Sunday, November 05, 2006

Pit Stop in Cebu

Cebu provided a nice transit point to and from Dumaguete(Above: Modern office buildings in downtown Cebu. My photos of Cebu were not very good, so I borrowed this image from Wikipedia, which looks as if it was shot from the Marriott across the street.)

Marilyn and I spent three nights in Cebu, as it provided us a nice transit point to and from her hometown of Dumaguete. While our time was limited, we did manage to visit one of the top tourist attractions in Cebu: an observation point atop one of the highest peaks in the city. Looking back, the taxi ride up the mountain was just as exhilarating as the panoramic views. Our driver was quite the warrior, taking on insanely steep mountain grades that his inferior engine was not designed to handle. We stalled several times, and then one last heroic push ended with the car calling out, "Enough is enough!" The aroma of burning parts made me wonder what atrocity the poor engine had just suffered. We were forced to walk, at least for a quick jaunt up the road that had killed our taxi. Amazingly, a youngster on a motorcycle was waiting for us just ahead, ready to take us the rest of the way. I wasn't sure how he knew of our sudden change of plans. Anyway, here I was, on the side of a mountain in Cebu, Philippines in the dark of night, ready to take my first motorcycle ride ever. Marilyn managed to fit on as well, and soon we were flying up and down hills and around curves until we finally reached the entrance to the observation deck (all without helmets of course). Our reward was the spectacle of thousands of twinkling orange lights emanating from this living and breathing city. It was not unlike views I have seen here in America, yet when framed by the reality that I was in the Philippines the scene took on a surreal appearance.

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