This week is going to be a traveling week for me. Most of the week anyway. I’m not going anywhere that I’ve never been before, but I am going where I am going armed a little differently than I have in the past.
I’ll be venturing to Cebu this week. First, I’ll be spending some time in Cebu City, and I will also be going to Northern Cebu Island, to Bogo. I’ve been to Cebu City many, many times in the past (although not for some time), but I’ve never gone north of the City before, so this part wil be new for me. I have traveled south of Cebu City once, about halfway down the island from the City. I had a friend who used to live in Sibonga, and went to visit him some years ago. He might still live there, I’m not sure, we’ve kind of lost touch with each other. When I visited my friend we headed further south from Sibonga, Cebu, but not all the way to the southern tip of the island, though. But, as I said, this will be my first time to visit Northern Cebu.
The last time I was in Cebu, I believe, was in 2001, possibly 2002. I used to go to Cebu fairly often for business, but I have had no need to visit the island for some time now. I am expecting that it has grown a lot in the 7 or 8 years since I’ve been there. I know that Davao has exploded in growth, and I expect that Cebu has grown at a rate more rapid than I’ve seen in Davao.
At the beginning of this article, I said that I would be “armed” differently than in the past. What did I mean by that? Well, primarily, I meant that in terms of language. Of course, any regular reader will know that for nearly 2 years now I’ve been studying Bisaya, and learning to speak the language. Bisaya is also called Cebuano, and originates from Cebu. The type of Bisaya that I am learning is pure Cebuano, the way it is spoken in Cebu. Davao City, where I live, is more “halo-halo” or a mixture of language. Here, Tagalog and Cebuano are mixed up into a distinct Davaoenyo language of our own. But, I am so excited to visit Cebu mostly because I want to listen to the people there and speak with them. I have a friend, Lucky, a German who also studies Cebuano from the same teacher that I use (Bebe Metillo). Lucky was in Cebu last week, and he just raves to me about how nice it is to hear pure Cebuano from the people. He says he can understand and communicate much more clearly in Cebu than in Davao because of the purity of the language. This really excites me a lot. I predict that experiencing Cebu armed with language skills is going to be much different than when I knew only English and nothing else.
So, what is bringing me to Cebu? Well, I’ve been wanting to go (primarily for the language exposure) for a few months now. It so happened that an American friend of mine, who still lives in the States contacted me a few weeks ago. He also has a house in Cebu and plans to retire there in a few years. He has some things that he needs to have done at his house in Cebu, technical things regarding his Internet access there. He offered to pay for my trip to Cebu if I would go to his house and take care of this for him, to which I readily agreed. So, I expect that I will spend a half day or so at his house taking care of what he needs done, and then I’ll spend about 2 1/2 days doing other things. My trip to Bogo is because I want to see the northern part of the island, and I also want to meet Rusty Ferguson. I have known Rusty for over 6 months, but only through the Internet, and I think we talked on the phone one time. It will be nice to meet him in person, and I want to see his new monkey too. So, that is the main reason for going to Bogo (not sure if the main reason is Rusty or the monkey, though!). While in Cebu City, I plan to hang out in some coffee shops for Internet access and write up some of my adventures for my daily articles here on LiP too. Also, I expect that in hanging out in a few coffee shops I will meet some other expats living in Cebu. Who knows, maybe I can find a new LiP writer who lives in Cebu City. So, if you are an expat in Cebu City, please e-mail me through our contact form on this site, or give me a call or text at (0915) 216-0300, I’d enjoy meeting you while I’m in town.
But, while I am in the City, I primarily want to visit venues where I can listen to people, and talk with them. For me, this means places like the Public Market, downtown areas and such. Getting practice in the language while I am in Cebu has been my primary reason for wanting to visit the City for a few months now.
This week, all of my articles will be related to my trip to Cebu. From planning the trip, my actual visit, my experiences, and maybe some photos from around the area.
Cebu City, here I come!