My last entry from the Philippines! And I must start with and apology: I lied, I’m sorry. Well it wasn’t a lie at the time, it just turned out to be… we didn’t end up going to the beach after all. Porto Gallera (spellign?) is where we would have gone but we decided that we should stay around here and finish off some stuff and that 3 days away was too big a chunk to take out. So we decided to take a day trip away instead, but details of that shall follow.
So we decided, or rather the girls did (although I did approve) at about midnight that night to not go to the beach, a mere 4 hours before my alarm was due to go off. So instead we had a good night’s sleep and had a team time together. I also took the opportunity to go with Chuckie to meet some of his friends at their appartment. Once more I was pleasantly surprised by their warmth and hospitality – they were actually asleep when we arrived, but they got up and chatted to me for abotu 3 hours! Can’t really see that happening with people in the U.K… but maybe.
After that 3 hours I headed to meet the others at the hotel, but was instead met with a note telling me to go to a restaurant quite a way away via a jeepney ride to a place I’d never been before. Taking the challenge I strode out into the unknown. I found the place and I think the others were happy to see me. It was a cool restaurant where all the waiters and chefs sing and dance and they cook stuff on big gas rings at your table… all very cool! Then it was off to Café Breton, a nice french crêperie to eat banana crêepes and drink coffee (yes, I’m drinking a lot of that out here, especially of the iced variety).
Then Thursday we went to Corregidor for our day trip. For about £15 all-inclusive, we had a boat trip, guided tour and lunch on the historic island. It was a major factor in the South Aisa part of World War II, delaying the Japanese advance for a significant time. The whole island is a war memorial basically, with the original buildings, all bombed and shot up, left intact for toursists to see. Was an interesting day, although it’s full of american influence (as indeed most of the Philippines is). Nice to see another place other than Manila (although it is in the entrance to Manila Bay), and it is really beautiful.
Friday we did various things, but the main thing was the event in the evening – a celebration of Jaime’s birthday as well as a despadida (goodbye party) for us. There were various musical performances, Jaime gave a talk and we did short bits on our trip here and why it’s been good. There was food and cake and iced tea… all made for a very fun evening. Then we went to Café Breton again for more crêpes (banana, nutella and ice-cream! YUMDEYUMYUM!) with some of the guys. Went home after that for my last night in the appartment :o(
Got up today, packed and had lunch with the girls (JayArre cooked sinegang – a sour pork & vegetable soup thing, with rice of course). Waited briefly for Jaime to come, said our goodbyes there and headed off to get a taxi to Send… where I stayed on my first night. We had a debrief with the americans from Cebu, which was good because we’d had similar experiences. Then it was off out to the singing place again (where we were forced to dance and sing this time, which was amusing, but very embarassing having to dance with camp waiters). Then off for ice cream after.
And here I am. Writing my last entry before I depart the Philippines. I leave for the airport in about 4 hours (4.30am) and leave about 8.15am. So here endeth this phase of my life. As General McArthur said before he left Corregidor, I wish to display the same sentiment – “I shall return”