“Only once in your life, I truly believe, you find someone who can completely turn your world around” – Bob Marley
This motto I truly believe.
It had been years since I had been back home to my place of birth they call the Queen city of the South. I went home for a vacation; away from the daily grind of reality to a place where I knew would give me the time to recuperate from life and to find myself.
I had been away from Cebu for a few years now, growing up in a foreign westernized culture for the majority of my life. I vaguely remembered the smells, the noise and the kids running around on the streets. But I didn’t know what to expect, when I landed in Mactan airport.
As soon as I stepped out of the airport those vague memories all came rushing back like a semi-trailer coming at you full speed.
With a big smile on my face, I thought to myself; this is going to be a good vacation.
…and then I met him.
He showed me Cebu through the eyes of a local. Bringing me to watch his basketball games at the local basketball courts. Eating chicken intestines at Larsian. Going out at two am to have a plate of puto and sikwati (hot cocoa) at Tsiange.
We didn’t have this where I was from. Heck, we didn’t have places selling sikwati at two am in the morning let alone chicken intestines and fermented duck eggs (balut)! It was all foreign to me but I loved it.
Life was different here. It was simple.
There were many places he took me. The observation deck at Crown Regency, so I could see the view of Fuente Osmena at night. It was amazing. The ride up to Tops was even better. You can actually feel the air getting cooler as you move away from the city, up through the spiraling road through Busay.
If someone asked me how I would describe Cebu, I’d probably say “organized chaos.” I say this because riding around on the back of his motorbike in and out of traffic was such an adrenalin rush. Despite the traffic, everyone seems to watch out for one another. I’ve had never seen an accident…yet. I’ve been lucky.
After my vacation ended, the relationship continued and my return to Cebu became more frequent. On each return, I fell in love with him and more so the city. We explored many places creating memories together wherever we went.
But unfortunately, our relationship could not last the distance. But this has not hindered me from returning. Memories may have been made, but I know there are more to be created.
The relationship may have ended but my love affair with Cebu still continues.