Tom and Rebecca “Go Native”

Monday July 18, 2016 Goodbye El Nido: Hello Port Barton and Prince John's Lodging and Restaurant. After our experience on the Cherry Bus, we allowed our next host to arrange a van to Port Barton. We are ready and waiting before the appointed 7:00 AM but 7:00 AM comes and goes. We have just enough internet connection to contact Prince John’s Lodging and Restaurant to check on the van. The van will be there by 8:00 AM. The van man arrives with the question, “What time is your flight?” “What? We’re not going to the airport. We’re going to Port Barton to catch a boat to an island.” “The van to Port Barton left at 7:00 AM,” says the van man. “We were ready at 6:30 AM. You didn’t come!” Well,

Land vs. Water: Finding Balance

Saturday, July 9, 2016 Bright and early we claim our seats on the Cherry Bus to El Nido. We have an eight hour journey ahead of us, but the bus is air conditioned and there’s Wi-Fi on board. Well, the bus is air conditioned. The Wi-Fi isn’t working. *Aside* The Wi-Fi may never have worked a day in its life. It’s hard to tell about things like that in the Philippines. If I say the bus ride was exciting it will probably give you the wrong impression, but the bus ride was exciting. Much of the time the driver was over the centerline, sometimes driving on the wrong side of the road for no apparent reason. He would stop suddenly to pick up another person or two or three. He would also stop in t

Let’s Try Something Different

*Aside* As if it all hasn’t been different already, right? *Disclaimer* This is a long posting. We did a lot in Puerta Princesa Tuesday, July 5, 2016 Our email documents from the 2Go Ferry tell us to check in at the dock four hours before the departure time of 1:30pm. We have our doubts that this is completely necessary but when we arrive (earlier than the advised four hours) we see why. It’s not 10:00 AM yet and already there is pandemonium at the entrance. Cars and taxis are dumping people and cargo to load carts with luggage and boxes. This is not the polite zone. You grab a porter who grabs a 2Go Ferry Adjuster who makes a note about weight on your ticket. Then you push your way to t

Best Laid Plans

Friday, July 1, 2016 Back in Manila We booked an adorable little AirBnB condo - actually another Avida Tower unit, but more north and slightly west of our original Manila, Makati location. The space is smaller than the previous space - all one room - but two walls are completely full of built-in closets and shelves with doors. Even the tiny efficiency kitchen closes up and disappears. The refrigerator has matching door faces so it also disappears. You can fold up the table, pulling out the bench to reveal a second double bed released from under the raised primary double bed. Most of one wall has a tropical island scene wallpapered across it (even on the underside of the fold up table!). Th

If This Isn’t Paradise, Then You Can See it From Here

Saturday June 25, 2016: Dumaguete We reverse our trip from Puerto Galera back to Manila: boat, then van, then arrive Manila Airport. Atlantis has made arrangements for our transfer to Dumaguete. We claim our luggage from the van, flow through security, and wait in line - for a few minutes. The Atlantis magicians arrange a group check-in for us, allowing us to simply go to the other side of the barrier where they delivered our boarding passes! Sweet! We have plenty of time to wander the airport, finding a Mary Grace Restaurant that we recognized from the Greenbelt Mall. After another slice of that delicious creamed cheese pound cake and a bowl of soup we’re ready for take-off. *Aside* Tom o

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