How about visiting my hometown

In-between the holidays spent in Iloilo along came an opportunity to grab a quick visit to another island, Bohol, when a friend connected through Face book messenger.

In today world, inter-connectivity is very much a part of our modern day lifestyle. First a posting went up on Face book and then a friend nearby who have not been in touch for fairly long time, suddenly find an opportunity to “hey can you drop by for a visit, Iloilo is not far from Cebu and Bohol, an island that is near to Cebu. I am sure that a visit to my hometown could be arranged.”

Sounds great to being able to visit this friend’s hometown, Bohol, known for some great views, in the Philippines. Anyway it would be sweet to see her now that she is back home, whom I last saw her was couple of years back. That was a sending off before she flies to Bangkok to start another job assignment.

Can it be arranged on short notice

I have to make a quick decision whether to take up the offer as the window to make a visit to another location is rather limited. I have to fly back to my own country on Friday and this is already Tuesday night. By tomorrow, Wednesday I have to make my plans, firm it up, let her knows so that she can think through the schedule and plan to let me know whether it will be a “go” or a “no go”.

It is too good an opportunity to miss and dearly love to make the visit and came up with 2 options;

1) to go there in-between the dates of my departure from Iloilo back to Singapore or

2) cut short the stay, use the last two days to make the visit. I would have to travel there and leave from the Cebu airport, instead of Iloilo airport for which flight ticket has already been confirmed.

“An opportunity means chance, occasion, opening, break, prospect, something that is worth and has to be grasped in order not to miss it.”

The next day, it is off to the travel agent at a shopping centre to check on flight availability and pricing.

So without knowing much details on other transportation needed, I blindly selected the first flight out from Iloilo, factor in to spend a day and a night there would be just about right so that I could be back to Iloilo to catch my return flight to Singapore on Friday. The return air ticket timing is just randomly selected at a noon timing. Little did I know that I would need a taxi from Mactan Airport to Pier 1 for a connection to a fast craft for a two hours ride to Taglibaran city with interval run at every or hour or so.

Fast craft ride
Sorting out the logistics

It is only after the booking was confirmed that the planning and the arrangement to meet was then worked on and it is somewhat amazing that the timing eventually turns out to be so good that there is no threat to me missing my flight out from Cebu to Iloilo as well as affording me enough time to spend visiting many interesting places. There are a few “what-if scenarios” that thanks goodness did not happened or it will ruin my return trip to Singapore.

Anyway Bohol was indeed an adventure that exceeds my expectations; meeting friendly, helpful, hospitable people throughout and learning from my friend more about the Philippines’ mindset of being resilient, hardy and positivity towards natural disasters, misfortunes and difficult circumstances. I was told generally many workers gets a minimum wage of US$4.00 a day (tough to survive) and comparing this to US$16.40 I would be paying for leaving my car for 24 hour in a Government-owned car park lot back in Singapore (that is a legalized rip-off), of two different societies. Note: One US$1.00 is S$1.40 and one S$1.00 is 34 Pesos.

Through a foreigner’s eyes

Indeed Philippines under the new President Duterte’s Administration has brought about much improvement in security and stability, my wish for them to have strong good economic growth and improved livelihood for all Filipinos. Indeed there were many new developments happening in this place as it gets slowly and steadily gets modernized and the nation progresses.

The trip was memorable because

I did manage to get a long good conversation with a young man in the same hotel as me about having the Lord Jesus, God in our lives as paramount. By divine destiny, we will meet again.

Great time of fellow-shipping with both sisters in-Christ, and prayers for God’s favors upon her next job and for God to open her father and her brother’s spiritual eyes so that the whole family can served God together.