Thursday, January 18, 2007

Long Road From Dumaguete to America, Pt. 4

The petition for Marilyn's fiancee visa was filed today! Holidays, the flu, and an annoying passport photo debacle set us back an extra month, but perhaps these delays were fortuitous. I am quite relieved to finally reach this day, though I know the road remains potentially long and tortuous—in the form of more heaping paperwork, filing fees and infinitely more patience.

Marilyn and I request your prayers for the Lord's favor in this process, and for her possible move from Dumaguete. Blessings and peace!

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Wednesday, January 10, 2007

Magic on the March to Dumaguete

Tambuli Beach Club on Mactan Island near Cebu City was the setting for my first night ever in the Philippines.

Some of my most incredible memories from the Philippines did not even take place in Dumaguete, but came within hours of setting foot in Cebu. This city was to serve as a literal pit stop before a final push into Dumaguete, but it became a place of firsts that will forever endear me to the Queen City of the South. It was here in Cebu that I first witnessed the intense beauty in Marilyn's eyes and the alluring charm of this tropical wonderland known as the Philippines. I was not altogether sure that I was truly here, wondering all the time if I would soon awaken to a reality 10,000 miles distant. I looked up and saw the imposing silhouettes of palm trees against a mellow twilight sky. They were gently waving in the ocean breeze, as if to welcome me into their heaven. It was indeed a dream, but I was awake. It was magical.

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Friday, January 05, 2007

Dumaguete via Seoul, Hong Kong & Manila

Hong Kong was just one of many cities I marginally experienced on my way to Dumaguete. Even if I never left the airport, I can still say I was there, right ;)

My voyage to Dumaguete took me through several cities, only one of which I had ever seen before (Atlanta):
  • Atlanta, Georgia
  • Los Angeles, California
  • Seoul, South Korea
  • Hong Kong
  • Manila, Philippines
  • Cebu City, Philippines
  • Tagbilaran, Philippines
For someone who had scarce traveled in his own country this was a fantastic journey filled with new and wonderful experiences. Although it was quite taxing at times (at no point did I sleep) I kept thinking about that final moment when I would meet Marilyn for the first time.

Before I knew it, the plane was touching down in Cebu City and my trepidation increased exponentially. Marilyn had traveled up from Dumaguete to "fetch" me at the Mactan-Cebu International Airport. After 10,000 miles and 23 hours of flying, I was met by this princess from Dumaguete. We spent a few days in Cebu, and then boarded the Super Cat ferry, destined for the Gentle City.

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