Cebu City, Day 1

We are in Cebu City today and tomorrow to dry out and see a different part of the Philippines. Our goals today are to exchange some Canadian cash for Philippine cash and to check out the bus to the ferry dock to get to Malapascua Island, our next destination.

Murray likes to play the exchange rate game. At the Puerto Princesa airport, we exchanged Canadian for Philippine at 40.3. Not bad. No one in town would deal in Canadian. We get to the Cebu airport and the rate is 37.4, so we didn’t exchange any. While going through our notes this morning, we notice there is an exchange office right across the street from our hotel. The rate there is 41.7! We exchange cash needed to get us past the next leg of the trip. As we walk this morning, things are churning in our brains and we decide to use that exchange rate to get the cash needed to the end of our whole trip, so we timed our return to make a stop at the exchange. Now, you are probably thinking, why go to all that fuss? I exchanged $850 Cdn the second time. If you take the difference between the Cebu Airport rate and this rate, it is about a $90 Cdn difference. In the Philippines, that is more than a few meals!

Cebu City
Water dispenser

As we walk towards the north bus terminal, I keep seeing these funny dispenser machines. I can’t figure out what they are for. Down one street, I point a blue one out to Murray. Then we see a red one on the side of the street we are walking on. We stop and as Murray is taking a photo, three fellows come out and talk to us. They have a machine shop that makes car parts. One fellow explains how the red machine works. It is a water dispenser, with one of those big jugs inside it. For a peso you can fill up a plastic bag with about 300ml of water. He was going to spend a peso to show us but we said no no that’s okay. I think they enjoyed our chat, talking about winter and summer and the temperatures in Canada vs the Philippines. We wished them a good morning and off we continued. 

The streets are filled with a mix of new, modern buildings and old, rundown buildings. It is quite the contrast. Here there are side walks on many streets, which is better than walking next to the traffic zooming by. Canadians are not used to that.

Cebu City

We locate the bus terminal and find the answers we are looking for. Here is another aspect of how we travel that is different than most. We could have pre-arranged a transfer to Malapascua Island for about 3,500 pesos for the two of us. Easy, no fuss, no excitement. Instead, after researching at home and talking to people on the liveaboard, we walk to the bus terminal to inquire about the schedules, cost etc. An air conditioned bus costs 350 pesos each and leaves every hour. The car trip will take slightly less time than the bus, but do we mind? So, it will be an adventure to take the bus to the ferry to go to Malapascua Island.

Cebu City
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