Friday 5th June:
We headed to the same hotel we stayed at previously in Bonafacio Global City and Aida had her first experience of sleeping in an 8 man dorm as we were able to get it for 400 peso each and stay there until we needed to leave for the airport that evening. Our flight was due to leave at 8pm but the previous evening I had received an email saying it had been put back to 11pm; good old Air Asia, the 4th of 5 flight changed on this trip.
After lying in bed until about 8am, both unable to sleep, we used this day to catch up with emails before heading to Market Market again for lunch.
At 8pm we attempted to get a taxi to the airport. Not as easy as anticipated. After 30 minutes, we finally got one to stop and take us but at the cost of 500 peso, should have said 400 but then again, the difference is minimal. Once we arrived at 9pm the departure board had our flight down as 9.35 but delayed to 10.20, not what it said on my email. It seems that AA was one plane down so all the flights were all over the place. We finally left at 11pm for the 1 hour 5 minute flight to Cebu. Plenty of taxi’s once we get there which was great as we just wanted to sleep after the last few days.
Saturday 6th June:
Aida woke up not feeling too well, muscle aches and the runs. We headed into the main tourist hub of Cebu City from our hotel – The Suites Centre. On a jeepney it cost us all of 8 peso each and dropped us off close to the Fort. It was very hot so walking around was quite taxing. City Hall and San Nino Church were fortunately very close by so not too much walking for Aida. Seeing the amount of young children begging is one of the main pitfalls of traveling in SE Asia. Giving money is not an option as much as you may want to, it is frowned upon and at the end of the day doesn’t solve their problems. We did buy some McDonald’s and give it to a young boy and his parents, which was our good deed for the day. We headed back so Aida could have a nap, whilst I tried to watch some NRL online.
Early evening we ventured to Ayala Mall, which was less than 10 minutes away. As per most Malls in the Philippines, it was really busy and the shops where similar to the UK; Guess, Mango, Zara, M&S etc so obviously there are plenty of locals with money to spend. We decided to go the cinema so bought tickets to watch San Andreas (210 peso each), which was good to watch on the big screen. We had Greek food for tea, which again was very nice although a little pricey compared to what we were used to (average meal prices vary from 150 – 200 peso, unless you eat in the ‘posh’ places).
Walking home is always a worry so we went the long way, keeping to the main road, especially as I had exchanged RM1000 into peso so was taking no risks.
Tuesday 9th June:
We were initially planning to wake up at 5.30am so we could head to Oslob for the whale shark watching/swimming. It would be a 3 hour+ trip and with mixed reviews and neither of us feeling anywhere near 100% we decided to leave it. Will we regret it? Not sure. I would rather swim with the whale sharks in their natural environment, maybe in Donsol rather than floating with them as they are artificially fed. If I could plan things again, we would have stayed in Bohol an extra day and gone to Oslob from there. However, we had already bought our ferry tickets and accommodation in Cebu.
The downside of this meant we had a full day in Cebu with nothing planned. We headed to the Mall just before lunch and decided to ‘waste’ some time by watching another movie, this time ‘Insidious 3’. It was Senior Citizens watch free day, a great initiative to allow the elderly to attend movies FOC. The mall itself is pretty big but no bargains compared to KL or even the UK.
On the evening we headed to Jolibee’s down the road for some ‘fast food’, they serve rice and mashed potatoes so better than KFC I guess and then home early to pack for stage three of our adventure; the beaches of Boracay.