Friday, April 30, 2004

Back in Manila 

I am still groggy from a dreadful flight on our way back home. And to think I was complaining on a one hour delay on our way to Davao. That was a piece of cake compared to the three hour delay we had on our way back home. Sheesh, PAL…. It’s a wonder that they are still in business.

When we checked in at 2:35 pm at the Davao International Airport, we were prepared to stay there and wait. Lo and behold, when we were comparing boarding passes, I got a glimpse at Jun Elloso who was complaining that his boarding pass showed 9:25 pm. I said that couldn’t be. I went to the personnel and showed him our boarding passes. He said, “Yes, we were just informed that there’s going to be a delay. “But my boading pass says we’re leaving at 6:35. How come his is at 9:25?” “Yes, give me your boarding pass and we’ll change it!” Shit!!!

Our saving grace was once again our gracious host, Ate Ludz’ cousin, the Colinas. Now, this is a family whose graciousness is unending. Once they learned that we were staying another 6 or so hours at the airport, they advised us to go out of the airport as their cars are on the way to pick us up. Can you beat that? What were we supposed to do? When we got out of the airport, Michael, the son, and Ivy, his wife, were already there to pick us up. First, they took us to the cemetery where the youngest, the only daughter, is buried. It turned out that the whole family stays there every afternoon. She died two years ago at age 21. She was very beautiful, had a pretty face and a genuine smile to her face and I imagine, very intelligent. Unfortunately, she died of a complication from an asthma attack.

The family built a mausoleum for her. It was just like a house. At the first floor was her tomb, an altar, some concrete chairs and a toilet. On the second floor was a receiving room complete with furnitures. Both floors were air conditioned. The roof top was open but it had holes which they fill up with steel poles where they attach nets so that the children, Michael’s, can play safely. At Php2 Million, the mausoleum is spectacular.

We prayed for the daughter, Mylene, I think that was her name then proceeded to Victoria Mall to have a buffet dinner at Gloria Maris. See, I told you this family was a blessing.

Anyway, why should I blog about the negative when I had a real good time at Davao? It was a real vacation. What’s a place like this without going to the beach, right? Well, we did. It was an island called Paradise something. It’s a beach in Samal, a 10 minute boat ride from the city. The boat was surprisingly big. A lot bigger from the usual banca in ,say, Marinduque. It’s a lot safer and more comfortable. At Php7.50/head, it’s heavenly. They ask you to sign a manifesto first, which they turn over to the port guy, something that is just not done anywhere, before they head to and from the island. And the beach! What can I say? The water is crytal clear you can see the fish roaming around. You wouldn’t need your goggles to see them. But of course, the salt water hurt the eyes so you wear them just the same. As it was a week day, the place wasn’t as busy as can be imagined. The food was excellent, the accomodations, perfect. We had a good time with one American woman, probably in her late twenties. She was with a child who she just let wander off while whe reads, uhm, “Descartes’ Error”. What was spectacular about her? Well, nothing much except for the fact that she was seated on the bathing seat with her legs crossed and her pubic hair showing! This made Norman quip, “hey guys, do you want to see some corn?” (referring to its likeness to corn hair) Well, you don’t see that everyday, do you?

After the beach, on our way back to the hotel, Zharro texted me to say that they’re in Davao already. Asked them where they were and when it turned out to be on the way to the hotel, I asked the taxi to take me there so that I can say hi! Zharro was with Wilma, Nancy and Teody, her aunt, uncle and her mom. They were having buffet lunch at Nanay Bebang. After the pleasantries, Zharro made me promise that we will all go out. And we did. We met at the Venue, a place like Eastwood, and had dinner there, compliments of her relatives. From there, we went to Café Breize, (pronounced as Braz) to have crepes , coffee and a beer. Then they said they wanted to see our place. So we took them the hotel to show our rooms. Jun was snoring away when we got there so we proceeded to Dennis’ room. We decided to check out the Liquid, the watering hole of the hotel, but decided it wasn’t cool enough. Zharro wanted to go dancing. We took a walk and decided to go back to the Venue but Teody said she was already sleepy. What can one do? She’s almost 60. So, we had to say goodbye while Norman and I went back to the Liquid after seeing the gorgeous lady waitress in her mid-rib pass us by. Guess what! Norman who is a lot younger and more athletic than I am dosed-off with his bottle of beer. Drats!!! We went back to the room to sleep. And it was only 12, I figured.

The following morning, we passed on the tour and went swimming on the hotel’s pool after breakfast. There I saw a small boy (turned out to be 12 years old) playing. I asked him if he knew how to swim and when he said he didn’t, I showed him how. Soon, he was swimming across the pool. Guess the mother was pleased. After that, we slept some more and got ready for luch. What can I say? Excellent food can be had at a very cheap price. The buffet lunch cost Php99 while the buffet breakfast at Php69. The one we had at Gloria Maris was a whopping price at Php 168. Man, I can live in Davao! If only the air fare was as cheap, I would have taken my whole family there on the next flight. And surely, if ever, it will not be in a PAL plane, believe me.

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