Archive | December, 2011

Phils part 3

15 Dec

Ok, we left off with our day of surfing.  That night, we found out there was a fund-raiser dance.  All the locals were going, May and Marco were too tired so they went to bed.  Me and Tony went.  It was at a basketball court with a roof over it, they had a dj with a microphone and a giant speaker.  At first it was very few people on the dance floor, but since i wasn’t up for staying out super late, i joined in.  Wasn’t my best work.  I joined the small group dancing, one of the girls we had seen around several times and had small talk.  The weird thing was, as soon as each song was ending people would run to their seats like it was musical chairs.  Then the dj would say a few things to the crowd, i guess asking for donations.  So, as i’m up dancing withthe small group, this ladyboy starts trying to dance in front of me, bending over and everything.   Totally disgusting. (no i did not grind with himher but thanks for asking)  Tony was up to stay all night, but i wanted to sleep.  Tony had a blessing coming his way.

Skipping ahead to 4:30 am, the time we had arranged for a van to take us to the city with the ferry at 6 am.  At 5 am, Marco walks to the place where we had arranged the van, another hotel maybe 6 or seven minutes walk away.  So me, May and Tony are waiting out in the road at the driveway.  After a few minutes, the ladyboy who had tried to grind with me is walking by herself.  Then, himher squats in the road, and takes off himher’s shorts and drops a load.  Well, the last part is hearsay, because when heshe started taking off himher shorts, i looked away.  May and Tony were engrossed in it though and watched the whole thing, heshe being a safe distance away.  Well, ladyboy walks up to us and obviously wants attention.  I don’t interact with her other than to motion her go on down the road.  Ladyboy decides she is going to mime her story.  We motion her to go on down the road, she starts and circles back.  Tony was on the opposite side of the road from me and May, so ladyboy decides she is going to approach him.  Tony is telling her, to leave him alone and just go on down the road.  I go over to support Tony, and ladyboy starts acting like himher is going to fight me.  Ladyboy decides to go, ……………then comeback.  Again Tony is the target if ladyboy’s attention.  She is trying to mime and talk, she is talking like a deaf person would.  Tony tells her he doesn’t have any money for her just go away.  This isn’t working, and Tony is super agitated at this point.  All the sudden tony starts screaming at Ladyboy like a woman that is in need of help.  May who had gone back inside the gate of the hotel comes out to tell stop Tony because she thinks he is beating the ladyboy.  The closest approximation of this scream i can give you is in Forest Gump, when the principal says to Forest your mom shore does care about your schooling and forest responds “EEEH EEH EEH EEEE! ”  The ladyboy retreated, but after some time comes back again.  Finally a van starts pulling up, we think it’s our van, but it is a van for the ladyboy.  As we are discussing what happened, Tony tells us ladyboy is not deaf, ladyboy had talked with him at the dance.  Finally Marco shows up, as we see a guy on a motorcycle go by.  Marco explains he went to the hotel, no one was awake.  He asked the security gaurd to wake our server, who woke up the van driver who had over-slept.  He gets in the van, not enough gas, so they gas up the van, and the van breaks down.  The guy on the motorcycle was driving to get another van.  The van shows up, we get in, the driver says we will miss the ferry.  This means we will have to miss our flight to manila.    But the driver floors it, and instead of us going to the counter, he drives us to the loading dock where we pay the dock fee and get on the ferry and buy our ferry tickets on the boat.

In manila, we arrive and go straight to the cockfights.  One of Marco’s parent’s drivers had agreed to show us the cockfights.   It is in an arena, and not a run down homemade arena, like a professional sports arena.  It was amazing, instead of people betting against the house,they bet with each other.  They had hand signals and odds and all was made in a couple minutes between fights.  The most amazing part was, people just look around and find someone to bet with, could be next to you or could be in the upper deck.  We had been warned about pick pockets at the arena, but in the place, everyone bet with everyone as if you could totally trust a guy in a crowded arena not to try and skip out on the bet.  And they were right, people folded up their money and throw it to the person if the lost.  Incredible, because we were on the lower level we were in the high roller section and we couldn’t find anyone to take our small bets.  We did manage to find a partner twice, lost both times.   As i’m standing there, this guy next to me points to my pocket, and say can i get that?  I look at him like he is crazy, then see that the folded up money someone had thrown to him had bounced into my hip pocket.  I don’t know what the odds are of something like that, but i reached down and pulled the money out and gave it to him.  Evidently if someone misses with their throw, the people always just pass it to who it belongs to.  After the cockfights, we went and Tony got balut.  Balut is an egg with a baby duck inside.  Don’t worry the duck is dead, not alive.  I told Tony that Jen, Joi and their aunt had told me you don’t eat Balut, only suck the juice.  However May was adamant that you eat it, and Tony had his mind set on eating it.  He got 18 day balut (the biggest duck inside the egg you can get) and ate it.  I posted pictures on facebook, and Marco’s parent’s housekeeper first corrected my spelling of balut and then said you don’t eat it.  I don’t know i guess different people do different things with it.

Tune in next episode to hear about my hospital visit, and our last night there.

Phils Part 2

1 Dec

So after the coke-feining driver gets us to the port, we catch a ferry a day earlier than planned to Cebu.  We get to Cebu, find out that there is no 11pm ferry that night, so we will wait until the following night to leave.  I had told Joi i would meet her in Cebu, my friends were still trying to decide where they were staying and what ferry to take.  I met Joi and an entourage of her sister Jen and 2 friends who had heard of Tony’s newly single status.  However Tony was still at the dock with Marco and May going over which would be the best way to get to Surigao, (an 8 hour ferry ride) so he wasn’t available.  Hung out with the group of girls that night.

These are the more boring parts, feel free to skip to the last 2 paragraphs.  The next day i went to the dentist, which i only do when i am out of the USA.  Ridiculous that going to the dentist is a luxury, but since I have been blessed with good teeth I get by fine.  I had convinced Tony to get a portrait done by Lino, who is an artist with no hands who works by where i stayed.  Lino is amazing, i’ve gotten portraits done by street vendors maybe 5 times, his was the best, he puts a pencil in an armband and draws like that.  While he was waiting for Lino, Tony saw a tattoo parlor where he decided to get his tattoo that he wanted to get on the trip.   May saw Joi and Jen’s bag, (Jen almost always tags along) and asked me if they were wealthy, when i responded they weren’t she wanted to know where she could get a bag like their’s.  So we took May bag shopping.  May was super excited, i should have known this wasn’t going to be quick.  Anyhow, I spent my last afternoon with Joi shopping for bags with May, which was ok for Joi because she is a girl and girls like to shop, or so i’m told…not really able to say anything about what women like with any degree of certainty…..i’m including this exchange because a) it’s funny and b) it’s pretty typical dialogue for our trip.  Tony to me “Joi is hot!  I just wasn’t expecting that…..I guess that is kind of a back-handed compliment.”  Me “Kind of?”  Tony “What can I say, your wearing sandals with socks.”  Me “”yeah, i know, these are cheapo sandals and i’m starting to get blisters on my feet.”

For those of you who are going to start asking questions,  I’ve got good news for all you single ladies out there with low standards.   Joi decided against a serious relationship with me.  So we enjoyed our visit, but I’m somehow still on the market.  That constantly amazes me, one day i will be revered the way i should be.

We took the ferry to Surigao, and then on to Sairgao.  Sirgao was another 3 hours from Surigao, and the ferry didn’t leave until 11, so we spent a long time traveling.  Sairgao has one of the best surfing competitions in the world on the cloud nine wave break.  However to surf that particular break you have to be an expert.  We didn’t realize that beginner surfers only have like 2-3 hours a day of surfing available to them there, at a break a little farther down called jacking horse.  The problem with surfing Jacking horse is the waves go away during high tide, their are still waves, but they are breaking up against the super rocky shore.  I took 2 hours of kite-surfing lessons on the first day, when the wind was light.  I was ready to keep going and get on the board, but the instructor who had kite surfed for 8 years couldn’t even really get going with the lack of wind.  He promised to come by the next day when the wind was good and i’d get the lesson on the board.  It was a good two hour lesson, in the USA, it cost 150 a lesson and the first lesson is in the classroom, you don’t even get to the kite until you do a classroom lesson on safety and whatnot.  Also the guy reminded me of  Alvis Snow character from Forgetting Sarah Marshall, or Get Him To The Greek; which made his jokes funnier.  The next day though he never came got me, and the following day he went off on a surf lesson to an island.  So i never got to actually ride the board.

The last day we were there, me and Marco talked with the surf instructor who took us out in Jacking Horse in the morning low tide.  This is where I had two great moments in hillbilly surfing history.  First i almost ran over like a five year old kid, i was so focused on riding my wave i never saw he was already on the wave.  The second was even better.  I don’t know why, but i really suck at paddling a surfboard. I think it’s cause my shoulder’s have virtually no flexibility, when doing squats my hands are out by the racks.  I can’t throw a ball too hard or it will hurt my shoulder, has ever since high school, just not flexible shoulders.  Well so i get to padding up against the current, and our instructor sees me struggling, tells me i can grab his leash and he’ll tow me.  I struggle on for another minute, then give up and let him tow me.  Here i am getting towed by a guy who weighs maybe 130 pounds.  Super embarrassing, or would be if i valued other people’s opinion, luckily I’m too self -centered to be self -conscious.

Our instructor told us about Daku Island.  He said since the waves run parallel to shore you can ride them 40 meters.  Then just get out of the current and paddle back, he then started telling a story about 2 girls who made him tow them back…which would have been funny had it not been humiliating for the guy who just got towed back.  He arranged two motorbikes and a boat, the only way to the boat was to carry our boards with us.  The moto-taxis didn’t have the board holder, so we had to carry them sideways across our lap.  Marco had convinced me to go with the long board, because if we got to the place and couldn’t catch a wave it would be a waste.  I think he just didn’t want to be the only one riding out there with a 9 foot 2 inch board.  Anyhow it’s a one- lane dirt road, that is under construction, by construction i mean they pile up dirt and leave a lil strip of road.  So, not only are we looking like we are trying to fly the moto-taxis by using a surfboard as wings, we also have to keep an eye out for all traffic.  My driver spaced for a second and came to a skidding halt behind Marco, just before the entrance to the construction dirt strip.  Every time we get in the open area,, the driver would speed up, which would push the board back up against me and make me balance forward.  More proof if Hillbilly’s of the world ever unite then lookout, we are all over the world.  Latin America, Southeast Asia, pretty much good old boys that will get the job done with little regard to safety.  Anyhow, we get on the boat, and get to the monster waves by the island.  Since they are gentle waves, beginners can surf them after the waves crash, and experts can surf them before they crash….so it’s one of the few places beginners and experts can surf side by side.  These waves are just amazing, and the water is as blue and clear as I have ever seen.  Marco got sea-sick so no pictures of us carrying the boards on the way back.  Richard’s blowing out Marco’s ear drum with a raft paddle is the gift that keeps on giving.