The return night bus from Banaue to Manila arrived earlier than expected at 3am. Tired, we caught a quick cab to get us back to Pink Manila Hostel.
Arriving to people still partying at 4am was a little shock, but we quickly avoided the invitations to join and jumped into our dorm beds and fell straight asleep. A 16 bed dorm room that is, the largest we have ever slept in and we both slept like babies.
The following day we decided to do nothing but relax as most things were closed (we found out that even McDonald’s was closed when we strolled the empty streets). We therefore spent most of our time in our hostel. P jumped in the pool a couple of times, Chris went to the local gym on the ground floor and we both caught up with blogs. Today was Easter Friday and a holy day in this predominantly Catholic country.
One thing that many people in the hostel had a desire to see was a practice that happens all over the country each year on this religious day. Most therefore took the hostel's bus to see the events that transpired
Getting comfy in the minivan
Think there was 19 in total in here
in san Antonio leaving only a handful of us left in what was yesterday a busy hostel. For us however this was not something we wanted to see. Each year on this day in the Philippines, some people try to relive the final days of Jesus by painfully whipping themselves in a procession that ends with a crucification. We've tried to save you the gory and descriptive details of what happens but believe us when we say, it did not sound nice. P felt sick from the stories alone that people came back telling about being splattered with blood and how the many people who took part looked soo high it was like they never felt the pain. Never-mind the photo's they had.
We were reassured that there are Dr's on hand and nobody dies. However, this is done against the church's wishes by many, a lot of whom are former prison inmates. The act is meant to cleanse the person and it is sad that many believe this is necessary. Happy we did not go to watch and in no way support this, we just relaxed until the flight the following morning to the island of Cebu.
Lucky we also did not explore the streets on that day as we heard these processions could also be spotted across the city.
We only stayed in Cebu one night as we wanted to be on an island for the following day. Once we arrived, we ditched our bags to find some food and maybe buy ourselves a snorkel kit. We did not have to look far or wide for South East Asia's most loved past time; a shopping mall. The Cebu Metro department store was a large mall. Not the largest we had seen but we were still blown away by the size of it.
This is one thing we have noticed about many countries in South East Asia (especially Malaysia and the Philippines) is that they love a good shopping mall. You don't have to walk far to find one and you'll be blown away with the enormity of the malls, the variety of shops (for all budgets) food and entertainment based activities you can find. Not really having a budget for shopping we only stocked up on essential toiletries and bought ourselves a snorkel kit each, which we classed as an essential item.
We also paid a visit to the 6th floor of the supermarket: The food hall, and were not disappointed. There was a variety of street food available all at fantastic prices. We bought a selection of teriyaki cabbage rolls, beef lumpia, pizza (not very South Asian we know) vegetable fried rice and sweet & sour pork and ate it all feeling very happy with our find.
Le village hostel, the place we were staying in Cebu city had a pleasant atmosphere and so after returning from the mall we relaxed in the bar area drinking the local red horse beer with Chris reading and P catching up with friends on her phone from back home. This was a rather pleasant evening as we got to enjoy the lunar eclipse whilst relaxing and drinking our beers.
Not much else happened here really. We mainly used Cebu as a pit stop in getting to the beautiful surrounding islands.
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