Up Close and Personal With the Whale-Shark Man
Pasay City Travel Blog› entry 1 of 4 › view all entries
March 9th, 2008 – by: JeAr
For those of you thinking that this is a Brokeback Mountain encounter, you're wrong. I didn't manage to get THAT up close and personal with Phil, not that I didn't want to... jeez I'm only kidding, guys. Unfortunately, he's got his eyes on BIGGER things, also known as whale sharks. Yes folks, Phil is into animals. I met up with him in my human form, so he didn't like me that much.
By the way, I call Phil the Whale-Shark Man because he loves whale sharks more than he loves fish and chips (and me) and he's been on a group date with them twice already. He even eats krill now, I bet...
Rewind to a few days ago: I started talking to Phil online (didn't know he was into animals yet, my bad) because I found out that he's been to the Philippines and I read some of his blog entries.
So, one day, out of the blue, he mentioned that he might be coming back to the Philippines in 3 days. My heart fluttered: Did I have that much effect on him that he couldn't wait to see me? Then he dropped the bomb: He's coming over because it's whale shark season and that the airfare was really cheap. Ouch! That hurts. Bad. Really bad. I mean, I'm ME, and they're WHALE SHARKS! Come on now! But I kept my poker face on and told him "How exciting!" and stuff.
Days flew by so quickly, and next thing I knew, he's in Manila. His flight to Legazpi City (the city nearest to Donsol where one can see the whale sharks) was going to be on Monday, so he invited the local TB'ers to meet up on Saturday night. I forgot why but somehow, I wasn't able to join them. But I was able to talk to him online again on Sunday and we agreed to meet up that night at the Mall of Asia for dinner and possibly some beer.
So, at 8PM, I went to the mall and sat at one of the tables just outside Starbucks trying to figure out which among the white guys inside the coffee shop was Phil.
After shaking hands, we went on to look for a place to have dinner at. I was tempted to kiss him and pretend it's the custom way of greeting people here, but he's been here before and luckily for me, I remembered that fact before I made my move. Then, I made the biggest and stupidest blunder in history:
Striking up a conversation, I asked Phil how life in Australia was and how long ago was the last time he's been home.
Phil: Normally, I'd take that as an insult, but I'd let it go this time.
JeAr: Whew! Again, I'm sorry. I don't know where that came from! I read your blogs and your profile, I swear! What's wrong with me!
Phil: Nah, it's okay mate. Now you know.
So, we decided to put it behind us and move on. And that means back to looking for a restaurant. Since Phil already had pizza for lunch, and I wanted pizza for dinner, we had to compromise. We ended up in Gerry's Grill at the back of the mall where most of the restos are.
Later that night, Ted joined us for beer at Pier One. We spent the entire night talking and bantering. It was relaxed, laid-back, and fun. At one point, Ted and I started ganging up on Phil, poking fun at the 'non-existent British cuisine' (no offense to all my British friends, I just read it somewhere and told Phil about it to rile him up). I even asked him how he survived eating fish and chips all his life, hehehe. But Phil, being a proud Brit through and through, tried to defend his motherland by saying that British cuisine do exist, that they don't eat just fish and chips, and that there are places in Britain that serves very good fish and chips, and that if ever we pay him a visit, he'd take us there and we can order all varieties of fish and chips and it'll all be on him.
At 12ish, we decided to call it a night and walked to where Ted's car was parked. We took Phil to the street where his guesthouse was located, then headed to our respective homes. We had a great time, and I wish we could have gone with Phil to Donsol to see his giant mistresses. Alas, it was a very short notice and I don't know how to swim so I'd just be a nuisance. I hope to meet him again someday, hopefully in his city so I'd have unlimited fish and chips for free (just no tea, though). Then next time, I'd ask the right questions so as not to offend him, like"How are the kangaroos, Phil?" Bwahahaha!
Acknowledgement: Special thanks to Phil and Ted for the pics. I had my camera with me then, but I was too lazy to use it. Keep up the good work guys! ;)
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