View of Cebu City from the Taoist Temple.
Being in Cebu was like being home in Bicol for a little while. I was surrounded by Aunties. It happened that the Lions Club had come to Cebu City for their annual national convention. My mom was supposed to have come too, but she'd backed out. I arrived in Cebu, having been warned by Mom about the convention, but I forgot about it. Thus, when I got there, the hotels I went to were fully booked! Prices, too, had skyrocketed. I was supposed to sleepover at my brother's girlfriend's place and see my godchild, but she was out of coverage area the whole time I kept trying to call her on her cellphone. Thus, I had nowhere to stay.
With aunties. Eve and I were the only young people in our group!
So I called my mother and everything was arranged. Tita
(Aunt) Lita and Tita
Josie, friends of my mother's, would let me stay in their room. My wily aunts tried to smuggle me in, but the hotel got wind of it and still charged us extra. Regardless, most of my stay was courtesy of my aunts, who didn't allow me to pay anything many times.
It was weird suddenly being surrounded by people I knew from home. But in for a penny, in for a pound, so they say. I ended up accompanying my aunts to the Fellowship Party, then to the Convention Parade the next day, and finally the city tour that another auntie had organized. They also tried to recruit me into the Lions. I eventually remembered (through my mom) that when I was still in school, they did induct me to the youth division, called Leo.
Housed in the Basilica is the first image of the child Jesus venerated in the country. The wooden Sto. Nino is centuries old.
I wasn't active then, so I'd forgotten all about it! In effect, I still had a right to be there. The current Leo national president happened to be my cousin too. But I declined to go to the Governor's Ball, because 1) I had no formal dress to wear, 2) I needed to track down Eva A. finally.
Trying to find Eva A. was an adventure in itself. I was already billetted at a hotel in Mandaue, so it was not too far from where she was supposed to be. I had two addresses: one had a number and was in an exclusive subdivision, and another had just the vague Upper Consolacion address. Obviously, I needed to start with the former, which happened to be her sister's address. The sister and her husband were out on holiday. So using the same cab, I tracked her down in Consolacion.
I had the most patient cab driver imaginable, because we got lost. My brother ommitted an important part of the address, and really since the place was so new, I had to literally go into the hills. We kept going around like crazy, and the whole journey took 1.5 hours! To top it off, it began to rain. Now going around in the boondocks (I never thought Cebu City had any still) when it was raining torrents, and knowing I might take until evening was very disconcerting. I was already in a major argument with my brother on my cellphone too. I was about just ready to give up when I finally contacted Eva A. There was a blackout, and she had only just charged her cellphone. So we finally found where she really was. Since obviously I needed a ride back to the city, I asked my cab driver to pick me up in a couple of hours. Jonathan, my driver, bore all this with equanamity. Even getting directions from my brother and from Eva on several occasions. I'd definitely recommend him to anyone going to Cebu City (post his cellphone number later). I have the deepest respect for Cebu cab drivers.