This is an entry in my **Philippines 2010 travel diary*. This travel diary is written as one, so it may be long winded at times and include references to things that are not general knowledge. Thanks for reading!*
Last Thursday I finally left Bacolod, Negros for San Enrique. I first stopped off at the Carriedo family and had a nice time seeing Pinky, Opie, Bambie, and Tisay again. They even fed me some delicious adobo. After that I stopped off at the houses of a couple friends in San Enrique.
Thursday and Friday were insane. Thursday night I slept in La Carlotta at the Sacred Heart pension. Friday morning I made the 1 1/2 hour drive to Kabankalan to say good bye to my friends down there and to pick up a memory card I left at the Pioquinto house. I came back up to San Enrique and stopped by a few more friends and then made my way up to Bacolod and then to Escalante to stay the night with President Dumdum and his family.
Because my schedule was so tight I was driving mostly in the dark, a pretty miserable experience in the Philippines on a motorcycle. Just outside of Escalante the intestinal discomfort I felt since I left Bacolod crescendoed and I decided it was time I try my luck in the sugarcane fields that stretched for miles on either side of the road. Only after I had abandoned my motorcycle on the side of the road and “situated” myself in the waist high sugar cane did I realize that an empty motorcycle on the side of a campo field meant only one thing, and my large stature and very white shirt did not help me hide from the stream of traffic that came out of nowhere and continued for the duration of my sequester.
I felt fantastic after my break and continued onto Escalante city and Buenavista where the Dumdums were waiting for me. Their house is right next to the LDS meeting house where Earl Dumdum is the Branch President. He offered me his office (which had aircon) to sleep in and then we had a delicious dinner, chicken adobo. I think it’s getting around that I LOVE me some adobo.
That evening I gave some money to President Dumdum from my family for Mitch, President Dumdum’s son, and Mitch’s baby. Earlier that week I had visited Mitch in the hospital. His little girl was sick, vomiting and other ailments. They still owed the hospital money, so I asked my family if they wanted to help and they really came through. The next morning before I left I took some pictures of Mitch and his family.
After I left I took the road south down to San Carlos where I took the ferry across to Toledo, Cebu. From there it was just an hour drive to Cebu City. There was a group from San Enrique and La Carlotta who hired a bus to go to the cultural event and temple dedication. They were sleeping in a church north of Cebu City and I was going to sleep there with them. However when I got into the city I texted them and they said they were already at the arena waiting for the cultural event to start. They had been there all day. Since no one was at the church to receive me I just took all my stuff to the arena and carried my bags inside. It was a little hot in my gear but I still had a good time. There were several dance events put on by various stakes and districts in the new temple district and they were all very good. I was so high up that I couldn’t get a good picture but it was a great experience with President Monson, Elder Eyering and Elder Oaks in attendance.
After the cultural event I grabbed my motorcycle. As I was in the process of loading my bags on it, out of the huge crowd of people exiting the arena, a strange woman came up to me and gave me her phone number and asked if I was single. This was all in English, and every other sentence she kept saying she was a member of the church and that she really really was a member of the church… This bizarre “foreigner sniping” had me so confused that after unsuccessfully telling her I was taken (in Visaya) I just left.
I met up with the group and followed their bus back to the church where we would sleep. On the way I noticed something funny: when I would press the horn button the horn would not honk but the lights would dim. After a while I noticed that while I was driving and I honked the horn the engine would cut out. “Interesting,” I said to myself. So I tried it again, only while I was stopped at a stop light. Not a good idea! The engine died and would not start: the battery was dead. So there I was, in the middle of a very busy intersection unable to start. I was lucky though, the intersection was at the top of a hill and so when I had the chance I pushed it down and was able to start the bike. I took it by a mechanic and they had no idea what was wrong. Since it was late I decided to just get it fixed on Monday. The next day was the Cebu Temple dedication!