Another long overdue post because I am too lazy to recall events from two weekends ago.
You know how some people say that traveling for work and leisure at same time is lucky? Well, yes, it is sort of lucky, but it’s also a pain! I have learned that these two may be time and money efficient but it takes away the pure experience of the destination. Sure, you get a lot of things done and you don’t spend a single cent; but are you able to focus on soaking up the beauty of the place? Especially when there is a time constraint all the effin’ time!
August 1, I was lucky enough to be contacted by an event organizer friend to help them out at the annual Cobra Energy Drink Iron Man 70.3 Triathlon and Alaska Iron Kids event… in Cebu! I have never been to Cebu, and to go there all-expense paid, what a treat!
Wednesday, we were able to book a late flight to Cebu despite the bad weather. Virtually all airlines in the Philippines have daily trips to Cebu and they come cheap especially if you book ahead. Everything went well save for some major turbulence midway our flight. I have never experienced turbulence before and this one, it was action-movie-level! I was awakened by some intense shaking and later, a lot of babies and kids were crying. I fell asleep immediately afterwards, partly due to the lulling effect of an old woman murmuring to her rosary behind my seat.
A few minutes later, we arrive safe and sound in the Queen City of the South! I was feeling nauseous from sleepiness, hunger and a baby-tantrum-infused trip. I was looking for a Cebu signage to have my picture taken at but there was none that was decent in sight. I guess just a discolored ad near the baggage claim area would do.
It was past 11pm when we arrived, we were hungry and I could only think of seafood. Crabs, shrimp, clams, fish, squid, oysters, lobsters… Mmmm.. Unfortunately, restaurants around the area close early. After driving around some more, we found this seafood restaurant and our hopes were all up, but the waitress told us that the chef just went home. What luck!
So, guess were we ended up…
After a non-momentous dinner, we went to our hotel and clocked in a few hours of sleep before 1st day of work started. I won’t blog about the hotel we stayed at, nothing special ‘cept for its nice emergency exit view! This is where my new found friend Donji and I have our early morning coffee and cigs
Thursday morning, let the organizing duties begin! We were tasked with accrediting and organizing the media for the event. I was handed my ID and look at what they gave me:
The day went by fast and I was done at around 2pm, this gave me the chance to walk around the swanky hotel we were at. By the way, although we were checked in at a different hotel, we spent the whole day at the ultra-mega-dizzyingly posh Shangri-La Mactan Resort and Spa! I could go on and rave about this hotel.
Here are some photos I took using my phone. Sorry, I forgot to bring a camera again.
Whew, I was kinda overwhelmed and I wished that we could stay for the night, but our hotel with the old American inn appeal was waiting for us.
Friday morning, I woke Donji up very early so we could go to Shangri La before work would start. We were supposed to open our booth at 7am, we got to the beach at 6am. 😦
An hour at the beach was not even remotely close to enough. The beach was so nice that I wished we got there earlier! The water was so clear and brimming with marine life. I suggest that you bring goggles if you plan to swim there, I was literally swimming with the fishes! There was more than 15 kinds in that little area alone. I also found a blue starfish (first time I ever saw one) and corals abound as well.
Be careful that you step on a sea urchin or get close to a jellyfish though. Yup, them party poopers were there too. I was standing just inches next to a brown jellyfish, good thing the water was clear and I saw it before it laid a tentacle on me.
After our one-hour-beach-bumming experience, Donji concluded that I was gonna make him take pictures of me the whole trip. He’s right, haha!
The day after our swim went by so quickly because of so much work on our hands. It was the last day of media accreditation and there was a media frenzy in front of me, but my head was stuck on “How do I steal more time for the beach?”. That thought, plus the noise going on around me kinda stressed me out. In the middle of my stress episode though, something happened that made me smile 🙂 A cute little girl came up to me and gave me this:
After work, everyone was feeling tired and hungry. Coincidentally, everyone was in the mood for some serious barbecue shiz! Our driver took us to this place in Lapu-Lapu.
He said the AA BBQ is one of the more popular barbecue places around the area. Plus, the food comes cheap. Expect to spend around 200 for a bounteous meal.
Here’s what I had:
I think I just fell and dozed off in bed as soon as we got to the hotel. My energy has crashed onto a new low and tum was so full; perfect formula for anyone to fall asleep in no time.
Saturday, I knew I had no chance of going near the beach today. It was the Alaska Iron Kids race today and I would be neck deep in work! During my spare time though, I was able to do a little pasalubong shopping and checking out the Cobra Energy Drink Iron Man participants.
After work, we joined the Cobra Energy Drink Iron Man participants on their carbo-loading dinner. Food fest! And yes, I need to carbo load, too. Tomorrow was the main event and my stress level would be that of an athlete as well. :p
Sunday! Day of the race itself! I got to watch just the start and end of the race. This year’s swim leg was different because it was set on the sea. I could imagine myself drowning and getting kicked in the face should I dare join them there.
Pete Jacobs of Team Alaska has been bagging 1st place for 2 years now, everyone was anxious to see if he might win again and make it a 3-year peat for pete (please excuse the bad pun). Most of the reps of Team Alaska usually top this event, thus, it was my duty to make sure that the Alaska logo is VERY visible at the finish line. If the logo is plastered all over the finish line, consequently, photos and videos of the event would contain these too, marketing strategy. And because I was at the finish line making sure that the logo is as conspicuous as could be, I was damn sure that my face was flashed all over the country’s 6 o’clock news.
Oh, and have you seen this year’s finishers’ medal? Very cool!
A few hours later, the race has been concluded and a press con with champs was organized. Next role: assistant to the producer.
After the press con, all my work has ended and I am now officially free! Yay!
I met this cute cebuana, Jaya, and we became friends instantly. She reminded me of my little bro, they were the same age. I persuaded her to come to the beach with me. Another yay for beach time!
From the beach, we headed for the pool! We were hesitant to dip in since it was night already and the water might be cold. But then we remembered that this is a ritzy hotel, the pool must be heated! And it was!
Jaya had to leave soon after and I didn’t want to get out of the water just yet. I decided to do some laps which led to…..
I think I had the best pan seared fish for dinner then and I went to bed happily satisfied with my life that night.
Next morning, we rushed to the airport because of an early flight. I hustled to check my bag in because I still had to go out and buy 4 kilos of Lechon Cebu.
I kinda felt sad having to leave Cebu without being able to go to the tourist spots, but, yeah, I was there for work mainly, not as a tourist. So I guess I could consider my beach moments a bonus. Anyway, I’m sure I’ll be back soon…JUST for leisure definitely.