Posted by: hoz49 | February 15, 2008

In Cebu Philippines

Looking out the window I could see Cebu City below us. The city reached up into the mountains now. New high rises, condos and houses have been built. I could see fresh scars on the land from clearing for new construction.

The plane flew over Cebu and neighboring Mactan island, where Magellan was killed when he tried to dominate a local Chieftan, Lapu Lapu. I could make out fleeting glimpses of landmarks I knew from being here before. Marco Polo Hotel, which used to be named Cebu Plaza, before it went bankrupt and sat mothballed for several years. Now the economy is booming and it has been rehabbed and opened as an international resort. I hear it is doing well and offers a fantastic buffet. We will have to eat there while visiting Cebu, definitely.

The plane passed over Mactan and out into the sea. I could see ferries, container ships and an occasional banka boat below. This country is tied to the sea, from the humble fisherman to the large shipping magnate, the sea means life. The plane made a 180 degree turn back for Cebu International airport. As we turned I made out our friend Loloys, shrimp farm close by the river.

As we descended everyone on the plane got excited. Mostly Filipinos returning home from shopping or business trips to Hong Kong, maybe some overseas workers, a few tourists, and Balikbayans (Filipinos coming home) like us.

We landed and began the walk down the covered passage to the terminal. Immediately I could sense the heat. It was close to 90 degrees with a light misty rain, 100 percent humidity.

The past 48 hours included a missed flight that set up a domino effect and two unexpected layovers where we camped out in LA’s Tom Bradley International Terminal (NOT recommended) and Hong Kong International Airport (HIGHLY recommended!), but we had finally arrived, 24 hours late. We were home in Cebu.

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