Finally, after two years (seems like eternity) in Nigeria, i finally got a chance to go on vacation.

I went by Qatar Airways from Lagos because i wanted to go direct to Cebu City, rather than in Manila with the usual Emirates Airlines.

I was thinking on having a ‘drinking binge’ on board, just to treat myself for finally getting avacation. Unfortunately, it was ramadan time so no liquor were on board, not even French wine. such a bummer.

But the food is great. Two meals and a snack, i think.  I also liked the audio-video on-demand (AVOD) service. I think i watched 4 movies during the 9 hours flight. That is why im so tired when i arrived in Doha. Our plane arrived late. So instead of 1 hour stopover, we were able to squeeze just 30 mins before the boarding call sounded. But i was able to make a quick trip to the duty free for some obligatory chocolates and pruned dates.

From Lagos to Cebu, the AVOD was gone. we only had a common overhead TV, which made me feel like i was taking a bus to Iligan, especially after they showed a movie starring Vhong Navarro and Pokyang, este, Pokwang. This time, there was French red wine. No whisky though. The onboard meals was Filipino, with kangkong and cassava cake.

We arrived in Cebu at 4 PM. At the airport, i opened my baggage and took out a backpack where i put my dutyfree loot. When i locked the bags, i realized i left my keys inside the baggage!! I took a taxi to pier area to board Superferry, since it was Friday. I couldn’t sleep well because i can’t change my clothes. Remember, the keys are locked in my baggage. Darn…

My wife and kids met me in CDO pier. I was, honestly, suprised at how big and tall my children are now. Whew. How time flies… Of course, the usual tears, my dear…

My wife prepared for me sinugba, kinilaw and tinola. All fishes. She knows i fell in love with her kinilaw.

The next days I enjoyed with my family — malling, church, Night cafe, native foods, seafoods…

 I splurged on seafoods – guso, lato, litob, imbaw, tahong… grilled fish, sinigang, tinola, prito.  But my wife cannot be prevented in buying The Barn’s liempo and litson manok. I also got the chance to taste again their Bulalo…

Cagayan de Oro after two years have some surprising changes. Among the new noticeable changes in the city is the appearance of another bridge connecting A. Velez extension and coming out of Ilaya, Carmen. This is suppose to decongest the Carmen/City Hall bridge. The roads around Carmen market has widened with the cleaning of stalls on the sidewalks. Cogon market roads have widened. However, The night cafe on Friday and Saturday seems  to have less people than 2 years ago. Even SM and Limketkai have sparse crowd on the weekend. It is only Gaisano and Ororama that still had the familiar rush of crowds.

My wife gave me a spa treat. We had Swedish massage at Palms Day Spa beside the Avon building, fronting Gaston Park. I was expecting a quiet room. What we got was just like a quickie massage parlour where clients enter into cubicles separated by curtains. And it was not dimmed. The cubicles are just in front of the main door. Well, i do not want to be a spoilsport, so i just went in and had it. The masseuse is okay but a little lithe on the touch. I think the spa is also saving on lotion because it only used one kind of lotion.

I had experienced a swedish massage at Body Basics at Velez St. I dunno if it’s still open. Pre-shower is required. The masseuse applies just enough pressure and  i think they used 3 kinds of aromatic lotion. The effect was really relaxing. The women’s area is separated from the men’s area. But the massage room is very dim, well air-conditioned and with piped-in music. I would recommend Body Basics’ swedish massage.

I went to Blind masseurs also. I thought they are great because of their ‘touch’ specialty. I had a ‘medium’ shiatsu massage. I don’t really know if the guy was angry or what. I felt like all my muscles were squeezed of their juices and my joints were cracking like they are going to pop-out anytime. Shiatsu with a blind guy, i guess, is a bad idea. Maybe i should go for a masseuse next time.

There’s a lot of new restaurants in Divisoria. Somebody even rented the small space beside my Internet Cafe at Chavez-Velez corner for a sort of ‘tuck-in-a-hole’ resto cafe, named Cafe Alonzo. The young couple, Alain and Maureen, really thought they can make it despite the small space, considering that the location is just a corner away from the Night Cafe area. Well, goodluck to them.

I really wanted to rest on my vacation. So i keep myself in the house most of the time. The only places i went to were Divisoria, Lourdes Grade School, SM/XUHS, and Limketkai. We went to Nazareno Church beside Gaisano for our ‘Misa Anticipada’ every Saturday afternoon.

I was just beginning to feel pampered by wife and kids, and then….. It’s time to go..

I left CDO for Cebu via Cebu Ferries. 

****

Sa Sugbu 

— to be continued…

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