I took a burrito to go for later. The place is a tiny stand that shares almost a hallway with two other food stands in the Mango mall. It may be hard to find but just go in the mall and look for some food stands on the base floor. Two young Filipino girls were working, they seemed to be having fun and cooked up some amazing food. With the airline travel behind me and some food in my belly, I’m looking forward to the next two weeks of journeys and scuba diving.