August 25, 2011

Cebu For A Day (and A Promise Fulfilled)

This was the only photo proof that I was in Cebu for a day. 
I took this shot as I settled on my seat on my flight back to Manila.

July 28 proved to be quite a busy day for me. I (as in literally alone, by mysellf) flew to Cebu to attend to a couple of meetings for work and I had to rush back to Manila that same afternoon to catch the second leg of the Azkal's game vs. Kuwait as part of my promise to my girls to join them.

I took Philippine Airline's first flight out to Cebu at 6:00 am. I left home at 4:20 am and got to the Centennial Terminal's check-in counter barely a few minutes before it closed. I heaved a huge sigh of relief when I made it on time as I had a previous experience when I was five minutes late and the check-in counter had closed up on me and the airline staff wouldn't budge on my pleas. Since then, I have learned my lesson and feel so tense whenever traffic builds up in the roads leading up to the airport. I am never at ease until I get my boarding pass. Trust me, it is never a good feeling to be always running late. Still, waking up so early is such a daunting task for me and I always find myself making it to the counter with just a few minutes to spare.

Back to July 28. The plane touched down in Mactan after an hour and 10 minutes of flying time. I took a cab to Cebu City and was quite early for my first meeting. So I grabbed some breakfast which later on proved to be my only rice meal for the day. By 9 am, my first meeting was underway and it lasted for a couple of hours.

After the meeting, as a breather, I went to Banilad Town Center in the hope of getting a pack of Zubuchon to take back home. Alas, I was greatly disappointed to find that the stall had moved to another site near Fuente Osmena. As my next meeting was to be held near Banilad, I decided to simply cross my fingers that their stall inside the Mactan International Airport was still there. 

Chains inside Banilad Town Center
(this photo was taken November 2010)

I strolled around the little mall and hoped for some good buys. I went inside Chains, an assortment of bazaar like stalls selling just about anything, and headed straight to Isabela, a supplier of little girls' dresses for Rustan's back in Manila. Their prices were 50% cheaper. I grabbed a simple party dress for my littlest girl.

And then I was off for my next meeting which lasted for an hour. Next, I met up with one of our staff who was based in Cebu. Very quickly, I was given updates and then I was off again for the airport. I haven't eaten lunch  and decided to just get something to eat at the airport. Check in was a breeze and I was eager to catch my 5:35 pm Cebu Pacific flight back. I lounged at a restaurant to kill time. Then I went inside the waiting area and looked for the Zubuchon stall. 

Zubuchon stall inside waiting area
of Mactan International Airport

fresh and frozen lechon packs
(again, both photos were taken November 2010)

Luckily, it was there and I got Anthony Bourdain's raved lechon to take home.

I wasn't so lucky with my  flight back though. It was delayed for almost 30 minutes. The staff said something about a delayed turn-around time. I sulked in a corner and called my girls and told them of my fate. I could hear their excitement as they were already on their way to see the Azkal's game.

The plane landed in Manila at way past 7pm. I easily got into a cab outside NAIA 3, quite thankful there wasn't a line at all this time. As expected, traffic was bad. I got off in the vicinity of Century Park Hotel and brisk-walked all the way to the stadium. I could hear the watching crowd roar, the excitement was palpable, and I walked as fast as I could, unmindful of the dark and the fear of getting mugged. I literally short of ran all the way to Gate.

By the time I got inside the Rizal Stadium, "the goal that Schrock-ed the world" had happened. It was 10 minutes into the second half of the game. The Azkals may have lost the game to the better Kuwait team, but they surely won the hearts of many Filipinos, football fans or otherwise. Filipino pride shone through that night. 

I, on the other hand, prided myelf in having my "mission" in Cebu accomplished. But more importantly, I took pride as a mom who flew back on the same day to fulfill a promise and simply be with the family.

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