Chinese New Year Travels in the Philippines
What a LAZY week!! I forgot what that felt like.
Cian and I went to Cebu, Philippines for a week. Fortunately we had another week off from teaching so we have been slowly working on TONIK Design and other projects too since we returned.
Cebu was beautiful, we enjoyed the majority of the trip.
We started our trip on Malapascua Island, a few hours drive from the main Cebu Mactan airport and then a short boat ride away. All pre-organized with a nifty airport pick-up. Thanks Cian for setting that up. He is our travel planner because frankly I just don't have time for it. I didn't even know what island we were going too until we landed in Cebu. Generally, people go to Malapascua to dive and see the thresher sharks but not us, no no, we went to sleep and eat and tan. Maybe one day we will be the diving type but all bullshit aside, I needed the sun and had no plans to see anything else, just my good ol friends, the sun. I can't believe how pale and sensitive my skin has become after almost seven years in Asia.
The hotel we stayed at, Tepanee resort was idyllic and gorgeous. Cute little huts for rooms, gorgeous ocean views, reasonably priced (about 80USD a night). The only BIG issue was the customer service and management. The staff were just plain RUDE to us. Cian tried to talk to the manager at one point and she was in denial about how the staff were treating us. Then, they overcharged us numerous times, wi-fi was spotty, and they forgot my food order on numerous occasions.
On the last day, we paid for our transfer back to Cebu but the next morning ten minutes before leaving, the resort told us the coast guard had stopped all boats from leaving Malapascua Island so we had to stay for "maybe" another day. Great.
Stranded on an island, literally.
We were upset, especially because we had three days with very limited wi-fi and Cian forgot his books, and now it was raining, so couldn't really do much on this quiet little island. We got over it though, and checked into another hotel because Tepanee resort's service was that poor. The lack of wi-fi wouldn't have bothered us so much if it wasn't for the rude service from everyone at the resort.
Our last night on Malapascua Island was our favorite, the service made all the difference.
It was almost as if we were meant to completely disconnect though. Everyone is so CONNECTED nowadays, even me, I hardly take time to decompress and read a book. I hardly take time to mediate and just chill. The first two days we slept 12 hours a night, at least! We needed it though,
Shanghai life is stressful.
We are both so involved in so many projects, and then our business. We needed some down time to ourselves without distractions.
The next day, luckily the rain had stopped so were able to leave that beautiful tiny island. We hopped back over to the mainland and checked-in to the fabulous Movenpick hotel, more of a resort about 20 mins from the airport too. Movenpick had great service, a large luxurious pool, multiple restaurants, room service, and a private beach. No need to leave the resort for ANYTHING.
We spent the rest of our time in Cebu there, and did more of the same. Relax, eat, drink, sleep, read. Wi-fi wasn't much better than the island but still enough to download some podcasts and books on google. They had this chocolate happy hour from 3-4pm everyday where you could eat as many chocolate desserts as your heart desired. Truffles, toffees, cupcakes, etc. They were alright. Quality wasn't as good as I would've hoped, but still a nice touch from the hotel to make our stay more comfortable.
The Ibiza restaurant at the Movenpick was pretty freaking amazing, we ate there for Valentine's day. They had this meat buffet there for about 80USD pp including free flow wine/beer. Pretty good deal. Plus, Cian and I tried ostrich for our first time which actually tasted like a cross between chicken and beef. I thought it was going to turn into more of a club after 10pm but nope, it emptied out. Not exactly the Ibiza we were expecting considering the name of the restaurant, but it was a nice place and attached to the hotel so uber convenient. I would definitely recommend.
All was good until I turned on the TV in our hotel room and saw the Florida shooting. WTF. Why does this keep happening? and people ask me when i'm moving "home," and they wonder why I say, uhm, Shanghai is my home, and who would want to live in that kind of chaos and be forced have that kind of President? Not I.
Now, we are back in Shanghai and it feels good to be back in my safe bubble, I always take it for granted but travelling makes me realize how fortunate we are. Chinese New Year was in full force still when we arrived. Most places are still closed, streets are so quiet. It's be SO NICE. I am still rocking the red as much as possible because the Chinese superstitions have rubbed off on me. Good ol' China. My home.